Help talk:Citation Style 1

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Should autofix more cites[edit]

I am again thinking about ways to autofix many of the invalid parameters in wp:CS1 Lua-based cites. It has been almost a year since transitioning to the Lua-based cite templates which were designed to autofix 25,000 pages for separators and page numbers (autofixes 'pages=7' as "p. 7" not "pp."), but there are still over 8,000 pages which contain "Unknown parameter" in the wp:CS1 cites (new invalid values are added to pages almost every day). As discussed last year, it will take years to manually hand-correct so many pages, with the current rate as 100-to-150 pages hand-fixed per month (4 to 7 years). Instead, we should return to the original plan, using the power of Lua to "autofix" many simple invalid parameters and log those pages in autofixed categories, thereby reducing the categories of unfixed pages to list the fewer but severe pages which really need hand-editing to fix. Users who wish to hand-update all pages could still edit the autofixed pages, and there could be hidden error messages which some users could set for view by CSS options.
In practice, most of the autofixes would occur in 2 spots in the Lua modules; the first spot would be during initial loading of the cite parameters, and the 2nd autofix would occur when preparing to show error messages but instead logging to an autofix category or hidden autofix warning for simple cases. For example, the Lua module could treat invalid "other=" to be autofixed as "others=" or handle invalid "translator=" as "others=__(translator)". An unusual parameter could list the value, such as 'part=B' could show "part: B". Likewise, a missing "url=" could check for an unnamed parameter containing "http:..." and autofix with a warning category. Recall how these autofix plans were discussed about year ago, but several other issues have delayed enhancing the Lua modules to rapidly auto-correct parameters in perhaps 10,000 more pages with simple errors/typos. Unlike Bot updates, the actual page contents would not be altered, and so the autofixes would also rapidly correct cites in hundreds of talk-pages, user-pages, drafts, or archives without inserting "unused_data" or "DUPLICATE" or altering the page histories. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:58, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

First, the current rate of hand fixing is more on the order of 100-150 pages per day. I average about 50 per day by myself, and I know of four or five other gnomes who also fix about this many at least a few days per week. That's not going to get 300,000 articles fixed any time soon, but it keeps the already-cleared categories empty and makes a dent in the populated ones.
Second, the fixes you describe could easily be made by bots. We have successfully deployed a couple of bots that have fixed tens of thousands of articles at a rate of 100+ per hour. We need a few more of these bots; a new one is in the works that will fix tens of thousands of articles. The conditions you identify are ones that I have thought about as well. If you have a list of specific conditions that bots or module code could automatically fix, please post them here in a numbered list for comment. That would be helpful.
Third, it's useful to remember that the goal is to display useful, well-formatted citations that help readers locate sources. As we identify more erroneous conditions (like the recent addition of errors for invalid DOIs and PMIDs), the total article count may increase, not because the number of erroneous citations is increasing, but because we are learning to identify and flag them more effectively. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:34, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Users can still re-edit pages to redo any cites, but the autofixed cites will not need to be edited and the red-error messages will be limited to severe cases, such as the impending doom when an accessdate is used without a URL or other crucial problems. -Wikid77 07:37, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Just a quick thought, but I'd rather not autofix stuff. If the template "just fixes it for me", I'm less likely to learn that something I'm doing is causing an error. Not all of the CS1 templates are on Lua yet, so an error that cite web "just fixes" won't be autofixed by cite map, and I might not be educated about the error when it's fixed by gnome or bot (or flagged with an error message). Since we have a method to automate a fix, why not deploy a bot task that fixes the errors in the article? Interested editors will see the edit, and they may investigate and discover that something they thought was hunky dory was a problem. Additionally, if it's an error that isn't flagging a red error message, editors may copy the citation from article to article, spreading the errors around further.
In short, if the software silently fixes errors, editors won't know they are making errors. Using a bot or letting a gnome fix a type of error isn't a silent fix. Imzadi 1979  19:31, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree it would be great to inform the particular writers of cite problems, but unfortunately, most typos in cites were entered months or years ago, and we cannot stop other users from "quietly fixing" problems without holding a cite-education class to teach the prior author's mistakes. We should not leave typos in cites, for another year, in hopes the user will, some day, return to correct the text. As a result of the past year of slow hand-edited cites, we are left with no practical alternative except to autofix the typos and auto-correct the thousands of pages within a few days, by using the speed of Lua to rapidly scan the cites and autofix the values in thousands of pages per hour. Plus the autofixing would occur in saved archives of talk-pages or user-space drafts, which would remain unchanged and yet display valid citations. However, a Bot or gnome could be used to notify some prior users about how the cites were being autofixed and explain the valid cite options. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:37, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
If you have a list of specific conditions that bots or module code could automatically fix, please post them here (or in the section below) in a numbered list for comment. That would be helpful. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:17, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
See below: "#Types of autofixes". -Wikid77 21:34, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Types of autofixes[edit]

The autofixes could be tagged with small "[fix cite]" where the various types of auto-corrected parameters would be:

  • f1. subtitle as comment: The value of "subtitle=" could be treated as a comment to show after a title, but not in the COinS metadata
  • f2. roles as others: Common roles, such as "photographer=" or "illustrator=" could be inserted after "others="
  • f3. autofix alias keywords: A typical alias would be allowed, such as "dated=" for "date=" to also place in COinS metadata
  • f4. prefix/suffix respellings: An unknown parameter could be spell-corrected, such as "fist=" autofixed as "first=" or "auhtor2=" treated as matching "author2=".
  • f5. list unknown parameters: Any other unknown parameters, which did not match prefix/suffix respelling (not simple "pulbisher" as "publisher") could be listed as "keyword: value" format, such as "site: Xcom Conference" or "near: Paris" because neither "site=" nor "near=" would match as a common respelled parameter.

Any non-autofixed issues would still log the current error messages, but the autofixed pages would link to different maintenance categories, such as:

Because one of the goals, of autofixes, is to reduce the clutter of simple typos and help pinpoint serious problems, there would be more categories to list the simple autofixes (such as obvious respelling "auuthor=" as "author="), away from pages with the more-complex cite problems. In a sense, reducing a category of 9,000 various unknown parameters into 5 or 6 categories, where one isolated the "unknown phrases" (as a separate list) could help to pinpoint just a few hundred pages which needed severe updates to fix the garbled cites. As the many simple cases are autofixed, then methods to auto-fix complex problems will become easier to spot. Currently, we have many simple cite typos, from 2 years ago, cluttering the list where the complex cite cases are drowned in an ocean of simple typo pages. Update: New essay "wp:Autofixing cites" describes some methods to autofix cites used by the new version of Lua-based cite templates. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:34, 6 March, 13:25, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Also fixes f6. renamed/split URL with bar, where the "url=" keyword has been omitted or misspelled as "ulr=" or such, and split URLs (which contain vertical bar/pipe "|") can be rejoined in some cases. Split URLs occur in links to Google Translate with language pairs coded as "&langpair=it|en" and with webpages. All cases of f1-f2 have been autofixed in Lua script, and the extra runtime is neglible because cites with valid parameters do not run the autofix steps. -Wikid77 15:44, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Prototype to autofix cites[edit]

I have created a working Lua prototype, to begin comparing the results when a citation has been autofixed for simpler display. Compare the sample results:

  • {{cite web |title=Test1 |last=Doe |pages=3--4|Guardian|http://z |office=London}}
autofix: Doe. "Test1". pp. 3–4.  Guardian[fix cite]; office: London;
current: Doe. "Test1". pp. 3––4.  Text "Guardian" ignored (help); Text "http://z" ignored (help); Unknown parameter |office= ignored (help);

Note, in the above autofixed example, the missing "url=" is set with the "http://z" text, and linked to title "Test1" while the double-hyphen in pages "3--4" is filtered as a dash 3–4. Next, the 'Guardian' is shown, followed by "office: London" as extra text. By comparison, the current cite is awash in a sea of alarming red-error messages which overpower the text but demand attention to the simple details which have been quietly autofixed in the first case. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:00, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Autofixing will echo extra parameters[edit]

A major benefit of wp:autofixing cites will be the echoing of the extra, unknown parameters (such as "paragraph: 6" when a user has inserted invalid "paragraph=6"), and hence, the autofixed cite tends to show more data, more details to help pinpoint the text to verify, such as "note: 3rd line from bottom". By contrast, the red-error message had shown "Unknown parameter |note= ignored" to show only the name "note" but no mention of the "3rd line". Of course the main benefit of autofixing will be to reconstruct an unnamed or split URL with a rebuilt title, plus autofixing to show the author names. The strategy is to completely autofix the title/url plus first author or editor, but echoing extra parameters is another major benefit. -Wikid77 11:44, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Autofixing has indicated new parameters[edit]

When analyzing thousands of pages with invalid parameters, to look for common problems, a major issue has been users putting "comment=" or "note=" or other parameters to insert notes. Of course, autofixing will show any named parameter, such as "note:__" or "comment:__" (or "figure: 2b"), but it would be better to make "note=" and "comment=" as valid parameters, unlike "postscript=" replacing the final dot. Also, a few others should be added, such as "author_note=(members of ABC committee)" and "title_note=(written as the prequel to Book)" to further explain a book/magazine title where people have forced such comments into "format=" or "publisher=" as if being substitutes for missing "title_note". -Wikid77 17:52, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Fixes that bots could take on[edit]

Here's a list of fixes that a bot should be able to take on. I come across these frequently. I have numbered them manually for ease of discussion. These are similar to fixes suggested by Wikid77 above.

1. Change {cite web|http} to {cite web|url=http} in Category:Pages with empty citations and Category:Pages with citations using unnamed parameters. Many errors in these two categories are of this specific type, and they should be very easy to fix.

2. Change |translator= to |others=... (translator) in Category:Pages with citations using unsupported parameters.

3. Fix ISBN errors in Category:Pages with ISBN errors as described in Help_talk:Citation_Style_1/Archive_4#Bot_to_fix_ISBN_errors.3F. This may require an RFC first.

4. Fix articles in Category:Pages with citations having bare URLs‎ using some sort of Reflinks-like tool. These fixes will have to be run by hand using a script rather than a bot, since experience with Reflinks has shown that pulling data from web pages requires human oversight.

5. I keep coming back to Category:Pages using citations with accessdate and no URL‎ and not knowing what a good fix would look like. Commenting out accessdates in those citations is tempting, but the error is sometimes a symptom of another error (like #1 above). We may have to clear out Category:Pages using web citations with no URL‎ first.

More? – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:48, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Let me know when there's consensus that these errors should be corrected (perhaps a post to my user page?) and I'll modify Citation Bot to address 1 & 2 (and others if there's a clear way of how to). Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 18:12, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
I believe #1 could be automatically fixed by a bot. Regarding #2, there is some discussion on adding a |translator=-like property, but so far no consensus to do so. It would be nice to have a bot fix ISBN errors as in #3. I've seen bad bot-generated titles around, some including pipes (|) for instance. There may be a good way to automatically do #4, though, filtering the title. For #5, I recently had a discussion with an IP about accessdates. I often have commented them out, if I thought a url was left out, but there are times when they aren't needed at all. If there is a proper date for the work, the accessdate is most likely redundant. To start, a bot could run through all the pages, deleting accessdates if there is no url and a properly formatted MOS date prior to (or the same as) the accessdate. That would reduce the log some, because people who fill in accessdates for printed material often fill in the date of the work as well. (That's my observation, anyway.) —PC-XT+ 04:16, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Many editor tools auto-fill |accessdate= with the current date irrespective of whether |date= is populated or not. If this behaviour could be amended, suppressing the addition of |accessdate= where |date= is already stated, the number of new cases would likely rapidly plummet. One such widely-used tool is Reflinks. There are others. (talk) 11:58, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
But Reflinks works with online sources that actually do have meaningful accessdates, so nothing wrong with its behavior.
I've fixed a lot of refs where accessdate was provided without URL, and I don't think I've ever encountered a case where simply deleting the accessdate would not be a proper fix. Still, it is tricky, but there is a simple heuristics: if there's accessdate without URL, and the template is {{cite book}}, it is safe to do it (barring #1 above, which can be fixed beforehand). GregorB (talk) 12:17, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Stating the retrieval date of a date-stamped online newspaper or journal article adds unnecessary clutter to the reference. Where the publication date is stated, there is no need to state the retrieval date. If editors are stating the retrieval date instead of the publication date then perhaps more guidance is needed. -- (talk) 13:02, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm not aware of a guideline to omit accessdates if date is provided. I tend to always provide |accessdate=, even with |date=. The only exception I can think of right now is e.g. Google Books: the content that is pointed to is not going to change in a meaningful way, nor it is going to go offline (well, hopefully), so I suppose there is no scenario in which |accessdate= could prove useful. Still, what you say does make a lot of sense to me: undated online content might change, so we use |accessdate= to indicate which version of the webpage was used; dated content, however, shouldn't change, so it doesn't really matter when we accessed it. This might even be an argument to say that accessdate should be mandatory if no date is provided, although introducing this would create a hellish backlog... GregorB (talk) 13:56, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the discussion, everyone. Deleting |accessdate= automatically is probably acceptable in {{cite book}} templates and in {{cite journal}} templates where a |doi= or other identifier is present, since those sources are unlikely to change.
I think that in other templates, commenting out |accessdate= is better than deleting it. For example, a {{cite web}} template with no URL will generate a different CS1 error; someone trying to fix that error may find it useful to see the accessdate that was entered by a previous editor. – Jonesey95 (talk) 14:17, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Some say that, for web pages with archiving forbidden in robots.txt, accessdates in addition to dates can be useful to help determine the likelihood of a dead url coming back. (In this case, a date range is specified, from date to accessdate. This seems to suggest that we should update these particular accessdates for accurate records, though.) There may be other uses for accessdates, besides specifying the version referenced, though I don't know of any. I do think deleting them for books and journals with specific identifiers would be fine. For others, comment them out if in doubt, since the bot will likely not have the capacity to notice if they may be used. (I am sure that in most cases, they are unused.) —PC-XT+ 04:48, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Should quote chapter when title and journal[edit]

I think there is still an old 3-way bug for "chapter=" when using both title/journal, which I neglected to fix when first developing the Module:Citation/CS1 last year. As I interpret the issue, a "chapter=" should always be quoted and then force "title=" into italics. However, note the following in {cite_journal}:

Cite journal compare
{{ cite journal | chapter=Trilobite Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy of the Upper Dyeran (traditional Laurentian "Lower" Cambrian) in the southern Great Basin, USA | last=Webster | EditorGiven1=J.S. | first=Mark | journal=Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin | title=Cambrian Stratigraphy and Paleontology of Northern Arizona and Southern Nevada | number=67 | year=2011 | EditorSurname1=Hollingsworth }}
Old Webster, Mark (2011). Trilobite Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy of the Upper Dyeran (traditional Laurentian "Lower" Cambrian) in the southern Great Basin, USA. "Cambrian Stratigraphy and Paleontology of Northern Arizona and Southern Nevada". Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin (67).
Live Webster, Mark (2011). Trilobite Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy of the Upper Dyeran (traditional Laurentian "Lower" Cambrian) in the southern Great Basin, USA. In Hollingsworth, J.S. "Cambrian Stratigraphy and Paleontology of Northern Arizona and Southern Nevada". Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin (67). 

