Help talk:Footnotes

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Quotes in Reference name - new?[edit]

All of a sudden I am seeing these annoying quote marks in my reference names again. Can these be permanently not used again. They were blessedly missing for a very long time. They are very unnecessary in my opinion. Not sure why they are making an unwelcome comeback. -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 22:30, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Can you please link to an example to show us what is bothering you? Quotation marks around reference names are the recommended format, as you can see at WP:REFNAME. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:38, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
The quotes all of a sudden re-appeared after being blessedly missing. The only example I could provide is a ref name in quotes. It's totally annoying. The ref names work without quotes, the quotes are obviously unnecessary, so why use them? It's just one more opportunity for a typo, adding superfluous text. -- BrillLyle (talk) 23:04, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Quotes are mandatory for some forms of ref name, such as when it contains spaces. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:48, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Flagging inadequate referencing[edit]

(Deleted, see below.) --Thnidu (talk) 02:27, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

Thnidu, I know that technical problems can be frustrating, but venting your frustration here does not help anyone. Would you consider removing this comment and posting a calmer summary at WP:VPT? – Jonesey95 (talk) 02:57, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
@Jonesey95: Thank you for being so tolerant, and I'm sorry for setting the screen metaphorically on fire. I knew I was going way over the top, but that was the second or third time already and I couldn't take it. It's one in the morning here, I'm already up way later than I wanted to be, and I'll try to follow the rest of your advice tomorrow,– that is, sometime after sleep and waking.--Thnidu (talk) 05:10, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

List of citations and alphabetical order[edit]

Why is the List of citations (reflist) in wikipedia in numerical order? Why it's not in alphabetical order by the names of the author, like in academic literature etc? Current style of ordering of the List of citations is in my opinion not very efficient. In case of longer articles with many references, this alphabetically messy ordering of the List of citations makes pretty hard to find a citation by the author's name, and most notably, this causes the editor to easily make unnecessary repetitions in the List of citations, because it's not easily seen whether the same reference is already existing in the list or not (references with same name does not appear side by side in the list). Are there any way to put reflist in alphabetical order? --Mustvalge (talk) 14:59, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

