Template talk:Citation/Archive 3

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Case for continuing to maintain no trailing or internal periods

I'm generally in support of consistency, wherever possible between all the citation formats, and I think some of the recent chages are good, but I have a problem with the trailing period, and this is one area I think the cite family has gone astray. Not all citations are sentences. Some citations are inline, and others are part of the main flow of text. This is particularly true when the full citations appear in footnotes. For example, you may need to be able to make a citation such as the following:

For example, see Smith, John (1996), Flabbergusting for Dummies, New York: Random House , which questions the theory that flabbergusting should be classified as a water sport.
For example, see {{Citation|last=Smith|first=John|title=Flabbergusting for Dummies|year=1996|publisher=Random House|publication-place=New York}}, which questions the theory that flabbergusting should be classified as a water sport.

Citation has lacked a trailing period from the beginning, and this has been an assumption of users using this template, so I have at least temporarily reversed that change pending further discussion on the matter. A lot of citations rely on the fact that there is no trailing period. Also, the internal periods don't seem to be consistent with the use of these citations in an inline manner, either. Thanks to Martin, however, on the other consistency changes, which I think age good.

One possibility might be to switch to some sort of "consistency mode" by use of a parameter, and possibly having a "wrapper" citation template that calls Citation in that consistency mode. COGDEN 16:29, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

When referring to a reference in-line, it is unconventional to cite the full reference, which is usually given in the "references" or "bibliography" section. I don't recall ever seeing this in Wikipedia - can you give some in-article examples of this usage? I would expect to see your example as one of
For example, see Smith (1996), which questions the theory that flabbergusting should be classified as a water sport.
For example, see Flabbergusting for Dummies (John Smith, 1996), which questions the theory that flabbergusting should be classified as a water sport.
  • Smith, John (1996), Flabbergusting for Dummies, New York: Random House 
Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 19:05, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
What Martin said. There's really no good reason to be using the full citation template within a full sentence in the article text. (This of course is where the {{Harvnb}} template really shines.) {{Citation}} should have a trailing period. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 11:38, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I was unhappy this morning to see that the formatting of the refs at Mathematical logic had completely changed. I'm sure that is not the only article that makes the assumption that you can string more after the citation template, like this:

Fraenkel, Abraham A. (1922), "Der Begriff 'definit' und die Unabhängigkeit des Auswahlsaxioms", Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Physikalisch-mathematische Klasse, pp. 253–257  (German), reprinted in English translation as "The notion of 'definite' and the independence of the axiom of choice", van Heijenoort 1976, pp. 284–289.

I would prefer (selfishly) not to have to look through every article I have added citations to in order to remove double periods and correct formatting. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:24, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

What would be the difference between that and the following:
Fraenkel, Abraham A. (1922), "Der Begriff 'definit' und die Unabhängigkeit des Auswahlsaxioms", Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Physikalisch-mathematische Klasse, pp. 253–257  (German). Reprinted in English translation as "The notion of 'definite' and the independence of the axiom of choice", van Heijenoort 1976, pp. 284–289.
Here's how we do something similar (in El Señor Presidente), albeit with cite xxx:
Lorenz, Gunter W. (1994). "Miguel Ángel Asturias with Gunter W. Lorenz (interview date 1970)". Hispanic Literature Criticism. Jelena Krstovic (ed.). Detroit: Gale Research. pp. 159–163. ISBN 0810393751.  Excerpted from Lorenz, Gunter W. (Fall, 1975). Tom J. Lewis (trans.). "Miguel Ángel Asturias with Gunter W. Lorenz". Review (15): 5–11.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
Indeed, as far as I'm concerned that's better. (It's certainly closer to the style I know best, the MLA.) --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 11:38, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
A bot could probably get on the case if necessary. Or the closing period of a citation could be removed completely. Or a parameter could declare "final-punctuation = ". What's the best way forwards? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:44, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
"Citation" should not have a trailing period: this is changing functionality in a way that actually does do some harm. I assume the plan is to rewrite "cite-book" to call "Citation/Core", right? Just add the period to that template. ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 21:34, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
In addition, using commas rather than periods for separating the clauses of a citation makes more sense in the context of a strung-together citation in the format Carl describes. One could of course use periods and change the gluing text to capitalize "reprinted", but that would entail significant human editing to many articles; I don't think a bot could be trusted for that sort of thing. —David Eppstein (talk) 22:01, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
How about a "use-commas" (and maybe also a "show-accessdate") parameter? If requested, a bot could add that to everything that uses "citation", putting things back to how they were; I honestly suspect that in the majority of instances, full stops are more appropriate, but there's no point in upsetting editors when there is a simple workaround. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 09:28, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. We could use a parameter, and then even have a separate "compatibility" template that calls Citation using the parameters. The Citation template could have a use-commas parameter, and then pass a Sep variable to Citation/core. The Sep variable would either be a period or a comma. I think the best permanent solution, though, is to convince the Cite family people to switch to commas. Internal commas, with no trailing period, are the most versatile solution. COGDEN 16:07, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

If, eventually, commas are always to be the separator, then consensus should be gained at WP:Manual of style and WP:Citing sources that citation elements should always be separated by commas. Those two pages are the appropriate place to decide what citation style should be; the templates are the place to implement the decisions. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 16:45, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

How's that? WP:CITE doesn't prefer any particular formatting method:
There are a number of styles used in different fields. They all include the same information but vary in punctuation and the order of the author's name, publication date, title, and page numbers. Any of these styles is acceptable on Wikipedia so long as articles are internally consistent
— Carl (CBM · talk) 18:46, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
If Cite xxx and Citation only support one style, fine, then editors who want to use a different style can't use these templates. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 18:56, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I thought the whole point of rewriting the templates was to reduce the inconsistency in style among our citations. I have no problem with eventually moving with a style in which we separate everything by periods (as would have the advantage of matching the Chicago Manual of Style), and I don't want to add extra parameters that would encourage editors to use other styles. But I would like to see a clearer plan for getting from where we are now to that more consistent state. —David Eppstein (talk) 19:01, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style, but I have seen purported CMS-compliant citations that use commas. Does CMS really always require periods? I think periods are not a problem so long as you can assume that the only place where a full citation will show up is in a bibliography at the end of the article. Personally, that's how I use Citation, and then I use Harvtxt in footnotes or Harv inline. But some articles put full citations in the footnotes. Maybe the answer might be to have a series of Citation-like templates that are specific the particular citation system you are using, and which assume and require either that the citation appears in a footnote, or at the end in a bibliography. There could be, for example, a Citation-CMS template that 100% conforms to the CMS, and could use periods. There could also be a Citation-BB that conforms to The Blue Book for legal citations, and maybe also a Citation-APA and Citation-MLA. These would all have essentially the same parameters, so it would be easy to switch between several formats. The default Citation would be like the present one, keeping it as general as possible, which would probably mean using commas.
At some point, I think some Wikipedia programmer is going to step up and provide a much better solution to citations in MediaWiki source code, and perhaps a centralized citation database, or an ability to generate a citation based soley on a PMID or ISBN. A few efforts to do this like this one or this one have been started over the last few years, but none has ever taken off. COGDEN 19:22, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
CMoS has two major documentation styles, which it calls "Documentation 1: Notes and Bibliographies" and "Documentation 2: Author-Date Citations and Reference Lists". In the Notes and Bibliographies style, full citations go in footnotes, and commas are used in those footnotes. The biblography is optional, and if present, uses periods. The reference list used in the author-date system uses periods. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 19:43, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
If we all decided to basically just adopt CMS for Citation, we could have the Citation (alias Citation-CMS1) template just follow CMS Documentation 1, and then write a Citation-CMS (alias Citation-CMS2) template that follows Documentation 2. For anything that CMS does not explicitly cover, we could just pick something reasonable. COGDEN 21:27, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I can't imagine Wikipedia editors making a decision about style, or even the style for one template. But if that did happen, it would have still another advantage: when a case comes along that the template can't handle, an editor could just look up what to do in the paper CMoS and format it by hand. There would have to be a few minor changes, for example, Wikipedia does not indent the first line of footnotes, and there is no easy method to do hanging indents in reference lists. Even if it were possible to do these in a template, it should not be done because it would be hard to do by hand. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 22:55, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
We couldn't ever format everything according to CMS specs, but we could follow it's spirit where appropriate. At least we would have a basic standard to refer to in case of any disagreement. There wouldn't have to be Wikipedia-wide agreement, either, just an option for those who want to follow the style. COGDEN 21:26, 11 August 2008 (UTC)


Who killed accessdate? It no longer shows at all. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:22, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

See two sections up: #accessdate disappearance, with link to the discussion. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 02:27, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Thread has been moved to archive → Template talk:Citation/Archive 2#accessdate disappearance. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:44, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

issue parameter

For a couple of weeks now, the |issue parameter is no longer displayed correctly in the {{citation}} template, because there is a space lacking before the brackets. See e.g. ref #15 in Unending (the TV Zone one). Nothing major, but if someone with admin powers can fix this, I'd be grateful. – sgeureka tc 19:13, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

This is a consequence of Martin's changes; see #Proposal to merge redundant citation templates. I don't know why he removed the space, or even if he did it on purpose or not, so I'll ask him to comment. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 20:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
NB: The thread cross-referenced above has been moved to archive → Template talk:Citation/Archive 2#Proposal to merge redundant citation templates. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:50, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
The Harvard reference style, which this template implicitly uses, does not contain a space before the bracket. It seems bizarre to invent a new style of referencing rather than using a well established standard. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:40, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Which description of the Harvard style are you using? I find it hard to believe that a style guide would recommend us to typeset the reference in Unending that Sgeureka is refering to as it is now. Perhaps I should have explained that the question is about what to do when there is no volume number present. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 20:53, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, okay - I hadn't encountered that layout. Clearly a little change needs making: insert
{{#if:{{{volume|}}}|| }}
just before the bracket, and a space will appear unless a volume is specified. Feel free to make an {{editprotected}} request if that would fix it. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:35, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Request for admin: Please make a change to this template like what Martin suggested right above, resulting in an extra space in desired cases. (Thanks guys.) – sgeureka tc 05:18, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Done. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:38, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

problems for third parties

Third parties have been in the past been known to use template names to work out what kind of cite is being used (it's how we know that that wikipedia cites high impact journals more often than say a typical scientific paper).Geni 22:28, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Huh? Why would you use a different template to cite a paper in Nature than for one in The Unnotable Journal of Inconsequential Science? And why wouldn't such people simply search the source for the phrase "|journal = #####" to generate a list of the journals which have been cited? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 22:34, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
"Unnotable Journal of Inconsequential Science" is still a formal journal. Things like newspapers and books are not.Geni 23:03, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
But "nature" is a high impact journal, and typical scientific papers probably end up in the "Unnotable Journal of Inconsequential Science". Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 12:48, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Searching the source is not as effective as useing what links here. Then you hit the issues that you already get a fair number of non jounals. Adding to that is not good.Geni 23:05, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Trying to derive conclusions by what template was used great has potential for error. A completely different style of citation may have been used, such as not using any template, using the Citation template, or using the author-date system. Journal articles may be cited with Cite web because an online version is available. Although this problem might be reduced by ignoring the absolute number of citations, and only comparing relative numbers of Cite web, Cite book, Cite news, Cite journal, and so forth, there may be systematic biases such that writers who like to cite high quality journals are more or less likely to use a template in the Cite family than the average editor than editors who do use those tempates. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 23:19, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
The aproach used was to take every use of cite journal, strip out everything that wasn't a journal then count what was left.Geni 23:34, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
If you want, I can have a bot generate a list of every journal name cited and the number of times it is referenced. (A human would still have to identify duplicates such as J. Bot = Journal of Botany" Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 12:48, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
So it's still posible with the changes system? I don't need a practial demonstraition.Geni
yes. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 13:52, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Foreign language sources