In the above example, "Trilobite Biostratigraphy" is just one chapter in the larger topic (book), Cambrian Stratigraphy and Paleontology..., which would cover all life forms of the Cambrian Period. Perhaps always quote a chapter title? I was too tired last year (still am) to test all major combinations with title+journal/work, and I neglected to fix that. It is a minor problem, but some PhD users might expect it fixed in the next Lua release. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:38, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Problem is setting Chapter italic when Periodical+Title set: The problem can be fixed, in 2 places, by not quoting the Title text and not italicizing Chapter name, as done here:
        if is_set(Periodical) and is_set(Title) then
            Chapter = wrap( 'italic-title', Chapter ); --DO NOT DO THIS!!
            TransChapter = wrap( 'trans-italic-title', TransChapter );
            Chapter = kern_quotes(Chapter);
            Chapter = wrap( 'quoted-title', Chapter );
            TransChapter = wrap( 'trans-quoted-title', TransChapter );
Instead, always quote the Chapter name, by: Chapter = wrap( 'quoted-title', Chapter). Plus fix "if is_set(Periodical) then" to also check Chapter, as:
        if is_set(Periodical) and not is_set(Chapter) then
            Title = kern_quotes (Title);
            Title = wrap( 'quoted-title', Title );
            TransTitle = wrap( 'trans-quoted-title', TransTitle );
        elseif inArray(config.CitationClass, ...)
By adding the restriction "and not is_set(Chapter)" then the logic will naturally decide to italicize the book's Title as well as the "journal=" Periodical. Hence, that fixes the problem, without altering other issues about the quoted/italic titles. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:55, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Update: I have noticed several articles with similar use of 3 parameters about chapters, book/magazine titles, and collections or series. Hence, this issue should be fixed in the current Lua /sandbox version. -Wikid77 18:00, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Migrating cite AV media notes to Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox[edit]

I'm migrating {{cite AV media notes}}, more commonly {{cite album notes}}, to Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox. (testcases)

During this migration, I'm wondering if we should make certain changes:

  1. |format= – in most CS1 citations, |format= has a specific definition: the file format of an online resource (pdf, xls, mpeg, etc). Here, in {{cite AV media notes}}, |format= is mapped to |type=. This usage prevents legitimate uses like |format=pdf for an online copy of the media notes in Adobe Acrobat format. I propose to deprecate |format= as an alias of |type=.
  2. |albumtype= – if I understand correctly, the purpose of {{cite AV media notes}} is to make reference to "liner notes from albums, DVDs, CDs and similar audio-visual media" (emphasis mine). It is not the purpose of {{cite AV media notes}} to make reference to the album, DVD, CD, etc that the notes discuss (that is for {{cite AV media}} to do). When |albumtype=single, {{cite AV media notes}} changes the format of the citation title from italic to normal and quotes the title: Title → "Title". This, presumably, because individual song titles are quoted, not italicized. But, {{cite AV media notes}} cites the notes, not the song, so this functionality is inappropriate in this template. For this reason, I propose to deprecate |albumtype= and the functionality of |albumtype=single.
  3. |albumlink= – similar to |albumtype=, |albumlink= implies that this citation refers to the album, DVD, CD, etc that the notes discuss. I think that this is misleading. Editors can wikilink the title or use |titlelink= to create a citation where the title links to a related Wikipedia article. Because |albumlink= is essentially an alias of |titlelink=, I propose to deprecate |albumlink=.
  4. |publisherid= – I propose to deprecate |publisherid= because it is simply a long-winded form of |id=.

Items 1 & 4 above also occur in {{cite DVD-notes}} which, when its time comes, should have similar changes made.

As part of these proposals, if carried, I shall change the documentation and then run an AWB script or three to implement the changes to the source templates.

Opinions? WikiProject Albums, WikiProject Discographies, and WikiProject Songs, have been invited. Who else should be invited into this discussion?

Trappist the monk (talk) 16:45, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Looks good to me. As to {{cite DVD-notes}} (355 uses), I recommend we migrate it to {{Cite AV media notes}} (5952 uses). --  Gadget850 talk 17:31, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
It appears that there are only a few significant differences between {{cite AV media notes}} and {{cite DVD-notes}}. In {{cite DVD-notes}}:
  • |director= is an alias of |author=
  • the default value for |title= is Liner notes
  • there is some peculiar markup for format
  • |titleyear= is an alias of |origyear=
So, yeah, I agree. But {{cite DVD-notes}} isn't really the purpose of this thread.
Trappist the monk (talk) 18:44, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

I agree with all four points made by Trappist the monk. To avoid creating a new batch of error messages, I recommend changing all of the deprecated parameters in existing instances of {{cite AV media notes}} to the new supported parameters, or commenting out parameters that will not have a new equivalent. Is that what is proposed in the note about using AWB? – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:09, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Before the migration to Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox, an AWB script can change |format= to |type= (#1), change |publisherid= to |id= (#4), and delete |albumtype= and its value (#2). We would need to edit {{cite AV media notes}} before the AWB run so that {{cite AV media notes}} accepts either |titlelink= or |albumlink=. Then, the AWB script can replace |albumlink= with |titlelink= (#3).
Except for attendant documentation, I think that this is all that needs doing.
Trappist the monk (talk) 21:49, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
AWB script ready; {{cite AV media notes/sandbox}} now accepts either |albumlink= or |titlelink=. (testcases)
Trappist the monk (talk) 23:21, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

I clicked through a random sample of 30 or so articles that transclude this template to see which projects they are a part of. Based on that, here are some other groups to invite to this discussion: WikiProject Musicians, WikiProject Film, WikiProject Rock music, WikiProject Video games. – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:18, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Trappist the monk (talk) 20:45, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

There having been no further discussion, I have changed the documentation and the {{citation/core}}-based template according to items 1–4 above. I have made two additional adjustments:

5. |artist= – simply a unique alias of |others= so I have deprecated it in favor of |others=
6. |notestitle= – a unique alias of the more common parameter |chapter= which already has four aliases; deprecated it in favor of |chapter=

I will run my AWB script against Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Cite_AV_media_notes shortly.

Trappist the monk (talk) 12:44, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Trappist the monk, In item 6 above, did you mean to say that you have "deprecated it in favor of |chapter="? – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:21, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Trappist the monk (talk) 17:24, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Anything sending complex templates to the bin is to be applauded. Thank you! - David Gerard (talk) 17:52, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

I noticed a link to this page from several articles I watchlist. Can somebody explain all of the above in plain English? Why are we doing this? What advantage does it give editors? Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox might as well be gobbledegook. We need citations to be as simple and as easy to use as possible, and stop this culture of coming down like a ton of bricks to newbies who don't understand them. The main change seems to be changing "artist" to "other". Not really an obvious change from my point of view - CDs have "artists", they don't have "others"! Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 12:50, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Editors fill out a Citation Style 1 (CS1) template in an edit window. Right now there are two mechanisms that translate the template and its data into the rendered citation that readers see. The two mechanisms are {{citation/core}} and Module:Citation/CS1. The first is old-style Wikimarkup, and the second is the more modern Lua scripting language. The big name CS1 templates ({{cite web}}, {{cite book}}, {{cite journal}}, etc) have already been switched from {{citation/core}} to Module:Citation/CS1. It is now time to switch {{cite AV media notes}}.
This switchover is part of a long-ongoing process to unify all of the CS1 templates from some 21 individual templates, each doing its own formatting and rendering, to a common base where all of the CS1 templates share common rules for formatting, parameter names, etc. Common rules and parameter names do, in fact, make the whole suite of templates easier to use and understand.
The reason for changing |artist= to |others= is because this particular template is about citing the printed notes that accompany a CD, a cassette, an LP, etc – not about citing the accompanying CD, cassette, or LP for which, editors should use {{cite AV media}}. In general, the author of the notes is not the artist who made the music or video; if the artist is the author, then there is |author= to serve that purpose.
Can you show evidence of where I have pursued the culture of coming down like a ton of bricks to newbies who don't understand them?
Trappist the monk (talk) 14:40, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

The initial AWB run is complete. During that I found one other change that I implemented. Apparently, at some time, |bandname= was a legitimate alias for |artist=. So, I have replaced that parameter where it occurred. Because I started replacing |bandname= sometime after I started the AWB run, I'll rerun my script to see if I missed |bandname= in pages that were changed before I found it.

Trappist the monk (talk) 14:53, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

I also found some with |director= as an alias for |artist=.

Trappist the monk (talk) 15:11, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

... and |mbid= which I'm just deleting because in 2009, editors determined that that identifier wasn't appropriate. (Discussion here and here)

Trappist the monk (talk) 19:55, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Migrating cite DVD-notes to Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox[edit]

Because I'm in the process of migrating {{cite AV media notes}} to Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox and because {{cite DVD-notes}} has certain similarities, I've started migrating {{cite DVD-notes}} as well. (testcases)

During this migration, as it is with {{cite AV media notes}}, I'm wondering if we should make certain changes:

  1. rename {{cite DVD-notes}} to {{cite DVD notes}} to get rid of the hyphen – it is the only CS1 template that uses a hyphenated name
  2. |format= – in most CS1 citations, |format= has a specific definition: the file format of an online resource (pdf, xls, mpeg, etc). The {{citation/core}} version of the template tests the value assigned to |format=. If |format=Liner notes then, the value is not displayed. I guess this is because |type= is assigned a default value of Liner notes – no sense in having both |format= and |type= display the same thing. Because |format= specifies the format of an online resource, it is interesting that the basic skeletons in the documentation don't include |url=. Until the template was converted to {{citation/core}}, online accessible DVD notes were not supported by this template. I propose to deprecate this peculiar functionality of |format=; before migrating to Lua, replace |format= with |type= in existing citations; and add documentation to support the use of |url=.
  3. |director= – it isn't clear to me why this parameter is available. Sure, a director may have written the DVD's notes and should be credited as the author. But I see no reason for a special parameter here. For comparison, in {{cite AV media notes}}, |artist= is an alias of |others= (as I think about it now, it isn't really clear why that is). |director= is an alias of |author=. I propose to deprecate |director= in favor of the standard suite of |author= parameters.
  4. |titleyear= – this parameter is an alias of |origyear=. It isn't clear to me what it is that this parameter is supposed to be doing – the name itself doesn't offer any real clues. It appears that editors are using |titleyear= to document the original release year of the DVD subject (see the testcases for examples). I think that this is a misuse of the parameter which should be the original publication year of the notes. I propose to deprecate |titleyear= in favor of |origyear=.
  5. |publisherid= – I propose to deprecate |publisherid= because it is simply a long-winded form of |id=.

Alternately, as was suggested in the discussion about migrating {{cite AV media notes}}, we might merge {{cite DVD-notes}} into {{cite AV media notes}}; a subject that I will address in another post.

I will be adding a note about this migration to the projects notified for the {{cite AV media notes}} migration.

Trappist the monk (talk) 14:27, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I've been looking at some uses and have found several where 'publisherid' is an ASIN, thus 'asin' should be used; but it will take eyes on to fix those, so updating to 'id' is a first step. Some of the oddball parameter use is because I updated the original template to citation/core while trying to maintain backward compatibility. I agree that it is time to update the use. --  Gadget850 talk 14:43, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I just found one with an ISBN so there you go. I've updated item 2 in the list above to replace |format= with |type=. None of the pages I looked at, were using |format= to identify the online format (makes sense since I haven't found any that use |url= ...). I have an AWB script that will do much of this work.
Trappist the monk (talk) 17:54, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree with all of the above, with the same recommendation I made in the section above. Let's get as much fixed before migration to Lua so that there are as few red error messages as possible. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:28, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Please merge; the AV template is intended to be used when citing DVD liner notes; the mroe specific template is therefore redundant. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:23, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Documentation changed according to items 1–5 above with these exceptions:

3. |director= – may or may not be the author of the note and so similar to |artist= in {{cite AV media notes}}; deprecated in favor of |others= like |artist= in {{cite AV media notes}}; makes it easier to deprecate {{cite DVD notes}} in favor of {{cite AV media notes}}.


6. Default type changed from "Liner notes" to "Media notes" (same as {{cite AV media notes}})

Trappist the monk (talk) 18:09, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Bold/non-bold volume parameter doc issue, or bug[edit]

I encountered an issue with |volume=. It appears that it is displayed bold unless the argument contains non-alphanumeric characters. In addition, if it is not bold a period is used as a separator. Examples: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

  1. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1 3914: 1–2. 
  2. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1. (nbr. 3914): 1–2. 
  3. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1 VI: 1–2. 
  4. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1 Z VI: 1–2. 
  5. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1 test: 1–2. 
  6. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1. (test): 1–2. 
  7. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1. te(s)t: 1–2. 
  8. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1. te[s]t: 1–2. 
  9. ^ ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1. te$st: 1–2. 

I did not see the behavior documented anywhere. At a minimum, the documentation should include the conditions under which it is not bold and doesn't use the period. I'm not sure if this is the intended operation, so I have not just changed the docs. — Makyen (talk) 23:05, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Displays non-bold over 4 characters: Years ago, there was a request to not bold "vol 3" and so the length is checked for 5 or longer, to omit the bolding, but it can be forced by triple tic-marks: volume='''vol 3'''. -Wikid77 20:19, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Which corrupts the volume metadata by wrapping it in %27%27%27. --  Gadget850 talk 22:57, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
The template documentation pages are up to date.
  • volume: For one publication published in several volumes. Displays after the title and series fields; volumes of four characters or less display in bold.
--  Gadget850 talk 23:28, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Bold text is a function of length. If the value assigned to |volume= is greater than four characters long, then Module:Citation/CS1 inserts the separator character (either the default period or the character specified by |separator=) followed by the volume. When four characters or less, CS1 omits the separator character and displays volume in bold font.
Trappist the monk (talk) 23:53, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both. Great; so I was not discriminating enough in trying different test cases 8-).
@Gadget850:The documentation displayed to users is not correct. The text you quoted was not displayed on any of Help:Citation Style 1, Template:Cite web or Template:Cite journal. None of those pages have any mention of the possibility that |volume= will not be displayed bold. Help:Citation Style 1 and Template:Cite journal say that if you want it not to be bold, then include it in the |title=. Template:Cite web has no documentation at all as to the function of |volume=. In fact, on Template:Cite web the text "volume" only exists once and that is in the section on COinS data.
It appears that a large amount of work has gone into creating the framework for the documentation to be easily switched between lua/non-lua. A brief glance indicates that a lot of the work to do so was done by you, Gadget850. Thank you.
After adding |lua=yes to every occurrence of {{csdoc}} in Template:Cite journal/doc, it appears the only thing on which it made a difference was |volume=. Sorry I happened to pick up one the one thing that was off. That still leaves handling both types in Help:Citation Style 1 and some amount of documentation in Template:Cite web.
Floating an idea: Maybe it would be a good idea to have a separate, centralized CS1 template documentation page which is either almost completely transcluded into each of the templates, or each template documentation tells people to go there via a link. That way the documentation in each template concentrates on how it is different from the base, standard template, while not having to restate each piece of the documentation. Having them have to restate each piece, even though each piece is individually transcluded, makes the documentation less easy to maintain than having the basic standard documentation in a single page. — Makyen (talk) 02:35, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
We could add volume to the {{cite web}} documentation, but why would you use volume for a web page? With the Lua updates, most parameters now work on every template, but we only document the parameters that are applicable. And yes, a lot of work needs to be done on documentation. --  Gadget850 talk 08:26, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Anyone know why the 'series' separator does not show when 'volume' is four characters? --  Gadget850 talk 15:11, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Because that is how the code in Module:Citation/CS1 is written. It is easy to fix and doing so would make module citation match core citations. Shall I fix it?
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | title=Title | volume=vol | series=Series }}
Old Title. Series. vol.
Live Title. Series vol. 
Sandbox Title. Series vol. 
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:16, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Yep, I figured it was in the code. I was looking for the rationale. And I just checked the old core as well and it did not do it that way, so I think this is a bug that should be fixed. --  Gadget850 talk 16:18, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what the rational was, or if there even was a rational. Could have simply been an oversight. Fixed in the sandbox.
Trappist the monk (talk) 17:08, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Support making volume display consistently, regardless of content or length. I trust Trappist to make it work right. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:17, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Minor history here. All I've done is add the separator character so that it follows whatever the last parameter is before volume. It is still true that if the |volume=value has more than four characters, it will not be in bold font.
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | title=Title | volume=MMXIV | series=Series }}
Old Title. Series. MMXIV.
Live Title. Series. MMXIV. 
Sandbox Title. Series. MMXIV. 
Trappist the monk (talk) 18:58, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for hunting down that link. I read it, and the embedded link within that section (which goes to Archive 2). I did not see a justification for a four-character limit, which seems too short. I understand that a twenty-character bold volume name might be a bit garish, but six or seven characters of bold seems reasonable. At this point we might need some examples from real articles of longer-than-four-character volume names that are not bold, but should be. – Jonesey95 (talk) 06:01, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Years ago, there was a request to not bold "vol 3" and so the length is checked for 5 or longer (length of "Vol" +space+digit) to omit the bolding; but it can be forced as bold by triple tic-marks: volume='''vol 3'''. -Wikid77 20:19, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I've been wondering if the bold / no bold determination should be made on content rather than length. For example: |volume=23 and |volume=MCMLXXXVIII should be bold font but |volume=3rd Crusade should be normal font. So if the value for |volume= contains only digits or uppercase roman numerals then bold; else normal.
These mock-ups demonstrate how this style might look:
ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1. MCMLXXXVIII: 1–2. 
ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1 3914: 1–2. 
ln, fn (1 April 1971). "title". journal. 1. 3rd Crusade: 1–2. 
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:14, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Checking volume length was easiest method and insert dot: In cases where a volume number includes letters, such as volume "23a" (or "B-2"), then the 4-character limit has worked well to not bold "vol 4" but instead bold "B2" or "98-c". As mentioned above, the bolding becomes garrish, or glaring, with longer words, and even volume 48, as "XLVIII" could be a quieter "XLVIII" and no one would overlook it as being the volume number.
  • Cite journal:       "Paper 5". My Journal 8c. May 2013. 
  • Cite journal/new: "Paper 5". My Journal 8c. May 2013. 
  • Cite journal/new: "Paper 5". My Journal. Series X 8c. May 2013. 
Only inserting the dot at length 5 had fixed most volume titles, without disturbing journal volumes which should not have a preceding dot. -Wikid77 20:19, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
What? I do not understand what you wrote. And, what was the purpose of this edit? Why should we treat |volume= differently when it follows |series=?
Trappist the monk (talk) 23:31, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Avoid dot between journal name and volume: This is about the common typesetting convention, in technical journals, to show the volume number bolded, with no separator after a journal name: Journal 67, which has been used in wp:CS1 style for years. However, when "series=" is used, between journal name and volume, then the separator (dot "." or comma) is added by {cite_journal/old}, and hence the module /sandbox has been changed to match that. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:28, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
But why only |series=? What about the other parameters that are rendered between |journal= and |volume=? And, perhaps more importantly, why are |volume= and |issue= separated from |journal=? There is some sense in separating |volume= from |journal= when |series= is set because that implies that |journal= is volume n of the |series=. Why should any other parameter be placed between |journal= and |volume=?
For {{citation}} and {{cite journal}}, if a periodical parameter is set (dictionary, encyclopaedia, encyclopedia, journal, magazine, newspaper, periodical, website, work) then, in this order and if set, these parameters are rendered between the periodical and volume parameters:
format, type, scale, series, language, cartography, edition, publisher, agency
For all other citations, these parameters are rendered between the periodical and volume parameters:
format, type, scale, series, language
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:15, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Just a quick thought for discussion, but can we eliminate the boldface completely? It's not used in APA, MLA or Chicago-style citations (the non-WP styles I've had to use the most in college), so I don't see why we would need to retain it. Imzadi 1979  01:04, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