For example, in the article DNA, in the reflist there are written at least two times the same reference: Watson JD, Crick FH (1953). "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid". Lists of citations in Wikipedia articles are probably full of these unnecessary repetitions --Mustvalge (talk) 15:13, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
References are listed in numerical order by the order in which they appear in the the article. It is possible to list sources in alphabetical order using {{Harvard citation}}-style templates and other methods. See Magna Carta for an example. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:50, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
@Mustvalge: See Shortened footnotes and NBR 224 and 420 Classes. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:18, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Ok thanks. That's close for what i had in mind. Basically the paragraph "Notes" in article NBR 224 and 420 Classes is a mediator/link collection that has links to "References" and to text. Analogy is an article section "References" in article Magna Carta, that is basically a link collection mediating text and "Bibliography". I thought of something hybrid of "Notes" and "References" (in NBR 224 and 420 Classes), or "References" and "Bibliography" (in Magna Carta) - a compact way that links text and list of citations (reflist) that is in alphabetical order, not in numerical order.
Are there any way to include some kind of sort function to List of citations (reflist) that will sort citations alphabetically if needed, or by the order in which they appear in the the article when wanted? --Mustvalge (talk) 22:02, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Not as far as I know, and I think that you'd need some sort of JavaScript gadget to do it - you could ask at WP:VPT (remember to link back here, see WP:MULTI). The reflist is built up by the MediaWiki software in the form of a HTML ordered list, with each list item being added in the order in which the <ref>...</ref> tags (or {{sfn}} templates) first appear in the page. We can't change the way that the MediaWiki software works, other than by filing a phab: ticket. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:16, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
I wonder why one would want such a thing? For your Watson/Crick example, the short footnote format would consolidate that to one full citation that would be easy to find, since it would be listed in alpha order in the Sources section. Any short citations that are reused are automatically detected and listed in the Notes section (see note 1 in NBR 224 and 420 Classes, which appears three times in the article). – Jonesey95 (talk) 01:57, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I see wiki has couple of choices/styles to arrange list of references. This short footnote style is well enough, but i'm not sure right now how useful is this for a reader - i see this short citation section basically as just a mediating link collection (Notes section in NBR 224 and 420 Classes) takeing space in article. Yes, but the short citations has a page numbers..
Does Wiki have a alphanumeric style for citations? A style that has the list of references in alphabetical and numerical order but in text the numbers corresponding to citations are randomly - that means that the numbers in the text are assigned after the reference list has been alphabetized, and numbered. This seems to be the best solution for what i thought initially --Mustvalge (talk) 09:24, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Here's an example, in case my explaining skills aren't good enoguh--Mustvalge (talk) 12:29, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but the MediaWiki software as it stands cannot do this, you would need either a personal JavaScript gadget (somebody at WP:VPT might be able to help), or if you want it changing for everybody, the only route is phab:. Also, WP:DAW. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:54, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Mustvalge: I believe your question arises from a common confusion of two related but distinctly different concepts, both ambiguously subsumed in the term "citations". What the {{reflist}} produces is a list of the notes generated by <ref>...</ref> tags. These generally contain citations, which can be either a full citation that contains the bibliographic details of a source, or a short cite, which is the abbreviated "Smith 2011" kind of reference to a full citation. But notes can also contain (say) just explanatory notes, without any references. Notes are most conveniently listed in order of their appearance in the text, and numbered.
The repetitions you refer arise from editors using a source in more than once place, and not knowing how to make mulitiple "references" (i.e., pointers) to a given source. This is where the {{harv}} templates are handy. If the first use of a source is properly encoded in a citation template the subsequent "references" can be done with something like {{Harv|Watson|Crick|1953}}, and a link to the full citation is created automatically.
If you want all of the sources ("citations") to be listed in (say) "alphabetical order by the names of the author", or in any other order, then put the full citations (templated) into a separate section. Order them as you will, and link to them from the text with short cites. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:48, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
This is not true that the repetitions i refer arise entirely only from editors using a source in more than once place, and not knowing how to make mulitiple "references" (i.e., pointers) to a given source, as you say. It is your assumption with no proof. By editor i mean a person who knows how to make multiple references. You can check it out by seeing who made the repetition and check whether the same editor has used this multiple references thing also or not. The thing is that editors know but still make repetitions. Another thing is that as an occasional editor myself, alphabetically ordered list of citations would make it easier to see and sort out repetitive full citation. The method of albhabetical ordering you describe seems not very convenient for editors to use alltimes.
Thanks for clearing the concepts here, but did you look the example i posted here? This should make it clear what i tried to explain. That is an another systems for organizing reference number citations in an article, and i'm surprised it's not used in wikipedia before. Or is it? It would be easier for editors and also a reader should be prefering to find the list of references in alphabetical order. --Mustvalge (talk) 05:07, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Thread about alphanumeric citations started at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#List_of_sources_(reflist),_why_not_to_order_alphabetically?--Mustvalge (talk) 05:31, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Mustvalge, your "example" is just one way of doing "referencing", and has several short-comings. I could replicate that example here, just to show you that it can be done here, but the way of doing it is not recommended. If you want an ordered list of sources then I recommend the way I just explained. Particularly, put your sources into their own section (e.g.: "Sources"), and then you can put them into any order you wish. It is a lot more convenient than yo may realize, and you should try it a few times get a feel for it. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:02, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
What shortcomings? Please explain and prove or don't answer at all. Thanks --Mustvalge (talk) 08:56, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Your attitude is uncivil, and does not encourage discussion. Note that I do not have to "prove" anything at all. But I will point out one critical shortcoming in your proposal: you do not comprehend the range of how notes are used, and of all the special cases that would need handling. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk)
Wright. How is my attidude uncivil when u don't even bother do explain the bases of your assumptions? It's hard do have a discussion with someone who distances oneself from the discussion and the idea i try to explain by saing something like "you do not comprehend", "don't grasp the difference". Tthis is no better than hitting the wall. Could you explain how is that that i don't comprehend the range of how notes are used? Why should or would theses "special cases" needs to be handled? Besides of saing that my attitude is uncivil u have came up only with some few fuzzy arguments about why the method i mentioned should not work. But in the mean time, it's being use widely in some covermental institutions and it's one of the two basic systems for organizing Reference Number citations (if to belive what i've read about this). This method i mentioned is not somekind of my own invention. I just see it as a great tool that helps to edit references. And it would be simpler than this {{Harvard citation}}-style. In smaller wikipedias the latter one is not used also. I mean, why are you against of a thing that would just put references list in alphabetical order? And bear in mind that i'm not a native english speaker, that means i'm more into idea sharing than into case specific definitions of words. Do u understand?--Mustvalge (talk) 07:04, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
This should not be so hard to do because only difference between currently used usual style/method and the method i propose is that that in case of proposed method, the numbers in the text are assigned after(!) the reference list has been alphabetized, and numbered. Currently it's like before. So i don't see overly big changes accompanying application of this method..--Mustvalge (talk) 09:44, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
If it's so easy to do, you should check out this repository, and also this one since Parsoid reimplements the functionality of the extension, and submit patches that make it an option. If you're not a programmer, then you're not really qualified to determine whether it really is easy to do. Anomie 11:46, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
User Anomie, but what's your opinion?--Mustvalge (talk) 20:56, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Nor are you really qualified to even discuss what should be done, as you evidently lack certain basic knowledge of referencing. And your incivility is demonstrated in your demand for "proof", "or don't answer at all." That is not a language problem, that is an attitude problem. As before, I do not have to prove anything. To which I add: I am not required to explain anything, either. You want an explanation? How nice. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:19, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
ugh :) user J. Johnson (JJ), you should make some tea maybe.. --Mustvalge (talk) 22:13, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Is it possible just do disregard this attitude- and who is qualified for what thing? This is really not very constructive. My apologies if i did made someone sensitive. In the mean time i tried to look if there's something written in wikipedia about the method i mentioned, and i didn't manage to find any. So i belive that so far it's not even known to be considered as an option. So, at least i can point out that such a method exsists if someone might like to consider it. Personally it makes more sense to me than this usual style.
Only difference in appearence that this "alphanumeric sytem" does compared to usually used author–number system seems to be that it just arranges numbers in the text differently (besides of putting references section in alphabetical order). And that seems to be all, nothing more. Is it really that only shortcoming that this "alphanumeric sytem" may have is technical feasebilty?
As my questions arised from noticeing that very frequently wikipedia articles consists unnecessary repetitions in their references section and it's rather hard to manually eyeball these out. So i thought what could make this easier. The conclusion was that alphabetical ordering would be helpful. I could prefer to use this {{harv}} template-schema, but i can't imagine of makeing changes in all the text just to convert the references section alphabetical for better overview of possible repetitions, article by article. --Mustvalge (talk) 11:13, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Split by source?[edit]

List of Alpha Phi Omega members has about 2/3 of the references from issues of the Fraternity magazine and the remaining third from various unique sources. Would it make sense in any way to do a footnotes group for the fraternity magazine (and then no group for the others). I just think it would look slightly neater with the common cite mag results being together, opinions?Naraht (talk) 15:15, 24 July 2016 (UTC)