The essence of footnoting is communication with the reader, but footnote communication that is literally subordinate to the primary text. What a footnote communicates therefore depends upon and extends what the primary text communicates, from telling the reader where to find the source of a reference made in the text through guiding the reader to the different ideas of other members of the invisible college of scholars in the field. By remaining sensitive to the purposes of different footnotes and the needs of the reader, effective footnoting can make a valuable contribution to scholarship.
Mock, William B.T.
"When a Rose isn’t “Arose” isn’t Arroz: A Guide to Footnoting for Informational Clarity and Scholarly Discourse,"
International Journal of Legal Information: Vol. 34
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/ijli/vol34/iss1/7