Reflinks is a tool that automatically or semi-automatically adds information to references using data present in the web page. It can process bare URLs (where the only information is a web address) or plain links (where the reference is a link and a title). Using Reflinks can save you time when writing your own articles as you can concentrate on writing and then fill in all the references once you are done. If you come across articles containing poorly formatted references, running Reflinks helps to prevent linkrot and provides readers with more details about where the information came from. You can use it on Category:Articles needing link rot cleanup. Note it does not work on all web links (e.g., PDFs), and does not always fill in enough cite template parameters. The templates created automatically by the tool need to be reviewed to ensure that they are accurate, as they are often not.

Usage – simpleEdit

Simplest method:

  • – This webform does exactly the same thing as the fix-it link in the {{Cleanup-bare URLs}} template banner (see below). Paste in the URL or page name of the Wikipedia article that has bare URLs to be fixed. It can take 10 minutes for Reflinks to finish filling in 100 references. You can see the references filling up the working page. You can stop at anytime. If unsure, or if all else fails, click the stop icon in your address bar. Then go through the process and steps to fill in the refs (see details in Usage - template banner section below). Then come back and run it again. This web form is better than the one linked below because the one linked below adds "bot-generated" notes and does not fill in nearly as many details.
  • – produces different results.

Usage – template bannerEdit

To encourage others - or to aid yourself - to clean up the bare URLs in references, paste the {{Cleanup-bare URLs}} template at the top of an article with bare-URL references. Just copy and paste {{Cleanup-bare URLs}}, and then save the page. The resulting banner uses the interactive mode described in the next section.

Now you or another editor can click the "reFill tool" link in the banner, and then the fix-it link that the tool displays. Once you click the fix-it link, wait for the bot to finish filling in all the citation templates for each bare URL. This can take ten minutes for a page with a hundred bare URLs. It is faster for fewer links. Scroll to the bottom of the results page to see how much has been completed.

When done, click the "Show preview" button at the bottom of the page. If things look okay, then click the "Save page" button. If things don't look okay, fix what needs to be changed, in the editing window. Then click the "Save page" button.


Reflinks operates in two modes, interactive and non-interactive.

  • The non-interactive mode is automatic and faster, but produces less-detailed references. It also adds <!-- Bot generated title --> to alert future editors that the references have not been reviewed by humans (example diff).
  • The interactive mode is recommended, but takes longer. It fills in references more completely, creating high-quality detailed references without the "bot-generated" notes. It is the mode used in the template banner described in the above usage section. It can be used on bare URLs or plain links by selecting the relevant button before running the tool. The templates created automatically by the tool need to be reviewed to ensure that they are accurate, as they are often not. The references can be opened and viewed whilst running the tool, by clicking on the URL displayed above the box containing the reference, allowing you to review the title, date and publisher. An example of some fields that need changing when running the tool can be seen when comparing an unedited interactive-mode revision and an interactive-mode revision with human-made tweaks. The difference between the two interactive-mode revisions can be seen in this diff.


  • Q: Reflinks says some links are "blacklisted" what does this mean?
  • Q: Sometimes the tool makes changes to the article, other than to the references, why?
    • A: Reflinks performs "common fixes" to the code in articles, for example to templates and tables. They should have no visible effect on the article.
  • Q: Where is the documentation for the various attributes, like citeweb, overwrite, and limit?
    • A:
  • Q: Reflinks states that some links are dead, whereas I can still access them; why is this?
    • A: Some links may be marked as dead links incorrectly as the site blocks the tool; you may wish to manually check newly identified dead links before adding the {{dead link}} tag to the article.
  • Q: Besides PDFs, what web page formats does this tool not handle?
    • A:

User scriptEdit

A screenshot displaying the Reflinks link at the bottom of the toolbox.

While Reflinks can be easily run anywhere by using the bookmarklet[dead link], some people are never fixed to a single computer. If that is the case, you may copy-and-paste the following code to your common.js/monobook.js/vector.js pages.

// Add [[WP:Reflinks]] launcher in the toolbox on left
$.when( mw.loader.using( ['mediawiki.util'] ), $.ready ).then(function () {
  "p-tb",     // toolbox portlet
  "" + mw.config.get('wgContentLanguage')
  + "&page=" + mw.config.get('wgPageName') + "&autoclick=wpPreview", // updated tool URL as of 27 December 2020
  "Reflinks"  // link label

See alsoEdit