Template talk:Citation/core/Archive 15

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Boldfacing of volume is inappropriate for non-periodicals

It is an obvious mistake to force boldfacing of the value passed in |Volume= (|volume= in the cite templates that use this meta-template) other than {{cite journal}} and {{cite news}} and maybe another one here and there. It's worse that pointless in {{cite book}}.

None of the major style guides (not even a minor one that I can find) recommends this style for books and such, including (I think they're all current):

I do not have a big collection of field-specific ones (AMA Manual of Style, etc.), nor New Hart's Rules yet (it's on order), and I won't bother to buy and check The Bedford Guide for College Writers, since it's derivative of the above and non-authoritative, but I'd bet a zillion that they don't recommend this boldfacing style for book volumes, either. Many never touch on the issue, like the AP Stylebook, The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, The Guardian Style Guide, etc., because they're journalistic, and don't use complete, formatted source citations at all. Neither Strunk & White nor Fowler, do either. Nothing does appear to recommend this style.

The volume is boldfaced for periodicals (in some but not all style guides, and here at WP) because of how those citations are formatted; it's a helpful readability aid:

  • Schizitt, Bull (May 2012). "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Bovine World". Mad Cow Journal (American Mad Cow Society) VII (7): 5–8. 

It is useful here, because this citation style butts the volume, issue and page number together, without labeling any of them.

With magazines and newspapers, the same also applies (other than the page numbers are labeled as such by {{cite news}}, which is okay, really):

  • Maggobbin, Gorrey (June 2012). "1001 Uses for a Cat with No Tail". Manx Cat Fancy IX (7) (Stubbin Pr). pp. 22–30. 

But, with the way "volume" is usually used for books, it is not helpful. It just looks weird, and it inappropriately emphases something other than the title and author, the main points in this kind of citation, especially since multi-volume books are most often obtained as a set and are not serial publications in the usual sense, and usually also have subtitles that are relevant to cite:

  • Yaa, Boo (2012). The Foo Bar. Vol. II: The Bazz Quux Era. Half Fast Prod. pp. 234–255. 

The rationale for boldfacing simply does not apply at all, as there is no "issue" for the "volume" to run up against, and the page number is nowhere near it.

The boldfacing is not helpful even for curt, number-only, encyclopedia-style volume citation with books:

  • Dawg, MC Badd" (2012). The Hip-Hop Mix Tape Directory II. Def Reads. p. 192. 

since the volume number is not up against the page number; books just use a completely different citation style. Template:Cite book/doc (and others that don't use journal/news style formatting) need to be updated to warn against using |volume= this way, as it will be meaningless to readers, and instead to always include "Vol." or "Volume": |volume=Vol. II. It is also too late, really, to modify the meta-template to include "Vol." automatically, the way |pages= auto-includes "pp. ", since too many extant cases already have "Vol." or "Volume" manually added to the parameter's values.

Anyway, the boldfacing of this parameter in {{cite book}} (and in any other cite template that doesn't use the "Volume (Issue): Pages" formatting for periodicals) should go away. I'm not advocating any change to {{cite journal}}, {(tnull|cite news}} or other periodical template. {{cite book}} also needs a comma, not a period (full stop), between the title and volume, when volume appears, but let's fix one thing at a time.

The most straightforward way to fix this would be to assume that any citation that that has a volume but no issue is a non-journal/news citation like a book, video, etc. (a safe-ish assumption; if it really is a journal/news citation, it is an incomplete one and screwed up anyway; not boldfacing the volume number in such a case is a trivial result), and just change {{Citation/core}}'s this:

      #if: {{{Volume|}}}
      |&#32;'''<nowiki />{{{Volume}}}<nowiki />'''{{
         #if: {{{Issue|}}}
         | ({{{Issue}}})
         #if: {{{Issue|}}}

to this:

      #if: {{{Volume|}}}
      |&#32;{{#if:{{{Issue|}}}|'''<nowiki />{{{Volume}}}<nowiki />'''|<nowiki />{{{Volume}}}<nowiki />}}{{
         #if: {{{Issue|}}}
         #if: {{{Issue|}}}

