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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Why doesn't Wikipedia require everyone to use exactly the same style for formatting citations on every single article, regardless of the subject?
Different academic disciplines use different styles because they have different needs and interests. Variations include differences in the choice of information to include, the order in which the information is presented, the punctuation, and the name of the section headings under which the information is presented. There is no house style on Wikipedia, and the community does not want to have the holy war that will happen if we tell people that they must use the style preferred by scientists in articles about history or the style preferred by artists when writing about science. Editors should choose a style that they believe is appropriate for the individual article in question and should never edit-war over the style of citations.
What styles are commonly used?
There are many published style manuals. For British English the Oxford Style Manual is the authoritative source. For American English the Chicago Manual of Style is commonly used by historians and in the fine arts. Other US style guides include APA style which is used by sociologists and psychologists, and The MLA Style Manual which is used in humanities. The Council of Science Editors and Vancouver styles are popular with scientists. Editors on Wikipedia may use any style they like, including styles they have made up themselves. It is unusual for Wikipedia articles to strictly adhere to a formally published academic style.
Isn't everyone required to use clickable footnotes like this[1] in every single article?
Footnotes (also called "<ref> tags") are popular but not required. The purpose of an inline citation is to provide information about where that material came from. Any system that allows someone to figure out which source supports which material achieves that goal and is therefore acceptable. Other styles, such as parenthetical citations, are simpler for new users to understand, are commonly taught in schools, and may be the style preferred by the relevant academic discipline.
Why doesn't Wikipedia require everyone to use citation templates in every single article?
Citation templates have advantages and disadvantages. They provide machine-readable meta data and can be used by editors who don't know how to properly order and format a citation. However, they are intimidating and confusing to most new users, and, if more than a few dozen are used, they make the pages noticeably slower to load. Editors should use their best judgment to decide which format best suits each specific article.
Isn't there a rule that every single sentence requires an inline citation?
No. Wikipedia:Verifiability requires citations based on the content rather than the grammar. Sometimes, one sentence will require multiple inline citations. In other instances, a whole paragraph will not require any inline citations.
Aren't general references prohibited?
A general reference is a citation listed at the end of an article, without any system for linking it to a particular bit of material. In an article that contains more than a couple of sentences, it is more difficult to maintain text-source integrity without using inline citations, but general references can be useful and are not banned. However, they are not adequate if the material is one of four types of content requiring an inline citation. The article Early life of Joseph Smith, Jr. is an example of a featured article that uses some general references.
Can I cite a sign?
Yes, signs, including gravestones, that are displayed in public are considered publications. If the article is using citation templates, then use {{cite sign}}. You may also cite works of art, videos, music album liner notes, sheet music, interviews, recorded speeches, podcasts, television episodes, maps, public mailing lists, ship registers, and a wide variety of other things that are published and accessible to the public.

Citing tweets that contain emojisEdit

I made a post earlier in Template talk:Cite tweet. I have a feeling there are more editors watching this page, so I'm cross-posting it here in hopes of getting more perspectives/opinions:

Some tweets may contain emojis. I ran into this problem earlier when using the template to cite this tweet. Should emojis be included in [the title parameter]? On one hand, it could be argued that including emojis is important for keeping the full source quote intact (and for contextualization). On the other hand, emojis in the citations could be distracting or viewed as unencyclopedic or unprofessional. I think certain emojis, like the US Flag one in the previous example, don't render properly in Wikipedia. What is the consensus on including/excluding emojis?

Bobbychan193 (talk) 00:12, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Editors should consider responding there rather than here, as the original question was posed there (per WP:MULTI). --Izno (talk) 15:30, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Sequence of first= and last= in examplesEdit

Since the |first= and |last= parameter values render as "last, first" no matter the sequence they occur in the code, it makes sense to code them in the sequence seen in the source. You don't have to mentally rearrange the name, making it both easier and in some cases less error-prone.

And yet most editors code this as |last=|first=. I can only surmise that some do it per the coding examples, others because they think that's required to get the "last, first" rendering, and others because it's safer to follow the crowd.

Considering sources of all types, it's my belief that a large majority show authors' names as "first last"; certainly all news sources and most book sources do. Therefore I propose changing all examples in template doc and other pages to show |first=|last=. I would do what I can to help with that. ―Mandruss  16:32, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

