Wikipedia talk:Embedded citations

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This page is a verbatim copy of Wikipedia:Citing sources#Embedded HTML links. Having two copies of the same guideline in the Wikipedia namespace seems like a bad idea for several reasons, one of which is that the two copies are likely to get out of sync. Does anyone object to my redirecting this to Wikipedia:Citing sources? I'll wait a week or so for objections and then do it. —Caesura(t) 13:56, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Caesura, I created this page because I found the information on embedded html link citations very hard to find. The Wikipedia:Citing sources page is way too long. In the past I've become discouraged and given up when trying to figure out how to add a citation to a page. I would suggest the proper action would be to abbreviate Wikipedia:Citing sources#Embedded HTML links. I'll probably take a stab at it myself later. --Nlevitt 18:30, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Rename to Wikipedia:Embedded links[edit]

This page and citation technique should be renamed to Wikipedia:Embedded links. Wikipedia:Harvard referencing already refers here using this term, and it is much clearer. Embedded citations could refer to any inline citation. Comments? here 08:22, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that's a good idea. We shouldn't be making embedded links that aren't citations, and the rename implies that it's OK. -- Siobhan Hansa 00:00, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I agree embedded links should only be citations. However, the name of the article implies nothing about our policy. The name should be appropriate to the tool (even you used embedded links!), and describe what is and isn't ok. I added a note right at the top saying * This style of link should only be used as a citation for a specific section or fact. Other links should be limited to an External links section as described at Wikipedia:External links. here 02:03, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I feel like we may be talking at cross purposes here. I used the term embedded links because that was the starting point for the conversation. Embedded citations are embedded links, but not all embedded links need be citations and this guideline is about embedded citations (at least, that's my reading of it). It seems to me we ought to use the more specific term so that it doesn't encourage people to broaden the content of the guideline to allow more than citations as embedded links. I don't think I'm seeing your whole point of view - is it just that we should call the guideline embedded links because that's how most people talk about embedded citations?
By the way, I like your edit on the guideline page. Makes it much easier to follow. --Siobhan Hansa 03:07, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks ;), it's improving! I agree, we're walking by each other somewhere, heh. My intent is that this will 1) be easier to find by title for those using this technique, and 2) bring in folks seeking info on embedded links for other purposes.
I'm under the impression that all embedded links should be citations. Your first comment agrees, We shouldn't be making embedded links that aren't citations. Having link in the title would help bring everyone looking for embedded links, citations or not, to this page. At that point we can explain the details and guidelines, along with any possible exceptions. This is similar to Wikipedia:Footnotes, which has to deal with both footnotes as citations and other usage of old footnote templates and <ref> tag usage. here 08:19, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Even the Manual of Style uses this term to refer to this technique. WP:MoS#External_links. here 02:18, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Cite news template[edit]

I changed the example to use the cite news template, as this provides consistency and is pretty common on Wikipedia. Sorry, I marked the change as "cite web" by mistake. ---Remember the dot 06:54, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, I was wondering how to work that in. I re-added the manual technique for comparison. I see no problem offering the option. Folks shouldn't need to get templates to try to use this. here 08:01, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Self Link in Article?[edit]

The first item in the "References" section is a self-link to the article page. Is this intended as a style example? or should it be removed?--Turangalila (talk) 00:08, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

  • It's intended as an example; you'll see a link "[1]" near the top of the article, which is the same thing. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:57, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Embedded links disadvantages : Spotting references, Web resources not named[edit]

Let's use the JBoss application server article as an example :

Red Hat announced that they were buying JBoss.  Red Hat and JBoss have since completed the acquisition.

The sentence has two embedded links. I see the following disadvantages :

  • Spotting references : Embedded links are not automatically linked to a "References" section. This discussion article mentions that they should manually be added to such a section. But what's the point of using embedded links when you can use real references ?
  • Web resources not named : In the example external links are used as embedded links. The readers have no idea that the referenced Web pages are Red Hat Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire JBoss and Red Hat Completes Acquisition of JBoss. This discussion article warns that embedded links can become dead, if so then it's nearly impossible to find the linked resources from their URLs.

This discussion article lists the following advantages :

  • Embedded links are easy to visit.
  • Embedded links are easy to create and maintain.

I agree that one-clicking a reference is nice but they're in no way easy to maintain. I see them as quick and dirty referencing because the contributors don't even have to actually reference them. They're just URL-linked to the article. I think they just clutter the encyclopedia with useless links, soon to become dead links and lower the overall quality of the project. Comments are welcome. --Goa103 16:01, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

True, embedded links can become broken links -- but so can links in footnotes. If, however, an editor follows the procedure on the project page, and duplicates the link in a references section as a full cite including retrieval date, there's hope the link can be repaired or dug up in a cache somewhere by the enterprising future reader/editor.
I think using embedded links & manual references can be useful in an article where footnote style might be awkward -- eg: where the article synthesizes highly similar material from multiple sources. In that case you may want to list some online and/or printed sources without <ref>-ing them to any particular factoid, & the embedded links in the text serve more as "for instance" links for material that also could be found in the other references listed. At least that was my thinking when I composed THIS ARTICLE -- in which most of the information could be found in at least 3 or 4 of the sources listed. I think my solution there works OK, though I'd welcome any criticism (Of course that was also a troll for general feedback on the article, which would be welcome at it's talk page or mine).
Incidentally, many of the various help pages, at first, left me with the impression that all external links--even references/sources for the article--had to go into a seperate "External Links" section at the end. The guidelines as they currently stand, taken together, sow a bit of confusion on that point, at least for me.
--Turangalila (talk) 10:19, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that embedded links are quick and dirty, and usually not followed up properly in the references section. Even if there is a references section, because there is no direct link between the inline citation and the references section, it is more difficult to determine which inline citation is missing in the references section. I'll take footnote citations over embedded any day. —Brien ClarkTalk 19:31, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Inconsistent use of 'on'[edit]