If this would actually break something badly, the other obvious fix is to make a non-boldfacing Volume2 variant of Volume, and call it from {{cite book}} and other cite templates that don't use journal/news formatting:

      #if: {{{Volume2|}}}
      |&#32;<nowiki />{{{Volume2}}}<nowiki />

SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 20:24, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I would simply remove bolding altogether for the volume. There are a number of previous discussions on this here and elsewhere.
(Rather long argument, which rather puts me "against".) I believe the key point (and this has been discussed before) is that bolding of "volume" is helpful for periodicals, where otherwise it tends to get buried. I believe the key problem is that |vol= gets used for both books and periodicals, and that no one has come up with a way ("obvious" or not) of having both behaviors. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:58, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I just said all that, other than I offered two possible ways of having both behaviors. Well, sorry I bothered explaining things calmly, stepwise and rationally, providing sample code, and offering sources. I guess next time I should just rant incoherently, and make demands without giving reasons or any hint of connection to reality. Would that help? — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 01:04, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
books volumes and equivalent (c web) should not be bold. However the proposed change is suboptimal as many valid periodical citations have issue without volume. Why not case off the citation type? Fifelfoo (talk) 23:07, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Sure, just seemed more complicated. I don't recall seeing an actual, complete periodical citation with a volume but not an issue. If there are, I have to think that the visual difference will be minor: "IX: pp. 322–336" vs. "IX: pp. 322–336" Without the numeric clutter of the issue number ("IX (9): pp. 322–336" the boldfacing ("IX (9): pp. 322–336") doesn't add much utility. Still, if you think a switch testing for which template is calling won't be too complicated or server-hateful, thumbs up! — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 01:04, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Is boldfacing of volume numbers in periodicals appropriate?

I am not sure that I have ever seen volume numbers of journals bolded in real-life citations. Maybe I have, but in what I read it's certainly not standard. Maybe this is just a random personal preference being enforced even though it makes everything unnecessarily complicated and (so long as the bug isn't fixed) forces editors to put volume numbers for books into the title? Hans Adler 06:02, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

It's a style recommended by one style guide or another. I forget which, though if it's important I can go look it up. I gather there is longstanding consensus here to do that, for readability. As you suggest it's having negative fallout, but as just discussed (cf. Fifelfoo's idea, immediately above) there's at least one fix for it. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 11:46, 17 December 2011 (UTC) I can't actually find any evidence that any style guides recommend this practice, and this page is clear evidence that there's not a solid consensus for doing it.SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 21:11, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I haven't found any styles that bold any part of a citation; see User:Gadget850/Cite comparisons. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:59, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
For scientific journals, it is common though not universal practice to have volume in bold on the journal's website. Some examples of the most cited journals: Nature, Science, BMJ do on their websites, e.g. Nature, Science (blue at top), BMJ. The Lancet gives references with volume in bold e.g. Lancet. I assume these journals have the same practice on their print equivalent, but don't have access to check that right now. Rjwilmsi 16:18, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Yet again I'd use this to suggest that separate from the excellent CS1 Help file, that we produce a CS1 Specification, so we can have these debates there :) Fifelfoo (talk) 23:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Fine by me, as long as it does not impede fixing the erroneous boldfacing of volumes of anything but journals, since no style guide or practice anywhere recommends or displays such weirdness. Even if we had to lose boldfacing of journal volumes (a house style of some journals and nothing more, apparently) this should be fixed immediately. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 20:30, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Given information below that boldfacing of journal volumes isn't even recommended by any major style guides, it's just house style of a few journals, my proposed solution is more than sufficient, as the boldfacing could simply be totally eliminated, and we do not need to add a test for what type of citation it is. I don't have any real objection to one though, as long as it is limited to applying bold only if the citation type is journal. JUST FIX IT, being the point. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 20:34, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