That sounds like a make-work-for-the-sake-of-making-work kind of project. As you noted, the order of |firstn= and |lastn= in the code does not matter with regard to the rendering. I think that the order in the code is only important when cs1|2 templates are used in bibliographic listings to make it easier to get the alpha order right. In bibliographic listings, |lastn= should be the first parameter in the template:
{{cite ... |last=Surname |first=Given Name |...
Trappist the monk (talk) 16:39, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
As I indicated, it makes a difference as to ease-of-use, even if not a huge difference. If I have the necessary access, I'll do all the work myself; perhaps I'm permitted to "make work" for myself? ―Mandruss  16:42, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I disagree with the concept of coding the first name first. Even if an article does not currently have a bibliography in alphabetical order, it may in the future, as the article gets larger or is more carefully edited. We do not have any tool I know of to automatically put a bibliography in alphabetical order; it's done manually. If the code for the citation begins with the last and first name of the authors, as shown in the publication, followed by the date, it will be easier to alphabetize the bibliography.
In terms of making things easier for the reader, if the reader needs to look up the work in an electronic card catalog or the like, the reader will probably be prompted to enter the last name followed by the first name, so this makes it easier for the reader too. By the time the reader gets the physical work in hand (or on screen) all the lookup work is finished. Jc3s5h (talk) 16:46, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
it will be easier to alphabetize the bibliography. And the ease-of-use for that very rare case outweighs the ease-of-use for everyday work by thousands of editors?
In terms of making things easier for the reader - Sorry, I don't follow. Readers don't see the code, this is only about the code. ―Mandruss  16:54, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Agree that it makes it much easier for editors if the first field is |last=, and it makes no difference to readers. It is the normal order for all manual filing systems and for ordering books on shelves. Change would be disruptive and counter-productive. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 16:55, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Mandruss in both of his/her edits above ~ most sources I work with state the authors name as |first= |last= |, mentally you have to switch the names. It's much easier on your brain or lack of ~ ~mitch~ (talk) 17:05, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
~mitch~ is right if the editor is entering the information directly from the source. But that involves flipping between various pages, either physically, or onscreen. The editor may have obtained access to the source from some online catalog, which conveniently has almost all the information you need for the citation in one page. Or, the source may provide suggestions on how to cite it, which also are all in one spot. The catalog or suggested citation will probably list the last name first. Jc3s5h (talk) 17:20, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Again, you're putting outlying cases before far more common work. ―Mandruss  17:34, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
The software I sometimes use for generating citation templates puts them in last-first order. As already stated above, I find this order helpful when alphabetizing citations. But when I create templates by hand (usually by copying and pasting a suggested citation format from some source and then adding the parameter names around the copied and pasted text) I leave them in the order I found them. I I don't think we should be encoding, stating, or enforcing any preference for parameter ordering. They have to be ordered somehow in the documentation, but there should be no suggestion that the documentation order is in any way significant. —David Eppstein (talk) 17:33, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
there should be no suggestion that the documentation order is in any way significant. I totally agree. No more suggestion than already exists. ―Mandruss  17:35, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree with David: we should NOT be enforcing any kind of parameter order. (And the bot drivers should not mess with such!) There are some aspects of ordering that might be preferable in some cases, but we should NOT be enforcing any kind of One and Only True Style.
As to preferences: I have strong preferences on some aspects of parameter ordering (e.g., having last= and first= on the same line), but last-first order? It depends, and I swing both ways. I scrape off a lot of author listings from journals, and I generally go with the order found. For me the most important point is to have the last names aligned vertically to more readily check them, for which last-first works. But I would prefer to have the first names (or initials) aligned as well, which, in the presence of a long last name, pushes the first names over to the right. Alternately, if (and for me, the general case) initials are being used, then first-last is reasonable. But I usually follow what is given. As to what cases are "more common": your mileage undoubtedly varies. Perhaps what the examples should say is that the order doesn't matter, and can be done as may be most convenient. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:49, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Nobody has proposed "enforcing" anything here, least of all me. Please read the opening comment, in which I clearly articulated what I propose. ―Mandruss  21:09, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Err, "Therefore I propose changing ... and other pages to show |first=|last=" – your words. The examples are less significant, what would be unacceptable would be steamrolling down bibliographies which are in alphabetic order of last names and changing them. You'd just be making maintenance of references harder for no good reason. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 21:28, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Citation extremenessEdit

More than three citations destroys the readability for readers. Guidelines should not allow editors to add 5 or more citations after each sentence. One citation is usually plenty. More than 10 citations for one claim is craziness. QuackGuru (talk) 18:15, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Three is my rule-of-thumb limit, but not without allowance for warranted exceptions. We have essay Wikipedia:Citation overkill, which you are free to point to in discussions, but we will never have a guideline on this. ―Mandruss  18:19, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
And we have the citation bundling technique, which allows unlimited citations to be combined into a single citation number. ―Mandruss  18:21, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Essays don't stick. Let's start with 5 or 10 is the max for this guideline. It is getting to the point of disruption. QuackGuru (talk) 18:23, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
@QuackGuru: ~ You should consider the citation bundling technique if you think there are too many cites for one sentence. ~mitch~ (talk) 19:26, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
We should not be legislating how many citations editors can add. It should be entirely a matter of what is appropriate.
But the number of citations is actually not the problem. QuakGuru is most likely referring to the note links – the "[1][2][3]" numbers that link to the notes ("footnotes", "end notes"). Which are NOT citations; they are just where most editors dump their citations. As it is, I think it would be preferable to have only one note – and therefore only one note link – at any point, with all relevant citations, comments, figures, etc., contained in that single note. Of course, this is quite impractical the way most editors do citation. So what really should be fixed is: the way most editors do citation.♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:19, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Johnbod's Law says "5 refs on a line is almost always a sure sign of trouble". This usually occurs in areas of controversy, where statements are contested, typically in medical areas or controversial assertions of nationality (especially in the Balkans). QuackGuru's own editing style may have provoked some of these build-ups, as he tends to argue about references. I certainly approve of bundling, but it isn't as practicable for medical articles, given the prevailing style of medical referencing. Johnbod (talk) 21:28, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
    • The build-ups are three citations per claim for controversial claims, for me. Bundling two citations is the max, for me. QuackGuru (talk) 21:37, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
One citation per claim is the general rule I follow. I noticed others like multiple citations or whatever after a sentence. I noticed most of the additional citations do not even verify the claim. It is tantamount to ref spam. If more than one citation is required for a sentence then just place the citation where is verifies the claim: "The cytotoxicity of e-liquids varies,[27] and contamination with various chemicals have been detected in the liquid.[28]" QuackGuru (talk) 21:37, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Absolutely, and we already have a guideline somewhere to that effect. Wouldn't your time be better spent fixing those problems, with edit summary links to that guideline for the education of other editors? ―Mandruss  21:40, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
You know @QuackGuru: instead of just copying the text from article with the ref # in the brackets ~ it would help if you actually copied the edit with the source ~ I might be able to understand better what you are talking about ~ example ~ I think this is what you are saying ~ correct me if I am wrong ~
  • Austin–Bergstrom International Airport is currently in the final stages of preparing their 2040 master plan. As ABIA continues to experience rapid growth, {...} existing Garage 1 is.[1][2]

Should have been;

