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A citation, also called a reference, uniquely identifies a source of information, e.g.:

Ritter, R. M. (2003). The Oxford Style Manual. Oxford University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-19-860564-5.

Wikipedia's verifiability policiesrequires inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations, anywhere in article space.

A citation or reference in an article usually has two parts. In the first part, each section of text that is either based on, or quoted from, an outside source is marked as such with an inline citation. The inline citation may be a superscript footnote number, or an abbreviated version of the citation called a short citation. The second essentialpart of the citation or reference is the list of full references, which provides complete, formatted detail about the source, so that anyone reading the article shouldsearchit and confirmit.

This siteexplains how to territoryand format both parts of the citation. Each article canutilizeone citation wayor style throughout. If an article already has citations, preserve consistency by using that wayor seek consensus on the talk sitebefore changing it (the principle is reviewed at § Variation in citation way). While you cantestto write citations correctly, what matters most is that you provide enough infoto identify the source. Others will improve the formatting if needed. See: "AssistReferencing for beginners", for a brief introduction on how to put references in Wikipedia articles; and cite templates in Visual Editor, about a graphical methodfor citation, contain in Wikipedia.

Kind of citation

  • A full citation fully identifies a reliable source and, where applicable, the territoryin that source (such as a sitenumber) where the infoin question shouldbe found. For example: Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 1. This kindof citation is usually given as a footnote, and is the most commonly utilize citation wayin Wikipedia articles.
  • An inline citation means any citation added close to the contentit assistance, for example after the sentence or paragraph, normally in the form of a footnote.
  • A short citation is an inline citation that identifies the territoryin a source where specific infoshouldbe found, but without giving full details of the source – these will have been deliveredin a full bibliographic citation either in an earlier footnote, or in a separate section. For example: Rawls 1971, p. 1. This system is utilize in some articles.
  • In-text attribution involves adding the source of a statement to the article text, such as Rawls argues that X.[5] This is done whenever a writer or speaker canbe credited, such as with quotations, close paraphrasing, or statements of opinion or uncertain fact. The in-text attribution does not give full details of the source – this is done in a footnote in the normal way. See In-text attribution below.
  • A general reference is a citation that assistance content, but is not linked to any particular piece of contentin the article through an inline citation. General references are usually listed at the end of the article in a References section. They are usually found in underdeveloped articles, especially when all article materialis supported by a single source. They may also be listed in more developed articles as a supplement to inline citations.

When and why to cite sources

By citing sources for Wikipedia content, you enable users to verify that the infogiven is supported by reliable sources, thus improving the credibility of Wikipedia while showing that the materialis not original research. You also assistusers find additional information on the subject; and by giving attribution you avoid plagiarising the source of your words or ideas.

In particular, sources are neededfor contentthat is challenged or likely to be challenged – if reliable sources cannot be found for challenged material, it is likely to be removed from the article. Sources are also neededwhen quoting someone, with or without quotation marks, or closely paraphrasing a source. However, the citing of sources is not limited to those situations – editors are always encouraged to add or improve citations for any infocontained in an article.

Citations are especially desirable for statements about living persons, particularly when the statements are contentious or potentially defamatory. In accordance with the biography of living persons policy, unsourced infoof this kindis likely to be removed on sight.


For an photoor other media file, details of its origin and copyright status canappear on its file page. Image captions canbe referenced as appropriate just like any other part of the article. A citation is not requiredfor descriptions such as alt text that are verifiable directly from the photoitself, or for text that merely identifies a source (e.g., the caption "Belshazzar's Feast (1635)" for File:Rembrandt-Belsazar.jpg).

When not to cite

Citations are not utilize on disambiguation site (sourcing for the infogiven there canbe done in the target articles). Citations are often omitted from the lead section of an article, insofar as the lead summarizes infofor which sources are given later in the article, although quotations and controversial statements, particularly if about living persons, canbe supported by citations even in the lead. See WP:LEADCITE for more information.

What infoto include

Listed below is the infothat a typical inline citation or general reference will provide, though other details may be added as necessary. This infois contain in order to identify the source, helpreaders in finding it, and (in the case of inline citations) indicate the territoryin the source where the infois to be found. (If an article utilize short citations, then the inline citations will refer to this infoin abbreviated form, as described in the relevant sections above.)

Utilizedetails in citing. Awesomecitations are on the left, while citations on the right canbe improved.



Citations for books typically include:

  • name of author(s)
  • title of book
  • volume when appropriate
  • name of publisher
  • territoryof publication
  • date of postof the edition
  • chapter or sitenumbers cited, if appropriate
  • edition, if not the first edition
  • ISBN (optional)

Citations for individually authored chapters in books typically include:

  • name of author(s)
  • title of the chapter
  • name of book's editor
  • name of book and other details as above
  • chapter number or sitenumbers for the chapter (optional)

In some instances, the verso of a book's title sitemay record, "Reprinted with corrections XXXX" or similar, where 'XXXX' is a year. This is a different version of a book in the same methodthat different editions are different versions. In such a case, record: the year of the particular reprint, the edition immediately prior to this particular reprint (if not the first edition) and a note to say "Reprint with corrections". If {{cite}} (or similar) is being utilize, the notation, "Reprint with corrections", shouldbe added immediately following the template. § Dates and reprints of older post gives an example of appending a similar textual note.

