- "Mr. James Elphinston, who has since published various works, and who was ever esteemed by Johnson as a worthy man, happened to be in Scotland while the Rambler was coming out in single papers at London. With a laudable zeal at once for the improvement of his countrymen, and the reputation of his friend, he suggested and took the charge of an edition of those Essays at Edinburgh, which followed progressively the London publication."
The bios in the DNB and ODNB do not differ greatly, except that the ODNB has R. C. Dallas as Elphinston's biographer in the 1809 edition of Gentleman's Magazine no. 79, which would have been impossible if they are referring to Dr Robert Charles Dallas – the father of Alexander James Dallas – who died in 1769.
- Propriety Ascertained in Her Picture, (or English Speech and Spelling Rendered Mutual Guides, Secure Alike from Distant, and from Domestic, Error)(1786, 1787) [2 volumes]
- The Principles of the English Language Digested for the use of Schools (1766)
- Inglish Orthography Epittomized (1790)
- Miniature of English Orthography (1795)
- The Epigrams of Marcus Valerius Martialis in twelve books: with commentary and translation into English by James Elphinston (1782)
- Joan C. Beal, ‘Elphinston, James (1721–1809)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 21 Sept 2011