  • Austin–Bergstrom International Airport is currently in the final stages of preparing their 2040 master plan.[3] As ABIA continues to experience "rapid growth",[4] {...} existing Garage 1 is.
Is that what you are talking about? ~mitch~ (talk) 22:05, 14 August 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ "PROPOSED ALTERNATIVES - ABIA Master Plan". Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  2. ^ Anderson, Will; Hethcock, Bill (October 18, 2018). "Austin airport's rapid growth ranks No. 2 in nation". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Proposed Alternatives - ABIA Master Plan". Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  4. ^ Anderson, Will; Hethcock, Bill (October 18, 2018). "Austin airport's rapid growth ranks No. 2 in nation". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
Yes. Also there are times when too many citations are used at the end of the sentence. Let's limit it to 5, would be a start. QuackGuru (talk) 22:16, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not in favor of limiting how many sources are needed to correctly cite an article ~ we have other ways, as mentioned above, to handle what you call to many ~mitch~ (talk) 22:28, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm also not in favor of limiting how many sources are needed to correctly cite a sentence. That's not the issue. When one citation verifies the claim adding 5 or more is excessive. Even more than 3 is kind of too many. QuackGuru (talk) 22:35, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Citations are used for multiple purposes. "Verifying the claim" is only one of them. Another, for instance, is assigning proper credit to discoverers. If I want to say for instance, that after multiple improvements to some bound in mathematics, the best proven bound is something, then I may well want to cite a large number of sources for those multiple improvements. And when I'm listing books authored by the subject of an article, I am likely to cite as many reliably-published reviews of those books as I can find, rather than just a single review, because I am documenting the amount of critical attention the book has received rather than verifying the existence of the book (even a single review would be overkill for that verification task). Of course, in these cases I would probably do so in a single footnote with some form of citation bundling rather than in multiple footnotes, but you seem to be objecting even to using multiple sources. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:28, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I never seen a case where 5 citations were needed for each claim. One sentence could need about 20 citations to verify all the claims, but each specific claim would still have only one citation. A single citation for each claim is usually plenty. Never more than 3 for each claim is ever needed. QuackGuru (talk) 02:52, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
The first note at Earthquake prediction has five citations. That is because there is some spread in the conception of the topic, and/or the expression of that conception, so some explanation is provided for the interested readers, and for any editors prone to quibble the fine points. But note (ha ha): five citations, but only one note. Now hearken back to QG's opening statement here: More than three citations destroys the readability for readers. Huh? How do citations affect (destroy??) readability if they are in the note? QG: aren't you really complaining about sequences of numbered note-links in the text? That is a different issue than how many sources are need to support a point. These issues are entangled only because of the failure to distinguish citations from notes. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 18:57, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
This was not specifically about "notes". Although if additional citations in the notes are not needed then there can be a set limit. QuackGuru (talk) 20:12, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, the number of citations should be based on what is needed, or at least useful. But NOT a "set limit" that has no consideration for need or usefulness. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:45, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────── Help us understand the real-world situations you're encountering that prompted this request. Are you running into issues with editors who are trying to cite more than three, even after you object? I assume when you see more than three citations, you're reducing them to 2 or 3 and moving on without any issues in most cases. Just trying to understand the real impact here. --GoneIn60 (talk) 03:29, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