In the citation template, is there any way of including the English translation of a reference that is written in another language, or a pointer to the fact that it is not in English? Such as Goethe, J. V., "So schoen ist es am Griebnitzsee" ["Ah, beautiful Griebnitzsee"] (in German). Journal of Things in German, 42 (1989), 56–58? Markus Poessel (talk) 21:05, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Could say something like: Goethe, J. V. (1989), "So schoen ist es am Griebnitzsee", Journal of Things in German, 42: 56–58  (in German, title in English translation: "Ah, beautiful Griebnitzsee"). -- Boracay Bill (talk)
That would of course be a solution, leaving it out of the template altogether. I had hoped there might be a way to include this information with the template data. Markus Poessel (talk) 20:39, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Date format

Why is this template forcing accessdates to the international style, even when the editor enters US style? Articles can't consistently use one style of date formatting if articles written in US English have citation dates written in international style. The template overrides what the editor enters, converting July 23 to 23 July, so editors using this template are forced to manually configure accessdates outside of the template. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:21, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Sandy, this template uses the date template for the accessdate. There you find an explanation of the formatting. HTH, --EnOreg (talk) 18:58, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, EnOreg; so, we're waiting for a bug to be fixed?
  • However, this functionality (not to be confused with wikilinking of dates) is disabled pending resolution of bug #4582. In the meanwhile, 17 November 2017 will display dates in 'day month year' format (e.g. 9 August 2008) for dates between 1970 and 2038.
SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:01, 10 August 2008 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} Is there any way we can merge all the other "cites" such as cite video, cite podcast, etc.? --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 17:03, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Did you read #Proposal to merge redundant citation templates? The consensus seems to be to maintain separate templates, but to strive for consistency. --Karnesky (talk) 17:43, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Cite audio has no equivalent at "citation". This has been causing problems at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/1964 Gabon coup d'état. I propose we add these features. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 23:28, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Edit request disabled. Please only use this when you're ready for an admin to make an edit. --- RockMFR 01:53, 19 August 2008 (UTC)



The COinS metadata[1] see to be missing the rft.series data corresponding to the series parameter. For example

  • {{citation|first=A.D.|last=Aleksandrov|authorlink=Aleksandr Danilovich Aleksandrov|first2=V.A.|last2=Zalgaller|title=Instrinsic Geometry of Surfaces|volume =15|series=Translations of Mathematical Monographs|publisher= American Mathematical Society|year=1967}}


  • <span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Abook&rft.genre=book&rft.title=Instrinsic Geometry of Surfaces&rft.aulast=Aleksandrov&rft.aufirst=A.D.&rft.date=1967&rft.volume=15&rft.pub=American Mathematical Society">

It seems like all that is needed is

{{#if: {{{Series|}}} |&rft.series={{urlencode:{{{Series}}}}} }}

but I'm hesitant about editing a high use template. --Salix alba (talk) 14:12, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

interwiki link


I'd like to add the link fr:Modèle:Citation Wikipédia anglaise to the template, thanks. Mro (talk) 14:43, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Done. For future reference, the interwiki links are in Template:Citation/doc, which is not protected, so you can do it yourself. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 17:28, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

format parameter

The format parameter doesn't appear to be documented, or am I just not seeing it? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 17:43, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Citation until somewhat recently was incompatible with cite journal, and that was part of a somewhat recent string of additions that perhaps never got documented (and yes, that was how we ended up with the PDF issue at Johnson, when someone insisted that we use this inferior template, which has now been somewhat corrected :-) I suggest seeing the complete documentation at cite journal. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:50, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
The Johnson question was what prompted me to look at this template's source code, as you probably guessed. Actually though, I quite like this template, even if its documentation isn't entirely up-to-date. :-) --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 17:57, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Harvnb and this template not playing well together

... in the article Harry Murray the {{Harvnb}}s aren't playing well with the {{Citation}}s. Links don't work, since the former are (for example) linking to CITEREFFrankiSlatyer2003 and the latter to CITEREF_Franki_Slatyer_2003.... any thoughts? Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 04:11, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

The {{Citation}}s in that article had e.g., ref=CITEREF_Franki_Slatyer_2003 parameters specified which forced that. I removed these. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 04:31, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
<smacks forehead> I hereby lose my status as a man who has a firm grasp of the obvious. Thanks for the looksee. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 04:35, 6 September 2008 (UTC)


There seems to be a problem with the new "format" parameter, in that it does not display the format unless the "periodical" parameter is also set. Here's an example, which contains two {{citation needed|date={{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}}}}s to web sites. Neither display the pdf format unless the periodical parameter is added. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 18:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

It looks like the problem is that the 'Anything else with a title, including books' section of citation/core doesn't mention the format parameter, but does mention the URL parameter. I don't have time to test any changes right now, but adding a format parameter to that section should fix the bug. That section also seems to be missing the language parameter. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:24, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

COINS error



There's a small bug in the COINS tag generation;


should be replaced with


where it appears in Template:Citation/core (1 occurrence).


Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 19:57, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

And another one...


Multiple authors ought to be listed in the COINS information. The correct format, as listed at http://generator.ocoins.info/ , would be generated by replacing

      #if: {{{Surname1|}}} |&rft.aulast={{urlencode:{{{Surname1}}}}}
      #if: {{{Given1|}}} |&rft.aufirst={{urlencode:{{{Given1}}}}}


     #if: {{{Surname1|}}} |&rft.au={{urlencode:{{{Surname1}}}}}
       #if: {{{Given1|}}} |{{urlencode:,{{{Given1}}}}}&rft.aufirst={{urlencode:{{{Given1}}}}}&rft.aulast={{urlencode:{{{Surname1}}}}}
     #if: {{{Surname2|}}} |&rft.au={{urlencode:{{{Surname2}}}}}
       #if: {{{Given2|}}} |{{urlencode:, {{{Given2}}}}}

(in Template:Citation/core).

I'd be grateful if somebody could make that change. Thanks, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:11, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I've updated the Coins meta data. Changes
  • Changed the #if: {{{Journal|}}} to #if: {{{Periodical|}}}
  • Periodicals now have info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal
  • rft.jtitle,rft.atitle used for journals, rft.btitle,rft.atitle used for books. As opposed to rft.title
  • Authors upto 9 listes in rft.au
  • added rft.series tag when needed for books in series
  • {{{Place}}} no longer used, as duplicated
  • rft_id=info:doi/{{urlencode:{{{doi}}}}} used instead of rft_id=info:doi/{{urlencode:{{{DOI}}}}} as Template:Citation passes doi rather than DOI to Citation/core. This seems to go agains the general capitilisation scheme, and theres also some code in core which used DOI for something.
  • rft_id=info:bibcode, and rft_id=info:oclcnum tags added when available
  • added and rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:{{FULLPAGENAMEE}} so source is visable

Also correct capitilisation of Bibcode in the main part of the template. There are still some bugs if people include links [[Cambridge University Press]] in the publisher then the square brackets get passed through, which is sub-optimal. The rft.genre is only one of book, bookitem or article. The proceeding and other genera don't get passed in. --Salix alba (talk) 23:40, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Wonderful, thanks so much. Now my Endnote plugin will work properly! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:20, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Period, not comma

There should be a period after the author and date, not a comma. Can this be fixed? Badagnani (talk) 07:10, 15 September 2008 (UTC)


Template:Cite book allows for origyear parameter. Can this be added to Template:Citation as well? — ¾-10 16:37, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Can somebody unlink dates in the citation template?

Resolved: Discussion centralized at Wikipedia talk:Citation templates#De-linking dates

Hi, per MOS:UNLINKDATES, can somebody fix the citation templates so that autoformatted dates aren't automatically linked in the references? Thanks, NJGW (talk) 04:48, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I can't really see consensus for the proposal. Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive 110 end up with a proposal for mass unlinking to stop. And the revsion history of MOS:DATE is far to active to say the this matter is settled. --Salix alba (talk) 05:43, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't see that there... all I see is disagreement on how to get dates to show up properly. Can you quote me the part you're talking about? NJGW (talk) 05:54, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
It looks like there is nothing to do in the template code. The formatting of dates is basically just what is used in the date= and accessdate= parameters. --Salix alba (talk) 06:34, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
How are the appearance of those parameters changed? NJGW (talk) 06:36, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

It all depends on parameters passed in. with accessdate = 2008-01-28 | date=1851-01-28

Turner, O. (1851-01-28), History of the Pioneer Settlement, William Alling, retrieved 2008-01-28 

with accessdate = [[January 28]] [[2008]] | date = [[January 28]] [[1851]]

Turner, O. (January 28 1851), History of the Pioneer Settlement, William Alling, retrieved January 28 2008  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)

with accessdate = [[28 January]] [[2008]] | date = [[28 January]] [[1851]]

Turner, O. (28 January 1851), History of the Pioneer Settlement, William Alling, retrieved 28 January 2008  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)

exact output depends on your preferences. --Salix alba (talk) 07:09, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

What I mean is, how is the global output changed? I realize input affects it, but for any given input of one parameter, where would one go to change the output? NJGW (talk) 07:14, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
When logged-in as NJGW, you should see a line like
NJGW My talk My preferences My watchlist My contributions Log out
at the top-right of the web page. Click My preferences. On the page which that brings up, click the Date and time tab. -- Boracay Bill (talk) Boracay Bill (talk) 07:27, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
That's really not the question I'm asking. As you know, Ohconfucius claims to dislike using cite templates because they causes formatted dates to show up as links in the reference section. I'm wondering how this is handled (the prefs you pointed me to only show the date format, nothing about linking). NJGW (talk) 07:31, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

et al

With more than three authors, a patent template (see example on documentation page) produces

Degermark, Mikael; Andrej Brodnik & Svante Carlsson et al.,

Isn't the ampersand is redundant if et al. is included, and shouldn't et al. should be italicised?

Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 03:38, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

  • I concur that the ampersand is redundant. Given that et al. is in regular use in English (as are other Latin abbreviations like e.g., vs. etc.) italicization is not strictly necessary. TheFeds 01:26, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