I have reverted all changes to this part of Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox while this discussion continues so that the update to the live module can proceed.

Trappist the monk (talk) 12:10, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

URLs in authorlink[edit]

One of the common errors is providing URLs in the |authorlink= parameter, which produces malformed links - how about catching this as a CS1 error? GregorB (talk) 19:02, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Good idea. I posted a similar idea at Module_talk:Citation/CS1/Feature_requests#Detect_and_report_wikilinks_in_author_parameters. – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:15, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Yep, such a good idea that you have suggested it before. There is a version of the check in the sandbox.
Trappist the monk (talk) 23:19, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Sigh. I must be getting old. Thanks. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:03, 23 March 2014 (UTC)


Proposal: Replace |subscription= and |registration= with a new |access=.

Rationale: There are at least five, probably more, types of access restriction, and more may develop in the future.


  • |access=sub (or |access=subscription) = subscription (paid registration) required
  • |access=reg (or |access=registration) = free registration required
  • |access=fee = per-access or per-item fee required
  • |access=abstract = free abstract, but fee required for access to complete content
  • |access=audience = access restricted to defined (e.g. academic or professional institution) audience

This will also obviate any need to have code trying to determine which existing parameter supercedes the other, and other potential future complications.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ⚞(Ʌⱷ҅̆⚲͜^)≼  14:55, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

I rather like this idea. What I don't like is the parameter name: |access= is too close to |accessdate=. Perhaps |permission=? I have bulleted your syntax.
What is Template:Pra?
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:08, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
I get what you mean about |accessdate=, but |permission= is longwinded. {{pra|access|subscription}} was a typo for {{para|access|subscription}}. All of them require some form of registration, so perhaps |register=.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ⚞(Ʌⱷ҅̆⚲͜^)≼  16:28, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I fear that this further complicates the edit window, and the likely input errors when people don't know what too fill in. That's why binary yes/no is good. While these differences exist, I'd like to understand on a practical level what you feel the benefits to the project of this fractioning of the type of access. -- Ohc ¡digame! 15:16, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if the complexity is worth the value to readers and editors. One problem is this sort of thing tends to change fairly rapidly, compared to the frequency with which reference lists are maintained. There are also some problem with the details of the proposal. A particular entry might be available at no additional fee to those affiliated with a particular institution, a paid subscription might be available, and the item might be available for one-time access. Another problem that an item with "access restricted to defined (e.g. academic or professional institution) audience" is not published and so shouldn't be cited in Wikipedia. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:40, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  • My concern is that it's already fragmented into a code mess for paid and unpaid accesswalls, with the further complication that some forms of paywall are not subscription-based, but one-time purchases. An alternative idea to what I first proposed is to merge the two existing options into one simplified parameter, and not distinguish at all between the paid types of accesswall: Perhaps a |register= or |wall=, with one value paid and opposite value free, with any other value (e.g. y) defaulting to "paid".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ⚞(Ʌⱷ҅̆⚲͜^)≼  16:32, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Revised proposal: Perhaps a |register= or |wall=, with one value paid and opposite value free, with any other value (e.g. y) defaulting to "paid". The problem with the current code that it assumes that paywalls are subscription based when this is often not true.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:02, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Update to the live CS1 module week of 2014-03-23[edit]

In about a week's time I intend to update these files from their respective sandboxes:

Module:Citation/CS1 (diff);
Module:Citation/CS1/Configuration (diff);
Module:Citation/CS1/Whitelist (diff)

The update makes these changes to Module:Citation/CS1:

  1. Add PMC error checking; (discussion)
  2. Fixed a circa year date validation bug; (discussion)
  3. Add url in |authorlink parameter error checking; (discuassion and discussion)
  4. Expand DOI error checking; (discussion)
  5. Fix longstanding bug that broke citation terminal punctuation if the value assigned to |postscript= is multicharacter (like html entities); Moved citation template's default assignments for |separator=, |postscript, and ref=harv from the invoking template into the module; Added support for |postscript=none; (discussion)
  6. Limit acceptable years in dates to current year+1; (discussion)
  7. Expand date validation; all allowable date formats should now be supported; (discussion)
  8. Migrate cite interview; (discussion)
  9. Move date validation code into a separate page Module:Citation/CS1/Date validation;
  10. Extract page numbers from external wikilinks in any of the |page=, |pages=, or |at= parameters for use in COinS; discussion)
  11. Add lccn error detection; (discussion)
  12. Migrate cite AV media notes; (discussion)
  13. Migrate cite DVD notes; (discussion)

to Module:Citation/CS1/Configuration:

  1. PMC error checking;
  2. url in |authorlink parameter error checking;
  3. Move |postscript= and |separator= default initialization into Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox;
  4. Add subject and subject link for cite interview migration;
  5. Add artist, albumlink, albumtype, notestitle, publisherid for cite AV media notes migration;
  6. Add lccn error detection;
  7. Delete albumtype; merge deprecated parameters albumlink, artist, director, notestitle, publisherid, titleyear as aliases of other parameters; remove these parameters after 1 October 2014;

to Module:Citation/CS1/Whitelist:

  1. Add subject and subjectlink for cite interview migration;
  2. Add artist, albumlink, albumtype, notestitle, publisherid for cite AV media notes;
  3. Invalidate albumtype; deprecate artist, albumlink, director, notestitle, publisherid, titleyear; these last to be invalidated after 1 October 2014;

Trappist the monk (talk) 11:53, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Corrected item 5 for Module:Citation/CS1 to read: Added support for |postscript=none;

Trappist the monk (talk) 12:54, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Trappist the monk (talk) 12:30, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Physics articles with 30+ authors[edit]

Citation bot helpfully came along and filled out some references at Neutrino[1]. This has caused some problems with some physics papers with very many authors belonging to collaborations. Originally the first author had et al and the name of the Collaboration

N. Agafonova et al. (OPERA Collaboration) (2010). "Observation of a first ντ candidate event in the OPERA experiment in the CNGS beam". Physics Letters B 691 (3): 138–145. arXiv:1006.1623. Bibcode:2010PhLB..691..138A. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2010.06.022. 

after citation bot came along it added the first 30 of the 100+ actual authors

N. Agafonova et al. (OPERA Collaboration); Aleksandrov; Altinok; Ambrosio; Anokhina; Aoki; Ariga; Ariga; Autiero; Badertscher; Bagulya; Bendhabi; Bertolin; Besnier; Bick; Boyarkin; Bozza; Brugière; Brugnera; Brunet; Brunetti; Buontempo; Cazes; Chaussard; Chernyavsky; Chiarella; Chon-Sen; Chukanov; Ciesielski et al. (2010). "Observation of a first ντ candidate event in the OPERA experiment in the CNGS beam". Physics Letters B 691 (3): 138–145. arXiv:1006.1623. Bibcode:2010PhLB..691..138A. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2010.06.022. 

setting |display-authors=1 looks odd as there are two copies of et al.

N. Agafonova et al. (OPERA Collaboration) et al. (2010). "Observation of a first ντ candidate event in the OPERA experiment in the CNGS beam". Physics Letters B 691 (3): 138–145. arXiv:1006.1623. Bibcode:2010PhLB..691..138A. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2010.06.022. 

Is there a way of getting this to display OK without having to remove all the co-authors, which I'm reluctant to do as it means deleting data. I'm thinking there may be a case for a |collaboration= parameter or a way of suppressing the et al.--Salix alba (talk): 14:00, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

The only information in an author parameter should be an author name. The reason for this is that whatever text and wiki markup is in an author parameter gets copied into the citation's COinS metadata. So, don't put ''et al.'' (OPERA Collaboration) in an author parameter. The CS1 templates will give you a properly formatted et al. with |displayauthors=n. Consider using |others=OPERA Collaboration:
{{cite journal |author=N. Agafonova |others=OPERA Collaboration |displayauthors=1 |year=2010 |title=Observation of a first ν<sub>τ</sub> candidate event in the OPERA experiment in the CNGS beam |journal=[[Physics Letters B]] |volume=691 |issue=3 |pages=138–145 |arxiv=1006.1623 |bibcode=2010PhLB..691..138A |doi=10.1016/j.physletb.2010.06.022 |last2=Aleksandrov |last3=Altinok }}
N. Agafonova et al. (2010). "Observation of a first ντ candidate event in the OPERA experiment in the CNGS beam". Physics Letters B 691 (3). OPERA Collaboration. pp. 138–145. arXiv:1006.1623. Bibcode:2010PhLB..691..138A. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2010.06.022. 
Trappist the monk (talk) 14:50, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes I've thought of using the |others= but this puts the (OPERA Collaboration) in the wrong place, after the title. If you look at the various places these appear the group needs to bind tightly to the authors. For example arxiv[2] has
"N. Agafonova et al. (OPERA Collaboration) Title"
--Salix alba (talk): 18:18, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Then I think you're going to be disappointed. CS1 is a general purpose citation tool that satisfies a large number of citation needs. It is not, never has been, and never will be the perfect tool for all applications. (If I knew how to create such a tool, I certainly wouldn't be doing it here for free.) There are going to be citation needs like yours that are outside of the tool's capability.
There is however, an undocumented and unsupported possibility – if you use this, be forewarned that it might one day produce unexpected results. Set all of the |author= parameters as you should normally do; set |others=N. Agafonova; et al. (OPERA Collaboration); set |displayauthors=0:
{{cite book |author=N. Agafonova |others=N. Agafonova; et al. (OPERA Collaboration) |displayauthors=0 |year=2010 |title=Observation of a first ν<sub>τ</sub> candidate event in the OPERA experiment in the CNGS beam |journal=[[Physics Letters B]] |volume=691 |issue=3 |pages=138–145 |arxiv=1006.1623 |bibcode=2010PhLB..691..138A |doi=10.1016/j.physletb.2010.06.022 |last2=Aleksandrov |last3=Altinok }}
"Observation of a first ντ candidate event in the OPERA experiment in the CNGS beam". Physics Letters B 691 (3). N. Agafonova; et al. (OPERA Collaboration). 2010. pp. 138–145. arXiv:1006.1623. Bibcode:2010PhLB..691..138A. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2010.06.022. 
Trappist the monk (talk) 19:30, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Migrating cite music release notes to Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox[edit]

Because it is similar to {{cite AV media notes}} I'm beginning to think about how to migrate {{cite music release notes}} to Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox.

I'm thinking that changes similar to those made to {{cite AV media notes}} apply here:

  1. |type= – provides functionality similar to |albumtype= as described at Migrating cite AV media notes, item 2. Here, |type= has been repurposed to control the format of |name=. When |type= is set to any value, the value in |name= is rendered in quotations; otherwise the value is rendered in italic font. Presumably, this is because individual song titles are quoted, not italicized. Because {{cite music release notes}} cites the notes, not the song or album, this undocumented functionality is inappropriate in this template. I propose to remove this functionality from {{cite music release notes}} and so free |type= for use consistent with the other CS1 templates.
  2. |Format= – not the same as |format=, this undocumented parameter is an alias of |type= which is not supported in the normal way; see above. Another, also undocumented parameter, |titletype=, is also an alias of |type=. I propose to deprecate |Format= because it is so similar to |format= (which has the specific definition of online resource file format) and deprecate |titletype= because it is undocumented. Both of these shall be deprecated in favor of |type= and I shall change the default value from "Release notes" to "Media notes" so that it is the same as {{cite AV media notes}}.
  3. |name= – an alias of |series= is used in place of |title= which places the "title" of the notes in a nonstandard position when the citation is rendered. While supported, |title= is remapped to be an alias of |chapter= though this functionality is not documented. I propose to restore the normal sense of |title= and deprecate |name= in favor of the restored |title= consistent with all other CS1 templates.
  4. |artist= – simply a unique alias of |others=, which is not currently supported, so I propose to deprecate it in favor of |others= as was done in {{cite AV media notes}}.
  5. |pid= – I propose to deprecate |publisherid= because it is simply an undocumented alias of |id=.

As I did with {{cite AV media notes}}, I will modify the template, tweak the documentation, and then create an AWB script to make appropriate changes to the templates in article space.

I think that once these changes are made, another AWB script can rename the templates in article space from {{cite music release notes}} to {{cite AV media notes}} and so accomplish the migration without having any effect on Module:Citation/CS1. A redirect would handle any new instances of {{cite music release notes}}.

