I'd like to hear your thoughts on which system works best for you, and why.
For me, the question hinges on the density of the references, and their distribution. Is it a large number of texts being referenced only once, or is it a small number of texts being referenced repeatedly, etc?
If the same texts are referenced more then two or three times, I prefer as a reader to have some kind of abbreviation (such as MMK for Mūlamadhyamakakārikā) to help me keep the texts straight.
Good point, Michael.
Many texts are referred to a number of times, and references are often fairly dense.
While many use abbreviations, and I also did once upon a time, I find that they are only useful for specialists, but for anyone else they quickly become jargon, eg. (some facetiously) "When we look at the statement from the MMK as against the MVS, it becomes clear that Vasubandhu's CWSL commentary on the TVS..." blah blah blah.
I'm planning on keeping abbreviations to a bare minimum, if at all.