This is a long-term problem. Without a guideline limiting the number of citations after a claim things like this happen. More than 5 citations after a claim can be tagged by a bot. First, we need to come to some sort of consensus for the wording in this guideline. QuackGuru (talk) 20:12, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
The example you point to is ludicrous, and such cases should be pulled down on that basis, not because they exceed some arbitrary limit. In that case, also on the basis of OR: it appears someone was trying to establish various claims of "Alvin Duskin is X" by showing multiple instances of "X", instead of showing a source making that claim. Various other objections could be made, and the lack of a "a guideline limiting the number of citations" is NOT the problem. Nor is it a valid solution. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:49, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
As an aside, I notice that the article is now both vastly longer and largely uncited.Nigel Ish (talk) 22:10, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Citing a lot of sources at the end of a new article, during the first hour after creating it, doesn't mean "These citations support the last sentence in this article". It means "Attention, New page patrollers: This guy really is notable". WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:47, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I've seen overcitation happen in three different types of situations:
  • We have information that changes over time - for example, sales figures for a video game. I generally append the latest source to the end of the existing references to update the numbers, in case the others are used, but once that gets past 3-4 refs, then yes one should determine if the earlier references are needed or not (for ref-reuse) and eliminate the unnecessary ones.
  • There is a point of contention about a certain statement (like a label) which is the DUE point of view but because some editors keep wanting to insert the FRINGE side, other editors keep bolstering up references to say "Uh, this is not a point to be challenged because of X sourcing having it." Excessive references should not be used to fight that type of battle: editors should select the 2-3 best sources that make the point, or if that can't be determined, bundle-cite them.
  • There is a point of contention between two or more valid points or sides , neither failing FRINGE. Now you got two sets of editors doing that. In this type of case, this should mean you are going to have a section in the article that should go into difference between those two points, those references spread among them, rather than trying to bundle them up on a simple statement.
  • I completely agree that there should be a limit of something like 3 consecutive in-line refs (inculding any footnotes), and if you go over that, and can't resolve the refs any other way, then bundle-cite them to cut down the size. --Masem (t) 23:08, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I've seen them too, but are these situations where you advise against it, reduce the number of citations, and then proceed to receive pushback from the same editor? Quack brought this up under the premise that it reduces readability, but you can simply bundle citations into a single footnote as demonstrated at WP:CITEBUNDLE. Because this is a viable option, any claimed loss of readability can easily be remedied. What is the expectation here? If we add a limitation, will that really curb the behavior, or in actuality will it be limiting editors in rare situations when they might have reason to provide more than 3 citations? The reason for the push and the expected outcome from a change still isn't clear to me. --GoneIn60 (talk) 23:28, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm more concerned about the opposite scenario, in which you name five reliable sources, someone argues that a single citation is sufficient and the rest are mere clutter, and then the next person says that the information should be removed because the single source that "consensus" allowed you to retain doesn't prove that the content is WP:DUE or can't prove "multiple improvements" (to pick up User:David Eppstein's example).
I suspect that the more common scenario is a straightforward content dispute, in which an editor addresses the "But that can't be verifiable (since it's not what I personally believe)!" comments by dumping a large number of citations on a claim until the others have to admit that the claim is indeed verifiable. And even these don't happen often; the example given is more than a year old.
But as you note, if these disputes are getting solved in practice, then there is no need for a WP:CREEPy rule specifying the "correct" number of sources, even if we all agreed upon a single "correct" maximum number, which we don't. For example, in the example given, Quack simply blanked 80% of the citations.
(Bundling is a matter of CITEVAR. If editors don't want to use it, then we won't make them. Besides, bundling is a problem when several of the sources you're citing are already cited elsewhere in the article. It's cleaner to cite them all separately than to make ever-varying combinations in bundles.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:58, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
See "One is usually enough, and more than three is usually a sign of problems."
Disputes are not getting solved in practice, so then there is a need to specify the "correct" number of inline citations (including any footnotes). QuackGuru (talk) 14:27, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
That new editor hasn't been on wiki since that advice was posted just yesterday. Someone's "failure" to edit as often as you do is not proof of the "dispute" (it hardly rises to that level) not being resolved. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:41, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
We do need to keep in mind that there are some statements that I would routine expect to see 2-3 sources used to back a claim, this being when there is some contentious statement, such as "Some consider John Q. Smith to be a white supremacist." - the "some" implicitly means "more than one RS" and that better have 2-3 sources. This is a case where I have seen editors, which wish to contradict that statement, insist more sources be added, editors wanting to keep it add more, and suddenly you have 7-8 references on a point like that. It all depends on context, but in a case like my example, you go through and pick out the top 2-3 RSes that support that and leave it at that. And then drop the rest in the talk page so if it is challenged again, you can point exactly where that was discussed. But this would be helped by having guidance on the max number of cites in a row to avoid citation overload here. --Masem (t) 14:35, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
GoneIn60, simply bundle citations into a single footnote is moving the problem from one place to another. QuackGuru (talk) 14:27, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
But that would fix the "destroys the readability" problem with which you started this discussion.
As to "too many citations": if there are reasons for having, or even not having, five or six or eight citations, then any challenges should be decided on the basis of those reasons, not some arbitrarily set number. If we set a limit (or even a "guideline") then, for some editors, "N>3" will be a brightline basis removing citations, and a new realm for contention. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:06, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
Cluttering the reference section by bundling the citations will confuse the reader when they want to click on a source. Bundling multiple sources together into one citation is confusing. It may look like one citation but it contains multiple URL links. That *is* confusing. Most editors don't bundle anyhow.
It is an old realm of contention for providing more than three inline citations for a given claim. So far no reason based on verifiability has been presenting for having more than three inline citations. QuackGuru (talk) 21:34, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
I find nothing confusing about #705 here (permalink). The sources are clearly delineated by bullets. That's an excellent example of a case where more than three (nine, in that case) cites are warranted. It's a highly controversial statement that needs rock-solid sourcing, and that certainly outweighs any unsubstantiated claims about reader confusion. ―Mandruss  21:58, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
That's a better way to bundle by using bullets.
I was not referring to highly controversial statements. That's not what this is about. For non-controversial claims more than three inline citations has not been shown to be a benefit for readers. QuackGuru (talk) 22:06, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia (en-wiki, at least) hates bright lines, preferring to leave virtually everything to discussion and consensus. Many better cases for bright lines than this have failed. Good luck breaking that pattern. ―Mandruss  22:11, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
On the other hand, I did point out a non controversial instance of five citations. Quack, are you paying full attention, or just skimming across this stuff? ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:06, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
I counted only one "inline" citation. See Earthquake_prediction#cite_ref-1. QuackGuru (talk) 00:10, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
That's one note "in-line", containing five citations. Your prior comment (above, at 14:27) is that to "bundle citations into a single footnote is moving the problem from one place to another." So which horse do want to ride: an alleged problem with multiple notes? Or an alleged problem with multiple citations? Do keep in mind that a note (footnote) is NOT a citation (of any kind). ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:37, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
A set limit of three ([1][2][3]) for unbundled inline citations (not the bundled citations into a single footnote). QuackGuru (talk) 00:07, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Those are links to three notes. The example I provided is a single note ([1]). Please do not say "citations" when you mean "notes" (or the links to notes).
Again: citations ≠ notes. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:34, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
(To Mandruss's comment) This is probably beyond the specific scope here, but I feel there's something odd about having to have 9 citations in a bundled cite to support a single sentence that contains a known contentious claim. I mean, this is where a statement should be explained if you have that many sources. Not that you don't have that in the sub-article that is linked where you have clearly more space to expand (I don't know if all those cites are used but I would expect them to). this would be the case in the summary article that I would trim those sources to the two-or-three most firm /highest-reliable sources and let the sub article speak to more detail. I am not doubting the statement itself or the sources, just that when you put 9 sources on one short sentence, that feels like POV pushing. Piling up sources without expanding on those sources is sorta avoiding explaining the point. This goes back to one of the cases I explained above. But again, this edges into NPOV to some degree, as well as beyond the issue of "lists of inline cites", so may need a different discussion. --Masem (t) 00:10, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
The prevailing mind-set at that article (my understanding of it, that is) is that few readers will click through to any of the sub-articles, so their existence can't figure into decisions about the root article; i.e. the root article must stand on its own in isolation. And when you devote space to explaining the point, you get pushback per WEIGHT. I doubt there will be any new written guidance in this area, but I welcome you to discuss this at Talk:Donald Trump. ―Mandruss  18:32, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
See "The statements have been documented by fact-checkers; academics and the media have widely described the phenomenon as unprecedented in American politics.[705][706][373]" The content fails verification. It is a SYN violation to claim "...widely" described...". This requires a rewrite. See Earthquake_prediction#cite_ref-1. Bundling the citations makes it vey difficult to verify which citation verifies which claim. Therefore, it is like a policy violation when a reader can't verify the claim. See "Some consider..." is also a SYN violation when multiple sources are used to verify the word "some" when no single source verifies the claim. QuackGuru (talk) 19:36, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
That is the result of extensive discussion and has consensus. If you wish you can raise objection on the article's talk page. We're off topic here, so that's all I have to say. ―Mandruss  19:51, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
On the specific point for the Trump article, I agree this is off topic. But there is still something about a bundled site supporting one sentence that has a controversy claim with more than X citation that feels off, but I can't put my finger on it or how to deal with it, but it does come to the issue alluded by QuackGuru, that is like telling a reader "Do you want to verify this fact? That's a needle in this giant haystack over here." WP:V does require giving the reader help, but throwing them N+ citations without clarity is an issue to that end. --Masem (t) 20:32, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
It is near impossible to deal with it unless the WMF hired super admins to enforce the rules. The best I can hope for would be a general statement for limiting the number of sources for each claim. Wikipedia seeks consensus over rightness. QuackGuru (talk) 20:58, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
You stated "That's an excellent example of a case where more than three (nine, in that case) cites are warranted." I disagree that nine citations are warranted for a single claim, especially when the content has failed verification. Those sources and quotes do not verify the entire claim. I don't think a single editor can back-up the claim, with including the unsupported weasel word. Words such as "widely" and "some" should be supported by a single source rather than adding up sources to come to a new conclusion not found in any single source. To summarise my point, I think if we included a general statement for discouraging more than three citations for a single claim would be helpful for our readers. Trying to find a needle in a haystack is the wrong approach. QuackGuru (talk) 20:50, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
All citations should be specific enough to verify the claim, regardless of whether there are other citations nearby that also do. So your (Masem's) analogy of a needle in a giant haystack is off. It's more like finding a needle in a giant stack of needles. —David Eppstein (talk) 20:58, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
There are no citations that verify that specific claim with including the weasel word. But editors seem to like adding up nine citations to come to a new conclusion. The end result. The readers won't find a needle in a giant stack of needles. This brings me back to my point. There is no reason for using so many citations for a single claim based on policy. QuackGuru (talk) 21:07, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
That's yet a wholly third issue related to the matter (using many refs to support an claim like "Many people think...") which, to me, still needs to be dealt with in terms of how many citations to throw into a bundle to try to justify that point, but that I think is also off topic here. There's some allowances for this approach to sourcing such claims, but it should not be "I have a gazillion sources for this, my claim wins." logic that sometimes exists out there. But again, beyond scope of "too many inline citation tags in a row" this discussion started as. --Masem (t) 00:25, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