Trappist the monk (talk) 13:22, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

This all sounds straightforward to me. Would you consider notifying relevant Wikiprojects, as you did with the last migration? – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:23, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Did that already.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:51, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I have tweaked the {{cite music release notes/sandbox}} (testcases – such as they are) and have an AWB script to run after I update {{cite music release notes}}. I have added code to the script to fix capitalization. In a surprising number of these cites, the parameters are capitalized, so for who knows how long, these citations have not been fully rendered. I have also added code to change |albumlink= to |titlelink= because I have found them in the wild. Though neither are supported in the current or sandbox versions, |titlelink= is supported by {{cite AV media notes}} to which all of these {{cite music release notes}} will eventually migrate.

I have found several instances of citations like the second example on the template's documentation page. This example should be {{cite journal}} not {{cite music release notes}}. Sigh. And, those that I did find seem to also put the journal's volume and issue number in |id=. Perhaps I'll see if I can make yet another script that will tease apart the contents of |id= and just fix these.

Trappist the monk (talk) 19:42, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I was going though {{cite music release notes}} a while back and found the same issue where other templates should have been used. I think there were some also uses of oddball parameters that were never coded. --  Gadget850 talk 15:34, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Turns out that there were only about twenty of those citations that referenced Film Score Monthly and I have fixed them. Today or tomorrow I'll update the {{cite music release notes}} from {{cite music release notes/sandbox}} and start my AWB script working on adapting the article space templates.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:55, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
So is there now no longer any way to control the format of |name=? I ask because {{Cite music release notes}} is often used to cite the release notes for singles, and it conflicts with our manual of style if the name of any single referenced in this way can only be formatted in italics, rather than in quotation marks. A Thousand Doors (talk | contribs) 22:50, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of {{cite music release notes}} is to cite print material. The title of the printed notes may be the same as the title of a single, but it is still a print document, separate and apart from the single, so the template treats it that way.
You do, I think, point out a shortcoming that exists in {{cite AV media}} which is supposed to be the proper template for citing singles, albums, video, etc. There is no mechanism available to render the title of a single in quotes. I'll have a look at that and see what can be done about it.
Trappist the monk (talk) 23:25, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Bots edit-warring on hand-fixed cites[edit]

It has taken a while to confirm the bizarre introduction of invalid parameters by Bots, but it has happened in numerous pages, such as dif834 in article:
     • "Premenstrual syndrome (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views)
During that edit, the only "title=" parameter was incorrectly fubarred to be "duplicate_title" and required yet another hand-edit to correct a Bot ruining more pages with such crap. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:43, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

@Wikid77: Have you reported the incorrect edit to the bot owner? GoingBatty (talk) 21:48, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
I reported this bug on Citation Bot's Talk page, along with a suggested cause and a suggestion for how to change the bot's behavior in this case. – Jonesey95 (talk) 00:11, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
The bot is seemingly confused because |url= is missing. -- (talk) 22:14, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Need help fixing unsupported parameters[edit]

As the Bots continue to mangle major articles by inserting invalid parameters, we still need more people to help fix a few more pages, each day, to fix "DUPLICATE_" or "unused_data=" or other invalid parameter names. See category:

Remember, it is possible to navigate the category by URL question-suffix "?from=Ra" to display pages beginning at letters "Ra" or such. Try to scan through the list to fix major pages first (or semi-major, with 100+ pageviews per day); I just fixed page "Pluto" again, as major pages scarred with glaring red-error messages give the appearance that the "keepers of the 'pedia" are unable to correct major errors in major pages. Many invalid parameters date back over 1-3 years, before the wp:CS1 Lua-based cites were installed to show cite messages. Any help, even edit a few pages per day, will help reduce the backlog of 3,400 scarred pages, growing larger every day. -Wikid77 16:03, 30 March, 11:18, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

If these improper edits are still happening, why are the bots not blocked? Why is it not the responsibility of the bot owners to fix all damage before the bots are unblocked? Jc3s5h (talk) 16:21, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
I think Bot errors are rare. -Wikid77 11:18, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
@Wikid77: Could you please give some examples of bots that "continue to mangle major articles" where you (or someone else) has reported the error to the bot owner and the bot owner has not made the appropriate changes? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 21:51, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Coming here after seeing discussion on Jimbo's talk page: I'm happy to help gnoming away, but it would be great if there could be a priority list of the high hit-rate articles within the 3315 in the category.

And a question: why do some of the articles in Category:Pages with citations using unsupported parameters seem to be sorted by their DEFAULTSORT, and others not? See, under "Pa": "Richard Phipson" followed by "Phoenix Jones": both have DEFAULTSORTS, so Jones should be appearing under "J". At the end of "M" we have Málaga though it has a DEFAULTSORT of "Malaga", while Öreryd is sorted correctly by its DEFAULTSORT of "Oreryd" What's happening? (My instinct is to look at this category for articles which need other work such as adding a DEFAULTSORT or checking whether "Foo (whatnot)" is correctly linked from "Foo", to do this while sorting out the citation problem, but I'm puzzled by the inconsistent treatment of defaultsorts.) PamD 14:20, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Just scan the category sections ("?from=Ta") for obvious major articles; otherwise, fixing 5 pages is equivalent to a page read 100x per day. -Wikid77 11:18, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I'll commit to fixing 30 to 50 of these per day until the category is done. Who else is in? If we can do 200 per day, we can clear out the category in a couple of weeks. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:04, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm fixing 10-20 per day, while copy-editing. -Wikid77 11:18, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
@PamD: Articles are placed in these error categories via Template:Broken ref. The coding in that template currently sets the category sort key to the page name, thus overiding any DEFAULTSORT in the article. These categories contain a mixture of people and non-people categories, so maybe a sort by surname wouldn't work too well. -- John of Reading (talk) 16:16, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
@John of Reading: but the weird thing is that they're sorting inconsistently, some by the Defaultsort and others by the page title. Your note doesn't explain how Öreryd files in the Os and Richard Phipson in the Ps. PamD 17:46, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
@PamD: Yes, my attempted answer was rubbish! The difference is that some of the entries are generated by citations inside <ref>...</ref> tags and some are not. bugzilla:38435 says that the DEFAULTSORT gets ignored when the category is generated via a reference and the DEFULTSORT statement is below the reflist. There's an example at User:John of Reading/Sandbox. In one of my test categories, the page is sorted under "Z", matching the DEFAULTSORT, and in the other it is sorted under "J", ignoring the DEFAULTSORT. -- John of Reading (talk) 18:35, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't know of a way to provide a list of high-hit-rate articles in a given category, but I can provide a catscan report listing Featured Articles that have CS1 errors. There are currently 2,687 such articles. There are 26 Featured Articles in the "unsupported parameter" category. – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:40, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

  • I think many of those have "|coauthor=". -- Ohc ¡digame! 09:23, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
|coauthor= is deprecated but still supported so that's not how a page gets added to Category:Pages_with_citations_using_unsupported_parameters.
Trappist the monk (talk) 10:19, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Somehow I didn't finish my thought. There are three bots now in WP:BRFA and a fourth on the way that will, I hope make a dent in the 99,000ish pages in Category:Pages containing cite templates with deprecated parameters.
Trappist the monk (talk) 10:46, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
After sampling a few pages, 'unused_data' and 'DUPLICATE_xxx' added by Citation bot is probably the most common. Then we have a number of totally oddball parameters such as 'isbn2', 'opening', 'book', 'ref name', 'digitalised', 'issues', 'paragraph', 'producer', 'newsen', 'refname', 'nbv accessdate' and 'rev'; two references on one page use 'date-of-publication', 'title-of-website' and 'sponsor'. --  Gadget850 talk 10:37, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree, quite a lot originating from the citation bot (that is, existing error that the bot marked in a particular way) and a mixture of other stuff. Please consider expanding Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/Rename template parameters where appropriate, then we can more easily keep this category clean in future. Rjwilmsi 11:30, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I have fixed a few hundred of these articles, and Trappist the monk has cleaned up most of the low-hanging fruit (a few thousand articles) using an AWB script. Most of what is left are the "oddballs" referred to above. I believe that Citation Bot no longer adds "unused_data" to citations, but it is currently adding "DUPLICATE_XXX" (legitimately pointing out duplicate parameters that need attention from a human editor) and "eprint". The latter is an unsupported parameter; a bug report has been submitted.
The category should be empty in 2-3 weeks, after which we will be able to watch for patterns in what is newly added to the category, notify editors using ReferenceBot, and take other steps to reduce the future growth of the category. Keep up the good work, everygnome! – Jonesey95 (talk) 18:16, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

date errors[edit]

What should I do with cases like "|date=undated"? Outright removal would probably be simplest. But correct? -- Ohc ¡digame! 04:46, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

|date=n.d. is accepted by the CS1 module. Like this:
Author (n.d.). Title. 
That's what I would recommend. Another choice would be to comment it out so that anyone editing the article would know not to look for a date in vain. I would not remove it entirely, lest you send someone on a wild goose chase that results in reinsertion of "undated". – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:05, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Wonderful. Didn't know that "n.d." is accepted. Thanks. -- Ohc ¡digame! 06:10, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Looks like |date=n.d. needs to be added to the documentation.
Given that we explicitly recommend:
  • |author=<!--Staff writer(s); no by-line.-->
  • |publisher=<!--Unspecified by source.-->
Having a comment in addition might not be a bad idea. It could save someone some time checking. — Makyen (talk) 08:22, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
When changing from "undated" to "n.d." be sure to check for Harvard citations or short footnotes that need to change to match. This would apply whether the Harvard citations or short footnotes were done with templates ({{harv}} or {{sfn}} or manually. Jc3s5h (talk) 11:24, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Need to accept free-form dates[edit]

At this point, we can begin to allow free-form dates, such as "undated" or "late October 2011" and change the Lua software to bypass date-format checking when the date seems to be free-form. Recall that the Lua-based cites were purposely kept limited, from last year, in an effort to speed the markup-to-Lua transition from {Citation/core} within a 6-week period, leaving rare cite forks (and complex parameters) for later, which is now. The expansion of such new features should be tested in a separate version (not the main /sandbox version). -Wikid77 (talk) 22:35, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't quite recall the reasoning. Can you provide a link to the discussion?
Since there seems to be no hope of distinguishing free-form dates from gibberish, the only way I can imagine your proposal working is to recognize a date in an improper form and issue a warning that it should be changed to an acceptable date; any entry not recognized as a date in an improper form would be assumed to be a free-form date and allowed. For example, "July 4th, 1776" could be recognized as a date in improper form. Jc3s5h (talk) 23:14, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
The use of free-form dates is a common practice, and could be detected by some trigger words such as "late" or "early" or "before" (etc.), or perhaps by words which do not match misspelled month names. In the above case, "4th" beginning with digit "4" could be excluded as a non-alphabetic word, but would match a Lua regex pattern for digit-plus-th as pattern "%dth". -Wikid77 23:28, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Please provide data to back up your assertions about the commonness of the use of free-form dates. At this writing, there are 108,000 articles in Category:CS1 errors: dates. What fraction of those use free-form dates?
I think it makes more sense, since the date error messages are not displayed to readers unless they have specifically changed their preferences to show those errors, to leave the system as is until the category can be scrubbed by bots and bot-like editors, followed by human editors, who can find and fix the vast majority of cases that are actual date errors. In my experience, the vast majority of errors in the category are (a) valid date ranges that need an en dash or other punctuation fixes (many of these are bot-fixable), (b) newly-acceptable date ranges that need a null edit to remove the error category, (c) dates that are bot-fixable and just waiting on closure of an RFC about month abbreviations, and (d) dates of the form XX/XX/YY or XX/XX/YYYY.
I just clicked on a random sample of 50 articles in the category and found the following: 5 bot-fixable date ranges, 8 valid ranges needing a null edit, 18 fixable by BattyBot task 25, 8 of the form XX/XX/YY(YY) or XX.XX.YY(YY), 10 other dates needing human attention, and 1 free-form date ("YYYY-present"). So that's one free-form date out of an admittedly small sample of 50 articles, 31 bot-fixable or already-valid dates, and 18 dates needing human attention. If that scales, we're looking at about 2,000 free-form dates. Let's have this discussion again when the category is in the 10,000-article range.
A null edit of the whole category would cut the article count substantially, I believe. I don't know of any easy way to accomplish that. – Jonesey95 (talk) 23:54, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Chapter with book/volume and series[edit]

Another leftover problem, postponed last year to speed markup-to-Lua transition, is the formatting of a chapter, with a book and volume, in a book-series.

  • {cite book |last=Doe |title=This Book |series=Series of Books}} → Doe. This Book. Series of Books. 
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | chapter=Making sense of the human genome | author=Edward N. Trifonov | location=Albany, New York | publisher=Adenine Press | year=1990 | volume=Vol. 1 | work=Structure and Methods | pages=69–77 | series=Human Genome Initiative and DNA Recombination; Proceedings of the Sixth Conversation in the Discipline Biomolecular Stereodynamics }}
Old Edward N. Trifonov (1990). "Making sense of the human genome". Human Genome Initiative and DNA Recombination; Proceedings of the Sixth Conversation in the Discipline Biomolecular Stereodynamics. Vol. 1. Albany, New York: Adenine Press. pp. 69–77.
Live Edward N. Trifonov (1990). "Making sense of the human genome". Structure and Methods. Human Genome Initiative and DNA Recombination; Proceedings of the Sixth Conversation in the Discipline Biomolecular Stereodynamics. Vol. 1 (Albany, New York: Adenine Press). pp. 69–77. 

Now that we have time to discuss this, I think the obvious format should be quoted "Chapter" followed by italic book+volume (Book, Vol. 1), then followed by italic book-series (Series of Books) after the volume id, not before volume as displayed all last year. Across Wikipedia, many book series are displayed as italicized, which I think is the common format, but I have not discussed series format much before now. To assist transition, if a series name is hard-coded italic, then that could be left as-is while plain series names are italicized by the Lua processing. -Wikid77 23:28, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Do you have examples of style guides (APA, Chicago, etc.) that provide guidance on how to format chapter/book/series/volume citations? The CS1 does not follow any one style guide, but it is often useful to adopt or adapt an accepted style that an organization has thought through and worked on for many years. – Jonesey95 (talk) 18:05, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Editors using only 'first', not 'last'.[edit]

I have recently stumbled across a couple of editors who have been adding references for years, and who always put the author full name in |first= and either completely omit the |last= parameter or include it but leave it blank. This means the author name doesn't show up in the reference.

