What does the abbreviation "p.c." next to a name stand for in academic papers? Here are a couple of examples:


The following problem was raised by H. Haider (p.c.).


Also, as pointed out to me by Staffan Hellberg (p.c) verbs can be deaccented [...]


personal communication.

The quotes did not come from a published work, they were communicated directly to the author.


Because readers cannot retrieve the information in personal communications, personal communications are not included in the reference list; they are cited in the text only. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/personal-communications

As suggested in the above article, the formal way of doing this is to write "personal communication" in full, and include the date it was received.

The author has used a less formal approach by abbreviating and not giving the date. However it is clear from the context that this is the meaning because the quote says, "... as pointed out to me by Staffan Hellberg ..." and that is clearly a personal communication.

  • Interesting - can you provide any reference for your claim?
    – Greybeard
    Jun 21 '20 at 10:39
  • @Greybeard I've done my best - see above. Jun 21 '20 at 11:40
  • Thanks - It looks good to me.
    – Greybeard
    Jun 21 '20 at 14:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.