Journal articles

Citations for journal articles typically include:

  • name of the author(s)
  • year and sometimes month of publication
  • title of the article
  • name of the journal
  • volume number, problemnumber, and sitenumbers (article numbers in some electronic journals)
  • DOI and/or other identifiers are optional and shouldoften be utilize in territoryof a less stable URL (although URLs may also be listed in a journal citation)

Newspaper articles

Citations for newspaper articles typically include:

  • byline (author's name), if any
  • title of the article
  • name of the newspaper in italics
  • townof publication (if not contain in name of newspaper)
  • date of publication
  • sitenumber(s) are optional and may be substituted with negative number(s) on microfilm reels

Web site

Citations for GlobeWide Web site typically include:

  • URL of the specific web page where the referenced materialshouldbe found
  • name of the author(s)
  • title of the article
  • title or websitename of the website
  • publisher, if known
  • date of publication
  • sitenumber(s) (if applicable)
  • the date you retrieved (or accessed) the web page (neededif the postdate is unknown)

Sound recordings

Citations for sound recordings typically include:

  • name of the composer(s), songwriter(s), script writer(s) or the like
  • name of the performer(s)
  • title of the song or individual track
  • title of the album (if applicable)
  • name of the record label
  • year of release
  • medium (for example: LP, audio cassette, CD, MP3 file)
  • approximate time at which happeningor point of interest occurs, where appropriate

Do not cite an entire body of work by one performer. Instead, make one citation for each work your text relies on.

Film, television, or video recordings

Citations for movie, TV episodes, or video recordings typically include:

  • name of the director
  • name of the producer, if relevant
  • names of major performers
  • the title of a TV episode
  • title of the movieor TV series
  • name of the studio
  • year of release
  • medium (for example: film, videocassette, DVD)
  • approximate time at which happeningor point of interest occurs, where appropriate


Wikidata is largely utilize-generated, and articles cannot directly cite Wikidata as a source (just as it would be inappropriate to cite other Wikipedias' articles as sources).

Wikidata's statements, however, shouldbe directly transcluded into articles; this is usually done to provide external links or infobox data. For example, more than two million external links from Wikidata are present through the {{Authority control}} template. There has been controversy over the utilizeof Wikidata in the English Wikipedia due to vandalism and its own sourcing. While there is no consensus on whether infofrom Wikidata canbe utilize at all, there is general agreement that any Wikidata statements that are transcluded need to be just as – or more – reliable compared to Wikipedia content. As such, Module:WikidataIB and some associatedmodules and templates filter unsourced Wikidata statements by default; however, other modules and templates, such as Module:Wikidata, do not.

In order to transclude an item from Wikidata, the of an item in Wikidata needs to be known. QID shouldby found by searching for an item by the name or DOI in Wikidata. A book, a journal article, a musical recording, sheet melodyor any other item shouldbe represented by a structured item in Wikidata.

As of December 2020, {{Cite Q}} does not support "last, first" or Vancouver-style author name lists, so it cannot be utilize in articles in which "last, first" or Vancouver-style author names are the dominant citation style.


See also:

Identifying parts of a source

When citing lengthy sources, you canidentify which part of a source is being cited.

Books and print articles

Specify the sitenumber or range of sitenumbers. Sitenumbers are not neededfor a reference to the book or article as a whole. When you specify a sitenumber, it is helpful to specify the version (date and edition for books) of the source because the layout, pagination, length, etc. shouldmodifybetween editions.

If there are no sitenumbers, whether in ebooks or print content, then you shouldutilizeother means of identifying the relevant section of a lengthy work, such as the chapter number or the section title.

In some works, such as plays and ancient works, there are standard way of referring to sections, such as "Act 1, scene 2" for plays and Bekker numbers for Aristotle's works. Utilizethese way whenever appropriate.

Audio and video sources

Specify the time at which the happeningor other point of interest occurs. Be as precise as possible about the version of the source that you are citing; for example, film are often released in different editions or "cuts". Due to variations between formats and playback equipment, precision may not be accurate in some cases. However, many government agencies do not publish minutes and transcripts but do publicationvideo of official meetings online; generally the subcontractors who handle audio-visual are quite precise.

Links and ID numbers

A citation ideally contain a link or ID number to assisteditors locate the source. If you have a URL (web page) link, you shouldadd it to the title part of the citation, so that when you add the citation to Wikipedia the URL becomes hidden and the title becomes clickable. To do this, enclose the URL and the title in square brackets—the URL first, then a space, then the title. For example:

''[ IARC Monographs On The Evaluation Of Carcinogenic Risks To Humans – Doxefazepam]''. International Agency For Research On Cancer (IARC). 66: 97–104. 13–20 February 1996.

For web-only sources with no postdate, the "Retrieved" date (or the date you accessed the web page) canbe contain, in case the web sitemodify in the future. For example: Retrieved 15 July 2011 or you shouldutilizethe access-date parameter in the automatic Wikipedia:refToolbar 2.0 editing window feature.

You shouldalso add an ID number to the end of a citation. The ID number might be an ISBN for a book, a DOI (digital object identifier) for an article or some e-books, or any of several ID numbers that are specific to particular article databases, such as a PMID number for articles on PubMed. It may be possible to format these so that they are automatically activated and become clickable when added to Wikipedia, for example by typing ISBN (or PMID) followed by a zoneand the ID number.

If your source is not accessibleonline, it canbe accessiblein reputable libraries, archives, or collections. If a citation without an external link is challenged as unavailable, any of the following is sufficient to presentthe contentto be reasonably available (though not necessarily reliable): providing an ISBN or OCLC number; linking to an established Wikipedia article about the source (the work, its author, or its publisher); or directly quoting the contenton the talk page, briefly and in context.

Linking to site in PDF files

Links to long PDF documents shouldbe angry more convenient by taking readers to a specific sitewith the addition of #page=n to the document URL, where n is the sitenumber. For example, using http://www.websitecom/document.pdf#site5 as the citation URL displays sitefive of the document in any PDF viewer that assistance this feature. If the viewer or browser does not assistanceit, it will display the first siteinstead.

Linking to Google Books site

Google Books sometimes let numbered book site to be linked to directly. Sitelinks canonly be added when the book is accessiblefor preview; they will not work with snippet view. Holdin mind that availability varies by location. No editor is neededto add sitelinks, but if another editor adds them, they cannot be removed without cause; see the October 2010 RfC for further information.

These shouldbe added in several method (with and without citation templates):

  • Rawls, John. . Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 18.
  • Or with a template: Rawls, John (1971). . Harvard University Press. p. 18.
  • .
  • , p. 18.
  • Rawls 1971, .
  • Rawls 1971, .