Is there a bot that can go fix these? Having said that, many of the references also need other types of clean up at the same time, e.g. here (and still not finished). -- (talk) 08:52, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

I do not think citations with this error are bot-fixable. There is too much variation. I put in a feature request a while ago. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:26, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I have added code to Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox to detect when there is a mismatch between |lastn= and |firstn= (or their aliases).
  • Last1, First1; Last2. first3 without last3.  |first3= missing |last3= in Authors list (help)
  • Last1, First1; Last2 (eds.). editor-first3 without editor-last3.  |first3= missing |last3= in Editors list (help)
In general, the code that assembles the author and editor names lists, searches the template for |lastn=, |firstn=, |lastn+1=, |firstn+1=, |lastn+2=, etc. until |lastn= and |firstn= are both not found. When both are not found it could be that we've got all of the names, or that there is a hole in the list. We can't yet tell the difference so if there is a hole in the list, it will not be detected:
  • Last1, First1; Last3, First3. last3/first3 without last2/first2.  Missing |last2= in Authors list (help)
If retained, this error will categorize in Category:CS1 errors: last first mismatch
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:18, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
That seems very helpful. As I continue fixing references I never cease to be amazed at the very many creative ways people have filled in templates, often completely disregarding the documentation and abandoning common sense. Your new code is also likely to uncover many cases where citation bot has added only last names or added only first names and this is something that it appears to have been doing for years when authors are listed in the (co)author(s) parameter. -- (talk) 12:51, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Citations with only last names are not invalid because |lastn= and |authorn= are aliases. As far as I know, there is no way for the code to determine if |lastn= or |authorn= is missing a |firstn=. The only case that this code catches is |firstn= without its numerically matching |lastn= or |authorn=.
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:57, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Understood this catches "first without last" errors. Several editors as well as citation bot have created many of those. -- (talk) 13:22, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
This looks great. I'll work up some test cases. Does anyone have an idea to make the category name clearer while still keeping it short? Off the top of my head: "CS1 errors: author or editor name mismatch". "CS1 errors: missing author or editor name". This latter category name could eventually be used to include not just the "first name only" case, but also the "hole in the list" case where there is "author1, author2, author4, author5", if that code can be developed. – Jonesey95 (talk) 13:14, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

And a bit of a tweak and:

Cite book compare
{{ cite book | title=Author 1, 3, & 5 without author 2 & 4 | author5=Author5 | last3=Last3 | author=Author1 }}
Live Author1. Author 1, 3, & 5 without author 2 & 4. 
Sandbox Author1; Last3; Author5. Author 1, 3, & 5 without author 2 & 4.  Missing |last2= in Authors list (help); Missing |last4= in Authors list (help)

Trappist the monk (talk) 21:43, 4 April 2014 (UTC)


Cite book compare
{{ cite book | title=Author 1, 3, & 5 without author 2 & 4 | author5=Author5 | last3=Last3 | author=Author1 }}
Live Author1. Author 1, 3, & 5 without author 2 & 4. 
Sandbox Author1; Last3; Author5. Author 1, 3, & 5 without author 2 & 4.  Missing |last2= in Authors list (help); Missing |last4= in Authors list (help)
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | title=First 1, First+Last 2 | first2=First2 | first1=First1 | last2=Last2 }}
Live First 1, First+Last 2. 
Sandbox First 1, First+Last 2.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | first2=First2 | title=First 1, First+Last 2, Author5 | author5=Author5 | first1=First1 | last2=Last2 }}
Live First 1, First+Last 2, Author5. 
Sandbox First 1, First+Last 2, Author5.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | last1=Last1 | first2=First2 | title=First+Last 1, First+Last 2, Author5 (should produce error but does not?) | author5=Author5 | first1=First1 | last2=Last2 }}
Live Last1, First1; Last2, First2. First+Last 1, First+Last 2, Author5 (should produce error but does not?). 
Sandbox Last1, First1; Last2, First2. First+Last 1, First+Last 2, Author5 (should produce error but does not?). 
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | title=First 2, First+Last 3 | first3=First3 | last3=Last3 | first2=First2 }}
Live First 2, First+Last 3. 
Sandbox First 2, First+Last 3.  |first2= missing |last2= in Authors list (help)
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | first3=First3 | title=First+Last 2, First+Last 3 | last3=Last3 | first2=First2 | last2=Last2 }}
Live First+Last 2, First+Last 3. 
Sandbox Last2, First2; Last3, First3. First+Last 2, First+Last 3.  Missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | last3=Last3 | first3=First3 | title=First+Last 2, First+Last 3, Coauthors | coauthors=Coauthors | first2=First2 | last2=Last2 }}
Live First+Last 2, First+Last 3, Coauthors.  |coauthors= requires |author= (help)
Sandbox Last2, First2; Last3, First3; Coauthors. First+Last 2, First+Last 3, Coauthors.  Missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | last3=Last3 | last1=Last1 | title=First+Last 1, First+Last 3, First+Last 4 (out of order) | first1=First1 | last4=Last4 | first4=First4 | first3=First3 }}
Live Last1, First1. First+Last 1, First+Last 3, First+Last 4 (out of order). 
Sandbox Last1, First1; Last3, First3; Last4, First4. First+Last 1, First+Last 3, First+Last 4 (out of order).  Missing |last2= in Authors list (help)
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | first1=First1 | title=First1, First+Last 3, First4 (out of order) | last3=Last3 | first3=First3 | first4=First4 }}
Live First1, First+Last 3, First4 (out of order). 
Sandbox First1, First+Last 3, First4 (out of order).  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | last3=Last3 | first1=First1 | title=First1, First+Last 3, First4 (out of order) with Coauthors | coauthors=Coauthors | first3=First3 | first4=First4 }}
Live First1, First+Last 3, First4 (out of order) with Coauthors.  |coauthors= requires |author= (help)
Sandbox First1, First+Last 3, First4 (out of order) with Coauthors.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); |coauthors= requires |author= (help)

The above examples were added by Jonesey95. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:33, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

With regard to the "should produce error but does not?" example: The code searches through the template's parameters for author parameters (and their aliasese) in numerical order starting with 1 (|author=, |author1=, |last= |last1=, and the other aliases). The code stops searching when it doesn't find |authorn= and it doesn't find |authorn+1=. So, in the example, the code found |last1= and |last2=, but didn't find |last3= and didn't find |last4= so it concluded that there are no more authors.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:57, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Unhiding hidden error messages[edit]

Right now, there are seven error message that are hidden from editors who have not chosen to make all error messages visible. These are

hidden CS1 error messages
error message category number of pages in category
|accessdate= requires |url= Category:Pages using citations with accessdate and no URL 42,747
Check date values in: |param1=, |param2=, ... Category:CS1 errors: dates 87,078
Cite uses deprecated parameters Category:Pages containing cite templates with deprecated parameters‎ 94,269
|displayauthors= suggested Category:Pages using citations with old-style implicit et al. 492
|displayeditors= suggested Category:Pages using citations with old-style implicit et al. 1,065
|format= requires |url= Category:Pages using citations with format and no URL 2,680
Missing or empty |url= Category:Pages using web citations with no URL 8,371

Any reason why at least some of these shouldn't be unhidden at the next Module:Citation/CS1 update?

Trappist the monk (talk) 17:17, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

My two cents: If I recall correctly, in the discussion that resulted in these errors being hidden, it was agreed that they would be hidden in a particular category until the bot-fixable errors had been fixed. Neither Bot nor AWB work has been applied to the "accessdate", "displayeditors", "format", or "missing url" categories. Please correct me if I am wrong. We may decide as a group that one or more of these categories is not fixable by bots (I'm looking at you, "missing url").
The "date" and "deprecated parameters" categories have been traversed by bots to fix some of the problems therein, but they both need more work by bots. Those bots are either returning from RFC-induced hiatus soon (BattyBot Task 25, are you out there?) or awaiting BRFA approval (Monkbot's various tasks). Once those bots make a couple of passes through those two categories, we should expose the remaining error messages.
The "displayauthors" category has been traversed by Citation Bot, which has fixed as many errors as it can. The category is down from about 10,000 entries to under 500. I think that error should be displayed.
The "displayeditors" category is awaiting an update to Citation Bot's code, which has been requested via a bug report. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:14, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe many of the "cite web with missing URL" entries are likely to be references where a URL has been bot replaced by a |doi= parameter and the template was not changed to the more appropriate "cite journal" version, or whatever, at the same time. Likewise for many of the "format requires URL" errors. I might be wrong though.

Where a bot removes |url= it should also remove other parameters that can only be present if |url= is present. -- (talk) 23:11, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose more red messages. I have explained below how the red-error messages have left errors in thousands of pages for months/years (viewed up to 5 million times before hand-fixed), see reply moved to "#No more red-error messages" below. -Wikid77 07:27, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

No more red-error messages[edit]

  • No more red-error messages: After years of showing various types of the red-error messages to all users via Template:Convert or the wp:CS1 cite templates, the evidence is conclusive that such messages do not cause readers to fix pages when left for months/years (or viewed over 300,000 times, as page "Vladimir Putin" in 5-13 March 2014), and even several experienced editors have edited many pages leaving red-error messages still visible for the year. There was even an RfC to re-hide such red-error messages in the wp:CS1 cites as being a distraction for the readership. Therefore: After years of trying to get people to fix pages by showing numerous, clarified, red-error messages with help-page links of how-to explanations, the whole tactic of showing red-error messages has been shown to be a total failure of communication to get problems fixed in pages. In fact, numerous editors have fixed many cite errors faster by following the tracking categories and searching for "unknown parameter" or such, rather than viewing pages until a red message appears somewhere. Hence, the red-error messages can capture a reader's attention, but they do not cause readers to fix the errors which should be handled by Bots or by autofixing instead, to clear errors in recent updates and archives and talk-pages, all with the same rapid autofixing. -Wikid77 (talk) 18:53, 8 April 2014, 05:49, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
If I see a red error message as I preview an edit, especially if I have just caused the error message to appear, I usually fix it before saving the page. Error messages should be shown when previewing a page otherwise the amount of errors may rapidly increase. On one page, I recently fixed a number of invalid |authorlink= parameters. However, as an experiment to see how long it would take, I left six references needing the document title to be filled in. It took 68 edits from 45 different users (and around 60 000 pageviews) before someone fixed four of the titles. The other two remain broken. -- (talk) 19:19, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
The supposition that editors are unwilling to fix red error messages because people do not do so over a large number of edits to a page is flawed. The issue is not that having red error messages is a failure. It is that there is a failure to display such errors at the time when they can and would be fixed. Such errors are not shown anytime only a section of the page is edited and previewed. In order to see those errors you have to either be editing the entire page, specifically looking for the error, or have set up and enabled Anomie's Ajax Preview which shows references while previewing a section. Further, even when just reading a page in order to see the errors one has to go looking for them.
How many readers/editors scroll through the sometimes huge list of references just to read them? I know I do not. If I am reading a page and am interested in a reference, I just move the mouse to hover over that specific reference link. A popup window then shows that reference and that reference only. I then click within that popup to go to the reference. While reading, rarely do I actually click on the reference tag to visit the entire reference list.
There is a discussion at VPP at which Wikid77 has raised this issue within the context of a larger question. There are multiple tracked bugs, some of which will certainly be fixed which will at least partially, address this issue. Getting the word out about the existence of Anomie's Ajax Preview to editors will probably also help. — Makyen (talk) 22:12, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Just for the record, I believe that red error messages sometimes cause editors to fix article references. I am presenting just as much conclusive evidence as was presented by the original poster. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:24, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Many of those cases could be autofixed, with no need to edit the page, and no need to issue a red-error message. Where the cite data is undecipherable, then a simple note "[fix cite]" plus a link to a severe-error cite category would be sufficient. By autofixing the cites, then the severe cases can be isolated to separate categories, to enable faster fixing by cite experts. However, I do see not a problem with a lead zero "0" in a date "07 May" and 50,000 such dates could be autofixed to show "7 May" without a red message. -Wikid77 07:27, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
As above, the date errors are a straw man. Date error messages are not displayed to readers unless they have specifically changed their preferences to show those errors. I'm trying to engage in discussions about this opportunity under an assumption of good faith, and I have provided actual data about articles above. Unqualified assertions that "Many of those cases could be autofixed..." and "evidence is conclusive..." without data are not helpful in advancing this discussion. I am willing to be persuaded, but so far I have seen nothing to persuade me that efforts in the autofix direction are better than the current system of fixing with bots and human editors. – Jonesey95 (talk) 13:10, 9 April 2014 (UTC)


  • Evidence of failure of red-errors to fix pages: As evidence, note how page "Theta" had shown "Unknown parameter 'book=' ignored " for 5 months (since rev. Nov 2013), but the cite error was left during 151,000 pageviews. Today, I fixed page "Modern Healthcare" which had a flood of 7 red-errors (from years ago) viewed over 4,800 pageviews (see old: rev-4839), where "_accessdate=" was appended after 7 agency names. Other pages also exemplify the problem: a page can be viewed thousands of times, while updated many times, but a red-error message does not cause readers to fix the error, so don't show it. -Wikid77 05:49/15:05, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Autofixing author, title, url or extra data: Remember, while the red-error messages have been left in pages for months/years during 2013-2014, the current autofixing can handle many previously garbled cite parameters; compare:
  • {{cite web |tittel=Title |work=Essays |lats=Doe |first=John |date 3 May 2011 |pages=3--4|ACME Print|web=http://z |edit1-lasst=Smith |editor1-first=Jane |paragraph=6 |lociation=London}}
autofix: Doe (3 May 2011 ). "Title". In Smith, Jane. Essays. London. pp. 3–4.  [fix date][fix cite]; ACME Print; [fix title]; paragraph: 6; firstr: John; ;
current: Essays. pp. 3––4.  Text "date 3 May 2011 " ignored (help); Text "ACME Print" ignored (help); Unknown parameter |web= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |tittel= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |lats= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |paragraph= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |lociation= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |edit1-lasst= ignored (help);
Note the extensive autofixing of title (from "tittel="), author ("lats="), url ("web"), date ("date 3 May") and editor ("edit1-lasst"), plus showing "paragraph: 6" to allow a reader to check the cite to verify the sourced text against paragraph 6. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:05, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Not this again. You've raised autofixing at the village pump as noted above, at Template talk:Location map, at Wikipedia:Autofixing cites and its talk page , at User talk:Jimbo Wales‎ twice and here once before. Meanwhile your template has been thoroughly discussed and userfied without redirect. Nowhere has there been any support for your solution. It's gone well beyond the bounds of forum shopping already. Please give it a rest.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 21:39, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Why would multiple "fix" notes, and mangled punctuation, as in "pp. 3–4. [fix date][fix cite]; ACME Print; [fix title];" that hardly anyone will ever notice and fix, be preferable to a red note that attracts the attention of gnomes? There may not be many of us, but its pretty uncommon for me to edit an article (that even bothers to cite sources <sigh>) and not check some citations for cleanup. I have to agree the suggestions everywhere Wikid77 raises this issue that the "smarts" involved in his code are better suited to a bot or AWB script or something that people can use to go fix things. "Fixing" them by making guesses as to the intent and then adding more "fix me" notes is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Or trying to drown more babies in the same bath, or something.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:54, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Cite web or accessdate without URL[edit]

Currently, using the cite web template requires a url or an error message is issued to those who have the messages turned on. Likewise a URL is expected whenever the accessdate parameter is present. But I came across an edit where an editor had added information from a source behind a paywall. I might face the same problem; I have access to some paywall sources through my library, but the access is explained by library personnel as clicking on a link on the library home page, then giving the password, and then searching for the source. If I give the URL from my address bar at the time I'm viewing the source, and then try that URL from a different computer, I get a page asking for a userid and password, but no one at the library seems to know the userid. So it would be rather useless to provide the URL.

It seems to me we should provide some advice about this situation. If the paywall operator is reliable and we viewed an exact copy of a paper publication, I suppose we could just give the information about the paper publication that we viewed online, and not mention that we viewed it online. But if the source is an electronic-source, subject to silent revision, we should provide an access date. What, then, do we use as a URL? The homepage of the paywall operator?

