Help:Cite errors/Cite error references missing key

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This page will help you to fix the error message:

A list-defined reference named "$1" is not used in the content (see the help page).

  • If you need help with a particular problem, please discuss it on the article talk page or at the Help Desk.
  • If you have read this help page and find something missing or confusing, please discuss it at the main talk page.
  • Please reference this page and the page where you have the problem so we can understand your issues.
  • For basic information on the footnotes system, see Referencing for beginners; for advanced help, see Footnotes.

Overview

Further information: Help:Footnotes

A footnote used multiple times may be defined with a name:

<ref name="foo">content</ref>

To invoke a named footnote:

<ref name="foo" />

References may also be defined within the reference list:

{{reflist|refs=
<ref name=rename1>refcontent1</ref>
<ref name=rename2>refcontent2</ref>
<ref name=rename3>refcontent3</ref>
<ref name=rename4>refcontent4</ref>
}}

List-defined references may be invoked by the standard markup or by use of {{r}}.

Issues and resolution

All references defined in the reference list must be invoked in the content. Unused references must be removed or commented out.


Including more than one nested reference in List-defined references will cause a Cite error.


Misusing a template that was never intended as a citation template and placing in <ref> tags may cause this issue.

A template that creates <ref> tags; known instances:

A template that includes table markup; known instances:

Examples

There are three references defined in the list, but none are invoked in the content. Note the spurious error for the first reference named ipsum:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

==References==
{{reflist|refs=
<ref name=ipsum>Reference1</ref>
<ref name=minim>Reference2</ref>
<ref name=dolor>Reference3</ref>
}}

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

References

Cite error: A list-defined reference named "dolor" is not used in the content (see the help page).
Cite error: A list-defined reference named "minim" is not used in the content (see the help page).
Cite error: A list-defined reference with group name "" is not used in the content (see the help page).

If only one reference is defined but not invoked, then only the spurious error is shown:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

==References==
{{reflist|refs=
<ref name=ipsum>Reference1</ref>
}}

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

References

Cite error: A list-defined reference with group name "" is not used in the content (see the help page).

Technical

Pages with this error message are placed into Pages with incorrect ref formatting. The system message page is at Cite error references missing key.

Bugs