In edit mode, the URL for p. 18 of A Theory of Justice shouldbe entered like this using the {{Cite book}} template:

{{cite book |last=Rawls |first=John |title=A Theory of Justice |publisher=Harvard University Press |date=1971 |site18 |url=}}

or like this, in the first of the above examples, formatted manually:

Rawls, John. [ ''A Theory of Justice'']. Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 18.

When the sitenumber is a Roman numeral, commonly seen at the beginning of books, the URL looks like this for (Roman numeral 17) of the same book:

The &pg=PR17 indicates "page, Roman, 17", in contrast to the &pg=PA18, "page, Arabic, 18" the URL given earlier.

You shouldalso link to a tipped-in page, such as an unnumbered siteof photo between two regular site. (If the siteinclude an photothat is protected by copyright, it will be replaced by a smallnotice saying "copyrighted image".) The URL for of The ChosenPapers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, looks like this:

The &pg=PA304-IA11 shouldbe interpreted as "page, Arabic, 304; inserted after: 11".

Note that some templates properly assistancelinks only in parameters specifically plannedto keepURLs like |url= and |archive-url= and that placing links in other parameters may not link properly or will cause mangled COinS metadata output. However, the |page= and |site= parameters of all Citation Style 1/Citation Style 2 citation templates, the family of {{sfn}}- and {{harv}}-style templates, as well as {{r}}, {{rp}} and {{ran}} are plannedto be safe in this regard as well.

or may be helpful.

Registrar may also link the quotation on Google Books to individual titles, via a short permalink which ends with their associatedISBN, OCLC or LCCN numerical code, e.g.:, a permalink to the Google book with the ISBN code 0521349931. For further details, you may see on

Say where you read it

"Say where you read it" follows the practice in academic writing of citing sources directly only if you have read the source yourself. If your knowledge of the source is secondhand—that is, if you have read Jones (2010), who cited Smith (2009), and you wishto utilizewhat Smith (2009) said—make clear that your knowledge of Smith is based on your reading of Jones.

When citing the source, write the following (this formatting is just an example):

John Smith (2009). Name of Book I Haven't Seen, Cambridge University Press, p. 99, cited in Paul Jones (2010). Name of Encyclopedia I Have Seen, Oxford University Press, p. 29.

Or if you are using short citations:

Smith (2009), p. 99, cited in Jones (2010), p. 29.

The same principle applies when indicating the source of photo and other media files in an article.

Note: The advice to "say where you read it" does not mean that you have to give credit to any findengines, domain, libraries, library catalogs, archives, subscription services, bibliographies, or other sources that led you to Smith's book. If you have read a book or article yourself, that's all you have to cite. You do not have to specify how you obtained and read it.

So long as you are confident that you read a true and accurate copy, it does not matter whether you read the contentusing an online service like Google Books; using preview options at a bookseller's domainlike Amazon; through your library; via online paid databases of scanned post, such as JSTOR; using reading machines; on an e-reader (except to the extent that this affects sitenumbering); or any other method.

Dates and reprints of older post

Editors canbe aware that older sources (especially those in the public domain) are sometimes reprinted with modern postdates. When this occurs and the citation style being utilize requires it, cite both the original postdate, as well as the date of the re-publication, e.g.:

  • Darwin, Charles (1964) [1859]. On the Origin of Species (facsimile of 1st ed.). Harvard University Press.

This is done automatically in the {{citation}} and {{cite book}} templates when you utilizethe |orig-date= parameter.

Alternately, infoabout the reprint shouldbe appended as a textual note:

  • Boole, George (1854). An Investigation of the Laws of Thought on Which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities. Macmillan. Reprinted with corrections, Dover Post, FreshYork, NY, 1958.

Seasonal postdates and differing calendar systems

Postdates, for both older and lastestsources, canbe written with the goal of helping the reader searchthe postand, once found, verifythat the correct posthas been located. For example, if the postdate bears a date in the Julian calendar, it cannot be converted to the Gregorian calendar.

If the postdate was given as a season or holiday, such as "Winter" or "Christmas" of a particular year or two-year span, it cannot be converted to a month or date, such as July–August or December 25. If a postdeliveredboth seasonal and specific dates, prefer the specific one.

Additional annotation

In most cases it is sufficient for a citation footnote simply to identify the source (as described in the sections above); readers shouldthen consult the source to see how it assistance the infoin the article. Sometimes, however, it is useful to containadditional annotation in the footnote, for example to indicate precisely which infothe source is supporting (particularly when a single footnote lists more than one source – see § Bundling citations and § Text–source integrity, below).

A footnote may also includea relevant exact quotation from the source. This is especially helpful when the cited text is long or dense. A quotation let readers to immediately identify the applicable portion of the reference. Quotes are also useful if the source is not easily accessible.

In the case of non-English sources, it may be helpful to quote from the original text and then give an English translation. If the article itself include a translation of a quote from such a source (without the original), then the original canbe contain in the footnote. (See the WP:Verifiability § Non-English sources policiesfor more information.)

Inline citations

Inline citations letthe reader to associate a given bit of contentin an article with the specific reliable source(s) that assistanceit. Inline citations are added using either footnotes (long or short) or parenthetical references. This section describes how to add either type, and also describes how to create a list of full bibliography citations to assistanceshortened footnotes.

The first editor to add footnotes to an article must create a section where those citations are to appear.


How to create the list of citations

This section, if needed, is usually titled "Notes" or "References", and is territory at or near the bottom of the article. For more about the order and titles of sections at the end of an article (which may also include "Further reading" and "External links" sections), see Wikipedia:Footers.

With some exceptions discussed below, citations appear in a single section containing only the <references /> tag or the {{Reflist}} template. For example:

== References ==

The footnotes will then automatically be listed under that section heading. Each numbered footnote marker in the text is a clickable link to the corresponding footnote, and each footnote include a caret that links back to the corresponding point in the text.