Courtesy also comes into play. If the paywall operator has in some way given support to the writing of the article, for example, by giving accounts to selected Wikipedia editors, or to another charity, it might be appropriate to acknowledge in some way that the information was accessed through the paywall. Jc3s5h (talk) 17:47, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

I believe this is why we have |subscription=yes. I could be misunderstanding you or just plain wrong, though.
I think it makes sense to provide the URL. Using {{cite web}} without a URL at all doesn't make sense. If it's a web-based source, it should have a URL. If your research librarian has access to the source, someone else's research librarian may have that same access. A reader who is desperate to locate that source can show the URL and other citation content to a savvy librarian and ask for help.
If another editor can provide a more open URL for the same source, that editor can do so, which will benefit readers.
Long-winded TL;DR part of this answer: In any event, these categories are like some of the other CS1 error categories, in that we have (or had) suppositions about the proportion of errors that were of one type or another. The steps in determining how to deal with the category, in my experience, are (1) do a bunch of edits and make a mental checklist of the sorts of errors you find and how to fix them, (2) if possible, develop scripts or bots to make common fixes, (3) run through the whole category and fix the straightforward problems using scripts or hand-editing, (4) examine the remaining citations to determine if the module code needs to be changed, to ask for a consensus-based way to fix the remaining errors, (5) modify documentation to help editors make fewer errors, and (6) recruit ReferenceBot to notify editors who create new entries in the category. – Jonesey95 (talk) 00:44, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
The parameter subscription=yes is fine if the url will bring a scriber to the source. But if the url won't bring a subscriber to the source, then the url is useless. Jc3s5h (talk) 02:37, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Is there a "permanent URL" link at the place where the source is? - Purplewowies (talk) 03:51, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
The paywall operator is Gale; I took a closer look at the URL in the address bar while viewing the text of the sources. I discovered what the userid of my libary is, I also found that the library's userid is embedded in the URL. There are differences in the URL when the source is revisited, so there are no permantent URLs. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:20, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Some paywalls allow partial viewing to verify intro: There are currently cites using some paywall urls which will display part of the linked webpage, to at least verify the intro of the article matches the cite, and in some cases, the partial intro section contained the text needed to verify the sourced text. So, as with the general rules, "less is more" and we should remove any preconceived restrictions about paywall access, as with users who purposely leave out some author first-names perhaps to simplify listing extra authors as just "last3=" and "last4=" etc. We need to avoid further "instruction creep" by omitting unusual rules which have also cluttered the template documentation with more wp:rulespam. -Wikid77 (talk) 18:22, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Date validation: Winter YYYY–YY[edit]

New test for the special case: Winter YYYY–YY.

  • Pass: Sequential years. Winter 2004–05. 
  • Fail: Same year. Winter 2004–04. 
  • Fail: Not sequential years. Winter 2004–07. 
  • Fail: Not sequential years. Winter 2004–03. 

Trappist the monk (talk) 10:28, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Nice catch. I saw one of those in the last few days while I was fixing another category of error, and I forgot to copy the citation to my sandbox to troubleshoot it. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:41, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Date v. Year on drop down cite book template in edit window toolbar[edit]

I see from discussions above that "date" and "year" have been discussed. At some point, the standard "year" was dropped from the Cite Book template and replaced with "date". Ergo, when one uses the drop down template on the edit window toolbar, "date" is the only option available. This creates citation error issues with functions such as Shortened footnotes that only work correctly with years. After using the template, the user then has to manually change the word "date" to "year" for that to work. A big pain in the behind if an editor is creating an article with a hundred or so citations. And not every editor has enough experience to know it needs to be changed. If they don't manually correct it, the errors remain in referencing until such a time as another editor happens to run AWB, or just stumbles across it and manually corrects it. Or not. Can we please include "year" as a standard "fill in the blank" on the cite book template?— Maile (talk) 13:19, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

That isn't how it is supposed to work. {{cite book}} is handled by Module:Citation/CS1. In that module, the year portion of a CITEREF anchor is extracted from either |date= or |year=, when both are present, the year portion of the CITEREF anchor comes from |year=. If the value in |date= is invalid, then the year is not added to CITEREF.
Can you give me an example of where this is failing?
Trappist the monk (talk) 13:40, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I understand you want examples. Why was "year" removed from the templates? Was it causing a conflict? Mindful, that I am specifically talking about the cites used in conjunction with templates for SFN, Harvrefs, etc.
Please refer to Help:Shortened_footnotes#Date. The in-text cite should include only the year. The full citation may include the year only or the full date. Most citation templates will extract the year from a full date to form the anchor. If both a date and a year are included, then the date is displayed, but the anchor is formed from the year. Regardless of what that says, the cite templates do not pull the year from a full date with shortened footnotes.
Even before "year" was removed, if I tried to use shortened footnotes with only "date", it essentially told me the SFN is not pointing to anything in the bibliography. I cannot give you a specific example right now. And you might need to install User:Ucucha/HarvErrors to see the error messages. But even without that installed on your .js, if you are looking at a reference section with shortened footnotes template, when you click on one of them, they are supposed to jump to the cite in the bibliography section. If they don't, it's an error. Whether it's supposed to or not, not having "year" will trigger an error. SFN and Harvrefs have "year", and if the cites don't have "year", SFN and Harvrefs don't know what to look for and point to nothing. I have run across this innumerable times. — Maile (talk) 14:13, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

My experience has been the opposite. Using something like |date=2001 or |date=3 May 2002 within cite templates has worked fine for me in conjunction with {{sfn}} (use only the year within the sfn template). That's why we're hoping for examples, so that if there is a subtle bug, we can fix it.

I have the HarvErrors script installed, so if you point me to an article where this is not working, I'll take a look at it.

Here's an example[1] of a shortened footnote[2] that uses the year from a date.[3]


  1. ^ Brown 2004.
  2. ^ Xavier 2006, p. 43.
  3. ^ Smith 2001, pp. 60-80.


  • Brown, Philip (2004). Title. 
  • Smith, William (2 May 2001). Title. 
  • Xavier, John (June 2006). Title. 

These three footnotes all work perfectly for me. – Jonesey95 (talk) 14:29, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Interesting. Next time I run across this, I'll post the example here. In the meantime, no one answered my question of why "year" was removed from the templates. — Maile (talk) 14:35, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
|year= has not been removed from any of the CS1 templates. It is still a valid and active parameter.
Trappist the monk (talk) 14:39, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Do you use the edit window Toolbar that has a drop down for the cite template? Year disappeared from cite book (or Book citation) template when accessed from that drop down. Where "Year" used to be, it now says "Date". "Show extra fields" does not have "Year". Cite web has "Year". Neither cite news nor cite journal has "Year", however I never used "Year" with those, so maybe they never had it. — Maile (talk) 17:35, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Maile,in the "Preferences" window that can be accessed by clicking "Preferences" at the top of the page, in the editing tab, there are two relevant check boxes, "Show edit toolbar (requires JavaScript)" and "Enable enhanced editing toolbar". Which of these do you have checked? ???? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jc3s5h (talkcontribs)

I have them both checked. But the one I'm referring to is RefToolbar/2.0. The "cite" selection in the upper right is what hides or displays the template drop down on the left. And in response to IP below, my concern is not the layout of anything except the disappearance of "year" on the cite book selection. That's a fairly recent change. I would say within the last few weeks. — Maile (talk) 18:07, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
The layout of those form fields is terrible, still contains deprecated stuff like coauthors and has absolutely no clarity on when to use last/first and when to use author. Most of the forms have little or no support for multiple authors. A number of essential fields are also hidden away behind the "show extra fields" button. -- (talk) 17:48, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, everyone, for the detailed detective work. It looks like the proper venue for continuation of this discussion is Wikipedia_talk:RefToolbar/2.0, since the toolbar, not the cite templates themselves, is presenting a limited set of parameters to editors.

Again, if anyone sees a citation using |date= that does not properly link to an sfn or harv template, feel free to post a link to an article or a sandbox test case here. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:37, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't really see a need to fracture the discussion. |year= was removed from the toolbar because it is supposedly redundant to |date=. Is it not? Mr.Z-man 23:39, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe |year= is surplus to requirements as I explained at the other conversation.
Trappist the monk (talk) 00:55, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I temporarily turned on "Show edit toolbar (requires JavaScript)" and "Enable enhanced editing toolbar". I found that the toolbar provided a mechanism to insert free-form footnotes. It also provided a way to insert citation template footnotes. It did not provide a mechanism to insert a reference list entry ready-to-go with short footnotes or Harvard citations. Before the toolbar citation would be usable, the editor would have to remove <ref> and </ref> and add |ref=harv. Perhaps the non-working cases that user:Maile66 complained about were a result of the editor not correctly modifying the output of the toolbar. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:30, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

So that people know: AWB currently changes parameter |date= to |year= in all citation templates when the value of the parameter is only a year as part of the General Fixes. This means that thousands of articles have been changed to using |year= instead of |date=. If this is not what CS1 desires, the general fixes need to get changed. — Makyen (talk) 02:25, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Proper use of parameter?[edit]

Is this how the |website= or |work= parameter was envisaged to work? If not, what can be done about it? -- Ohc ¡digame! 02:33, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't think so. Thanks for fixing it. The documentation for |website= in {{cite web}} and for |work= in Help:Citation Style 1 says nothing about urls in this parameter. I don't think that it would be too hard to add error checking for urls in these parameters as we've done for urls in |authorlink=.
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:35, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
It's easy enough to build in a rule to strip the url down to domain name for |work= and |publisher=, but I fear an avalanche of false positives if I include "website" in the regex. -- Ohc ¡digame! 06:34, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
The documentation states "title of website" and I think that is pretty clear. --  Gadget850 talk 12:39, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

External link icons[edit]

It appears that external link icons will be removed in the next update. The PDF icon is set locally by a rule in MediaWiki:Common.css and there is discussion on removing it. See MediaWiki talk:Common.css#External links icons removed. I bring it up here, as many editors believe the icons are added by the templates. --  Gadget850 talk 12:43, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

ORCID, redux[edit]

A year ago, we discussed using ORCID in citations, as an identifier for authors. Are we now in a position to do so? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:07, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

As noted ORCID is a subset of International Standard Name Identifier. Where are we going with that? --  Gadget850 talk 16:55, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but ORCID and ISNI are separate schemes (and separate parameters in Wikidata). Some people (me, for example!) have one of each. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:58, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I guess I don't understand how an ORCID number aids a reader in locating the resource specified in the citation. Taking Editor Andy Mabbett's ORCID number as an example, and assuming that the article "A salutary lesson in the perils of inflation" supports a salient point in a Wikipedia article, an editor might write the citation this way:
{{cite web |url= |title=A salutary lesson in the perils of inflation |last=Mabbett |first=Andy |website=BirdGuides |date=14 November 2008}}
Mabbett, Andy (14 November 2008). "A salutary lesson in the perils of inflation". BirdGuides. 
Simple, and correct; does the job. If the editor adds the author's ORCID to the citation, perhaps using |id= (NOT recommended because it violates the definition of |id=), we get this:
Mabbett, Andy (14 November 2008). "A salutary lesson in the perils of inflation". BirdGuides. ORCID 0000-0001-5882-6823. 
Show me how the addition of the author's ORCID has helped me, as a reader, confirm that the information in the Wikipedia article is supported by the cited work?
Trappist the monk (talk) 18:21, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Let's say the source article is in a journal that is not available for free online, but the journal does allow authors to put copies of their articles on their personal websites. Using the ORCID, we may be able to locate the author's personal website, which may contain a free copy of the article. Jc3s5h (talk) 18:51, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
With the article title and author's name, any one of the internet search engines may be able to locate a free copy of the article also. If the free copy on the author's website is the same as, or substantially similar to, the journal article (the two may not be the same because of revisions, editorial choices, etc), an editor might use the author's copy as the source for the Wikipedia article and cite that. If the two are different, an ORCID link in a citation implies an imprimatur that might or might not be appropriate. If a reader uses a search engine to find a copy of the article, no such implication exists.
Trappist the monk (talk) 11:01, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
The use of an ORCID identifier implies nothing than the precise identity of the author. Please let's not have any more such FUD. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:49, 14 April 2014 (UTC)


Further to Jc3s5h's sensible observation, the functions of ORCID include:

  1. To disambiguate the work of two authors with the same name (A salutary lesson... is not written by the hypothetical namesake Andy Mabbett who wrote Navel fluff collecting for beginners)
  2. To unify all the works by one such author (it was written by the same Andy Mabbett who also wrote "Pink Floyd - The Music and the Mystery")
  3. To unify the works by one author under different names (this work attributed to Cassius Clay is by the same person as that work attributed to Mohammed Ali)

Once those things are possible, it's easier to compare and evaluate statements in different citations (for example, if Jane Doe's 2014 work contradicts Jane Smith's 2013 work, that may be a clash of opinions, or just one author may have changed name and then found new information), find other articles that cite the same work, find works by an author cited in other articles (perhaps under other names), and so on. It also allows editors to easily find other works by a cited author, which may be useful as extra sources, and even perhaps suggest new articles.

Regarding formatting, I envisage a time when the author name will (if it does not link to a Wikipedia article about the author) link to a Wikidata entry or "Special:ORCID" page (like Special:ISBN) listing all the articles where we cite works by that author - but let's not run before we walk. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:06, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

[Aside: I'd encourage every Wikipedia editor who exposes their real identity to register for an ORCID, and to list their "Special:Contributions" page on their ORCID profile as a work; with the ORCID in the {{Authority control}} template on their user page) Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:20, 10 April 2014 (UTC)]

Citations are about the source, not the author. In CS1 we have |authorlink= and |editorlink= to provide easy access to a Wikipedia article about an author or editor and that article is the place for an ORCID link.
All of the reasons for the existence of ORCID that you have enumerated are valid and legitimate reasons. But not in a CS1 citation. The purpose of a citation is to identify the source that supports the article. None of the reasons for ORCHID's existence help to identify the source that supports the article. Disambiguation of authors and unification of their works is a subject outside the essential purpose of a CS1 citation.
Trappist the monk (talk) 11:01, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
|authorlink=, |editorlink= and |url= are all convenience links and not essential to the identification of the citation; the manner in which the links are created do not overwhelm the citation.
Adding ORCID to the end of the citation disconnects the ORCID from the author name it is supposed to amplify, especially where there are multiple authors.
If we add ORCID, I suggest it replace and override |authorlink=, not add an identifier that does not directly identify the article. --  Gadget850 talk 12:57, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
That's fine when we have an article about the author; and I said above that we should use them, But most cited authors are not the subject of a Wikipedia article. Disambiguating the identity of a work's author is "about the work". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:43, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Your example's location [^see collapsed section, above] of the ORCID after the author name rather than at the end of the citation is sensible (even more so when there are multiple authors); but there's no justification for a separate template; the author name is part of the citation template, and so should be the UID that disambiguates that name. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:43, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Let me amplify my last comment. If we add |orcid=, then it should create a link based on the author name exactly like |authorlink=. |orcid= and |authorlink= should then be exclusive, with one overriding the other, thus you can link to either the ORCID or the author page, but not both. Again, this is a convenience. As to Special:ORCID, it does not exist, so discussion belongs on Bugzilla as a feature request — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gadget850 (talkcontribs) 13:25, 14 April 2014‎
ORCID and Wikipedia articles provide different kinds of information about authors. I don't accept as generally agreed that the only reason for adding a wikilink to an author is to help disambiguate the author. Thus the two parameters should not be mutually exclusive. Also, mutually exclusive parameters are confusing for editors; information just disappears from the visible citation for no obvious reason. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
The reason I suggested that we don't need to show the ORCID of an author about whom we have an article is that the ORCID should be shown on that article. But if others want it in the citation, I'd be happy with that. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:18, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I've raised a ticket on Bugzilla, but meanwhile we can provide something of that kind on Wikipedia, say in the form of Wikipedia:ORCID/0000-0001-5882-6823, where I've created a mock-up. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:18, 14 April 2014 (UTC)


It seems to me that there are five decisions to make, in order:

  1. Whether to use ORCID in citations
  2. Whether the time is right to do so
  3. How to record ORCIDs in citation templates
  4. How to display ORCIDs in citations
  5. How and to what to link those ORCIDs

We were in danger of becoming bogged down in 3 & 4, and possibly 5, before being clear on 1 & 2. I contend that the answer to the first two is "yes" and that we should now decide 3 (which is probably the most easy to resolve), before moving on to 4 and only after that is resolved, then 5. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:38, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Discussion of |accessdate= in another location[edit]

There is a discussion regarding |accesdate= at Help_talk:CS1_errors#Accessdate.