options for archive-url and archive-data

This has been discussed already ([2]), but no concensus seems to have been reached. In short, a feature to add a second url to an archived (wayback archive, webcite or similar) copy of a cited webpage is requested. This exists already for the Template:web cite template. One wikipedian was against adding this feature (see previous discussion) because, in his opinion, only the archived webpage should be referenced, since this is the "most stable" copy. I strongly disagree with this opinion, and I think it is important to be able to link the original url as well as a copy. Why? It is normal scientific practice to refer the original work, not a quote of it. However, giving an additional backup solution is valuable in the moment the original work changes or merely disappears. Besides, trusting the archive alone is also dangerous. Another wikipedian has already implemented this feature in User:RossPatterson/Citation. What are the views on this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nillerdk (talkcontribs) 15:56, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Since Nillerdk mentioned it, I'll point out that User:RossPatterson/Citation is stale - an experiment from some time back. But I'd be happy to re-implement the change if consensus approves. RossPatterson (talk) 22:13, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Just piping up to mention that the wording of the resulting formatted cite can get messy when both the url and contribution-url (AKA chapter-url) parameters are used and either or both of those go to dead links which are available in the archive. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:29, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Can you generate an example of just how messy it would be? In any case, it is up to the editor to judge which parameters are neccesary for a particular citation. Have a look a RossPatterson's examples here. That's how I would like to use Template:Citation and I don't find his layout messy. Can anyone support me in my opinion that we should never rely solely on an url of an archived copy, but always specify the original url - whether or not the original is still available? User:Nillerdk (talk) 11:18, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
OK. something like this:
  • {{Citation |last=Smith |first=John |author2=Jane Doe |author3=Bonnie Brown |editor=John Witherspoon |title=A book about something |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=ABcdefg |archive-url=http://web.archive.org/web/*/books.google.com/books?id=ABcdefg/readfile?fk_files=12345&pageno=67 |archive-date=12 January 2006 |chapter=III. A chapter about some particular bit of something |chapter-url=http://www.gutenberg.org/somepage |archive-chapter-url=http://web.archive.org/web/*/books.google.com/books?id=ABcdefg /readfile?fk_files=8901234&pageno=56 |chapter-archive-date=23 February 2006 |pages=78-90 |publisher=Macmillan |year=2001 |isbn=1234567890 }}
Could produce something like this:
Regarding preserving info about the original links, there has been a discussion about that recently (which I failed tofind on a quick search) where it was argued that it is good practice to always cite the original source, even if that source has become unavailable and the editor is now relying on a purportedly true copy of the original source. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:21, 30 September 2008 (UTC) (updated by Boracay Bill (talk) 02:12, 1 October 2008 (UTC))
I think for citations to books it's best just to include the ISBN and not try to provide URLs. From the ISBN it's easy enough to get to Google books etc. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:08, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
... if there is an ISBN. It may be that some books available online are isbn-less, e.g. The Development of Philippine Politics (1872-1920) By Maximo Manguiat Kalaw, which I have cited elsewhere as:
or it may be that the citation is of a page on a website where it is appropriate to name both the website-title and the website-section-title in the cite. In any case, the topic of discussion in this section is what support, if anything, {{Citation}} should provide for archived links, not about how editors might properly use {{Citation}}. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 02:38, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the example, which I don't find too messy. Citations are not prose, but technical information you need for verifying or clarifying something. It's ok. In the case of books, which are less unlikely to disappear, the archive option might be less useful (but why not provide it and leave it to the editor to judge?). For quoting websites of companies, ministeries and the like, the archive option is IMHO very important as it is only a matter of time (weeks, months, ...) before they change the website layout rendering the original link broken. Now, are there any negative side-effets of adding the archive-functionality as an option for the editor? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nillerdk (talkcontribs) 07:49, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, there seem to be no strong opinions on this. As it is nothing controversial, and it doesn't change the behaviour of the template if the archive-options are not used, I would like to ask RossPatterson to bring his stale sandbox-edition up to date and have his edits included in the Citation-template afterwords. User:Nillerdk (talk) 05:55, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Will do. Watch This Space. RossPatterson (talk) 00:28, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I have an updated version of this template and /core at User:RossPatterson/Citation and User:RossPatterson/Citation/core that adds:
  • |archive-url= for the "whole" citation URL
  • |archive-chapter-url= and |archive-contribution-url= for the "part of the whole" citation URL
  • |archivechapterurl= for the "part of the whole" citation URL to match the undocumented |chapterurl=, but I suggest it too remain undocumented or be removed
  • |archive-date= for the "whole" date of archival
  • |archive-chapter-date= and |archive-contribution-date= for the "part of the whole" archival date
  • (|archivechapterdate= for the "part of the whole" archival date to match the undocumented |chapterurl=, but I suggest it too remain undocumented or be removed
It passes Boracay Bill's "John Smith" test case above, albeit slightly altered, as well as all a few I constructed myself and a lot of "normal" cases I found (see User:RossPatterson/Citation/tests, especially User:RossPatterson/Citation/tests#Cases from other sources). Here's that particular test case:
  • {{User:RossPatterson/Citation |last=Smith |first=John |author2=Jane Doe |author3=Bonnie Brown |editor=John Witherspoon |title=A book about something |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=ABcdefg |archive-url=http://web.archive.org/web/*/books.google.com/books?id=ABcdefg/readfile?fk_files=12345&pageno=67 |archive-date=12 January 2006 |chapter=III. A chapter about some particular bit of something |chapter-url=http://www.gutenberg.org/somepage |archive-chapter-url=http://web.archive.org/web/*/books.google.com/books?id=ABcdefg /readfile?fk_files=8901234&pageno=56 |archive-chapter-date=23 February 2006 |pages=78-90 |publisher=Macmillan |year=2001 |isbn=1234567890 }}
RossPatterson (talk) 22:52, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Multiple citations from a year

How can we use the #citeref function of Template:Harvnb, etc, to link to mulitple citation from a single year with the same author? In my case they are newspaper and magazine articles. The standard in parenthetical referencing is (Smith 2008a)(Smith 2008b) and the citation template has no trouble with that. But I don't see how to force the #citeref to be Smith2008a. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:19, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Use e.g. {{Harvnb|Smith|2008|Ref=CITEREFSmith2008a}} paired with {{Citation |... |ref=CITEREFSmith2008a}} (note uppercase 'R' in {{Harvnb}}, etc.)-- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:38, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:51, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
You should not have to "force" #citeref to be 'Smith2008a'. It will be that automatically when your reference is {{harvnb|Smith|2008a}}.
And, when you have '(Smith 2008a)(Smith 2008b)' you should also have {{citation}} reflecting year=2008a, year=2008b. The #citerefs will then also automatically match.
In other words, use year= and optionally date=, but not date= alone. The a/b/c/etc obviously can't be inferred from a date=. -- Fullstop (talk) 12:51, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I tried doing that, but if there is a date then it ignores the year field. Since some of the citations are newspapers, they have full dates. I'm doing a test in my sandbox, User:Will Beback/Sandbox. Feel free to edit it. Maybe I just have a typo in there. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 06:36, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
With a little more jiggling I think I got it to work. I'll try it out in the article, Millennium '73. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 06:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that did the trick. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 04:58, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Need agency= field for news sources

The agency= parameter was added to the {{cite news}} template to capture and properly format the news agency (e.g. Associated Press, Reuters, etc.) in news stories. It also needs to be added here. It appears after the quoted title, but before the italicized work in the standard typeface. Dhaluza (talk) 00:39, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Since it is sometimes the only source listed for an article, should it be used as the author if there are no other author names in the template? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:58, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
For one, that doesn't work when the name of the author is known (e.g. for a syndicated column). Secondly, it is not formally correct to do that (one would minimally need something like "AP staff writer").
I don't think it is particularly useful to know that article "foo" in publication bar was originally from a wire agency. After all, it is 'foo in bar' that is being cited. Also, the original wire story might be different from what is actually being cited.
However, there are other circumstances where an "x"** field might be necessary, and such a field could also be used for agency=. I've recommended such a field before, so here goes again. :) -- Fullstop (talk) 13:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
** Whatever the generic name for such a field might be; [contribution-]type =, -object =, -class =, -container =, -format =, -media = ... whatever.
According to Wiki Answers the wire service should not be entered in the author field (also many wire service stories have authors as stated above). Dhaluza (talk) 22:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Right. As I said, "its not formally correct to do that."
Anyway... notwithstanding that the name of an agency is not particularly useful (it does not help to find the cited source), nor is it a good idea (for reasons mentioned above),... what should a generic field (to encompass 'agency' and the other things mentioned) be named? Or put in another way: since any chapter/contribution within a greater work can theoretically stand alone, what "tag" of a stand-alone work corresponds to the desired tag of the chapter/contribution (within a work)? -- Fullstop (talk) 17:38, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I disagree that the agency is not useful. First, if the source is a wireservice, and the story just happened to be cited from a particular newspaper, that is relevant (i.e. that the story was not written by a local reporter, and the author actually works for the agency). Also for WP purposes, in particular WP:N, multiple stories from the same wire service are considered to be from the same source. A wireservice may be considered a more reliable source in certain cases as well. Regarding your specific comment on usefulness, it certainly does help to find a cited source when the original linked content goes missing, but another work using the same material can be found. Dhaluza (talk) 01:16, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Dhaluza's points. Also, the anonymous Wiki Answers page doesn't seem definitive. While the MLA may have its standards, for WP purposes more information is better. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:46, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


*sigh* The beginner's guide to citation...
  • The purpose of a citation is to lead the reader as close as possible to the source being cited. A citation has no other purpose. A citation is not itself a source, nor is it an essay about the source. A citation is an identifier that tells the reader how to find the source that the writer used. Anything that does not contribute to that end is -- at best -- meaningless fluff. At worst, non-contributory information can even be counter-productive since it is liable to mislead or distract from the purpose of a citation.
  • An editor needs to cite the source that is in his/her possession. Without also possessing the wire service article, an editor cannot guarantee that a newspaper reproduces exactly the same text, or with the same title. But if an editor were to also possess the wire service article, then the wire service could be cited directly.
    Providing the name of an agency is like providing the name of the publisher of a previous edition. Since its not the source being used, it is also not pertinent to a citation of it.
  • Addressing Will Beback's "for WP purposes more information is better"...
    "for WP purposes more information is better" is simply not true. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collector of information, and the purpose of proper citation is no different on WP than it is elsewhere. "More information" does not pass Occam's razor; citations are precision tools with a single purpose. They are not mini-encyclopedias of their own. If it helps, one can think of a citation as the address of a house. It is possible to add an awful lot of information to an address, such as who built the house. But to find the correct house it is not useful to know who built the house, and such extraneous information will only hamper the courier who comes around for pickup.
  • Addressing Dhaluza's notes on WP:N/WP:RS...
    WP:N/WP:RS has bearing on sources, not on citations. A citation is merely a pointer to a source, not a source itself. A citation cannot by itself enhance or reduce the notability of a topic or the reliability of a source. Such a step requires evaluation of the source by editor(s). Such an evaluation (or the negotiation thereof) also belongs in talk space; it is OR when it appears in article space, and it certainly should not be expressed as an "approval" tag in a citation.
    As far as the relationship of WP:N to citations is concerned: no one can be compelled to provide the name of an agency, so WP:N cannot be inferred from how many times the name of an agency appears in a list of citations. Ergo, the WP:N angle is moot.
    As far as the relationship of WP:RS to citations is concerned: the objective benchmark of the reliability of a citation is whether the citation succeeds in leading the reader to the source being cited. A citation is reliable if it succeeds in doing just that, and unreliable if it fails to do just that.
But all this is completely beside the point. I have twice posted questions (above) that require some thought about how such a field might be generically implemented. Whether an editor then chooses to turn a citation into a mini-essay about the source is up to him/her. That they can also do without abusing a citation template. -- Fullstop (talk) 00:24, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Taken literally, your first claim (that everything unnecessary for finding the source should be omitted) would imply that we should replace many instances of {{citation}} by a bare DOI link. I don't think we want to take it that far... —David Eppstein (talk) 00:29, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

(ec) Heh. That isn't a literal interpretation. Its a machine-centric and web-centric interpretation. A digital object identifier (with or without URL-ization) is to a machine what a fully qualified citation is to a literate human being. They accomplish the same thing, which is to find an object. One way using a machine, and another using a human brain. But even iff human beings were capable of making sense of machine-readable addressing, a human-readable form would be redundant, but not de trop. But, no, we don't want to go so far as to assume that humans can make sense of "10.1000/182" (or any other kind of machine-target addressing). But this too is rather OT. -- Fullstop (talk) 02:13, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Information that appears in citations does more than help the reader find the source. It also tells the reader about the source. Knowing that an article came from a wire service helps the reader evaluate its credibility, and helps other editors decide on its reliability. I don't see a reason to exclude the information if it's available. All it means is adding another field to the template. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:59, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
How about, um, reading the last paragraph of what I wrote before? -- Fullstop (talk) 02:13, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, the Wikianswer link you provided suggests placing the wire service after the article title and before the periodical name. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:21, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, yes. But what is the generic name of the slot "after-the-title-and-before-the-periodical-name" (which in this template's parlance is actually "after-the-chapter/contribution-and-before-the-title")?
Periodicals aka Journals aka Newspapers aka Magazines are only one of the citation "types" that this template takes care of. So, if we are inventing something new, it should be done in a fashion that it can be used generically too.
I have already listed [contribution-]type =, -object =, -class =, -container =, -format =, -media =. An -x-info ala mail headers also comes to mind. Any more suggestions? -- Fullstop (talk) 03:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Will Beback that the citation is not simply to tell the reader how to find the source. If that were the case a bare DOI would suffice. We also cite to credit the original author. In this case the wireservice is part of the authorship--it is the writer's employer and the source of its credibility, probably to an even greater extent than the editors of the work in which it is published. For purposes of WP:V, WP:NPOV, and WP:RS we also use the citations to judge the credibility and bias of the source, and even to judge the WP:Notability of the subject. Dhaluza (talk) 11:20, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Wtf? Been there, done it all. Are my responses invisible or something? If not, could you please try to say something that has not been responded to already? It would be a really cool if such a response also actually went somewhere. For instance, if it followed the one immediately before yours, or the third before yours, or the fifth before yours, or the seventh before yours. That would be very nice. Thanks. -- Fullstop (talk) 13:26, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, are you only allowed to respond to the last poster? I didn't know that. I thought you were supposed to bottom post and indent to indicate what item you are responding to. Dhaluza (talk) 02:06, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