TL;DR: Bundle citations into a solitary note, or a couple notes, if you need multiple cites. Solution provided.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 20:26, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Exactly. Nothing extreme about it. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:43, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Exactly the opposite. Bundling citations has its own set of problems. Editors should avoid bundling citations when there is a problem with too many citations. For example, see Earthquake_prediction#cite_note-1. That is a good example where bundling causes a verification problem. Nobody knows which citation verifies which claim. Same goes for the 9 citation bundle. A good guideline is when editors don't like it, but they know it is the right thing to do. I think we can work on getting the wording right for a RfC.
See "Editors should be cautious to avoid bundling too many citations together into a single footnote when different citations verify different parts of a sentence."
See "Overcitation happens when more than three consecutive inline citations or notes are used to cite a non-controversial claim." QuackGuru (talk) 22:08, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Quack: your assertion of a verification problem is bullshit. In the case at hand, all of the citations in note 1 apply to exactly ONE part of the sentence. Your complaints of multiple claims and "different parts of a sentence" are simply inapplicable. Since you are too muddled to understand this I am not going to waste any more time on you. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:06, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
QuackGuru has a very valid point. Per WP:V, we want to provide a citation with as reasonable a narrowness of range of the original source material for the reader to find and verify the material. So if I was using a 1000 page book as a source, I should at least narrow that down to chapter, or if possible, by page, to make it easy to verify. Just giving the book and no further "pointers" to where in that 1000pg book is not useful as a reference. That issue extends if you use more than 2-3 references in a bundled cite, if the references broadly support the sentences they come after. It means the reader has to read all three works to figure out what was supported and where in the references. Sometimes, this can be fixed by unbundling, eg: A statement like "Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton all has policies related to budget control." where there are four cites for each name, would be better to put each cite after the name, rather than bundling the cites. --Masem (t) 23:11, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
See "Earthquake prediction is a branch of the science of seismology concerned with the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes within stated limits,,[1]" See "In the case at hand, all of the citations in note 1 apply to exactly ONE part of the sentence." What about the other parts of the sentence? Which citation verifies which claim? The bundling is confusing. It is like a jigsaw puzzle. I am working on a draft for a new article. I only used one citation per claim and for PDF files I provided the exact page number. There are sentences that use more than one citation and for those each citation is placed where it verifies each claim. I recommend a moratorium on citation bundling after observing what is happening. QuackGuru (talk) 23:32, 21 August 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Geller et al. 1997, p. 1616, following Allen (1976, p. 2070), who in turn followed Wood & Gutenberg (1935). Kagan (1997b, §2.1) says: "This definition has several defects which contribute to confusion and difficulty in prediction research." In addition to specification of time, location, and magnitude, Allen suggested three other requirements: 4) indication of the author's confidence in the prediction, 5) the chance of an earthquake occurring anyway as a random event, and 6) publication in a form that gives failures the same visibility as successes. Kagan & Knopoff (1987, p. 1563) define prediction (in part) "to be a formal rule where by the available space-time-seismic moment manifold of earthquake occurrence is significantly contracted ...."
I agree that citations for different claims, particularly in different parts of a sentence, should not be globbed together without any indication of where they apply. But neither should should they be strung out in a sequence of notes all at the end of a sentence. In short, that's not a bundling issue, that is Quack jumping from one ill-conceived complaint to another. I do dispute his assertion that note 1 "is a good example where bundling causes a verification problem."; it is entirely invalid. I rather doubt that he has made any valid points in this discussion. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:45, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Just a little help QuackGuru ~ so everybody knows what you are talking about ~ ~mitch~ (talk) 23:51, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
You can also include explanatory text within the note, too. Take a look at these examples: note 79 and note a; note b. If it is ungainly to include the additional explanatory text within the article body, you can include it in the note. "X statement is made in source Y, Z statement is made by page 561 of source A."--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 00:36, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
I'll copy the examples to here to make it easier to see what I'm talking about:

"The art on albums by Viking metal artists frequently depicts Viking Age archeological finds: Thor's hammers are especially common, but other artifacts such as Oseberg posts and even the Sutton Hoo helmet have appeared.[1][a]"

"Other European languages, such as German, Old High German, Latin, Dutch, Sami languages, or Gaulish are sometimes used.[b] Heavy metal fans around the world sometimes learn languages such as Norwegian or Finnish in order to understand the lyrics of their favorite bands and improve their appreciation of the music.[11]"


  1. ^ The Sutton Hoo burial site technically is not Viking. It belongs to the East Angles, and dates to a century before the Viking Age.[2] However, the site is often misconstrued to be a Viking one.[3]
  2. ^ For example, the German project Falkenbach, in addition to English and Old Norse, has written in German, Old High German, and Latin.[4] The German band Obscurity also writes lyrics in German.[5] The Dutch band Heidevolk writes entirely in Dutch,[6] and Fenris and Slechtvalk, also Dutch projects, have, in addition to English, written in Dutch.[7] Slechtvalk has also recorded a song in Latin.[8] The Finnish band Korpiklaani, when it recorded under the previous name Shaman, wrote in Sami languages, but dropped the use of these languages when it changed its name and style.[9] The Swiss band Eluveitie writes much of its music in Gaulish.[10]

--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 00:47, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Same references in different citationsEdit

[This section was started as a subsection of the previous discussion (#Citation extremeness). But that discussion has gotten so far out in the tules that this discussion should be allowed a fresh start, so I am boosting it up a level. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk)]

I just made an edit that shows the potential limitations of bundling references in a citation. In two citations, most of the references given are the same. But not entirely, and the order given is different. Thus, simply re-using the citation doesn't work. Fully giving the references each time does work, but not typical convention. The only choice then to avoid several citations is to manually type out the sources - this isn't so helpful if the reader wants to jump to the full version of that source via an internal link.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 03:46, 20 August 2019 (UTC)--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 03:46, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

That's not the only choice. You can have two separate section, one for footnotes (with short references in WP:HARV style) and a second one for the full references to which the footnotes refer. In that style, you would only spell out the details of each reference once (in the full reference page), and you can choose within each footnote what order to cite the references. This style choice is independent of whether you bundle the references or choose to use separate foornotes for each short reference. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:17, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Okay, that's what I've done before. I'm realizing now how you can included multiple references inside a particular short foot-note.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 23:38, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Your comments are nonsensical. For instance: "references" often refers to "citations", or notes, or about six other things, so it is not all clear what you are referring to. As discussion is futile unless the terms we use have the same meaninging for each of us. I suggest we should take care to use the key terms as follows.
"References" is too commonly used in too many different ways to have any reliable sense, and therefore should be avoided. "Citation" generally refers to a full citation (what the Chicago Manual of Style calls a "full reference") that includes the full bibliographic details of a source. On WP these are most often created using the {{citation}} or {{cite xxx}} family of templates. "Citation" can also refer to an abbreviated form often called a shortened citation, shortened reference, or short-cite, which refers to source's full citation. On WP these are usually created using one the the {{harv}} family of templates. If the full citation is generated using {citation}, or using a {cite} template with the |ref= parameter, the short-cite generated by a properly done {harv} template will automatically link to the full citation.
Here is a key part: the notes (a.k.a. "footnotes", "end notes") created using <ref> tags are NOT citations! They are just a place (again, automatically created) where you can put a citation, or comments, or just about anything except another note. (A fair interpretation of your "bundling references in a citation" is that you mean putting <ref>...</ref> tags inside a {citation} template. Which is such a crazy idea I just had to try it. Nope, tagged as an error.)
One more thing: it is not a merely "typical" convention, but a universal practice that (in a given unit) there is only one full citation for each source.
What you ran into is called the "re-use" problem, where you want to "reference" (cite) a source from more than one location. There is a very simple solution: short-cites. Use them as often and where ever needed, they will link to the indicated full citation whether it is in a note somewhere, or (what David is talking about) collected with other full citations in their own section.
Strictly speaking, what we are bundling in this manner are citations. To bundle references (where notes are being referred to) is indeed very limited, and best not attempted. The short, simple answer here is: bundle citations (full or short), not notes. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:54, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Woah, steady on! Forgive that my terminology is muddled, as you said, the terminology as practiced by Wikipedians is muddled. I provided the edit to make clear what I was trying to do. I appreciate the clarification, believe me I'm not intentionally trying to be muddled, and this is why I provided a link to the edit. The issue was explained to my satisfaction by David Eppstein and the documentation at the pages for the short-footnote and Harvard reference templates.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 20:23, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't believe anyone is trying to be muddled. But there is so much muddledness practiced on this topic that it can't be avoided. Supplying the link was good, because then I could see what you were trying to describe. And as I said in my edit summary: the solution is simple – once the terminology is sorted out. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:41, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Altering citation titles to comply with WP MOSEdit