Trappist the monk (talk) 11:01, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Exact use for place/location?[edit]

I am currently having a small dispute with Sitush (talk · contribs) over whither the |location= / |place= field in {{cite news}} is meant to show the physical publication location of the newspaper (Sitush) or the dateline (my position). Sitush has cited Template:Cite news#Publisher as a source, but the description is ambiguous. I feel that Sitush's interpretation is meant more for {{cite book}}. Can someone settle this?--Auric talk 16:52, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Consistency. If it were as you suggest then "location" for a book would be, for example, the house (cafe, in the case of J. K. Rowling!) where the author wrote the book but in fact it is always the location of the publisher. Location can always be ascertained for place of publication of newspaper stories, defaulting to the first-named if there are several, but the place of submission is often not given. - Sitush (talk) 17:03, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
The place of submission is usually given in the dateline.--Auric talk 17:08, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd dispute that, too. More often than not, it is not given at all. - Sitush (talk) 17:26, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Hence "usually".--Auric talk 17:41, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
No, "usually" means that more often than not it is in the dateline; I'm saying the opposite. - Sitush (talk) 17:47, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
We agree then. --Auric talk 18:02, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I give up. You seem to be being deliberately obtuse now, sorry. - Sitush (talk) 18:12, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
No, I said that "The place of submission is usually given in the dateline", using usually to indicate that sometimes it is not. You replied, saying "More often than not, it is not given at all.", which means the same thing. Hence, we agreed.--Auric talk 18:24, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Traditionally, the location of a newspaper is given when it is not contain in the name of the newspaper. This is to aid a reader in finding a copy of that specific newspaper in library archives. The dateline for an article is practically useless for this purpose because it will vary from article to article within the same paper
To take an example from my hometown area, The Daily News is a newspaper published in Iron Mountain, Michigan, here in the US. There is also The Daily News that is published in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and The Daily News from Galveston, Texas. If I were to cite an article from the Iron Mountain paper that had a dateline of either Bowling Green or Galveston, readers would be confused as to which publication is the source of the cited article. What if the dateline listed was instead "Marquette, Michigan", which has no paper called The Daily News (the paper there is The Mining Journal)?
I hope this helps. Imzadi 1979  17:10, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
And Help:Citation_Style_1#Work_and_publisher.
Trappist the monk (talk) 17:14, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Now I'm even more confused. As I understand it, the dateline is the location from where the article is submitted to be published in a newspaper. It has nothing to do with the location of the newspaper it is published in. Many newspapers use stringers for this purpose. --Auric talk 17:19, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
You've got the basic concept of a dateline correct, but in terms of citing an article, that location is not helpful for a reader to find a source. If I told you that the dateline location for an article is "Marquette, Michigan" for an event of national importance, and the newspaper is called The Daily News, would you look for the article in The Daily News published in Iron Mountain, Bowling Green, or Galveston? It could even be the Daily News from New York, which doesn't include the The in its name.
Just like for a book, the location given in a citation is the place of publication. If you're citing something like The New York Times, however, the location can be omitted because it is contained in the name of the newspaper. Imzadi 1979  17:45, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Actually, as I now understand it, the dateline is a holdover from the years of print-only newspapers, used to indicate that a story was created at or near the location of the event and was thus more accurate. The lack of a dateline would indicate that it was created at the newspaper offices. A reach-around is the use of news agencies and stringers. --Auric talk 17:58, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm starting to think that maybe a |dateline= field could be added to prevent confusion.--Auric talk 18:27, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
We already have a way to handle both: |publication-place= vs. |location=. Compare:
  • Pepin, John (April 12, 2004). "Frost Causes Gas Leaks". The Mining Journal (Marquette, MI). p. A1. 
  • Pepin, John (April 12, 2004). "Frost Causes Gas Leaks". written at Ishpeming, MI. The Mining Journal (Marquette, MI). p. A1. 
Adding both properly indicates the dateline location of "Ishpeming, MI" while still disambiguating the newspaper to "Marquette, MI". Imzadi 1979  18:37, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Getting this discussion back to the question at hand, I pulled my copies of the APA and MLA style guides plus The Chicago Manual of Style.

  • APA: the 6th ed. is silent on including locations for periodicals.
  • MLA: "If the city of publication is not included in the name of a locally published newspaper, add the city in square brackets, not italicized, after the name: 'Star Ledger [Newark].' For nationally published newspapers (e.g. Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education), you need not add the city of publication." (7th ed., §5.4.5, p. 141)
  • CMOS: "A city name, even if not part of the name of an American newspaper, should be added, italicized along with the official title. The name (usually abbreviated) of the state, or in the case of Canada, province may be added in parentheses if needed." It then gives a list of names with "but Oregonian (Portland, OR)" and then "For such well-known national papers as the Wall Street Journal or the Christian Science Monitor, no city name is added." (16th ed, §14.210, pp. 741–2)
  • AP Stylebook: "Capitalize the in a newspaper's name if that is the way the publication prefers to be known. ... Where location is needed but is not part of the official name, use parentheses: The Huntsville (Ala.) Times. (33rd ed., p. 140)

Our CS1 templates separate the name and location of a newspaper like the MLA style or the last example from CMOS. Both style guides ignore the dateline location because it won't help a reader find the source; datelines are specific to the article, they vary from article to article within the same newspaper, and are not going to help distinguish between two papers of the same name. Imzadi 1979  18:37, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Ahhh, now I begin to understand. Thanks for clearing that up. The dateline is probably for the benefit of the newspaper then, not the reader, to help distinguish between articles with the same name. --Auric talk 18:59, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Not really. "A dateline should tell the reader that the AP obtained the basic information for the story in the datelined city" is how the Associated Press describes it (AP Stylebook, 33rd ed., p. 57). The dateline is only going to appear inside a paper once you find the article to give the reader information about the article, but if you're going off a citation, you'll need to find the right paper called The Daily News first. Imzadi 1979  19:19, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I see. Thanks for the clarification.--Auric talk 19:31, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Work parameter (Template:Cite news)[edit]

I'm sure I'm not the only one here that has this problem. It seems that most of the people using this template do not understand the difference between the 'publisher' parameter and the 'work' parameter. The result is that many templates are filled out incorrectly, with the 'publisher' parameter filled instead of the more appropriate 'work'. Is there any way we could clarify this, perhaps by renaming the 'work' parameter to something more obvious? It is annoying to have to fix templates that have filled out incorrectly merely because of the vagaries of the parameters. RGloucester 17:50, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

The aliases for |work= are |newspaper= or |magazine=. The documentation clearly says that |publisher= is for the company that publishes something and that |work= is for the name of the name of the published work. I don't know why people will get that the publisher is a company in the case of a book, but get confused on newspapers. Maybe they forget that an article is published in the Daily News and not published by the Daily News. I also find the same confusions with television networks like CBS (the publisher) and individual programs like 60 Minutes (the published "work" of the network). With the alternate parameter names already in place, I think the only way forward is to educate people and just fix their errors. Imzadi 1979  18:48, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes. There's really no excuse for not acting like one cannot tell the difference between Apple Records and The Magical Mystery Tour. The only template code suggestion that might help is to add a |publishingco= parameter as an equivalent of |publisher= and change the documentation to stop mentioning the latter.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:48, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd support that change. The parameter would be longer, but at least it would make it absolutely clear that 'publisher' is not the same thing as the 'work' it was published in. RGloucester 13:59, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
To be clear, I also support such a change, as the nominator-of-sorts. This template already uses long-winded parameter names, so it's not a big deal. I'd like it if it also supported |pubr= for those of us with borderline carpal tunnel syndrome, but whatever. I know we can't keep adding duplicate parameters indefinitely.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:17, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Rethinking accessdate[edit]

During testing of an AWB script to 'fix' accessdate CS1 errors (more), I began wondering if we shouldn't be rethinking |accessdate=, its application, and the rules for its use. So, some of the questions that I think need answering are:

  1. Is |accessdate= correctly defined in terms of:
    a. its meaning?
    b. rules that govern when to use it?
    c. rules that govern when to display it?
  2. Are the definitions above correctly and adequately documented?
  3. Are we correctly handling citations that have |accessdate= but don't have |url=?
    1. No? What should we be doing with these citations?
  4. Do we need a bot to sift through Category:Pages using citations with accessdate and no URL?
    1. What should the bot fix?
    2. What constitutes a fix?

I'm sure that there are other questions but these are enough for now.

Trappist the monk (talk) 20:02, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Good questions. To help with answering question 1, here's the current text from CS1 template documentation that explains |accessdate=
  • accessdate: Full date when original URL was accessed; use the same format as other access and archive dates in the citations; requires url. Do not wikilink. Not required for web pages or linked documents that do not change; mainly for use of web pages that change frequently or have no publication date. Can be hidden or styled by registered editors.
Some thoughts:
  • It seems clear enough to me, but is it "correctly defined"?
  • I was unable to find an explanation of when the value of |accessdate= is actually displayed, except for the oblique "requires url".
  • There is no reference to date verification.
  • I believe that we are handling these citations as documented, though the documentation could be made more explicit.
  • I believe that the bot should fix the citations described at Help_talk:CS1_errors#Accessdate in rules 1–8 by commenting out |accessdate=. – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:44, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
|accessdate= is only displayed when |url= has a value.
Trappist the monk (talk) 00:03, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Does the module only look at |url=, or are other places where a URL might be found considered?
Here is a non-exhaustive list of places where a URL might be found:
URL positions:
  • bare URLS in, or next to the citation (some are placed next to citations; yep, not the way it is supposed to be, but it is done)
  • |url=
  • |chapterurl=
  • |chapter-url=
  • |contributionurl=
  • |contribution-url=
  • |archive-url=
  • |layurl=
  • |website= (Yep, again not supposed to happen, but it does)
  • |deadurl= (Yep, again not supposed to happen, but it does)
  • commented out URLs
  • Any parameter in which the editor has placed a URL. example:
Fortescue, Sir John William (1915), A history of the British army, 4 part 2, Macmillan and company, pp. 889–890  [Note: This example links to a source which should not be changing, but other citations link to changeable content.]
Keep in mind that all it takes is a missing | character and the |url= is actually in some other parameter.
Technical note: The module should be changed to have one piece of code that determines if a URL is present and set a flag variable. Errors are also inappropriately generated about the lack of |url= for the presence of |archiveurl= when a |chapterurl= or |contributionurl= is present. Probably also the case for |layurl=, but I have not tested that one. — Makyen (talk) 02:03, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
From the beginning, |accessdate= has only applied to |url=. A primary requirement in the original development of Module:Citation/CS1 was to keep its functionality the same as that of {{citation/core}}. Now that most CS1 templates have migrated from {{citation/core}} to Module:Citation/CS1 that requirement may be eased.
Would you have an access-type date for all of your list of urls when there are multiple occurrences in a citation? If only one |accessdate=, to which in your list of urls should it apply if there are multiples but not |url=? What about the automatic urls associated with the module-supported identifiers (bibcode, doi, pmid, etc)?
Anything inside HTML remark tags in a CS1 citation is not visible to Module:Citation/CS1. To change that behavior would require a change to Wikimedia parser. So, the commented out URLs item on your list doesn't apply.
Trappist the monk (talk) 10:45, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Concerning Template:Csdoc#url, it generally makes no sense to include an accessdate in a journal citation, even if a url is present. Articles that are published in journals must by definition have been published on a specific date and with rare exceptions, the content is frozen and does not change over time. If a publication does not have an original publication date (year + volume + issue + page number), it wasn't published in a journal. With or without a url, I generally delete accessdates in cite journal templates on sight. Hence if a journal citation contains an accessdate without a url, I think the accessdate can be safely be deleted. Boghog (talk) 20:50, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Bohog's comment is true of print journals. However, cite journal has long been a synonym for cite news. Both news outlets and journals are now online, so there is a greater potential for changes to content, especially for news media. Another issue is that editors may not think to use cite web rather than cite journal when citing material on a journal website that is not a "paper", for example, a style guide for the journal. Jc3s5h (talk) 21:54, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Given that it appears people have not, and will not, follow the link to the other discussion, I am re-posting an edited version of comments I made there (it is a bit TL;DR 8-) ):
I object to |accessdate= being deleted on any citations.
  1. I regularly use access date information, even those on material which is supposedly unchanging (e.g. books, PMID, DOI, etc). |accessdate= provides a hint as to when the citation was entered on the page. Generally, this means that the person who added the citation believed that the reference supported the text at that point. While this may, or may not, be accurate, I routinely use access dates to prioritize which references need to be checked to verify that article content is still supported by the citation. Using it in this way is, of course, imperfect. However, there really is just not enough time in existence to do all the checking which really should be performed. This is one piece of information which can be used to help determine where to spend limited time.
  2. I have also found that |accessdate= is useful in attempting to determine to what a reference actually is referring. We all know those references that have inaccurate or corrupted information. Sometimes the citation is copied from page to page with errors/vandalism – I recently fixed one that had the same error on 34 pages across 7 wikis which appeared to be the result of copying a vandalized citation. All information we have, including |accessdate=, is potentially valuable in such situations. In that specific instance having the |accessdate= helped me identify which citations had been copied from page to page and which were valid. This would have taken much longer without |accessdate=.
  3. |accessdate= can provide a hint as to the time-frame of the actual date of the reference when that is not included with the citation.
  4. It also can be used to eliminate some possibilities of what the reference is (A citation can't refer to a reference created after that date).
  5. |accessdate= is also useful as one of the quick sanity checks for a citation: Is |accessdate= before |date=? If so, that citation needs to be checked.
  6. In addition, I have used |accessdate= as an indicator that someone has merely copied a reference from one page to another. This can indicate that the person may have not bothered to read the actual reference which may imply that a closer examination of if the reference actually supports the text is appropriate. If the |accessdate= does not closely match the date when the citation was added to the page this can indicate that the citation was not actually checked by the editor who put it in the article.
Let's not delete the information just because some people feel it is not useful, to them, on a citation that is correctly formatted, not corrupted by vandalism and has not been copied from page to page.
Why is having an access date actually bad in any of these situations? Is it just that people feel it is not useful, for them right then? It's not like we have a limited amount of space on a page and we need to trim all information which is not critical.
I see no reason to consider that having an |accessdate= without a URL is inherently an error, let alone that the |accessdate= should be deleted for that reason. I can understand the converse of a URL without access date being an error. I can understand not requiring an access date for most references without a URL (i.e. ones which refer to physical objects).
It is not reasonable to consider it an error to have an access date when the reference does not have a URL where other information in the citation implies that what is being referenced is not primarily on the web. In such case, the access date is information that is helpful in some situations, but not required. It is reasonable to give a warning that someone should check the citation and verify that a URL is not supposed to be there and disable the warning (perhaps with something similar to |ignore-isbn-error=true). Alternately, just have the module not flag having an |accessdate= without a URL to be an error if there is a valid ISBN, DOI, or other ID that leads directly to a permanent, unchanging reference.
The existence of the "error" is not to indicate that having the access date is wrong. It is to indicate that having an access date makes it likely that the person forgot to enter a URL when a URL is what is being referenced. The solution to citations being erroneously classified as this type of "error" is not to get rid of the access date information. The solution is to change the module so that it does not report most of the cases mentioned in the list of tasks (elsewhere), where additional information that the module has (e.g. valid ISBN, DOI, etc.) indicates that a URL should not be required. Additionally, there should be a way to directly inform the module that a specific instance has been checked and |accessdate= without a URL is not something that needs further attention (e.g. a |no-url-is-ok=true)).
It appears to me that people may be coming at this from the wrong point of view: See error..."fix" in easiest way possible. The easiest solution for an editor is to remove the |accessdate=. For us, there are more appropriate ways to solve a large quantity of these "errors". I think one reason people are concentrating on removing |accessdate= is that the text of the "error" leads their thinking in that direction. The "error" should have different text which concentrates on the lack of a URL, not the presence of |accessdate=. The error text should be something along the lines of: "Is there a missing URL? Add |no-url-is-ok=true if URL is not missing." instead of what is currently displayed.
All of the templates are increasingly used to refer to online versions of documents instead of physical copies. They are (all?) used to actually refer to websites with and without URLs being included. It would only be reasonable to comment out/delete |accessdate= if you can actually verify that there is enough valid data to indicate that the source really is a physical paper copy of an article. Doing so in such instances would ignore the other uses for |accessdate= data.
For a large portion of citations currently in the error category, the right solution is for the module to not report the missing URL error when enough information is there to indicate a valid physical source, or "permanent" electronic location information (e.g. valid ISBN, valid DOI, valid arXiv, etc.). The module should also be changed to: 1. have a parameter which can be added to the citation to indicate that a URL is intentionally not present; 2. report the "error" in a manner that more clearly indicates that the issue is a potential lack of a URL, not the presence of |accessdate=. — Makyen (talk) 02:03, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

I'll attempt a partial answer to the questions in Trappist's post that began this thread. An accessdate should be specified for content that was obtained from a source that is accessible through the World Wide Web, and similar protocols (for example, Gopher) if and only if the source

  1. lacks a publication date OR
  2. is likely to disappear and be difficult to locate OR
  3. is likely to be altered

The first choice for the URL is the URL that is visible in the browser address bar while reading the source. If this isn't feasible, for example, with a pdf, the second choice is a URL that will download the source, will display download instructions, or which contains a link which can be clicked to download the source. Third chhoice: if the procedure for accessing the source is more complex (for example some paywalls), the URL should be a page from which the source can be navigated to; after the close of the CS1 template (but before the &ltref> element, if applicable) the navigation directions should be given. Jc3s5h (talk) 12:27, 15 April 2014 (UTC), clarified 13:22 UT.

