Wikipedia:Naming references for beginners

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On Wikipedia, you can use what's called "naming" references in order to use the same reference more than one time, but have it in the list only once.

Let's say I wanted to use this article to cite the italicized statements below (placeholder latin text):


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius. Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum.


Using the ref-toolbar to create a citation

The completed reference is going to be this using the web template: <ref>{{cite web|last=Payne|first=Ed|title=Karzai, angry about Taliban's Qatar office, suspends peace, security talks - CNN.com|url=http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/19/world/asia/afghanistan-security-talks/index.html?hpt=hp_t2|work=CNN|accessdate=19 June 2013|coauthors=Mobasherat, Mitra}}</ref>

or this using the news template: <ref>{{cite news|last=Payne|first=Ed|title=Karzai, angry about Taliban's Qatar office, suspends peace, security talks|url=http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/19/world/asia/afghanistan-security-talks/index.html?hpt=hp_t2|accessdate=19 June 2013|newspaper=CNN.com|date=19 June 2013|author2=Mobasherat, Mitra}}</ref>

If you don't know how to easily make those citations using the "reftoolbar", there's an explanation and nice video here.

Now, using the cite news example from now on, if I put those after every time I cite from it, it shows up like this (with numbers instead of letters):


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.[a] Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum.[b] Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius. Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum.[c]

References

  1. ^ Payne, Ed; Mobasherat, Mitra (19 June 2013). "Karzai, angry about Taliban's Qatar office, suspends peace, security talks". CNN.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Payne, Ed; Mobasherat, Mitra (19 June 2013). "Karzai, angry about Taliban's Qatar office, suspends peace, security talks". CNN.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Payne, Ed; Mobasherat, Mitra (19 June 2013). "Karzai, angry about Taliban's Qatar office, suspends peace, security talks". CNN.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

Now this is undesirable because it uses the same reference three times, and it shows up in the list three times.

If you'll notice in the code above, we put <ref> as the start of the reference. But there's a modifier we can use to give the reference a "name", or a unique identifier for the specific page it's used on. In the example above, I may name this ref "CNN report" or something similar. To do that, use this: <ref name="NAME HERE"> as the first time. Only name the reference the first time you use it.

Then, after you name the first instance, go back and replace all of the following references with <ref name="THE SAME NAME" /> with the space and slash. This will produce the following, with the reference only "recited".


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.[i] Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum.[i] Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius. Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum.[i]

References

  1. ^ a b c Payne, Ed; Mobasherat, Mitra (19 June 2013). "Karzai, angry about Taliban's Qatar office, suspends peace, security talks". CNN.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

This produces one citation, and uses the letters (a-z, then aa, bb, cc, etc.) to show how many times it's used in the article, as well as provide a "click" point to go to wherever the citation is used. Clicking on the a takes you to the first time it's used, the b to the second, and so on.

If you're doing this from a reference already in an article, the steps are as follows:

  1. Find the first instance of the reference on the page.
  2. Change the opening <ref> tag to be <ref name="name here">
  3. Replace all following instances of the reference with <ref name="name here">
  4. Save the page.

You can do this for multiple references on the page, but no two different references can have the same name. This can be fixed by giving names such as "CNN report 1", "CNN report 2", and so on, but that causes confusion as to which report is 1, 2, and so on. The better way to fix this would be to give descriptive names, such as "CNN interviews Obama", and so on. This way, you can remember what reference name is which when you're using them again.