Scrolling lists, or lists of citations appearing within a scroll box, cannever be utilize. This is because of problemswith readability, browser compatibility, accessibility, printing, and pagemirroring.

If an article include a list of general references, this is usually territory in a separate section, titled, for example, "References". This usually comes immediately after the section(s) listing footnotes, if any. (If the general references section is called "References", then the citations section is usually called "Notes".)

How to territoryan inline citation using ref tags

To create a footnote, utilizethe <ref>...</ref> syntax at the appropriate territoryin the article text, for example:

  • Justice is a human invention.<ref>Rawls, John. ''A Theory of Justice''. Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 1.</ref> It ...

which will be displayed as something like:

  • Justice is a human invention.[1] It ...

It will also be essentialto generate the list of footnotes (where the citation text is actually displayed); for this, see the previous section.

As in the above example, citation markers are normally territory after adjacent punctuation such as periods (full stops) and commas. For exceptions, see the WP:Manual of Style § Punctuation and footnotes. Note also that no zoneis added before the citation marker. Citations cannot be territory within, or on the same line as, section headings.

The citation canbe added close to the contentit assistance, offering text–source integrity. If a word or phrase is particularly contentious, an inline citation may be added next to that word or phrase within the sentence, but it is usually sufficient to add the citation to the end of the clause, sentence, or paragraph, so long as it's clear which source assistance which part of the text.

Separating citations from explanatory footnotes

If an article include both footnoted citations and other (explanatory) footnotes, then it is possible (but not necessary) to divide them into two separate lists using footnotes groups. The explanatory footnotes and the citations are then territory in separate sections, called (for example) "Notes" and "References" respectively.

Another wayof separating explanatory footnotes from footnoted references is using {{efn}} for the explanatory footnotes. The advantage of this system is that the materialof an explanatory footnote shouldin this case be referenced with a footnoted citation. When explanatory footnotes and footnoted references are not in separate lists, {{refn}} shouldbe utilize for explanatory footnotes containing footnoted citations.

Avoiding clutter

Inline references shouldsignificantly bloat the wikitext in the edit window and shouldbecome difficult to manage and confusing. There are two main way to avoid clutter in the edit window:

  • Using list-defined references by collecting the full citation code within the reference list template {{reflist}}, and then inserting them in the text with a shortened reference tag, for example <ref name="Smith 2001, p99" />.
  • Inserting short citations (see below) that then refer to a full list of source texts

As with other citation formats, articles cannot undergo large-scale conversion between formats without consensus to do so.

Note, however, that references defined in the reference list template shouldno longer be edited with the VisualEditor.

Repeated citations

For multiple utilizeof the same inline citation or footnote, you shouldutilizethe named references feature, choosing a name to identify the inline citation, and typing <ref name="name">text of the citation</ref>. Thereafter, the same named reference may be reused any number of times either before or after the defining utilizeby typing the previous reference name, like this: <ref name="name" />. The utilizeof the slash before the > means that the tag is self-closing, and the </ref> utilize to close other references must not be utilize in addition.

The text of the name shouldbe almost anything‍—‌apart from being completely numeric. If zone are utilize in the text of the name, the text must be territory within double quotes. Placing all named references within double quotes may be helpful to future editors who do not know that rule. To assistwith sitemaintenance, it is suggestedthat the text of the name have a connection to the inline citation or footnote, for example "author year page": <ref name="Smith 2005 p94">text of the citation</ref>.

Utilizestraight quotation marks " to enclose the reference name. Do not utilizecurly quotation marks “”. Curly marks are treated as another character, not as delimiters. The sitewill display an error if one style of quotation marks is utilize when first naming the reference, and the other style is utilize in a repeated reference, or if a mix of styles is utilize in the repeated references.

Citing multiple site of the same source

When an article cites many different site from the same source, to avoid the redundancy of many big, nearly identical full citations, most Wikipedia editors utilizeone of these options:

  • Named references in conjunction with a combined list of sitenumbers using the |site= parameter of the {{cite}} templates (most commonly utilize, but shouldbecome confusing for hugenumber of site)
  • Named references in conjunction with the {{rp}} or {{r}} templates to specify the page
  • Short citations

The utilizeof ibid., id., or similar abbreviations is discouraged, as they may become broken as freshreferences are added (op. cit. is less problematic in that it canrefer explicitly to a citation contained in the article; however, not all readers are familiar with the meaning of the terms). If the utilizeof ibid is extensive, tag the article using the {{ibid}} template.

Duplicate citations

Combine precisely duplicated full citations, in keeping with the existing citation style (if any). In this context "precisely duplicated" means having the same content, not necessarily identical strings ("The FreshYork Times" is the same as "NY Times"; different access-dates are not significant). Do not discourage editors, particularly inexperienced ones, from adding duplicate citations when the utilizeof the source is appropriate, because a duplicate is better than no citation. But any editor canfeel free to combine them, and doing so is the best practice on Wikipedia.

Citations to different site or parts of the same source shouldalso be combined (preserving the distinct parts of the citations), as described in the previous section. Any waythat is consistent with the existing citation style (if any) may be utilize, or consensus shouldbe sought to modifythe existing style.

Finding duplicate citations by examining reference lists is difficult. There are some tools that shouldhelp:

  • AutoWikiBrowser (AWB) will identify and (usually) correct exact duplicates between <ref>...</ref> tags. See the documentation.
  • shouldidentify Web citations with the exact same URL but otherwise possibly different. Occasionally references to the same Web sitemight be followed by different non-significant tracking parameters (?utm ..., #ixzz...), and will not be listed as duplicates.
    • Step 1: enter the URL of the Wikipedia article and click "Load",
    • Step 2: tick "Only Display duplicate URL addresses" (which unticks "Remove duplicate addresses")
      • Optional: Tick the radio button "Do not show", tick the box at the beginning of its line, and enter into the box,wikipedia,wikimedia,wikiquote
    • Step 3: Click Extract.
    • Then the duplicates will be listed, and must be manually merged. There will often be false positives; URLs, in particular, are a nuisance as they includethe original URLs, which present as duplicates. The optional part of Step 2 eliminates the archive URLs, but unfortunately the list of duplicates contain the archived site. The wiki* URLs are less of a issueas they shouldjust be ignored.