(od) Note: If the concern is that it's somehow difficult to tell what is the volume vs. issue number is in "IX (9): 224–172", there's no human cognition reason that boldfacing the volume number would magically fix this, and the real solution is obviously to change the display to "Vol. IX, Issue 9, pp. 224–172"; there's no reason for WP to use the excessively clipped and geeky "IX (9): 224–172" format. No one understands that anyway, except professional academics and science students. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 11:41, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Clearly has to be fixed for non-periodicals

Minimal fix, per above, to stop boldfacing of non-periodical volumes is to change:

|&#32;'''<nowiki />{{{Volume}}}<nowiki />'''{{


|&#32;{{#if:{{{Periodical|}}}|'''<nowiki />{{{Volume}}}<nowiki />'''|{{{Volume}}}}}{{

It's in Template:Citation/core/sandbox as of this diff (which is important; other editors have been sandboxing there recently; I reset the 'box to the live code, then made this one-line change.)

This does not resolve the issue of whether even journal volumes should be boldfaced, which is more of a WP:MOS discussion. Evidence strongly suggest that the boldfacing should simply be eliminated (esp. since it also affects non-journal periodicals via {{cite news}}). But we all know it is wrong for books, so that should be fixed right now. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 21:05, 24 December 2011 (UTC)


  • {{Cite journal}}: Surname, A. Z. (March 2012). "Article Title". Journal Name (Smallsville, Cascadia: Screwball U. Press) IX (03): 234–247.  (Aside: Note also the incorrect italicization of |chapter=, and pointless leading zero in the issue number, in {{cite journal}} output, neither of which correspond to an major style guide's recommendations.)
  • {{Cite book}}: Surname, A. Z. (March 2012). "3. Chapter Title". Book Name. Vol. II (Smallsville, Cascadia: Screwball U. Press). pp. 234–247. 

This is still broken – note boldfacing of "Vol. II" in the {{cite book}} example – despite the attempt work around this in December. Note zero opposition to simply removing the boldfaing, since #Is boldfacing of volume numbers in periodicals appropriate?, above, revealed that boldfacing the volume even for journals (the only place it's been observed off-wiki at all) isn't a recognizable style advocated by any major style guides, it's just a WP:ILIKEIT idea from someone who thought it looked nice.

Remove boldfacing of {{{volume}}}. Please change:

     | {{#if:{{{Periodical|}}}|'''<nowiki />{{{Volume}}}<nowiki />'''|{{{Volume}}}}}{{


     | {{{Volume}}}{{


     |{{{Sep|,}}} '''<nowiki />{{{Volume}}}<nowiki />'''


     |{{{Sep|,}}} {{{Volume}}}

If people insist on wanting to add it back in for journals, they need to make a better case than "I've seen some journals do it that way" (i.e. WP:IKNOWIT), and do it in a way that doesn't break the output for non-periodicals, or really for non-journals more generally (it shouldn't even affect non-journal periodicals like newspapers). — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 11:39, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Just a few things - in [1] you said 'this was NOT fixed'. In fact, KrakatoaKatie made the exact edit you requested and you're now proposing a different edit. Also, I'm not sure how relevant WP:ILIKEIT and WP:IKNOWIT are since this isn't a deletion discussion.
What this seems to come down to is some some other publications use bold, the style guides looked at don't, and also there's an element of personal preference and readability involved. You say there's 'zero opposition to simply removing the boldfaing'. J. Johnson didn't agree to that in their post above. At the moment, it looks like there's no consensus for this so X mark.svg Not done. Tra (Talk) 03:35, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Stop sometimes italicizing chapter

The output of |chapter= is sometimes italicized, as it is in {{cite journal}}'s output, which is completely incorrect style according to my entire shelf of style guides, in which I cannot find a single example of chapters or papers in a larger work being italicized, and it is sometimes correctly put into double quotation marks, as in {{cite book}}'s output. The latter style should simply be applied across-the-board. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 09:47, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

I started some testcases at Help:Citation Style 1/testcases/periodical illustrating the issue. When Periodical is defined, there are a number of fields that get reformatted. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:00, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Fixed in sandbox:

With 'Periodical', 'Title' and 'IncludedWorkTitle'
Markup Renders as
{{citation/core |Title=Title |IncludedWorkTitle=IncludedWorkTitle |Periodical=Periodical}}
IncludedWorkTitle, "Title", Periodical
{{citation/core/sandbox |Title=Title |IncludedWorkTitle=IncludedWorkTitle |Periodical=Periodical}}
IncludedWorkTitle, "Title", Periodical 

---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:18, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Different LCCN format versus Template:LCCN

{{LCCN|89456}} gives LCCN 89-456, whereas {{citation|lccn=89456}} gives , LCCN 89456 Check |lccn= value (help)  Missing or empty |title= (help). Is it possible to change citation (or maybe citation core) to format the LCCN with the appropriate dash? Thanks Rjwilmsi 08:57, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

We can probably port some of the markup from {{LCCN}} to {{citation/identifier}}. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:16, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes that would be a good idea, assuming this is desired. However, according to this, it should probably be done the other way around, and we should use normalized LCCNs, like the LC itself does, rather than old-style LCCNs. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 01:36, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I've made an RFC on the topic. See discussion. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 03:56, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

The "url" parameter

Currently in {{cite book}} if "chapter" parameter is set with no "chapter-url", the "url" value goes to chapter. Eg.:

*{{cite book |url=http://www.example.com |title=Example title |first=First |last=Last |year=2012 |month=March |ISBN=123456789101 }}
*{{cite book |url=http://www.example.com |title=Example title |chapter=Example chapter |first=First |last=Last |year=2012 |month=March |ISBN=123456789101 }}
*{{cite book |url=http://www.example.com |title=Example title |chapter-url=http://www.example.com/chapter1.html |chapter=Example chapter |first=First |last=Last |year=2012 |month=March |ISBN=123456789101 }}

results in:

Same goes for {{citation}}:

*{{citation |url=http://www.example.com |title=Example title |chapter=Example chapter |first=First |last=Last |year=2012 |month=March |ISBN=123456789101 }}

This leads to the confusion, as the "url" may be the link to book description, TOC or even download link for PDF, and may not necessarily present the needed chapter to the reader. Furthermore, if linking chapter but not title is intended, "chapter-url" can be used without "url" anyway.

So far my request is to change the template to strictly associate "url" with "title" so that the second example would result in:

Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 13:43, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps if url is defined and title is not, then an error should display. Ditto for chapter-url' and chapter. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 21:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
This is another issue, and it also would be good to get solved. For now I'm more concerned with the behaviour of "url" when both "title" and "chapter" are defined. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 21:24, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I have deactivated the {{editprotected}}. The template states "This template should be followed by a complete and specific description of the request, so that an editor unfamiliar with the subject matter could complete the requested edit immediately." I am familiar, but I don't see sufficient description of the edit which is to be made, nor anything in the sandbox which might be related. Also "This template should be used only to request edits ... that are either uncontroversial or supported by consensus." I believe that this could be controversial, and I don't see consensus yet. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:10, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
And the issue is in {{citation/core}}.
Markup Renders as
{{citation/core |Title=Title |URL=http://www.example.com}}
Title, http://www.example.com
{{citation/core |Title=Title |IncludedWorkTitle=IncludedWorkTitle |URL=http://www.example.com}}
"IncludedWorkTitle", Title, http://www.example.com
{{citation/core |Title=Title |IncludedWorkTitle=IncludedWorkTitle |URL=http://www.example.com/URL |IncludedWorkURL=http://www.example.com/IncludedWorkURL}}
"IncludedWorkTitle", Title, http://www.example.com/IncludedWorkURL
---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:18, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I know it's in core: but no relevant change has been made to Template:Citation/core/sandbox, and the discussion so far does not mention any specific changes. For something as widely used as this template group, I really want the change to be sandboxed and tested before the {{editprotected}} is activated. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:31, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
This diff works for me. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 23:15, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
And this is the part I hate about this template— the URL is rendered in one of three snippets, depending on if |IncludedWorkTitle= and /or |Periodical= is defined . This could be messy, as I think some templates have coded around this behavior. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 23:26, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
The Periodical-related rules shouldn't be broken. At least {{cite journal}} isn't. No, I broke it. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 23:35, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Fixed. New diff (proof). — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 23:56, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Any comments on this proposal? — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 23:12, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't like the idea of making the url always go with the title, at least for {{citation}}. There are a lot of citation templates out there for conference papers and papers in contributed volumes, using contribution= (or chapter=) and title=, and the default expectation for these should be that the url goes to the individual paper. Forcing these to use chapter-url instead (or contribution-url??) just makes this more cumbersome and error-prone, as well as leading to a huge amount of unnecessary change in fixing all the existing ones (not to mention also fixing all the software people have for generating templates automatically). —David Eppstein (talk) 00:05, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
This is a good reason to make sure that the link in |url= sticks to title: the documentation of all the citation templates using |chapter= or |contribution= say that |chapter-url= or |contribution-url= should be used for links to chapters and contributions accordingly. There's nothing cumbersome and error-prone in doing the things the documented way, in contrast to assuming that the link from |url= magically goes to the text it would better suit. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 00:33, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
You may say that "there's nothing cumbersome and error-prone", but I disagree. Indeed I think having "contribution" for the title of a paper in a conference proceedings is already error prone: at least, I find myself erroneously giving two title parameters when I hand-code these things, frequently. And my experience is that url is used much more frequently than chapter-url in this context, regardless of what the documentation says, so I would like to see actual numbers of how many citation templates are currently coded with url and need to change before accepting any argument that this change would be easy. And in any case, how often is it that we want to cite an individual chapter of a book but supply a url that links to the book as a whole? My guess is: sometimes, but a lot less often than we want to link to the individual paper within the book. The common use case is the one we want to make easy, where (unlike you) I define easy by simplicity of parameters, not by how closely it hews to a long piece of technical documentation. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
OK. Then how can I solve my problem with the cases when I have a link for the title, but not for the section? Eg. a book description on Google Books? Some long document with no anchors? — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 09:31, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Comment Making this change would break several citations which expected this behaviour. If this is implemented, there needs to be some bot-work done in parallel. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 01:16, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

As this change appears to be controversial and citation templates indeed are used in far too many cases, I started an RfC to gain attention of wider group of editors. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 11:14, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


Currently the link provided in |url= parameter of citation templates attaches to the first of chapter (or contribution) name unless |chapter-url= (or |contribution-url=) is specified:

Markup Renders as
{{cite book |first=Name |last=Surname |url=http://example.com |title=The example book title |chapter=Chapter 3: No link |year=2012 |month=March |isbn=123456789 }}
Surname, Name (March 2012). "Chapter 3: No link". The example book title. ISBN 123456789 Check |isbn= value (help). 

As sometimes it may make sense to link the book's title without linking chapter (ie. if only book's description is available online), I propose to change the behaviour of |url= to stick with the title:

Markup Renders as
{{cite book |first=Name |last=Surname |url=http://example.com |title=The example book title |chapter=Chapter 3: No link |year=2012 |month=March |isbn=123456789 }}
User:Czarkoff/drafts/cite book

Such change would be in line with the principle of least astonishment, as the reader who clicks on the link on chapter name expects to see the chapter, not the table of content or cover. Still, as some editors use the floating |url= behaviour previously, some already existing entries of citation templates will be rendered incorrectly and linking the chapter will require explicitly specifying the |chapter-url=. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 11:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Support as the author of proposal. In my opinion, the cases when editors relied on undocumented floating behaviour of |url= should be fixed regardless of this change, as using undocumented behaviour is a bad habbit anyway. Everyone using the citation templates can easily access their documentation and see the proper way of formatting the citations. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 11:14, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above discussion. When contribution or chapter is used in these templates, by far the most common use case is that it is an individual paper within a conference proceedings and edited volume, and in that case one almost certainly wants to link to the individual paper. This would invalidate probably thousands of existing templates, make it more likely that future templates will be entered wrong, and cause bad or confusing interactions with parameters such as jstor that also in some cases create links on titles of papers. —David Eppstein (talk) 16:16, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 16:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)