"Wireservice " would seem like a reasonable name for the slot. And let's not get heated about this. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 04:36, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

The WP article on this subject is titled: News agency. I believe this is a more generic term, and less archaic than "wireservice" since the wires have mostly been replaced with fiber-optic communication anyway. Dhaluza (talk) 07:09, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Even better. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 07:30, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't this template get the two parameter

{{cite Citation
  | archiveurl  = 
  | archivedate = 

as in {{Cite web}}? Nsaa (talk) 11:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. See above: "options for archive-url and archive-data". User:RossPatterson is working on it. User:Nillerdk (talk) 10:01, 16 October 2008 (UTC)


This can now be implemented with the new template. Please copy Template:citation/Sandbox to Template:Citation. (Testcases all look fine.) Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 23:08, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Done Stifle (talk) 14:57, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Minor changes possible as result of update of Template:Cite journal

Please check that there are no bugs in Template:Citation/sandbox, in the unlikely event that changes to the citation architecture arising from updates to Template:Cite journal have significant effects on this template's output. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 18:21, 13 October 2008 (UTC)


As no bugs have been reported, could an admin please make the following changes? (Also requested at Template talk:Cite journal, duplicated here for completeness.

This will ensure that Citation is unaffected by a couple of minor changes in the Citation/core which were necessary for integration with Template:Cite journal. Thank you, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:33, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

 Done (all 3) SkierRMH (talk) 03:57, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 04:44, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I think there may be a bug. See below. Please undo. Many thanks. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 06:04, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Note - all three were reverted SkierRMH (talk) 06:11, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 06:52, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I've now created a Template:Citation/testcases page which compares live version with sandbox version. Note that the transcluded link in Template:Citation/sandbox need to be changed from {{Citation/core/sandbox}} to {{Citation/core}} when copying. There still seem to be some bugs in the testcases. --Salix (talk): 08:18, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I think I've found the bug. Bug we do need more testing before it goes live. --Salix (talk): 09:07, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Everything seems fine to me. What further testing do you have in mind, given that the process has been going on for several months? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:50, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Can you point to the discussion and the testing that has taken place so far over these several months? Many thanks. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 03:48, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
See here and here. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:23, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Everything seemed fine to you before, and it wasn't. Meanwhile, why now are co-authors and co-editors to be separated by semi-colons? Certainly worse than the current situation. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 22:23, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

 Done there may be some punctuation issues. Please discuss below #punctuation. --Salix (talk): 02:39, 27 October 2008 (UTC)


My attention was attracted by this edit of User:Citation bot, where it adds an OCLC number to a book whose ISBN is already mentioned (incidentally, I'm grateful for the work that Martin = Smith609 is doing with Citation bot). I am wondering what the use of the OCLC number is. The link goes to an entry in WorldCat, but that same entry can also be found via the ISBN. I did not find any discussion of the OCLC in the archives on this page. It seems to have been copied from Template:Cite book, and there is some discussion on Template talk:Cite book/Archive 4#COinS tags for machine-readable metadata but not really on the reason for adding this information. One relevant comment, by User:Circeus: "LCCNs and OCLC numbers only become relevant for books without ISBN, and they aren't that commonly used as references." If that's true, should we recommend that LCCNs and OCLC numbers are only used for books without ISBN? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 11:41, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Independent of whether an OCLC should be available in the COinS metadata, OCLC numbers should only be a fallback on screen and in print, and appear only when there is no ISBN. E.g. in ./Core change
#if: {{{OCLC|}}} to #ifeq: {{{ISBN|{{{OCLC|-}}}}}}|{{{OCLC|}}}
The same sort of cascade could probably also be applied to [(coden)->issn->]bibcode->pubmed->(sici)->doi. For example,...
for pubmed #ifeq: {{{DOI|{{{SICI|{{{PMID|{{{Bibcode|{{{ISSN|{{{CODEN|-}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|{{{PMID|}}}
for bibcode #ifeq: {{{DOI|{{{SICI|{{{PMID|{{{Bibcode|{{{ISSN|{{{CODEN|-}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|{{{Bibcode|}}}
This way, Citation bot can non-destructively complement a PMID (or whatever) with a DOI.
Incidentally, a bot cannot reliably infer an OCLC without also knowing the ISBN.
-- Fullstop (talk) 14:28, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
We should not have hidden parameters in the citatioins. If the OCLC is included in the COinS metadata, it should be visible so it can be checked and edited. If the OCLC is redundant with the ISBN, then I'm not sure we need to add it at all where we already have the ISBN. Dhaluza (talk) 02:31, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Just so long as we don't lose OCLC entirely. I just came across several books that don't have ISBNs. Having both may be redundant, but it's harmless. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 03:54, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
It would be helpful if a consensus could be reached and reported in the template documentation. If OCLCs aren't useful when a book has an ISBN, then the Citation bot is wasting a lot of resources by adding them. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 19:18, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
1. There is consensus that OCLCs are superfluous when ISBNs are available.
  • The bot can/should to be told to stop doing adding OCLCs when ISBNs are available. Bots can be told to stop doing something irrespective of whether it is reported in documentation or not: We can't preempt in documentation everything that a bot can do, and besides, bots don't read documentation, and (theoretically) bot ops can't/shouldn't be expected to keep track of changes to template docs.
  • Moreover, inferring OCLCs from the available ISBNs is not only unnecessary, it is reinventing the wheel. Worldcat lookup is the very first entry in the "Online databases" list provided by Mediawiki's ISBN handler (Special:BookSources).
2. There is also consensus that templates "ignore" OCLCs (or whatever) when ISBNs are (or become) available.
  • <quote>This way, Citation bot [(or editors)] can non-destructively complement [an existing OCLC] (or whatever) with [an ISBN] (or whatever).</quote>
    Here, "non-destructively" means: without removal of existing information [i.e. OCLC, LCCN], even when these have been superseded by an ISBN.
Martin: for a start, just re-configure the bot to stop adding OCLCs when ISBNs are already present. If anything (but don't!), it should try to find ISBNs for OCLCs or LCCNs or whatever. It could perhaps fix ISBN numbers though (hyphenate, shorten 978-s, check length/checksum). -- 22:38, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your summary. I know that in a similar debate about journal articles, I considered adding a PMID superfluous when a DOI was present, but was convinced otherwise. I've stopped the bot adding OCLCs altogether (as it could only work them out from an ISBN); should it remove OCLCs when an ISBN is specified, to remove clutter from the page code? I must admit I had assumed from the presence of the question that it wasn't answered in the documentation; I try not to set my bots onto things that there's not consensus for and the doc is usually the easiest place to find such consensus. If you could give me a list of "fixes" to be made for ISBNs, and specific rules I can convert to code (e.g. where the dashes should go), I'd be happy to implement them. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 00:22, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Missing space between written at location and article title plus date format confused

For example: {{citation | title = Article Title | periodical = Periodical Name | publication-date = [[December 5]] [[1910]] | date = [[December 4]] [[1910]] | place = Location | publication-place = Publication Place }} results in: written at Location, "Article Title", Periodical Name, Publication Place (published December 5 1910), December 4 1910  Check date values in: |date=, |publication-date= (help)

See how we get 'written at Location"Article Title"' instead of 'written at Location "Article Title"'.

Additionally, the presence of periodical appears to mess up the date and publication date as it looks better when I omit the periodical like this: {{citation | title = Article Title | publication-date = [[December 5]] [[1910]] | date = [[December 4]] [[1910]] | place = Location | publication-place = Publication Place }} results in: written at Location, Article Title, Publication Place (published December 5 1910), December 4 1910  Check date values in: |date=, |publication-date= (help)

WilliamKF (talk) 20:47, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

The simplest fix is to use the "book" parameter in place of "periodical". Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 00:24, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
written at Location, Article Title, Publication Place (published December 5 1910), December 4 1910  Unknown parameter |book= ignored (help); Check date values in: |date=, |publication-date= (help)
Unfortunately that does not work for some periodical only fields as they are now ignored with the book version (i.e. publication-place and issue - even Periodical Name for book is missing?):
Author (December 4 1910), "Article Title", written at Location, Periodical Name, 60 (19,308), Publication Place (published December 5 1910)  Check date values in: |date=, |publication-date= (help)
versus using periodical:
Author (December 4 1910), written at Location, "Article Title", Periodical Name, Publication Place (published December 5 1910), 60 (19,308)  Check date values in: |date=, |publication-date= (help)
WilliamKF (talk) 04:24, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I can't think when one would want to use both place and publication place when citing a periodical publication in practise. (gosh that was uncomfortably alliterative!) I'd find it useful if you could give me an example of an actual citation where this is causing a problem; then I might be able to suggest an appropriate solution. Thanks, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:34, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
PS adding an author and using appropriate parameter names appears to resolve the issue; I've done this with your examples above (dif). And I've never seen a book with an "issue number". If that answers your question you may consider updating the documentation to clarify the issue. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:39, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Please see this issue in the article Mary Baker Eddy with references 13, 14, and 16 which I have now adapted per your suggestion which seems to avoid the problem now. The publication place is where the periodical is published and the place is where the article was written. So for example, NY Times is published in NYC but a particular article might be written from London. So if pushed, one could drop the publication-place, although, to me this seems part of the citation, the city where published as opposed to the city where written. WilliamKF (talk) 02:34, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Parallel activity

Editors here may be interested in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Merging the zillions citation templates out there and Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Comments (templates merger) on a new Citation template that would putatively replace all the Cite family.LeadSongDog (talk) 16:58, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


Plasticup has been removing links from dates in {{Citation}} and {{Cite xxx}} templates, with the edit summary "fixing the "date=" fields to allow wiki-magic using AWB". The result is that dates in these citation templates currently display in ISO 8601 format (e.g., "1968-08-01"). When queried on his talk page by another editor about this, Plasticup said that wiki-magic "allows the citation template [to] set the date format, rather than forcing it into ISO 8601 format. Some citation templates do not yet parse their input and translate it into International or American format, but they will in time". Are the citation templates indeed being developed to do this, and if so when is this "wiki-magic" feature likely to be implemented? What should editors do in the meantime – continue to link dates, remove links from dates, or present dates in a non-ISO format (e.g., "1 August 1968" or "August 1, 1968")? — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:48, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Removing the current format before having a new system in place to convert the dates to a user's "preferred date format" seems more than a little "bass-ackwards" to me! Perhaps we could make it a priority to fix the templates, as Plasticup has already modified a large number of articles, which are now showing dates only in ISO 8601 format. And I see I'm not alone in my concern... MeegsC | Talk 15:15, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Also of relevance to this discussion is the recent change to the MOS: "The linking of dates purely for the purpose of autoformatting is now deprecated". Plasticup T/C 15:59, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