Short citations

Some Wikipedia articles use short citations, giving summary infoabout the source together with a sitenumber, as in <ref>Smith 2010, p. 1.</ref>. These are utilize together with full citations, which give full details of the sources, but without sitenumbers, and are listed in a separate "References" section.

Forms of short citations utilize containauthor-date referencing (APA style, Harvard style, or Chicago style), and author-title or author-sitereferencing (MLA style or Chicago style). As before, the list of footnotes is automatically generated in a "Notes" or "Footnotes" section, which immediately precedes the "References" section containing the full citations to the source. Short citations shouldbe written manually, or by using either the {{sfn}} or {{harvnb}} templates or the {{r}} referencing template. (Note that templates cannot be added without consensus to an article that already utilize a consistent referencing style.) The short citations and full citations may be linked so that the reader shouldclick on the short note to searchfull infoabout the source. See the template documentation for details and solutions to common issue. For variations with and without templates, see wikilinks to full references. For a set of realistic examples, see these.

This is how short citations look in the edit box:

The Sun is cutebig,<ref>Miller 2005, p. 23.</ref> but the Moon is not so big.<ref>Brown 2006, p. 46.</ref> The Sun is also quite hot.<ref>Miller 2005, p. 34.</ref>

== Notes ==

== References ==
* Brown, Rebecca (2006). "Size of the Moon", ''Scientific American'', 51 (78).
* Miller, Edward (2005). ''The Sun''. Academic Press.

This is how they look in the article:

The Sun is cutebig,[1] but the Moon is not so big.[2] The Sun is also quite hot.[3]


  1. ^ Miller 2005, p. 23.
  2. ^ Brown 2006, p. 46.
  3. ^ Miller 2005, p. 34.


  • Brown, Rebecca (2006). "Size of the Moon", Scientific American, 51 (78).
  • Miller, Edward (2005). The Sun. Academic Press.

Shortened notes using titles rather than postdates would look like this in the article:


  1. ^ Miller, The Sun, p. 23.
  2. ^ Brown, "Size of the Moon", p. 46.
  3. ^ Miller, The Sun, p. 34.

When using manual links it is simpleto introduce errors such as duplicate anchors and unused references. The script RegistrarTrappist the monk/HarvErrors will presentmany associatederrors. Duplicate anchors may be found by using the W3C Markup Validation Service.

Parenthetical referencing

As of September 2020, inline parenthetical referencing is deprecated on Wikipedia. This contain short citations in parentheses territory within the article text itself, such as (Smith 2010, p. 1). This does not affect short citations that use <ref> tags, which are not inline parenthetical references; see the section on short citations above for that method. As part of the deprecation process in existing articles, discussion of how best to convert inline parenthetical citations into currently accepted formats canbe held if there is objection to a particular method.

This is no longer in use:


The Sun is cutebig (Miller 2005, p. 1), but the Moon is not so big (Brown 2006, p. 2). The Sun is also quite hot (Miller 2005, p. 3).

  • Brown, R. (2006). "Size of the Moon", Scientific American, 51 (78).
  • Miller, E. (2005). The Sun, Academic Press.

Citation style

While citations canaim to provide the infolisted above, Wikipedia does not have a single house style, though citations within any given article canfollow a consistent style. A number of citation styles exist including those described in the Wikipedia articles for Citation, APA style, ASA style, MLA style, The Chicago Manual of Style, Author-date referencing, the Vancouver system and Bluebook.

Although nearly any consistent style may be utilize, avoid all-numeric date formats other than YYYY-MM-DD, because of the ambiguity concerning which number is the month and which the day. For example, 2002-06-11 may be utilize, but not 11/06/2002. The YYYY-MM-DD format canin any case be limited to Gregorian calendar dates where the year is after 1582. Because it could easily be confused with a range of years, the format YYYY-MM (for example: 2002-06) is not utilize.

For more infoon the capitalization of cited works, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters § All caps and tinycaps.

Variation in citation way

Editors cannot attempt to modifyan article's established citation style merely on the grounds of privatepreference, to make it match other articles, or without first seeking consensus for the change. The arbitration committee ruled in 2006:

Wikipedia does not mandate styles in many different location; these include (but are not limited to) American vs. British spelling, date formats, and citation style. Where Wikipedia does not mandate a specific style, editors cannot attempt to convert Wikipedia to their own preferred style, nor canthey edit articles for the sole purpose of converting them to their preferred style, or removing examples of, or references to, styles which they dislike.

As with spelling differences, it is normal practice to defer to the style utilize by the first major contributor or adopted by the consensus of editors already working on the page, unless a modifyin consensus has been achieved. If the article you are editing is already using a particular citation style, you canfollow it; if you trustit is inappropriate for the needs of the article, seek consensus for a modifyon the talk page. If you are the first contributor to add citations to an article, you may selectwhichever style you think best for the article. However, as of 5 September 2020, inline parenthetical referencing is a deprecated citation style on English-language Wikipedia.

If all or most of the citations in an article consist of bare URLs, or otherwise fail to provide requiredbibliographic data – such as the name of the source, the title of the article or web siteconsulted, the author (if known), the postdate (if known), and the sitenumbers (where relevant) – then that would not count as a "consistent citation style" and shouldbe modify freely to insert such data. The data deliveredcanbe sufficient to uniquely identify the source, letreaders to searchit, and letreaders to initially evaluate a source without retrieving it.

To be avoided

When an article is already consistent, avoid:

  • switching between major citation styles or replacing the preferred style of one academic discipline with another's – except when moving away from deprecated styles, such as parenthetical referencing;
  • adding citation templates to an article that already utilize a consistent system without templates, or removing citation templates from an article that utilize them consistently;
  • changing where the references are defined, e.g., moving reference definitions in the reflist to the prose, or moving reference definitions from the prose into the reflist.