I was recently asked to remove the 'on' in 'Retrieved on' in my refs at FAC. This turns out to be difficult as {cite web} creates the word as standard per the overleaf example. This has been raised at Template talk:Cite web#Redundant word "on" before the date and I have suggested to the guardians of the template that the usage recommended at WP:CITE is at variance from the template. I now see that this is true of this page too.

WP:CITE#Embedded Links suggests the format: Accessed [[October 27]] [[2005]]. Ideally this would be changed from 'Accessed' to 'Retrieved' as this now seems to be the standard verb in use, but there is clearly a discrepancy on this page too regarding the use or otherwise of 'on' that should be cleared up. Ben MacDui (Talk) 09:33, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

What if the "References" section is already in place and has citations from one of the other two acceptable citation systems?[edit]

The project page doesn't offer any guidance if there already is a "References" section that is being used for footnotes or Harvard referencing. I can see three possibilities; whichever one is the consensus, the project page needs to be changed, along with information at Wikipedia:Citing sources and Wikipedia:Manual of Style.

  1. Embedded citations shouldn't be used, because we don't mix citation systems within a single article. (But according to the project page, we do.)
  2. The editor should change the header of the section titled "References" to something else (that would be "Notes" for footnotes; what would it be for Harvard referencing?), and should add a new "References" section, where the full citations required by the embedded citation system should be placed.
  3. The editor should leave the "References" section as is, and add a new section (titled what?) to place the full citations that are required by the embedded citations system.

As someone who thinks the embedded citations system is problematical (particularly because off-line citations are impossible with it), I'd appreciate the opinions of others - and in fact if there already is consensus on this, including someone changing the project page to address this issue. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:32, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Again, can we get rid of this redundant word "on"?[edit]

How? I've asked at the citeweb template, which is scattering thousands of ons all over the place. We just don't want them. They pass the buck to this page. Who can help? Tony (talk) 05:34, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

erm. What are you talking about? Which redundant "on"? Is there a typo somewhere? -- SiobhanHansa 14:47, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
"Retrieved ON 4 September, 1978." Can we get rid of the "on" please? It's redundant. Tony (talk) 14:57, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I see what you're talking about. Unless others object soon you should just be bold and change it. I have no preference myself. You do seem to have been given the run-around a little so far, but you should prepare yourself for the real work after you've succeeded in editing the templates. I expect you'll start to see more opposition from people who care after the change starts trickling down to actual article pages - a lot of these guidelines and template pages aren't watchlisted by many people. -- SiobhanHansa 18:15, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I can't: only admins can. And I bet you a beer that no one will object. What we will' get is every so slightly tidier lists of external links. Tony (talk) 11:17, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
The page doesn't seem to be protected - you should be able to go ahead and make the change. If not use {{editprotected}} -- SiobhanHansa 12:12, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
You're right, but where's the "on" to remove at template:citeweb? Isn't it in some kind of source code? I've no idea what to do. Tony (talk) 12:39, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I believe you need to change the wording in a whole host of places, starting with the two examples on this page. Once you've got it changed here you'll have something "official", as it were, to point to when you actually try to get the wording changed on each of the cite templates. As I understand it, the wording is done individually on each template so you'll need to make the change request on each template talk page (most templates are protected and need admins to change them), opening up opportunities for opposition in each place. That's why I think you probably have most of your work still ahead of you. After that of course there are still all the hand coded references that will each need to be manually changed, but that's a work in progress that all editors can tackle over time - and it may be possible to get a bot to do that once it looks like people accept the new wording. It might make sense to get some other editors on your side who are known for their attention to that kind of detail, then you'd have a workgroup to help with the effort involved. -- SiobhanHansa 13:51, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

(unindent) Thinking about it, an alternative may be to make a proposal here to change the current standard wording (as you did above, but lay it out a little more clearly and make it explicit that it would lead to changes in all the templates) then advertise that debate at the village pump, on each template talk page and maybe on the talk page of the main MoS talk page. If you can develop consensus that actually gets significant input you're less likely to get opposition on each template page. I'm not sure which way would actually be less work, or be best for developing consensus - I suspect many eople won't notice until they see the change trickle down to the actual articles. -- SiobhanHansa 13:57, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for you advice, Siobhan. I'll think about what to do. Tony (talk) 16:14, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Reuse of same embedded link[edit]

Copies of the same link have a different numbering, is there some way to reuse the same link and have the same numbering? One possible way is to use [url <nowiki>[2]<nowiki>] but this may not be the best option available. (talk) 17:57, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Multiple authors?[edit]

With embedded citations, is there a way to credit more than one author? Rdavi404 13:58, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Just had that same problem. Common occurrence and template in basic editing panel is ignorant to this. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 02:30, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand the problem. Surely embedded citations don't credit any authors, they just show as numbers in square brackets like this. [1] --Redrose64 (talk) 08:30, 11 April 2011 (UTC)