To clarify, do you mean:
  • lacks a publication date OR is likely to disappear and be difficult to locate OR is likely to be altered
or do you mean:
  • (lacks a publication date AND is likely to disappear and be difficult to locate) OR is likely to be altered
or do you mean:
  • lacks a publication date AND (is likely to disappear and be difficult to locate OR is likely to be altered)
Not sure I understand your apparent exception for pdf files unless by that you mean the exception for those browsers that spawn Adobe reader either as a plugin or as a separate program. If that's the case, then, is it not true that the url of the pdf can be obtained with a right mouse click on the pdf link and then by choosing 'Copy link address' or some such similar action?
Trappist the monk (talk) 13:13, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I mention pdf files as a type where the URL of the file may not be visible while viewing the file. This would also often apply to Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint files. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:24, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Is it necessary for a reader to see the file's url while viewing the file? And still, isn't it true that for a file not directly displayed by the browser, the file's url is available with a right mouse click on the file's link in the referring page? For example, there are pdf links on this PMC search results page. If I want the url of the pdf file for the article "By any name, female–female competition yields differential mating success", I can right click on the pdf link and get this url:
This same applies to any non-native file type, right?
How does all of this apply to rethinking |accessdate=?
Trappist the monk (talk) 14:18, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I didn't word my post as well as it could be worded. The parameters, the automatic warnings, and any bots making fixes should all be in agreement. Much of what I wrote is intended as advice to an editor about which URL to include in a citation; if one URL will display the source directly while another will lead to a page where it could be downloaded by clicking a link, the former is preferable. From the display and bot-fixing point of view, we should hesitate to hide or remove the accessdate if we don't know what kind of source we are dealing with. Maybe it's a paywall where it's impossible to give a URL that will lead directly to the source; the editor didn't know what to do so left out the URL. A later editor may be able to supply a URL that is somewhat helpful. Jc3s5h (talk) 14:53, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
The issues about paywall sites are another reason to drop all restrictions about "accessdate=". -Wikid77 17:21, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Opinions of accessdate restrictions[edit]

I think enough objections have been raised, above and in prior discussions, to reach a consensus now about the "accessdate=" parameter. Reply below. -Wikid77 17:21, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Support removing accessdate restrictions: Limiting accessdate has not worked. The day someone noted a URL can be linked within a page number, I knew immediately the accessdate should have no restrictions and always be shown. The alternative would be new parameter "show_accessdate_you_moron = true" and that would only confirm the contempt which many people feel about accessdate, when one angry user noted we should just offer an abbreviation instead, such as "acdate=". Always beware how intelligent people are judging Wikipedia, and try to act smarter, quicker. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:21, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Unsure exactly what you are proposing but if removal of text "Not required for web pages or linked documents that do not change; mainly for use of web pages that change frequently or have no publication date." then I am in favour of deleting that phrase from the document and allowing it to be used without such restriction. Trying to enforce this is just ridiculous. Keith D (talk) 18:03, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
It sounds like Wikid77 and Keith D are in favor of displaying the value of |accessdate= in all cases and eliminating the current error message. Please correct me if I am misstating your position.
That leads me to wonder what harm would come from doing that. If someone wants to provide an accessdate for a book they found at the library, does that do any harm? I can't think of any. It may be extraneous information, but anyone who is looking at references on Wikipedia knows that they are going to run into all sorts of information that they do not need in order to locate the cited source. – Jonesey95 (talk) 18:52, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
One of the reasons that accessdates are everywhere is the result of click-through editing using Reflinks: some editors simply run it and click 'save' without amending anything. It always adds an accessdate. I wish editors would instead archive the reference and add archiveurl and archivedate instead. I find no use for knowing that a newspaper article published and archived on the same day was also accessed on the same day. Of course it was! -- (talk) 20:22, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Style guide that recommends access dates for reading a book? Anyone? --  Gadget850 talk 20:49, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
If one reads a first edition tome by a long-dead author, and then cites in WP what it says, the date on which it's read is entirely irrelevant. And it would be ludicrous to say that such a date was in any way meaningful. -- Ohc ¡digame! 02:24, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I entirely endorse what 79.67.. said. This is an encyclopaedia, where the object is to be useful within meaningful confines. We should not go down the road of allowing something merely because it's "harmless". Despite the instructions urging restraint, we've already gone some way down the road in ubiquitous use of access dates without truly questioning their utility or labouring under some misguided notion of the potential use which few actually explore. This is something that automated tools like Reflinks have a lot to answer for.

    Whilst some editors might feel rather clever in second-guessing by applying logical and coherence checks, these checks are often not very determinant on the error. Do I want to spoil their fun? Hell no. But we need to remember access dates add an additional dimension that occupies a lot of server storage space whilst being, IMHO, rather shallow. This encyclopaedia, being a wiki, is prone to all sorts inconsistencies. Errors and vandalism happen and are often corrected by others. Maintaining these access dates is more trouble than is worth, as one can just as easily (or not) find alternatives or archived cites without them. OTOH, having these gives a false sense of security that a link can be found with a little diligence. Access dates are not palliatives for poor referencing practices. They should be removed in favour of urging editors to preemptively or systematically archive. -- Ohc ¡digame! 01:51, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Support within reasons; maybe we need some limitations but more lax ones. Accessdates can be useful for non-web sources. Any source that may change should have an accessdate. Accessdates can also be used to indicate when a source was checked vs. when others sources were checked or when some other thing happened, and this can be useful information in determining whether source verification has been completed (i.e., in relation to a WP:V/WP:RS-related cleanup or dispute tag or discussion on talk page. Not all hardcopy sources have known publication dates. If someone has added a totally pointless accessdate , thenthat can be removed, and if there's an alleged reason for putting it back (maybe it wasn't as pointless as thought), that's a matter for discussion at that article, not a "never ever do this" decision made on some "Help talk:"-namespace page that only about ten of us pay any attention to.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:14, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
  • "Any source that may change" is not a reliable source. "Access dates are not palliatives for poor referencing practices" make me reconsider the concept of access date altogether. --  Gadget850 talk 12:54, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
  • The fact that a source may change does not reflect on its reliability, so long as the source exercises appropriate editorial control over changes. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Allow uppercase parameter names[edit]

After this whole past year of the Lua-based cites, I think it is time to allow uppercase names for several major parameters, including "Title=" & "Date=" & "Publisher=" & "Accessdate=" (etc.). The successful use of capital "Author=" has shown the feature to be workable, as well as perhaps leading some people to imagine capital "Title=" should work as well. The data seems to show 10% of spelling errors are capital-letter parameters, although the percentage might be higher due to the obvious quick fix for a even newcomer to use lowercase when an error message is seen. To simplify implementation, perhaps start with just 10 major parameters where the capital letter would be allowed.

Although the unknown parameters have been fixed among the 10,000 articles with "unsupported" parameters, the prior usage can be estimated from checking the user-space pages, as with a search:
          • Google Search: "Unknown parameter" "date ignored"
In several prior cases, the problem has been capital "Date=" as an irksome glitch which prevented the date from appearing in a formatted cite. Anyway, because the long-term use of capital "Author=" has not caused major problems, then allowing a capital letter in 10 other major parameters should work well. -Wikid77 18:13, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

This kind of tolerance of mixed case doesn't sound crazy to me. Clearly I'm in a devil's advocate mood today. Does anyone know the rationale behind allowing only lower-case letters in most parameters? Is there some programming-related reason that (some) parameters need to be case-sensitive? Why should the parser care whether someone writes |author=, |Author=, |AUTHOR=, or even, perversely, |AuthoR=? I'm just asking. If there's a reason, it would be helpful to understand it. – Jonesey95 (talk) 19:00, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
In the old template, we would have had to case change each and every parameter. This would have added more overhead to an already resource intensive template. I had a fix for the double periods issue, but it added way to much overhead.
We have any number of bots working citation templates that we must consider before making a change of this magnitude. And lower case parameters are the defacto standard. --  Gadget850 talk 19:39, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Having bots do it (very easy for them to spot, quick to hopefully do) seems much more sensible than a programming fix, which will marginally make the code more complex. Only marginally but added up across every reference in every article there's bound to be some impact. All for fixing a few dozen/hundred/thousand errors. If bots do it once fixed it's fixed, and can stay fixed with periodic bot patrols.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 20:05, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Right, this would add a terrible amount of overhead to the template, and would make some pages fail (there's a limit to how many templates and parser functions one page can call). MediaWiki really needs some way to set "this wiki's parameters are case-insensitive by default" and "in this code, flip the case-sensitive bit until we say stop".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:01, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Browsing through the search above, the first ten search pages are user and talk pages. The few articles I sampled don't have this error, as they were fixed but still show in Google's search cache. I don't see a huge problem. --  Gadget850 talk 10:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That's because gnomes have diligently fixed all of those articles over the past few months (the error category was emptied yesterday!) and User/Talk/etc. pages are not included in the CS1 error category. – Jonesey95 (talk) 13:07, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I wanted to see what it would be like to edit a page with all-uppercase parameter names, so I temporarily created this. Click the edit button at the top of the left hand column. To me it is not at all pleasant and quite a lot like being shouted at. -- (talk) 13:11, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that this is an issue. For a time, there were a large number of {{cite music release notes}} templates in article space with capitalized parameters. Because that template is handled by {{citation/core}}, the capitalized parameters weren't displayed. I've fixed that with an AWB script and I've fixed thousands of capitalization errors in Category:Pages with citations using unsupported parameters. That category is essentially empty now.
I would rather see more consistency than less. It's my experience that for the vast majority of templates, parameter names are case sensitive and that the default state is lowercase. Without there being a significant clamor for case insensitive parameter handling, we should stick with lowercase.
Along the lines of consistency, I think, and have said before that we should standardize on parameter name separator characters and style. We have parameters that don't use a separator; parameters that use underscores, hyphens, spaces; parameters that are capitalized, lowercase, uppercase, and CamelCase. Where separators are used, the hyphen is by far the most commonly used. While we could allow spaces in place of visible-character separators, I think that it is helpful to readers to visibly connect the various parts of a parameter name so that it looks like a whole unit and not separate words.
Similarly, where parameter names are run-together collections of whole or partial words, there should be a length limit before requiring the inclusion of separator characters. CamelCase names may be easier to parse, but out of all of the parameters currently in use, only a few have that form. As words get longer they get harder to parse, and it's harder to find typographical errors because these 'words' don't appear in everyday writing so your browser's spell checker declares most parameter names to be misspellings even when they are spelled correctly. Perhaps the limit should be 10 characters so: |accessdate= but not |ignoreisbnerror=; |trans-title= or |transtitle= but not |trans_title=; parameter names that naturally occur in English are not subject to this requirement: |encyclopedia=.
Because it is common practice to capitalize initialisms, ISBN, DOI, etc., these types of parameter names (the identifiers) are, and should continue to be, allowed. Documentation, however, should not use the capitalized versions.
So, I propose that we:
  1. deprecate underscores and spaces as parameter name separators in favor of hyphens
  2. deprecate unseparated parameter names of 10 or more characters in favor of hyphen separated names
  3. deprecate CamelCase parameter names in favor of lowercase; hyphenate as required above
  4. deprecate Capitalized parameter names in favor of lowercase; hyphenate as required above
To implement this in Module:Citation/CS1 is for the most part trivial. The cleanup afterward will require a bot or AWB script to troll through Category:Pages containing cite templates with deprecated parameters to repair individual citations. I am prepared to do that task.
Trappist the monk (talk) 13:38, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
As someone that has often typed |trans-title= without thinking, I support your proposal for parameter names to include hyphens, not underscores, not spaces, not CamelCaps and not capitalised. When inconsistency is allowed, it becomes harder to spot inconsistent things that are real errors. Of course, bots that edit references should be able to read aNyCase and allow for space or underscore where hyphen should be and then re-emit the corrected reference parameter names as all lower case with hyphens. It would be nice to see a requirement for space to the left of each pipe as a bare minimum so that word-wrap also has a fighting chance of working properly. -- (talk) 16:51, 16 April 2014 (UTC)


At present, the citation templates does not seem to recognise "circa" and abbreviations thereof, and throws these up as cs1 date errors. What does the template recognise, if at all? Or what can we do about these? -- Ohc ¡digame! 03:21, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

"c. " should work (letter c, full stop, space), like this:
Cite book compare
{{ cite book | publisher=Publisher | title=Title | date=c. 1894 | author=Author }}
Live Author (c. 1894). Title. Publisher. 
Sandbox Author (c. 1894). Title. Publisher. 
This usage conforms with WP:DATEOTHER, which is part of the MOS. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:07, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
In that case, per ISO/WCAG accessibility guidelines, the HTML should be <abbr title="circa">c.</abbr>_ (my underscore represents your space). The template {{abbr}} may be used to achieve this. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:44, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Which would then corrupt the & with the {{abbr}} HTML. --  Gadget850 talk 09:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
And it exposes the strip markers and causes a date error.
Markup Renders as
{{cite book |title=Title |date={{abbr|c.|circa}} 1900}}
Title. c. 1900. 

<span class="citation book">''Title''. <abbr   title="circa">c.</abbr> 1900.</span><span title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&" class="Z3988"><span style="display:none;">&nbsp;</span></span> <span style="display:none;font-size:100%" class="error citation-comment">Check date values in: <code>&#124;date=</code> ([[Help:CS1 errors#bad_date|help]])</span>}}

--  Gadget850 talk 09:53, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
And it looks like any inclusion of #tag or a template that includes it causes the strip marker issue. I'm not knowledgeable enough about Lua to be able to break this down and properly characterize it. --  Gadget850 talk 12:56, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
What about the template {{circa}} which is what WP:DATEOTHER suggests as the way of displaying approximate dates? Nthep (talk) 13:06, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

The shortcut above, WP:DATEOTHER, is incorrect; it is associated with the level 4 heading "Ranges" heading in MOSNUM (not MOS). The correct heading is "Uncertain, incomplete, or approximate dates". Jc3s5h (talk) 13:12, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Same thing:
Markup Renders as
{{cite book |title=Title |date={{circa}} 1900}}
Title. c. 1900. 

<span class="citation book">''Title''. <abbr   title="circa">c.</abbr> 1900.</span><span title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&" class="Z3988"><span style="display:none;">&nbsp;</span></span> <span style="display:none;font-size:100%" class="error citation-comment">Check date values in: <code>&#124;date=</code> ([[Help:CS1 errors#bad_date|help]])</span>}}

If we are going to use this, we need to include it in the CS1 module. --  Gadget850 talk 13:18, 17 April 2014 (UTC)