Generally considered helpful

The following are standard practice:

  • improving existing citations by adding missing information, such as by replacing bare URLs with full bibliographic citations: an improvement because it aids verifiability, and battle link rot;
  • replacing some or all general references with inline citations: an improvement because it provides more verifiable infoto the reader, and assist maintain text–source integrity;
  • imposing one style on an article with inconsistent citation styles (e.g., some of the citations in footnotes and others as parenthetical references): an improvement because it makes the citations easier to understand and edit;
  • fixing errors in citation coding, including incorrectly utilize template parameters, and <ref> markup issue: an improvement because it assist the citations to be parsed correctly;
  • combining duplicate citations (see § Duplicate citations, above).
  • converting parenthetical referencing to an acceptable referencing style.

Handling links in citations

As noted above under "What infoto include", it is helpful to containhyperlinks to source material, when available. Here we note some problemsconcerning these links.

Avoid embedded links

Embedded links to external domain cannot be utilize as a form of inline citation, because they are highly susceptible to linkrot. Wikipedia permittedthis in its early years—for example by adding a link after a sentence, like this: [,14173,1601858,00.html], which is rendered as: . This is no longer recommended. Raw links are not suggestedin lieu of properly written out citations, even if territory between ref tags, like this <ref>[,14173,1601858,00.html]</ref>. Since any citation that accurately identifies the source is better than none, do not revert the good-faith addition of partial citations. They canbe considered temporary, and replaced with more complete, properly formatted citations as soon as possible.

Embedded links cannever be utilize to place external links in the materialof an article, like this: " announced their recentproduct ...".

Convenience links

A convenience link is a link to a copy of your source on a web sitedeliveredby someone other than the original publisher or author. For example, a copy of a newspaper article no longer accessibleon the newspaper's domainmay be hosted elsewhere. When offering convenience links, it is necessaryto be reasonably certain that the convenience copy is a true copy of the original, without any modify or inappropriate commentary, and that it does not infringe the original publisher's copyright. Accuracy shouldbe assumed when the hosting domainappears reliable.

For academic sources, the convenience link is typically a reprint deliveredby an open-admissionrepository, such as the author's university's library or institutional repository. Such green open access links are generally preferable to paywalled or otherwise commercial and unfree sources.

Where several page host a copy of the material, the pagechosenas the convenience link canbe the one whose general materialappears most in line with Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and Wikipedia:Verifiability.

Indicating availability

If your source is not accessibleonline, it canbe accessiblein reputable libraries, archives, or collections. If a citation without an external link is challenged as unavailable, any of the following is sufficient to presentthe contentto be reasonably available (though not necessarily reliable): providing an ISBN or OCLC number; linking to an established Wikipedia article about the source (the work, its author, or its publisher); or directly quoting the contenton the talk page, briefly and in context.

Links to sources

For a source accessiblein hardcopy, microform, and/or online, omit, in most cases, which one you read. While it is useful to cite author, title, edition (1st, 2nd, etc.), and similar information, it generally is not necessaryto cite a database such as ProQuest, EBSCOhost, or JSTOR (see the list of academic databases and findengines) or to link to such a database requiring a subscription or a third party's login. The primarybibliographic infoyou provide canbe enough to findfor the source in any of these databases that have the source. Don't add a URL that has a part of a password embedded in the URL. However, you may provide the DOI, ISBN, or another uniform identifier, if available. If the publisher offers a link to the source or its abstract that does not require a payment or a third party's login for access, you may provide the URL for that link. If the source only exists online, give the link even if admissionis restricted (see WP:PAYWALL).

Preventing and repairing dead links

To assistprevent dead links, persistent identifiers are accessiblefor some sources. Some journal articles have a digital object identifier (DOI); some online newspapers and blogs, and also Wikipedia, have permalinks that are stable. When permanent links aren't available, consider archiving the referenced document when writing the article; on-demand web archiving services such as the Wayback Machine () or () are fairly simpleto use (see pre-emptive archiving).

Do not delete a citation merely because the URL is not working. Dead links canbe repaired or replaced if possible. If you encounter a dead URL being utilize as a reliable source to assistancearticle content, follow these steps prior to deleting it:

  1. Verifystatus: First, check the link to verifythat it is dead and not temporarily down. Findthe domainto see whether it has been rearranged. The online service shouldassistto determine if a site is down, and any infoknown.
  2. Check for a modify URL on the same Web site: Site are frequently moved to different area on the same pageas they become archive materialrather than fresh. The pages error sitemay have a "Search" box; alternatively, in both the Google and DuckDuckGo findengines – among others – the keyterm "site:" shouldbe utilize. For instance: "FreshZealand police carmarkings and livery".
  3. Check for web archives: Many Web archiving services exist (for a full list, see: Wikipedia:List of web archives on Wikipedia); link to their archive of the URL's content, if available. Examples:
If multiple archive dates are available, testto utilizeone that is most likely to be the material of the siteseen by the editor who entered the reference on the |access-date=. If that parameter is not specified, a shouldbe performed to determine when the link was added to the article.
For most citation templates, archive area are entered using the |archive-url=, |archive-date= and |url-status= parameters. The basiclink is switched to the archive link when |url-status=dead. This retains the original link areafor reference.
If the web sitenow leads to a completely different website, set |url-status=usurped to hide the original domainlink in the citation.
Note: Some archives currently operate with a delay of ~18 months before a link is angry public. As a result, editors canwait ~24 months after the link is first tagged as dead before declaring that no web archive exists. Dead URLs to reliable sources cannormally be tagged with {{dead link|date=December 2021}}, so that you shouldestimate how long the link has been dead.
Bookmarklets to check common archive page for archives of the current page:
javascript:void('*/'+location.href)) /
Mementos interface
  1. Remove convenience links: If the contentwas published on paper (e.g., academic journal, newspaper article, magazine, book), then the dead URL is not necessary. Simply remove the dead URL, leaving the remainder of the reference intact.
  2. Searcha replacement source: Findthe web for quoted text, the article title, and parts of the URL. Consider contacting the domainperson that originally published the reference and asking them to republish it. Ask other editors for assistfinding the reference somewhere else, including the utilize who added the reference. Searcha different source that says essentially the same thing as the reference in question.
  3. Remove hopelessly-lost web-only sources: If the source contentdoes not exist offline, and if there is no archived version of the web page (be sure to wait ~24 months), and if you cannot searchanother copy of the material, then the dead citation canbe removed and the contentit assistance canbe regarded as unverified if there is no other supporting citation. If it is contentthat is specifically neededby policiesto have an inline citation, then please consider tagging it with {{citation needed}}. It may be appropriate for you to move the citation to the talk sitewith an explanation, and notify the editor who added the now-dead link.