On the other hand, "Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Dates" says: "YYYY-MM-DD style dates (1976-05-31) are uncommon in English prose, and are generally not used in Wikipedia." I have no problem if the removal of the links from such dates in citation templates is specifically to facilitate the implementation of some feature that will automatically display YYYY-MM-DD dates according to readers' preferences (is that what "wiki-magic" is? I'm still in the dark about the exact meaning of this term), and the feature is going to be introduced shortly. However, I have to say I haven't seen any discussion of the matter on this talk page. If the "wiki-magic" feature is a remote possibility or only something desirable that no one is working on, I would suggest that links not be removed from YYYY-MM-DD dates for the time being until more is known about what is to happen. Or should editors start transforming those dates into the "1 August 1968"/"August 1, 1968" format? — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:39, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

And considering that the "|accessdate=| parameter won't accept anything but YYYY-MM-DD format, it means I can't clearly show that the accessdate is October 1 rather than 10 January. Yes, if you're "in the know", you understand that dates are displayed that way. But considering that a vast proportion of the world isn't used to seeing dates in that order, it makes things more than a little (unnecessarily) confusing! This needs to be fixed! If the concern is "excessive, unneeded blue links", then some other mechanism that does the date formatting without colouring the affected dates sould be found. MeegsC | Talk 17:44, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
I've noticed that if I use {{Citation}} and just indicate the accessdate without a link (e.g., "accessdate=2008-10-23"), the template does something wonderful (magic?) and on my computer it displays in the "1 August 1968" format, which is what I've set my date preference to. (Not sure if this works for the {{cite xxx}} range of templates.) If it can be done for "accessdate", it should be possible for "date" as well. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:52, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Note that neither the cite xxx templates nor the citation template check to see that dates of the form YYYY-MM-DD comply with ISO 8601 and that the history of the usage of that form on Wikipedia suggests that violations of the standard are very likely. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 17:59, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Please loose the linking. I currently have to do work-arounds with the {cite} template to avoid the links to trivia that too few readers actually read. Greg L (talk) 20:02, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Greg L, I've seen your arguments against date linking in other places. Because I'm curious, can you tell me what the source is for your knowledge of readership numbers for date or year articles? — Bellhalla (talk) 23:04, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Page views can be found at stats.grok.se. but of course readership isn't related to relevance; it is very rare for the events of a year to be relevant to a citation. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 01:29, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
    • I agree that wikilinked dates in a citation would rarely be relevant. I was mainly asking because Greg L seems to trot out the "no ones reads date articles anyway" card in relation to linking dates in other contexts. Apart from being a case of WP:IDONTLIKEIT on Greg's part, I was just curious as to what evidence he has to support his contention that "too few readers actually read" them. — Bellhalla (talk) 04:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Things all seem to hinge on Bug 4582 Provide preference-based autoformatting for unlinked dates. I feel we'll be ain a limbo state until that is resolved. --Salix (talk): 23:48, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
As far as I can tell this whole date delinking push started because some people got sick of waiting for that bug to be resolved. Then others jumped on the bandwagon, of course. BTW, to the original poster, the "wiki magic" isn't likely to respect your date prefs; judging by what I've seen elsewhere from those pushing this whole date mess through it'll probably default to "magicking" it to DMY format, with a parameter to make it do MDY format instead. I personally prefer the shorter YMD format (which is not necessarily ISO, BTW) in the reference list, but I know no one cares about that. Anomie 02:02, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Right ... So:

  • If {{Citation}} can already automatically choose the display format for the "accessdate" parameter that accords with the reader's preference without any need to wikilink that date, why can't this be implemented for the "date" parameter?
  • Should I continue to indicate dates in citation templates in the YYYY-MM-DD format in case some fix is implemented, or should I start putting dates in the "1 August 1968"/"August 1, 1968" format without wikilinks, as I've started to do?

— Cheers, JackLee talk 04:40, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

{{Citation}} cannot automatically choose the display format for the "accessdate" parameter that accords with the reader's preference. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 04:59, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Correct. It used to just automatically link whatever was put there. Anything other than an ISO date would be turned red, so it was a pain in the butt. Ohconfucius (talk) 09:05, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
That's odd. It seems to be working for me. When I use the parameter "accessdate=2008-10-24" in {{Citation}}, it renders as "Retrieved on 24 October 2008". Or does the template simply convert the YYYY-MM-DD date to the international (as opposed to the US) date format? — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:20, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
  • About time too. Bravo, Plasticup! I've been asking for those templates to be delinked for yonks, bearing in mind wikilinking of dates to articles has been deprecated for some time. Even if DA had not been deprecated, the linking within templates is mindless and mind-numbing. I have also been working around the issue by not usingcitation templates or by removing the accessdates therefrom. While I can see some merit in linking certain dates within an article (in a restrained and not blanket manner), I see no point whatsoever in linking a reference to the page of a date or year article. I was more bothered by the actual physical link established with date articles. I personally don't care how it renders. Wikimagic is not all that relevant here, AFAICT. Ohconfucius (talk) 08:57, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Current behaviour

Trying to work out whats going we have following behaviour for IP uses

  • {{Citation|last=Blogs|first=Joe|title=Example title|url=http://www.example.org/|date=2007-01-01|publication-date=2008-07-05|accessdate=2008-10-24}}
Displays as: Blogs, Joe (2007-01-01), Example title (published 2008-07-05). Retrieved on 24 October 2008
  • {{Citation|last=Blogs|first=Joe|title=Example title|url=http://www.example.org/|date=January 1 2007|publication-date=July 5 2008|accessdate=October 24 2008}}
Displays as: Blogs, Joe (January 1 2007), Example title (published July 5 2008). Retrieved on 24 October 2008
  • {{Citation|last=Blogs|first=Joe|title=Example title|url=http://www.example.org/|date=1 January 2007|publication-date=5 July 2008|accessdate=24 October 2008}}
Displays as: Blogs, Joe (1 January 2007), Example title (published 5 July 2008). Retrieved on 24 October 2008

logged in users will have accessdate appearing per their preferences.

So accessdate accepts any reasonable format and uses wikimagic to displays sensibly. date and publication-date have no wikimagic so will display as passed in. No date parameters are linked by the template.

I would propose using {{date}} around the display of date and publication-date so wikimagic can be applied. --Salix (talk): 10:49, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

You're wrong about one thing: accessdate displays in DMY format no matter what the user's preferences and no matter what the format used in the rest of the article. Your preference must just be set to DMY format, try changing it temporarily and see what happens. Anomie 11:07, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikilinking to allow autoformatting is now depreciated because it is visible to only an extreme minority of readers. See MOS:UNLINKDATES. Plasticup T/C 12:01, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
FYI, it's deprecated not depreciated. There is a difference in meaning. — Bellhalla (talk) 14:44, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. Also using {{date}} would not work for date and publication-date as these only work for dates since 1970,bug 11686 and can't handle just a year value like date=2008.
It seems to me that bots fixing accessdate is fine as there is a reasonable default, but bots converting date and publication-date parameters to ISO format is not a good idea, as this looks ugly for everyone. --Salix (talk): 11:25, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
NO. The {{tl:Date}} template might be useful for accessdates, since such dates are restricted to the range 1983 (Internet turned on) to the present. The next time someone proposes the use of {{Date}} outside the range 1 January 1900 through 19 January 2038, I will nominate the damn thing for deletion on the grounds it is an Attractive nuisance. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 13:27, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I say delete it now, or at least make it a no-op. If dates aren't going to be formatted according to user preference, there's absolutely no advantage in that template changing YYYY-MM-DD to D MMM YYYY over just entering D MMM YYYY directly, and it prevents easy use of any other date format. Also, I hate to point it out because it will give more license to the nutcases pushing this sort of template, but bug 11686http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11686 looks close to removing the 1970-2038 limitation on {{#time}}. Anomie 00:34, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

I have also been removing the current linked dates in some articles (see United Kingdom, for example, through which I have only partially progressed) where the citations use the cite web templates. However, realising that the ISO form of dates is not really a good thing, I have been routinely changing "|accessdate=2008-02-02" with "|accessdate = 2 February 2008", which I think makes the whole business much more palatable to others. With a bit of effort, I think it could easily be automated. I understand that the same solution is available in the citation templates. I recommend that in the absence of an automated tool to make that change, it is done manually, as I have been doing. It may mean more time, but there isn't a race over this, and we don't have to change everything overnight. I do, however, think that leaving the ISO form is a bit ugly and not really to be encouraged.  DDStretch  (talk) 15:33, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

* Ahem *
  • Would someone please explain what this "wiki-magic" thing is? I'm still in the dark about it.
  • In citation templates, should we be writing "date=2008-10-24" or "date=24 October 2008"? Or does it not matter?
— Cheers, JackLee talk 15:54, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Currently "wiki-magic" is a figment of the imagination. accessdate are converted to 24 October 2008, all other dates are left untouched by template. There is no wiki-magic to format dates in the template to users preference, there is no wikimagic to convert the date or publication-date in 2008-10-24 format to anything sensible.
Following MOS:DATE
  • Dates in article references should all have the same format.
  • Either February 14, 1990 or 14 February 1990 is acceptable format, 1990-02-14 is discouraged.
  • 1990-02-14 is OK for accessdate as its turned into 14 February 1990.
--Salix (talk): 19:49, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I find it interesting how people tend to ignore the sentence "However, [YMD format dates] may be useful in long lists and tables for conciseness and ease of comparison" (emphasis mine) in WP:MOSNUM when talking about date formats for reference lists. Anomie 00:34, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Maybe that's because style manuals and reputable publications often use numerical dates in tables and lists, but seldom in citations. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 01:49, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Salix. I think that's good advice as it's in line with the current Manual of Style. That being the case, perhaps Plasticup should cease to simply remove links from the "date" parameter in citation templates, but instead replace them with a date in the international ("25 October 2008") or US format ("October 25, 2008") following the guidelines in WP:MOSNUM. As for a date specified in the "accessdate" parameter, it can remain in the YYYY-MM-DD format since it renders properly in the international format when viewed. — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:54, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Jack Lee please strike the word "properly" in your posting, since the international format for the accessdate is correct in some articles, but not others. Also my experiments indicate that if the accessdate is entered in the US format, an error will occur: the word "Retrieved" will appear twice. See below. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 12:25, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Er, OK. But doesn't the "accessdate" parameter have to take dates in the YYYY-MM-DD format? My understanding is that no other format works for it. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:15, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I was looking at the wrong example. If I enter the accessdate in the Month DD, YYYY format, it displays in the international format, which will be incorrect in some articles. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 15:30, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

accessdate error

The following citation:

*{{Citation| first=Mark | last=Wilson| title=Product Review: ICOM IC-7700 HF and 6 Meter Transceiver| month=October |year=2008| journal=QST| url=http://www.arrl.org| accessdate=2008-9-4}}

Renders thus:

Notice the word "Retrieved" appears twice. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 12:22, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Strange. I've looked at your example using both Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla Firefox 3.0.3 and it renders fine on my computer – no duplication of the word Retrieved. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:15, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
When I use Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP I get the word "Retrieved" twice, but when I use Firefox I only get it once. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 15:28, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Could you paste in the generated html source for the reference. -- (talk) 16:26, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Here's what I got using Mozilla Firefox:
<li><cite style="font-style:normal" id="CITEREFWilson2008">Wilson, Mark (2008), "<a href="http://www.arrl.org" class="external text"
title="http://www.arrl.org" rel="nofollow">Product Review: ICOM IC-7700 HF and 6 Meter Transceiver</a>",
<i>QST</i><span class="printonly">, <<a href="http://www.arrl.org" class="external free" title="http://www.arrl.org"
rel="nofollow">http://www.arrl.org</a>></span>. Retrieved on <span class="wpAutoDate">4 September 2008</span></cite>
<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&
amp;rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:Template_talk:Citation"><span style="display: none;"> </span></span></li>
— Cheers, JackLee talk 16:41, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Here is the HTML source I get using Internet Explorer:

<li><cite style="font-style:normal" id="CITEREFWilson2008">Wilson, Mark (2008), "<a href="http://www.arrl.org" class="external text" title="http://www.arrl.org" rel="nofollow">Product Review: ICOM IC-7700 HF and 6 Meter Transceiver</a>", <i>QST</i><span class="printonly">, <<a href="http://www.arrl.org" class="external free" title="http://www.arrl.org" rel="nofollow">http://www.arrl.org</a>></span>. Retrieved on <span class="wpAutoDate">4 September 2008</span></cite><span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Product+Review%3A+ICOM+IC-7700+HF+and+6+Meter+Transceiver&rft.jtitle=QST&rft.aulast=Wilson&rft.aufirst=Mark&rft.au=Wilson%2C+Mark&rft.date=2008&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.arrl.org&rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:Template_talk:Citation"><span style="display: none;"> </span></span></li>

Also, I found that if I changed the width of my Internet Explorer browser window, I could make one of the two copies of "Retrieved" go away. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 16:59, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Curiouser and curiouser. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:19, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
There is a spurious '>' in there. See "</a>>" shortly before "Retrieved". In the posted snippet this is actually a ">", but seems (I presume) to be throwing IE off. -- Fullstop (talk) 18:40, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Does the following render better
I've used a copy of the citation template {{User:Salix alba/Citation}} edited to remove the spurious symbols.--Salix (talk): 19:02, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

No difference. See it at User:Gerry Ashton/sandbox3#As above, with rendering fix. The HTML is

<li><cite style="font-style:normal" id="CITEREFWilson2008">Wilson, Mark (2008), "<a href="http://www.arrl.org" class="external text" title="http://www.arrl.org" rel="nofollow">Product Review: ICOM IC-7700 HF and 6 Meter Transceiver</a>", <i>QST</i><span class="printonly">, <<a href="http://www.arrl.org" class="external free" title="http://www.arrl.org" rel="nofollow">http://www.arrl.org</a>></span></cite><span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Product+Review%3A+ICOM+IC-7700+HF+and+6+Meter+Transceiver&rft.jtitle=QST&rft.aulast=Wilson&rft.aufirst=Mark&rft.au=Wilson%2C+Mark&rft.date=2008&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.arrl.org&rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:User:Gerry_Ashton/sandbox3"><span style="display: none;"> </span></span></li>

--Gerry Ashton (talk) 20:07, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Very odd. I guess it might be a bug in IE. There is a chance is something to do with your monobook or css, do you get the same if you log out. BTW the html immediately above does not seem to match. --Salix (talk): 21:48, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I get the same result when I'm logged out. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 22:43, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

what's up?? citations with two editors??

Something seems to have happened to screw up citations with two editors. See for instance Chicano literature or Tomás Rivera. What's up? Please fix this back asap. Thanks. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 06:01, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Reverted for now - making note at original request. SkierRMH (talk) 06:08, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks. Yes, that's done the trick. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 06:11, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Delink the dates produced by citation templates

Your typical citation looks something like this:

Author (date). "Title of the Publication". Publisher. Retrieved on date.

There is absolutely no reason to wikilink the dates. The previous justification was to allow autoformatting for dates, but that feature has now been deprecated, per MOS:UNLINKDATES. In accordance with this policy change, citation templates should no longer wikilink dates. Plasticup T/C 18:13, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree absolutely there is no longer any reason to link dates in citation templates. However, by simply delinking the dates, you are now making them display in the format YYYY-MM-DD which is also deprecated by WP:MOSNUM. Can you consider replacing the dates with dates in the format "27 October 2008" or "October 27, 2008"? — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:29, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the Citation template is not capable of correctly formatting the accessdate if an article uses the American date format. The only solution immediately available for this problem is to erase the entire citation and type it by hand, not using a template. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 19:33, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes it can (or is supposed to) see examples in #Current_behaviour above. If you have an example where it does not could you post here. --Salix (talk): 23:22, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I am talking about a different issue. I mean that the template should be modified so that it does not automatically link dates. Right now some of the citation templates link the date no matter what format is used. Consider this example from {{Cite web}}:
{{cite web|author=Example Author|date=2008-09-08|title=Fictional title|url=http://www.google.com}}
displays as:
Example Author (2008-09-08). "Fictional title". 
The wikilinking of that date is managed by the template, not by the input. The template explicitly adds the wikilinking to un-wikilinked input. It should not do that. Plasticup T/C 19:37, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Thats {{cite web}} not {{Citation}}. Citation does not auto link dates as the examples a few sections above show. --Salix (talk): 23:22, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
It appears in multiple citation templates. I thought that this would be as good a place as any to develop a consensus. Should I take it to the {{cite web}} talk page? Plasticup T/C 00:09, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, go ahead and request on the {{cite xxx}} series talk pages that automatic linking of dates should be discontinued. However, as has been pointed out above, there's no such problem with {{Citation}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:21, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree, all the citation templates should not link dates. I've had the issue already come up during an A-class review of an article. JonCatalán(Talk) 04:05, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Plasticup: kudos for de-linking [xyz]date= in {{cite xxx}} and {{citation}}. I don't know what tools you are using, but if this is being done manually (and if its not too much trouble) could you perhaps also infer what date-format ought to be used and accordingly "rewrite" ISO cruft as something sensible? Thx. -- Fullstop (talk) 20:51, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I second that. — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:38, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


I probably should not do this per WP:BIKESHED, but the proposed changes to template make a few small punctuation changes

  • Current: First, Alpha; Second, Beta & Third, Gamma (1 January 2007), Example title (published 5 July 2008). Retrieved on 24 October 2008
  • Sandbox: First, Alpha; Second, Beta; Third, Gamma (1 January 2007), Example title (published 5 July 2008), Retrieved on 24 October 2008

Namely having a ; rather than an & before last author, and a , rather than a . before Retrieved.--Salix (talk): 23:46, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

And, as I've said more than once, this is a step backwards. I'm not entirely sure why this has gone live so soon and so fast. I don't see much in the way of discussion here. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 03:47, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I've got no views on the use of the ampersand, but would support the replacement of the full stop with a comma (e.g., "... (published 5 July 2008), retrieved on 24 October 2008") – note the lowercase "r" in "retrieved". I feel this would make the template easier to use in footnotes when there are multiple {{Citation}} statements. — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:24, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Return to previous punct per jbmurray. -- Fullstop (talk) 20:42, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Can we have this returned to previous punctuation? Both moves here are moves backwards, in my view. Thanks. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 09:18, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I'd also like it to be returned to what it was. Both changes seem steps backwards to me.  DDStretch  (talk) 10:01, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Forgive my frustration, but the only fast thing about this three-month long process has been the complaints from people who decided not to comment at the construction stage. This move to a common core template for Citation and Cite journal will make the tedious maintenance work much easier in the future and save editors lots of time, while providing a consistent style to the encyclopaedia. References are meant to display information in a consistent and easy to read style, and arguing about petty details such as punctuation makes no difference to that role. The new template, as it is, works - if matters such as commas and ampersands are of significant importance, I'm sure somebody will come forwards and propose a solution. If not, maybe the matter isn't worth holding up a substantial improvement over. Let's get out of the bikeshed and make this improvement. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 19:15, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
As I've asked before without ever receiving a reply, where was the discussion for all this? You say it's been a long process, but I see no evidence of the process itself; I see merely hasty and un-thought-out change for the sake of change. As I've said elsewhere, in the discussion of so-called "unicite," I too would prefer consistency. But there's no need to accept steps backward as part of this. Punctuation is not here a "petty detail"; you don't seem to understand how style manuals work. I've proposed a solution: please fix. Many thanks. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 20:23, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
See the links I've just added under your request above - I think our posts overlapped. The reasons for the change are all spelled out at length there. And feel free to be bold and make the fix yourself. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:26, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, so the discussion was all at "cite x," though the changes were to "citation." That hardly seems to make sense. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 20:56, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
P.S. re. Style manuals; wikipedia's WP:MOS doesn't specify what punctuation should be used in references. Feel free to fight that battle elsewhere; that's not discussion for a template page, as a template acts to ensure conformity to a single style. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:28, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
No, but the template imposes a certain punctuation style. By bringing citation into line with "cite x," without any consultation, you've changed that style, and for the worse, as has been mentioned repeatedly here. As I've also said before, I am not sufficiently up on template syntax to fix it myself. It seems to easy to break things, as happened with the change here. I'm merely asking you to fix this back. Many thanks. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 20:56, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) There are plenty of mentions on this page to the sandboxed code that was used. That being said, it is reasonable to raise objections now although you missed the examples previously. I think that discarding the ampersand is an improvement--the template works much better with the various possible author parameters & the punctuation is self-consistent. I agree that we should keep a full stop instead of a comma preceding "Retrieved on..." --Karnesky (talk) 21:39, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

OK, now I think I've finally understood this. The ampersand is being removed because "cite x" uses (or its users tend to employ) author= and coauthor= fields. The latter adds "and" to the output. There's the fear that when combined with last= and first= fields, the output could produce "& and." Is this the issue, then?
The solution to this is simple: to deprecate the use of "author=" and "coauthors=", both of which are far inferior to the use of last= and first=. Again, please change this back. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 11:44, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
No. As I had responded to you earlier, both templates permit the 'author=' parameter. There are examples of this parameter being used by both templates & the limited number of separate authors that has been allowed historically in {{citation}} means that every paper with more than four authors has problematic metadata. --Karnesky (talk) 00:46, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes the using a ampersand rather than a semi-colon for the last author than does make the template considerable more complicated, adding an extra nine branches, plus a few more for multiple editors.
But this is how things were before with {{citation}}. Please change this back. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 11:44, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
The current sandbox version does have a . before Retrieved. So no problem there. , ", Retrieved" is clearly wrong. Jacks suggestion of ", retrieved" may be good making the citation a single sentence. But again adds complexity, requiring an extra parameter as the cite x family have full stops separating all fields.
Another issues is the terminating full stop. Cite x has one Citation does not.
One other simplification I've been thinking of is concerns linking of PMC links. Currently if the citation has a PMC link but no url then the article title is linked to the PMC. If the citation has a url and a PMC then the article title is linked url and the PMC link does not appears (broken). In the sandbox version the PMC link is
I'm not convinced that the PMC link deserves a special place being linked via the title, doi's pmid's, isbns . It would make things a lot simpler just to always link the PMC after. --Salix (talk): 23:04, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Because I'm in favour of allowing citation templates to be more flexibly used, I support: (1) keeping the whole citation in one sentence (and thus using ", retrieved" instead of ". Retrieved"), as this means a series of citation templates can be placed in one footnote separated by semicolons; and (2) not ending citation templates with a full stop, for the aforementioned reason and also to allow for additional elements to be added to the end of the citation (e.g., "(in Latin)", ", Plate 145"). — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:02, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I see no consensus on either the ampersand issue or the punctuation and capitalization used in the retrieval date (other than that a comma followed by an uppercase letter is not desired). While it is great that Martin and others are trying to make the core as flexible as possible, I think we should also discuss default behavior. --Karnesky (talk) 14:41, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean "default behaviour" in the sense of a unified form that would be acceptable to both? -- Fullstop (talk) 18:29, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Presently, I am confining "behavior" to refer to how {{Citation}}, alone, should format:
  1. presence of an ampersand
  2. punctuation and capitalization of retrieval dates.
If I may try to summarize these points.
1. The argument for keeping an ampersand is that the template has recently used this punctuation (given by jbmurray, FullStop, and DDstretch). The arguments against jettisoning the ampersand is simplification, consistency with other templates, and consistency of author separators within this one template. I give this argument & Martin may agree to it. Salix commented on the change, but I see no opinions.
2. The arguments for keeping the period followed by an uppercase letter are that it is how this template recently worked and is how other citation templates currently work (given by jbmurray, FullStop, DDStretch, Karnesky). The arguments for changing it to a comma followed by a lowercase letter are that it is consistent with the rest of the punctuation presently used by {{citation}} and that it allows {{citation}} to be used in a sentence (given by JackLee). I don't know where Martin and Salix stand on this.
--Karnesky (talk) 19:11, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
My opinion is that neither punctuation format makes it harder to find or maintain the citation, therefore either is fine with me. I think it's important to stress that the sandbox template now uses the punctuation format that the templates did historically, and that the default punctuation can be easily changed in the future for either template in the code of the template itself, or on a case-by-case basis by adding a parameter to the {citation|} code.
I'm worried that this punctuation debate is likely to cause confusion about the status of the Sandbox template, which is independent of this debate. At some point in the future, somebody needs to have a debate at a manual of style page about the preferred punctuation method in citations. The templates can then be modified to comply with any consensus gained there. But the talk pages of templates are not really the places for stylistic discussions. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 02:37, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Change Cite/core (was "related change at Template:Cite journal")