Hi, what's the consensus on altering original citation titles (e.g. capitalization, punctuation, dashes, or quotation marks) to match Wikipedia MOS or general English style (even if the source is not English)? Say, for example bot edit here where Lithuanian quotation marks „ “ were changed to English quotation marks. I have seen plenty of similar edits. Was there a previous discussion somewhere on this? Renata (talk) 02:19, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Take a look at MOS:CONFORM and MOS:TITLECONFORM, which support that particular edit. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:39, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
This guideline, "Citing sources", allows the use of any consistent style. If a style from some comprehensive style guide, such as the Chicago Manual of Style is being used, the recommendations for treatment of titles from that manual could be used for citations. Such manuals will probably call for changing foreign titles to be more manageable in an English-language context, such as using quote marks and transliterating non-Roman alphabets.
If the style has been made up for that one article, that's allowed. If no foreign-language sources have been added so far, and you want to add the first one, there is no guidance; do what you want. Jc3s5h (talk) 14:10, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

RfC appears to contradict MOS hereEdit

An RfC here, about a citation template and not about MOS, concluded that "names of websites in citations/references should be italicized, generally in line with current practices," which is neither policy nor guidelines and appears to contradict WP:CITESTYLE.

WP:CITESTYLE states, "Wikipedia does not have a single house style, [emphasis added] though citations within any given article should follow 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." The widely used The Chicago Manual of Style, noted in that sentence, is among those that do not italicize websites. This RfC about a cite template appears to overreach to change MOS and mandate that Chicago Manual of Style not be used. Should not consensus for such a major site-wide MOS change, including throwing out Chicago Manual of Style, be reached here instead?

This RfC mandates a house style in contradiction to what WP:CITESTYLE states. Should it go to RfC Review or is this page the proper forum to discuss imposition of a house style? --Tenebrae (talk) 17:57, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

There is only a conflict if you use the template to formulate your citations... but if you use the old hand coded “<ref>citation text</ref>“ format, you are not limited. So... if you don’t like the style formatting used by the template, just don’t use the template. Blueboar (talk) 21:49, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for responding, Blueboar! I did think of that. What I've found in practice is that editors invariably, eventually, take non-templated footnotes and put them into templates. I understand editors doing so, since it's for consistency. The result, though, is that in any practical sense, we're not allowed to use The Chicago Manual of Style or other styles that don't italicize websites.
So I'm thinking... What do editors here think of a new template called something like "cite organization" that would allow flexibility for either italicizing or non-italicizing websites? --Tenebrae (talk) 18:15, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
I'd say the last thing we need is more citation templates. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 18:37, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
So we should just give up and say, "OK, there's now one official house style that we all must use, no matter hwo eccentric and non-mainstream it is"? --Tenebrae (talk) 18:52, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
There is {{article style}} used in edit notices to make editors aware of a particular citation style. That template has support for CMOS. No doubt, editors will ignore the edit notice so {{article style}} isn't an absolute preventative, but it may be helpful. At, cs1|2 is ubiquitous (at this writing 4,174,483 articles); editors at and at many of the other-language wikis apparently like it.
For other editors: This topic has had some related discussion at my talk page.
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:01, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
From the discussions over the period where cs1/2 had made the |website= parameters required, temporarily (a change since reverted) it seemed clear that there are certain classes of "websites" that should not be italicized, or more specifically, we use the name of the publisher as the key source parameter rather than the name of the website. This would include news stations (BBC, CNN, etc.) and entities like WHO and NASA. There are likely others but not limited to these classes. There, just using |publisher= should be sufficient since the website name is nearly always duplicative as there's no specialized site name, and that publisher parameter doesn't italicize the name. This appeared to be a common way to do it across ~100,000s of articles (based on error reports that got categorized when |website= was made mandatory), so that seems to be the solution most have settled on. --Masem (t) 13:58, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Citations always mandatory?Edit

The way I see it, citations should br for resolving disputes between editors. If you write something without providing a reference, it should be acceptable until some other editor takes issue. Requiring citations for all material in all circumstances discourages knowledgeable people from contributing. Like, say you're a surgeon of 20 years experience and you decide to add something on an article about surgery. You know the material like the back of your hand and it's common knowledge in the profession. But you don't add a citation, so somebody just deletes it and chastises you. You don't want to go through the hassle of digging out some books and articles. You're a busy man! You tell the other guy that you're a highly-qualified surgeon, but he says that's irrelevant, everyone on Wikipedia is equal regardless of their expertise. You throw up your hands in frustration and go back to lecturing college students -- you're actually paid to do that, and you get some respect.

This also ties in to the idea that Wikipedia is about the wisdom of the masses. Is it about the wisdom of the masses, or the books?

I would like the admins to clarify this a little for me, in case I get into an argument with an editor who deletes my work simply for lack of references, not because he knows better. Kurzon (talk) 16:29, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

This is something I face when editing Lexicanum, a wiki devoting to the game Warhammer 40,000. If I write something without a proper citation it will be automatically deleted by an admin and I will get reprimanded.