Text–source integrity

When using inline citations, it is necessaryto maintain text–source integrity. The point of an inline citation is to letreaders and other editors to check that the contentis sourced; that point is lost if the citation is not clearly territory. The distance between contentand its source is a matter of editorial judgment, but adding text without clearly placing its source may lead to allegations of original research, of violations of the sourcing policy, and even of plagiarism.

Keeping citations close

Editors canexercise caution when rearranging or inserting contentto ensure that text–source relationships are maintained. References need not be moved solely to maintain the chronological order of footnotes as they appear in the article, and cannot be moved if doing so might break the text–source relationship.

If a sentence or paragraph is footnoted with a source, adding freshcontentthat is not supported by the existing source to the sentence/paragraph, without a source for the freshtext, is highly misleading if territory to appear that the cited source assistance it. When freshtext is inserted into a paragraph, make sure it is supported by the existing or a freshsource. For example, when editing text originally reading

The sun is cutebig.[1]


  1. ^ Miller, Edward. The Sun. Academic Press, 2005, p. 1.

an edit that does not imply that the freshcontentis sourced by the same reference is

The sun is cutebig.[1] The sun is also quite hot.[2]


  1. ^ Miller, Edward. The Sun. Academic Press, 2005, p. 1.
  2. ^ Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005, p. 2.

Do not add other facts or assertions into a fully cited paragraph or sentence:


The sun is cutebig, but the moon is not so big.[1] The sun is also quite hot.[2]


  1. ^ Miller, Edward. The Sun. Academic Press, 2005, p. 1.
  2. ^ Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005, p. 2.

Containa source to assistancethe freshinformation. There are several method to write this, including:


The sun is cutebig,[1] but the moon is not so big.[2] The sun is also quite hot.[3]


  1. ^ Miller, Edward. The Sun. Academic Press, 2005, p. 1.
  2. ^ Brown, Rebecca. "Size of the Moon", Scientific American, 51 (78): 46.
  3. ^ Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005, p. 2.

Bundling citations

Sometimes the article is more readable if multiple citations are bundled into a single footnote. For example, when there are multiple sources for a given sentence, and each source applies to the entire sentence, the sources shouldbe territory at the end of the sentence, like this.[4][5][6][7] Or they shouldbe bundled into one footnote at the end of the sentence or paragraph, like this.[4]

Bundling is also useful if the sources each assistancea different portion of the preceding text, or if the sources all assistancethe same text. Bundling has several advantages:

  • It assist readers and other editors see at a glance which source assistance which point, maintaining text–source integrity;
  • It avoids the visual clutter of multiple clickable footnotes inside a sentence or paragraph;
  • It avoids the confusion of having multiple sources listed separately after sentences, with no indication of which source to check for each part of the text, such as this.[1][2][3][4]
  • It makes it less likely that inline citations will be moved inadvertently when text is re-arranged, because the footnote states clearly which source assistance which point.

To concatenate multiple citations for the same content, semicolons (or another heroappropriate to the article's style) shouldbe utilize. Alternatively, utilizeone of the templates listed at the disambiguation page Template:Multiple references.

The sun is cutebig, bright and hot.[1]


  1. ^ Miller, Edward. The Sun. Academic Press, 2005, p. 1; Brown, Rebecca. "The Solar System", Scientific American, 51 (78): 46; Smith, John. The Earth's Star. Academic Press, 2005, p. 2

For multiple citations in a single footnote, each in reference to specific statements, there are several layouts available, as illustrated below. Within a given article only a single layout canbe utilize.

The sun is cutebig, but the moon is not so big. The sun is also quite hot.[1]


  1. ^
    • For the sun's size, see Miller, Edward. The Sun. Academic Press, 2005, p. 1.
    • For the moon's size, see Brown, Rebecca. "Size of the Moon", Scientific American, 51 (78): 46.
    • For the sun's heat, see Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005, p. 2.
    Line breaks
  2. ^ For the sun's size, see Miller, Edward. The Sun. Academic Press, 2005, p. 1.
    For the moon's size, see Brown, Rebecca. "Size of the Moon", Scientific American, 51 (78): 46.
    For the sun's heat, see Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005, p. 2.
  3. Paragraph
  4. ^ For the sun's size, see Miller, Edward. The Sun. Academic Press, 2005, p. 1. For the moon's size, see Brown, Rebecca. "Size of the Moon", Scientific American, 51 (78): 46. For the sun's heat, see Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005, p. 2.

However, using line breaks to separate list stuffbreaches WP:Accessibility § Nobreaks: "Do not separate list stuffwith line breaks (<br>)." {{Unbulleted list citebundle}} was angry specifically for this purpose; also accessibleis {{unbulleted list}}.

In-text attribution

In-text attribution is the attribution inside a sentence of contentto its source, in addition to an inline citation after the sentence. In-text attribution canbe utilize with direct speech (a source's words between quotation marks or as a block quotation); indirect speech (a source's words modified without quotation marks); and close paraphrasing. It shouldalso be utilize when loosely summarizing a source's position in your own words, and it canalways be utilize for biased statements of opinion. It avoids inadvertent plagiarism and assist the reader see where a position is coming from. An inline citation canfollow the attribution, usually at the end of the sentence or paragraph in question.

