This doesn’t happen very often, but as it came up again this week, thought I would post!
Every now and then I will get a researcher that is looking for a paper that has a citation for The Bulletin of the American Physical Society. The Bulletin contains the technical programs of APS general meetings and various unit meetings of the Society. But, the researcher is expecting a PAPER, not an abstract.
If you are citing from an abstract use the same style format you are using, but please add the word [Abstract] in front of the word retrieved.
A sample citation using the APA style:
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year).
Title of article. Title of Periodical, xx, xxx-xxx.
Abstract retrieved month day, year, from source.
Swanson TA, Blair P, Madigan L. 2004. Reduction in medication errors through redesign of the medication use system [abstract]. In: American Society of Health-system Pharmacists 39th midyear meeting; 2004 Dec5-9; Orlando. Bethesda (MD): American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. MCS-28
Somewhat related, I had a researcher that had what he thought was a reprint of an early Scientific American article. The article itself says, “Reprinted by permission from Scientific American of March, 1922.” The researcher just needed to find the article, and get the page numbers. The researcher then learned, from another source, that the paper was a modified reprint of an article from Scientific American, March 1921, which was used as a fundraising document-it was never actually PUBLISHED in Scientific American–it just had gotten permission from the author to be used, and I suppose it was a part of a package of handouts that donors received.
It doesn’t help matters that there currently exists a huge gap in the digitization of Scientific American. It is available online from the publisher from 1993-forward, and available from 1845-1908 from Proquest.
These are somewhat strange bibliographic cases, to be sure, but the bottom line is the accurate citing of material solves mysteries across time.