Is, for example, "pp. 1567–93" an acceptable way to denote pages 1567 through 1593? In what contexts must you always write it in long form "pp. 1567–1593" instead? Also, what about in the case of smaller numbers, e.g. "pp. 54–7," or more complicated ranges, e.g. "pp. 6, 23–5, 7, 67–8, 94–117"?
closed as primarily opinion-based by Chenmunka, choster, Robusto, WS2, dwjohnston Oct 4 '14 at 6:45
Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (2003), has very clear preferences, which it lists at section 9.64 (rules paraphrased from a table):
Words into Type, Third Edition (1974), adopts a more flexible approach to inclusive numbering style:
Interestingly, however, the Words into Type "suggested way" of handling inclusive page numbers matches the Chicago method point for point.
Other styles, of course, differ. Thus, for example, the MLA Style Manual (as represented in the Koinonia Academy "MLA Citation Guide") rejects the Chicago rule that would render "pages 102 through 103" as "102–3":
Similarly, the North Dakota Supreme Court Citation Manual, which is based on the Harvard Blue Book legal citation style guide insists that the last two digits of a page range should always be retained (though it doesn't offer an example along the lines of "102–03"):
This guide also accepts hyphens or en dashes as punctuation for inclusive page numbers.
I can't comment right now so I make this an answer even though it is only a note.
The Chicago Manual of Style rules are very good but I think that as long as you have less than a million pages it is always easier for a reader to interpret full ranges; shortened ones always require a little more intellectual work, even if you're always consistent and explain the rules to the reader.
They are often more elegant but I think especially on these days when people are used to clear and schematic thinking most readers would prefer the full version.
You just need to ensure that in ranges with several intervals the single intervals are clearly distinguishable, through proper separation.