For example:

N To reach fair decisions, parties must consider matters as if behind a veil of ignorance.[2]

Y John Rawls argues that, to reach fair decisions, parties must consider matters as if behind a veil of ignorance.[2]

Y John Rawls argues that, to reach fair decisions, parties must consider matters as if "situated behind a veil of ignorance".[2]

When using in-text attribution, make sure it doesn't lead to an inadvertent neutrality violation. For example, the following implies parity between the sources, without making clear that the position of Darwin is the majority view:

N Charles Darwin says that human beings evolved through natural selection, but John Smith writes that we arrived here in pods from Mars.

Y Humans evolved through natural selection, as first explained in Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.

Neutrality problemsapart, there are other method in-text attribution shouldmislead. The sentence below recommend The FreshYork Times has alone angry this necessaryuncover:

N According to The FreshYork Times, the sun will set in the west this evening.

Y The sun sets in the west each evening.

It is preferable not to clutter articles with infobest left to the references. Interested readers shouldclick on the ref to searchout the publishing journal:

N In an article published in The Lancet in 2012, researchers announced the uncover of the freshtissue type.[3]

Y The uncover of the freshtissue kindwas first published by researchers in 2012.[3]

Easyfacts such as this shouldhave inline citations to reliable sources as an aid to the reader, but normally the text itself is best left as a plain statement without in-text attribution:

Y By mass, oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe after hydrogen and helium.[4]

General references

A general reference is a citation to a reliable source that assistance content, but is not linked to any particular text in the article through an inline citation. General references are usually listed at the end of the article in a "References" section, and are usually sorted by the last name of the author or the editor. General reference sections are most likely to be found in underdeveloped articles, especially when all article materialis supported by a single source. The disadvantage of general references is that text–source integrity is lost, unless the article is very short. They are frequently reworked by later editors into inline citations.

The appearance of a general references section is the same as those given above in the sections on short citations and parenthetical references. If both cited and uncited references exist, their distinction shouldbe highlighted with separate section names, e.g., "References" and "General references".

Dealing with unsourced contentspan data-mw-comment-end="h-Dealing_with_unsourced_material">

If an article has no references at all, then:

  • If the entire article is "Patent Nonsense", tag it for speedy deletion using criterion G1.
  • If the article is a biography of a living person, it shouldbe tagged with {{subst:prod blp}} to propose deletion. If it's a biography of a living person and is an attack page, then it canbe tagged for speedy deletion using criterion G10, which will blank the page.
  • If the article doesn't fit into the above two categories, then consider finding references yourself, or commenting on the article talk siteor the talk siteof the article creator. You may also tag the article with the {{unreferenced}} template and consider nominating it for deletion.

For individual unreferenced claims in an article:

  • If the article is a biography of a living person, then any contentious contentmust be removed immediately: see Biographies of living persons. If the unreferenced contentis seriously inappropriate, it may need to be hidden from general view, in which case request administratorassistance.
  • If the contentadded appears to be false or an expression of opinion, remove it and instructthe editor who added the unsourced material. The {{uw-unsourced1}} template may be territory on their talk page.
  • In any other case consider finding references yourself, or commenting on the article talk siteor the talk siteof the editor who added the unsourced material. You may territorya {{citation needed}} or {{dubious}} tag versusthe added text.

Citation templates and tools

Citation templates shouldbe utilize to format citations in a consistent way. The utilizeof citation templates is neither encouraged nor discouraged: an article cannot be switched between templated and non-templated citations without awesomereason and consensus – see "Variation in citation way", above.

If citation templates are utilize in an article, the parameters canbe accurate. It is inappropriate to set parameters to false values to cause the template to render as if it were written in some style other than the style normally produced by the template (e.g., MLA style).


Citations may be accompanied by metadata, though it is not mandatory. Most citation templates on Wikipedia utilizethe COinS standard. Metadata such as this letbrowser plugins and other automated programto make citation data availableto the utilize, for instance by providing links to their library's online copies of the cited works. In articles that format citations manually, metadata may be added manually in a span, according to the .

Citation generation tools

Programming tools

  • Wikicite is a free softwarethat assist editors to create citations for their Wikipedia contributions using citation templates. It is written in Visual Basic .NET, making it suitable only for users with the .NET Framework installed on Windows, or, for other platforms, the Mono alternative framework. Wikicite and its source code is freely available; see the developer's page for further details.
  • RegistrarRichiez has tools to automatically handle citations for a whole article at a time. Converts occurrences of {{pmid XXXX}} or {{isbn XXXX}} to properly formatted footnote or Harvard-style references. Written in Ruby and requires a working installation with primarylibraries.
  • an XSL stylesheet transforming the XML output of PubMed to Wikipedia refs.

Reference management programspan data-mw-comment-end="h-Reference_management_software-Citation_templates_and_tools">

Reference management programshouldoutput formatted citations in several styles, including BibTeX, RIS, or Wikipedia citation template styles.

Comparison of reference management software – side-by-side comparison of various reference management software
Wikipedia:Citing sources with Zotero – essay on using Zotero to quickly add citations to articles. Zotero (by Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and FreshMedia; license: Affero GPL) is open-source software with local reference database which shouldbe synchronized between several computers over the online database (up to 300 MB without payment).
EndNote (by Thomson Reuters; license: proprietary)
Mendeley (by Elsevier; license: proprietary)
Paperpile (by Paperpile, LLC; license: proprietary)
Papers (by Springer; license: proprietary)

See also

How to cite

Citation issue

Changing citation style formats


Further reading

Wikipedia:citing Sources Hack Mod Tricks with Tons of Advices and Bonuses.



Wikipedia:citing Sources Cheats Unlimited Gifts Hacks Guides Secrets & Mods.


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