We cannot control what happens to you on a wiki which is not the English Wikipedia. Is this question about English Wikipedia or Lexicanum? --Izno (talk) 16:43, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
I sympathise with this perspective, but I do know that verification of data from secondary sources is one of the basic principles of Wikipedia. The 'inclusionist' part of me wants to say allow everything from someone's knowledge to be included, but that might open the floodgates to all kinds of inaccurate stuff which would mislead others. I am really torn by this issue, as I consider myself an inclusionist, but as a scholar I also know that we must maintain a basic level of verifiability. Ishel99 (talk) 03:19, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
Citations aren’t just about showing something is true; they also can show that a given subject matter is WP:NOTABLE and hence warrants inclusion and show that a piece of information isn’t WP:ORIGINALRESEARCH. Plus references also allow other editors and users to read more about the topic. It also isn’t always easy to tell an expert from a confident novice based on their Wikipedia contributions, particularly if it’s not your area of expertise. That said, based on my experience with Wikipedia, it seems it’s primarily WP:Biographies of living people where the default is to excise rather than tag unreferenced material; in general, I think, editors are given time to respond to requests for citations unless there are other issues with the text. Umimmak (talk) 11:22, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
It could be argued that if you're too busy to provide a citation (even something as basic as a URL which can be cleaned up if necessary), then you're really too busy to be adding info to WP to begin with. Also, I think it should be common sense that editors can't typically or readily confirm other editors' credentials, so no, nobody should be allowed to add information to an article strictly on the grounds of their claiming that they're an expert; indeed, one would think that an expert in a field would understand the need to properly reference their work. DonIago (talk) 14:18, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
One of Wikipedia's rules is that the consensus of editors is ultimately what decides what does and doesn't get included. Not books. If two or more editors decide something is valid, then it is valid even if there is no reference. So why not a consensus of one? If only one editor is paying attention to an article and nobody else has an issue with what's written, then the material should be acceptable. Wikipedia also has a rule that all editors are equal regardless of their expertise, yet they are nothing if their contributions aren't backed up by a book written by an expert. This, to me, is a contradiction. Kurzon (talk) 15:35, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
Editors have the right to put unsourced information into an article. And other editors have the right to challenge that information if they believe it is unverifiable. As the easiest way to address even potential verifiability concerns is by providing a reference, is it not then better to be proactive and add a reference at the time you're adding information?
If editors are coming up with a consensus to the effect of "this information is unsourced and may not even be true, but we don't care" when anyone has expressed verifiability concerns, then they are acting counter to WP:V. Were I to see such a situation occur I would likely call for an RfC.
So yes, an editor acting on their own can add whatever they want to an article that nobody is taking issue with. But it would be naive to believe that there will never be some point in the future when another editor may take issue with it and ask for references, and at that point, it will ultimately be contingent on the editors who wish to retain the information to provide such references, as discussed at WP:BURDEN.
In my experience, the best option is to simply provide a reference rather than bicker over whether a reference is truly needed, which typically consumes everyone's time and energy just to typically conclude (predictably) that yes, a reference is needed. DonIago (talk) 16:00, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
That's fair. Kurzon (talk) 17:54, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Citing other-language sourcesEdit

I am interested in guidance for how to indicate that a source cited is in a language other than the language of the Wikipedia version being edited (I refrain from using the term 'foreign' languages since the term 'foreign' perhaps implies something which doesn't belong... I could be wrong though). I don't find anything about this so far despite searching (maybe just not using the best search terms?) so if anyone can please point me to anything that already exists that would be helpful. It would be good if guidance could even be provided on this main page about citing sources. Ishel99 (talk) 03:13, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

You may choose to use a CS1/2 template in which case you should use |language=. You may choose otherwise to use manual citations, in which case you are free to do what you wish. --Izno (talk) 04:40, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for this! It works perfectly in the context I needed it for. Is there any reason I can't add that guidance to this page? Also, please excuse my ignorance, but what does the prefix 'para' achieve in the code? I just place |language= in my example and it worked. Ishel99 (talk) 07:07, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
{{para}} is used for discussing parameters used in templates; it just makes it the formatting look like “|language=” instead of just “|language=“. Umimmak (talk) 10:41, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation about {{para}} . I would appreciate further advice here. I added the use of |language= to this page, and this was furher developed by another editor; but within a couple of hours the whole thing has been removed by yet another editor with the comment that 'this page is not a citation tutorial'. I fail to see the difference between what we added and many of the other guidelines provided here. Could someone please have a look and advise whether our contribution might be restored? Ishel99 (talk) 14:31, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
That was me. This page is not a cs1|2 citation template tutorial nor is this page specific to the particular citation style that is cs1|2. |language= is a templated citation style parameter use, most commonly in cs1|2 (also used in templates of other templated citation styles; the vcite templates come to mind). Other citation styles in use at, templated or not, may or may not support the notion of annotating the source's language. |language= makes no sense in an untemplated citation style so should not be explicitly recommended here.
Trappist the monk (talk) 14:55, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The parameter |language= is only used when using specific citation templates (see, e.g, Help:CS1, Help:CS2). This page is not about any particular citation template but about citing sources in general. I definitely thing something should be said about foreign language sources, when to transliterate/translate names, titles, journals, publication information, etc., when spell out explicitly that a source is in another language, etc. A search through the talk page archives shows people keep having unanswered questions as to proper protocol, and a lot of the suggestions are spread out through various WikiProjects (e.g., Wikipedia:Manual of Style/China and Chinese-related articles#Citations). However, just saying something about a specific parameter in a specific set of templates is too specific. Some people don't even use citation templates; the information on this page should still be of use to them too. That was my understanding for why that was removed. Umimmak (talk) 14:57, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
@Trappist the monk: @Umimmak: Thank you for the comprehensive explanations. It makes sense given the broader context to which you draw attention. However, I admit that so far I have been unable to find anything that does give me the advice I sought, in a more appropriate context. Does it exist anywhere? Ishel99 (talk) 15:39, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
|language= is documented on the cs1|2 template documentation pages (for example at Template:Cite book § Title) and there is also and example at Template:Cite book § Examples.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:51, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
@Trappist the monk: Thank you, those will be extremely useful. Just one more question: what would be the basic 'starting page' for citation in Wikipedia, which would clearly lay out all the options and then fork off to more detailed pages about each option? (I realize that, given the way Wikipedia works, there may actually not be any such page... but just wondered!) Ishel99 (talk) 00:29, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
You might try Help:Referencing for beginners and the pages linked from § See also, and Wikipedia:Citation templates.
Trappist the monk (talk) 00:37, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
@Trappist the monk: Thank you so much, I appreciate the help... been in Wikipedia a long time, but still scratching the surface :) Ishel99 (talk) 00:46, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

RFC regarding the scope of RfC regarding italicization of the names of websites in citations and referencesEdit

Pursuant to a request by the closer:

There is a request for comment to definitively determine how widely the RFC Italics of websites in citations and references – request for comment should be applied. Please contribute.

Trappist the monk (talk) 14:14, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Return to the project page "Citing sources".