Just checking: There is a request for a change to a protected page at Template talk:Cite journal#Problems. However, on digging deeper, it appears that before that change can be accomplished, that Citation/core must be changed first. But, I'm not seeing a request for a change on that one. So, before I proceed, does anyone object to this change? --Elonka 00:32, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

proposed diff --Karnesky (talk) 00:49, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

In fact, the edit required is this one - a couple of minor issues were raised since the edit was proposed which have now been addressed. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 13:20, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


The proposed edit reverts to the old punctuation behavior. Are there any issues that should keep us from applying it? --Karnesky (talk) 23:00, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

All reported technical issues have been resolved. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 02:41, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I see an edit request here, but it's not clear what edit is being requested? Please be specific? Thanks, --Elonka 01:22, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
At minimum, merge the current version of {{citation/core/sandbox}} into {{citation/core}}. This does not break anything on {{citation}} or {{cite journal}} & fixes some things.
A merge of {{citation/sandbox}} to {{citation}} would address additional gripes (that I would not consider to be "broken"), above. --Karnesky (talk) 01:35, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I updated {{citation/core}} from the sandbox, per request. However, {{citation/sandbox}} appears to have a link to the other sandbox page, and since I'm not that familiar with the code, I don't want to be guessing what should or shouldn't be kept. Go ahead and update it though now that the first one's done, and then re-enable the request, thanks. --Elonka 01:54, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd rather keep the sandbox linking to the "citation/core/sandbox" so that further testing can be done if necessary; the only thing you need to change when copying it to citation/core is to replace the line


Thanks, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 04:23, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} It would be great if Template:Citation/core/sandbox could be copied into Template:Citation/core. A minor but important change to the COinS metadata has been implemented in response to the integration of Template:Cite book. Any effect to the output of template:citation or template:Cite journal, which also use this core template, will be an improvement to the metadata. Thanks, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:54, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

This does bring up a question. I added a diff so that the CoiNS .aulast parameter was only present if a first name is also given, i.e. if both last and first parameters are suplied to the template. Its since been reverted so that .aulast is always included i.e. when we have last, or author template parameter. Not sure if the change was intentional. Anyway does anyone has a view in this behaviour? --Salix (talk): 23:30, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed the revert (which appears to be unintentional); I had proposed the edit to allow your change to be implemented. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 23:37, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Disabled the request pending clarification. Please use an oldid when linking to the sandbox; it's currently unclear whether the current sandbox is what you actually want synced. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:30, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

What happened to DOIs?

Anyone know why DOIs in {{Citation}} are not displayed any more and no longer link article titles to external websites? — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:07, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

This is fixed in {{citation/sandbox}}:
Müller, Erwin W.; Panitz, J. A.; McLane, S. Brooks (1968), "The Atom-Probe Field Ion Microscope", Review of Scientific Instruments, 39 (1): 83–86, doi:10.1063/1.1683116, ISSN 0034-6748  |first3= missing |last3= in Authors list (help)
--Karnesky (talk) 22:00, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up. Hope it's going live soon. — Cheers, JackLee talk 03:11, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Should be fixed in live version now. For compatibility with naming conventions in /core I've capitalised the internal parameter. --Salix (talk): 12:16, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Yup. Up and running. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:04, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Restoring support for "quotes=no" to {{Cite journal}}

As per Template talk:Cite journal #Replacement for quotes=no for reprints, errata, etc.? there is occasionally a need when citing journal sources to not put quotes around the item names. This occurs for names like "Erratum" and "Reprint" which are not titles, but rather simply name the source in question. Until {{Cite journal}} switched over to use {{Citation/core}}, this was supported with the "quotes=no" parameter. For example, this:

  • {{cite journal |author= [[Leo Kanner|Kanner L]] |title= Autistic disturbances of affective contact |journal= Nerv Child |volume=2 |pages=217–50 |year=1943}} {{cite journal |title=Reprint |quotes=no |year=1968 |journal= Acta Paedopsychiatr |volume=35 |issue=4 |pages=100–36 |pmid=4880460}}

would format as this:

  • Kanner L (1943). "Autistic disturbances of affective contact". Nerv Child. 2: 217–50.  Reprint. Acta Paedopsychiatr 35 (4): 100–36. 1968. PMID 4880460.

Now, unfortunately, it formats this way, with unwanted quotation marks around "Reprint":

  • Kanner L (1943). "Autistic disturbances of affective contact". Nerv Child. 2: 217–50.  "Reprint". Acta Paedopsychiatr. 35 (4): 100–36. 1968. PMID 4880460. 

Of course this can be worked around by formatting the citation by hand, but that has other problems: for example, when the template changes to use a different style (e.g., volume numbers not being boldfaced), then we have to alter the by-hand citations.

Let's fix the problem by restoring support for "quotes=no" to {{Cite journal}}. This can be done by changing the obvious two instances of '"' to '{{#ifeq:{{{Quotes|}}}|no||"}}' in Template:Citation/core (see this diff) and by adding '|Quotes={{{quotes|}}}' to Template:Cite journal (see this diff). This will fix the formatting of Autism and of other articles that rely on quotes=no. It is an upward-compatible change.

I'll also mention this on Template talk:Cite journal as the proposal affects that template too.

Eubulides (talk) 23:59, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

But the title of that work is not "reprint." You are subverting the title field. The full stop is also not desirable. Why not use something like:
  • {{cite journal |author= [[Leo Kanner|Kanner L]] |title= Autistic disturbances of affective contact |journal= Nerv Child |volume=2 |pages=217–50 |year=1943}} Reprinted in {{cite journal |year=1968 |journal= Acta Paedopsychiatr |volume=35 |issue=4 |pages=100–36 |pmid=4880460}}
  • Kanner L (1943). "Autistic disturbances of affective contact". Nerv Child. 2: 217–50.  Reprinted in Acta Paedopsychiatr. 35 (4): 100–36. 1968. PMID 4880460.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
--Karnesky (talk) 00:44, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion; I did that. However, one problem remains: the reprint year (1968) gets formatted horribly, after the page numbers, in such a way that the reader might reasonably think we're talking about page 1968. Is there a good way to fix that? Eubulides (talk) 10:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Be a good chil'

(OT) ... and be a good chil' and use last=Kanner|first=Leo|authorlink=Leo Kanner, and don't abbreviate journal titles. -- Fullstop (talk) 01:13, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Someone needs to initiate dialogue with FA reviewers about an aspect of this. I was advised by a reviewer recently that in footnotes authors' names should be reflected in their normal order, which would necessitate the use of "author=[[Leo Kanner]]", and only surname first in appendices ("References", "Further reading", etc.). — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:07, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
News to me. Can you provide the link? --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 05:11, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
See "Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Emery Molyneux", just above the "Issues resolved, Ealdgyth" section. Septentrionalis (Pmanderson) said: "We should consider whether last name first (especially in notes) serves any purpose. The normal order would simplify linking and be clearer", and qp10qp said "I suggest using first name second name for notes and second name first name for booklists/bibliographies. Most manuals of style (I don't know about ours) recommend this, and it makes sense, because the only point of second name first name is for easy location in an alphabetical list". — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:21, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
OK. But this isn't suggesting any necessary problem with articles that don't following this convention. It's not that they will be failed at FAC.
And by the way, I agree with this suggestion. I think it would be a very good idea to have two versions of this template, say citationnote and citationbiblio, in which the format varied along the lines qp suggests.
Personally, I avoid this problem by using {{harvnb}} (which is of course an example of a template that comes in different styles: with or without brackets). --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 07:58, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, on re-reading the FA review I agree it's true that following what the reviewers recommended is not compulsory for an article to achieve FA status. Instead of having two separate templates {{citationnote}} and {{citationbiblio}}, perhaps a parameter called "biblio" could be introduced. If "biblio=on", then the last name will display in front. — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:11, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
That (a "biblio=" field or similar; should probably be a "notes=" field) would work for me. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 09:51, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
What's next? Will the editors working regularly on this template go ahead and make the change? Or do we wait for more editors to comment on this proposal? — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:20, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Let's give the proposal more than 6 hours and 1 comment to gestate before implementing it. RossPatterson (talk) 17:11, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
That was a rather fleeting mention in the FAC discussion. I am opposed to this--it adds needless complexity & there is no reason to have different name orderings in different citations. In corner cases where a particular article has a real need for a different way of styling the authors, editors may use the 'authors=' or 'author=' parameters. Because the need for this feature is so small, I'd rather lose a little bit of semantics than end up confusing people with extra parameters and documentation. --Karnesky (talk) 18:40, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but in something like Autism I far prefer the standard medical style. Not only is that article, well, medical; but the medical style makes for shorter citations that are easier to read if you know the subject (admittedly the journal abbreviations are gibberish if you don't know the subject, but they'll typically be gibberish anyway even if you don't abbreviate them). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eubulides (talkcontribs) 10:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "[journal titles will] typically be gibberish anyway even if you don't abbreviate them" is not an excuse to abbreviate.
  • At FAC, Septentrionalis (Pmanderson) apparently forgot about {{harvnb}} when he stated We should consider whether last name first (especially in notes) serves any purpose.
  • The biblio=/notes= field is really not a good idea: as Karnesky said, it adds needless complexity, and author= already gives people enough leeway to shoot themselves in the foot. Moreover, it introducing an inconsistency problem again; enforcing uniformity will be as much a nightmare as enforcing uniformity between {{citation}}/{{cite xxx}} is now. So no biblio=/notes= please. -- Fullstop (talk) 19:19, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, if it's massively complex, then no problem. But it is an anomalous mode of referencing for anybody used to the Humanities or Social Sciences. I don't know of a style that would put author last in footnotes. It's a pity a fix couldn't be implemented. But this is far from the most important priority. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 21:44, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Multiple instances of reference

Over at Template talk:cite journal, Karnesky's suggestion was also noted by jbmurray in response to Eublides' question, and LeadSongDog quite correctly pointed out that having two instances of the reference leads to a question as to which is being cited. I agree with both points, especially the latter - Wikipedia:Citing sources#Cite the place where you found the material clearly says "It is improper to obtain a citation from an intermediate source without making clear that you saw only that intermediate source. For example, you might find some information on a Web page that is attributed to a certain book. Unless you look at the book yourself to check that the information is there, your source is really the Web page, which is what you must cite. The credibility of your article rests on the credibility of the Web page, as well as the book, and your article must make that clear." RossPatterson (talk) 17:29, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
As mentioned there, I disagree. One should cite the source that one used, but it's a convenience to the reader to also cite other ways to read the same source. Here's one example:
Posey DJ, Stigler KA, Erickson CA, McDougle CJ (2008). "Antipsychotics in the treatment of autism". J Clin Invest. 118 (1): 6–14. doi:10.1172/JCI32483. PMC 2171144Freely accessible. PMID 18172517. 
This gives four different ways to get copies of the article. That's OK. It's a convenience to the reader, for example, to give a URL both to the canonical copy at the publisher and the non-canonical copy at PubMed Central, as well as to another copy of the abstract at PubMed and a way to access one more more copies via doi. Eubulides (talk) 10:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, maybe this is field-specific. But in my field (literature), we care even about small differences. Even if (say) just the punctuation is changed, then it strictly isn't the same source. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 21:39, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Doc for /core?

