Help:Citations quick reference

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Citations are important in Wikipedia to ensure that information comes from actual, reliable sources (WP:V, WP:CITE). There are three preferred ways of citing sources:

  1. Footnotes
  2. Footnotes with list-defined references
  3. Shortened footnotes

Citations can also be placed as external links, but these are not preferred because they are prone to link rot and usually lack the full information necessary to find the original source in cases of link rot. In cases where citations are lacking, the template {{fact}} can be added after the statement in question.

The following table shows examples of these ways of citing sources, categorized as "the good, the bad and the ugly".

Citation style Article wikitext Appears as References section wikitext Appears as
Good Footnotes
Substantiated claim.<ref name="Robinson">{{cite book |last=Robinson |first=Arthur Howard |authorlink=Arthur H. Robinson |date=1995 |origyear=1953 |title=Elements of Cartography |edition=6th |location=New York |publisher=[[Wiley (publisher)|Wiley]] |isbn=0471555797 |oclc=30976558}}</ref>{{rp|13}}

Another substantiated claim.<ref name="Robinson" />{{rp|42}}

Substantiated claim from web site.<ref name="example web reference">{{cite web |url=http://www.example.org |title=Example |website=www.example.org |accessdate=5 September 2020}} Additional text about the link.</ref>

Substantiated claim.[1]:13

Another substantiated claim.[1]:42

Substantiated claim from web site.[2]

===References===
<references/>

or

==References==
{{reflist}}
References
  1. ^ a b Robinson, Arthur Howard (1995) [1953]. Elements of Cartography (6th ed.). New York: Wiley. ISBN 0471555797. OCLC 30976558.
  2. ^ "Example". www.example.org. Retrieved 5 September 2020. Additional text about the link.
Good Footnotes with list-defined references
Substantiated claim.<ref name="Robinson" />{{rp|13}}

Another substantiated claim.<ref name="Robinson" />{{rp|42}}

Substantiated claim from web site.<ref name="example web reference"/>

Substantiated claim.[1]:13

Another substantiated claim.[1]:42

Substantiated claim from web site.[2]

==References==
<references>
  <ref name="Robinson">{{cite book |last=Robinson |first=Arthur Howard |authorlink=Arthur H. Robinson |date=1995 |origyear=1953 |title=Elements of Cartography |edition=6th |location=New York |publisher=[[Wiley (publisher)|Wiley]] |isbn=0471555797 |oclc=30976558}}</ref>
  <ref name="example web reference">{{cite web |url=http://www.example.org |title=Example |website=www.example.org |accessdate=5 September 2020}} Additional text about the link.</ref>
</references>
References
  1. ^ a b Robinson, Arthur Howard (1995) [1953]. Elements of Cartography (6th ed.). New York: Wiley. ISBN 0471555797. OCLC 30976558.
  2. ^ "Example". www.example.org. Retrieved 5 September 2020. Additional text about the link.
Good Shortened footnotes
Substantiated claim.{{sfn|Harris|Sanborn|2014|p=13}}

Another substantiated claim.{{sfn|Harris|Sanborn|2014|p=42}}

Substantiated claim from web site.{{sfn|Example|2020}}
Substantiated claim.[1]

Another substantiated claim.[2]

Substantiated claim from web site.[3]

==Notes==
{{reflist}}

==References==
{{refbegin}}
* {{cite web |url=http://www.example.org |title=Example |website=www.example.org |accessdate=5 September 2020 |ref={{harvid|Example|2020}}}} Additional text about the link.
* {{cite book |last1=Harris |first1=Richard Jackson |last2=Sanborn |first2=Fred W. |date=2014 |origyear=1994 |title=A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication |edition=6th |series=Routledge Communication Series |location=New York |publisher=[[Routledge]] |isbn=9780415537049 |oclc=785869181}}
{{refend}}
Notes
References
  • "Example". www.example.org. Retrieved 5 September 2020. Additional text about the link.
  • Harris, Richard Jackson; Sanborn, Fred W. (2014) [1994]. A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication. Routledge Communication Series (6th ed.). New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415537049. OCLC 785869181.
Bad Embedded links
Substantiated claim.[https://www.loc.gov]
Substantiated claim.[1]
* [https://www.loc.gov Library of Congress website]
Ugly Citation needed
Unsubstantiated claim.{{fact}}
Unsubstantiated claim.[citation needed]

See also[edit]