File this—as so often we must these days—under "Going to Hell in a Handbasket." It's a letter to the editor of the New York Times Book Review bemoaning the tendency of nonfiction books to omit citations, whether from the foots of pages or the ends of manuscripts.
The first step on this slippery slope was when footnotes became endnotes. The decline continued when footnotes were no longer numbered, and instead the reader, if she was lucky, would find in the back of the book a page number and a shortened quotation — too often not the controversial or incomplete assertion she hoped to trace. Now even nonfiction history is published without any notes (because it is “popular”?).
I bring it up because I thought a lot about this issue while working on my Bix book and found myself very pleased with the "shortened quotation" format. Your mileage may vary. But this letter-writer notwithstanding, I wonder how many people will actually read these endnotes, however they may be formatted.
I ask because they were meant to be read! I mean, look at what you'd be missing if you skip them altogether in Finding Bix: Roth, Portnoy, a shiksa paradise, and the twat of the United States of America.