As we seem to be headed down a path where {{Citation/core}} will be used by lots of citation templates as their guts, it would seem to be time to document it independent of {{Citation}}. There are a number of parameters for which the intentions aren't intuitively obvious (e.g., Ref=, At=) or which appear to be duplicative (e.g., Place= and PublicationPlace=), or for which there are non-obvious interactions (e.g., URL= and IncludedWorkURL=). I can take a crack at some of it, having just had my arms elbow deep in the beast's entrails, but I would appreciate help from others who have been doing the same lately. Unless, of course, y'all think this isn't a good idea after all. RossPatterson (talk) 23:21, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think this'll be necessary; the code itself will be more informative to anyone making edits to the template, and 'everyday' users will not need to use these parameters. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 23:23, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Parameter "Citation class="?

The recent changes for supporting {{cite journal}} introduced a new Citation class= parameter to {{Citation/core}}, defaulting to "Journal". It's not obvious what it does, but the default value is surprising: there isn't an explicit specification in {{Citation}}, so it's getting this CSS class too. There doesn't appear to be a "Journal" style selector in the default WP MonoBook skin, can someone explain what purpose this parameter serves? And should it default to ""?

The parameter also seems ill-named - CitationClass= would have been more in keeping with the existing parameters. It's not too late for a change of name - as best I can tell, it's only used in the yet-to-be-installled {{cite book/sandbox}}. {{{cite journal}} tries to use it, but the parameter is mistyped there as Citation type=Journal. RossPatterson (talk) 00:38, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Ewwww! First, citations are content, and should not have inherent styles. Secondly, bibliography should not change formatting from one citation to the next. Third, content should not be (and should not be given the chance of) overriding bibliography section style. -- Fullstop (talk) 03:09, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The class is solely for the purpose of passing data to the COinS metadata tag and does not affect appearance. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 23:19, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

archive-url feature status (suggestion the reverse order of original & archived url)

The possibility to additionally provide a link to an archived copy of a source has been requested by me and by others (Dec 2007: [3] , Sep 2008: [4], Oct 2008: [5]).

This is still not possible with {{Citation}}. However {{Cite book}}, {{Cite url}} and {{Cite news}} have such a feature implemented.

Since the first proposal, a few points have been discussed and User:RossPatterson has made the neccesary modifications of the template in his sandbox. He has also constructed testcases to show that it is even working in more complicated cases.

Most recently I have discussed with RossPatterson, if the current order of 1) link-to-archive and 2) link-to-original could be reversed. Current output of User:RossPatterson/Citation:

Suggestion with order-reversal:

Some advantages of the layout-reversal are:

  • as author I'm actually refering to the original, not a copy of the original.
  • the archives don't always work perfectly (layout usually gets messy) so the most convenient place for the reader to go is to the original.
  • if the original gets (temporarily or permanently) unavailable, the reader can go to the archive. Note that the archive can also dissappear so it is not a strong argument to leave the "safe" link the primary.

As pointed out by RossPatterson, a disadvantage could be internal inconsistency in the {{Cite xxx}}-templates, if they should adopt the use Citation/core step-by-step. I think this is no big deal (only a temporary inconsistency layout).

Can someone

  • please comment or speak in favour of the change in order of archived and original urls?
  • point out if there are other issues with the suggested implementation?

User:Nillerdk (talk) 14:43, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

As there have been no objections, would an administrator please copy the current contents of User:RossPatterson/Citation/core to Template:Citation/core and User:RossPatterson/Citation to Template:Citation to deploy the archive support? Thank you, RossPatterson (talk) 00:00, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, this thread somehow passed me by. I've spent a while developing a way to incorporate archive-url for cite web, which I've now completed. There are a couple of edits in the queue awaiting implementation, and this edit will confuse them if it's made. I'll post up a version of citation that supports these parameters presently; I hope you don't mind waiting a short while for me to construct it but it will avoid a lot of confusion in the long run! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 04:02, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
The best way to implement this will be to wait until Template:Citation/core/web is copied in to Template:Citation/core. This fix addresses a couple of minor issues involved in the integration of cite book and cite web into the core framework. There should, in fact, be no reason that this edit cannot be performed now. Then, it will simply be a case of copying Template:Citation/archive to Template:Citation. I should add the caveat that I've not had time to test this thoroughly yet. Hope that's okay! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 04:07, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Problem with accessdate parameter?

I am picking and choosing particular parameters for inclusion in order to cite a paragraph of the constitution of the State of Delaware. In the combination of parameters I have chosen, the accessdate parameter is not appearing in the final citation. The syntax I am using follows (accessdate and accessdate show the same result):

{{Citation| title=Title 9 of the Delaware Code| contribution=Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds| contribution-url=http://delcode.delaware.gov/title9/c001/index.shtml| publication-date=31 October 2008| publisher=State of Delaware| access-date=22 November 2008}}

The output of the syntax above is (with Title marked up as an external link)

"Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds", Title 9 of the Delaware Code, State of Delaware, 31 October 2008

It appears that the accessdate parameter is suppressed given this combination of parameters. Was this intentional or an unfortunate side effect of the template code? --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 13:10, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. I discovered some possible workarounds:
If you use the parameters "day", "month" and "year", the problem disappears. Clumsy, though.
Wikitext: {{citation|title=Title 9 of the Delaware Code|contribution=Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds|url=http://delcode.delaware.gov/title9/c001/index.shtml|day=31|month=October|year=2008|publisher=State of Delaware|accessdate=22 November 2008}}
Result: (it works)
Alternatively, if there is an author or an editor stated, the problem also disappears. But this will not be an entirely satisfactory solution in all cases, such as yours:
Wikitext: {{citation|author=[[Delaware General Assembly]]|title=Title 9 of the Delaware Code|contribution=Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds|url=http://delcode.delaware.gov/title9/c001/index.shtml|date=31 October 2008|publisher=State of Delaware|accessdate=22 November 2008}}
Result: Delaware General Assembly (31 October 2008), "Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds", Title 9 of the Delaware Code, State of Delaware, retrieved 22 November 2008 
Wikitext: {{citation|title=Title 9 of the Delaware Code|contribution=Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds|url=http://delcode.delaware.gov/title9/c001/index.shtml|editor=[[Delaware General Assembly]]|date=31 October 2008|publisher=State of Delaware|accessdate=22 November 2008}}
Result: Delaware General Assembly, ed. (31 October 2008), "Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds", Title 9 of the Delaware Code, State of Delaware, retrieved 22 November 2008 
— Cheers, JackLee talk 13:37, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I discovered that it was not the fact that I had used the "day", "month", "year", "author" or "editor" parameters that was significant, but that I had changed "contribution-url" to "url". See the example below. Weird! — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:40, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Wikitext: {{citation|title=Title 9 of the Delaware Code|contribution=Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds|url=http://delcode.delaware.gov/title9/c001/index.shtml|date=31 October 2008|publisher=State of Delaware|accessdate=22 November 2008}}
Result: "Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds", Title 9 of the Delaware Code, State of Delaware, 31 October 2008, retrieved 22 November 2008 
There is no hyphen in accessdate. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 15:08, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
In Ceyockey's example, even if the hyphen is taken out of "accessdate", the accessdate does not appear. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:34, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Although it isn't documented, |accessdate= works just fine. In fact, since every other multi-word parameter of this template is hyphenated, it seems that |accessdate= should be documented instead of |accessdate=. RossPatterson (talk) 15:51, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

accessdate (or, equivalently accessdate) is not shown if contribution-url is used. This appears to be an undocumented feature.

Example 1, with |contribution-url=

{{Citation| title=Title 9 of the Delaware Code| contribution=Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds| contribution-url=http://delcode.delaware.gov/title9/c001/index.shtml%7C publication-date=31 October 2008| publisher=State of Delaware| accessdate=22 November 2008}}

Example 2, with |url=

{{Citation| title=Title 9 of the Delaware Code| contribution=Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds| url=http://delcode.delaware.gov/title9/c001/index.shtml%7C publication-date=31 October 2008| publisher=State of Delaware| accessdate=22 November 2008}}

  • "Chapter 1. Boundaries of Counties and Hundreds", Title 9 of the Delaware Code, State of Delaware, 31 October 2008, retrieved 22 November 2008 

Regards —G716 <T·C> 23:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I have updated the template documentation to reflect this difference—G716 <T·C> 00:01, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

issue= is not boldfaced again

Some time ago there was a matter of journal issue=s not being boldfaced. That seems to have struck again. Weird. -- Fullstop (talk) 13:29, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean that in the output of the template, the issue number is not boldfaced? That is very much standard practice in my experience: the volume number is in bold and the issue number is between parentheses. As far as I remember, it has always been thus, though there was some discussion about whether the volume number should indeed be in bold (see Template talk:Citation/Archive 2#Boldface volume). If you mean something else, could you please clarify? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 15:17, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion, I meant volume, not issue.
  • McPherron, Alexandra; Lee, Se-Jin (November 1997), "Double muscling in cattle due to mutations in the myostatin gene", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 94 (23): 12457–12461, PMID 9356471 
But it turns out to be not a problem with volume=, but with font size (?). When I don't use {{refbegin}}/{{reflist}}, it formats as
  • McPherron, Alexandra; Lee, Se-Jin (November 1997), "Double muscling in cattle due to mutations in the myostatin gene", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 94 (23): 12457–12461, PMID 9356471 
and there the volume is correctly boldfaced as it should be. But refbegin has had no changes to it in over a year, so I can't explain how this could happen. -- Fullstop (talk) 16:15, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Looks all right now. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, its fine now. How remarkable. Must be wikimagic. :) Thanks all. -- Fullstop (talk) 19:35, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Wiki-magic – oh no, not that elusive creature again. :-D — Cheers, JackLee talk 22:13, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Automatic use of 'pp'


Currently, the template automatically inserts pp. before the pages= parameter.

This can be a problem if one is referring to, say, "Front matter" or "Plates 4-6".

To fix this, please replace:

  |At = {{
          #if: {{{journal|{{{periodical|{{{newspaper|{{{magazine|}}}}}}}}}}}}
             #if: {{{page|}}}
             |p. {{{page}}}
                #if: {{{pages|}}}
                |pp. {{{pages}}}


  |At = {{
          #if: {{{journal|{{{periodical|{{{newspaper|{{{magazine|}}}}}}}}}}}}
             #if: {{{page|}}}
             |{{#if:{{{nopp|}}}||p. }}{{{page}}}
                #if: {{{pages|}}}
                |{{#if:{{{nopp|}}}||pp. }}{{{pages}}}

This will bring the template into line with {{cite book}}. If the parameter "nopp" is used, the pp. will not be displayed.

Thanks, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 18:59, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I'll do this edit for you, but first, can you just double check it for me, just for my own paranoia, this template is used in about a billion places, and I really don't be the one to break it. Thanks--Jac16888 (talk) 19:05, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I've copied the code directly from Cite Book, where it is working fine. I've just looked through it again to be sure it's fine, and I can't see how it would cause any breakage. Thanks, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 19:45, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Very well,  Done--Jac16888 (talk) 22:18, 30 November 2008 (UTC)


I didn't realise that I hadn't hard-coded the spaces between the pp and the page number in the above edit; consequently they don't appear. Could you please change p. }} to p.  (and the same for pp.)? Thanks. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 03:55, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
 Done. I was just about to leave a note here regarding this very issue, to determine if it was intentional :) Huntster (t@c) 04:34, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Numbers of pages

I would like to add a new parameter to this template, which will specify the number of pages in a work, because IMO pages+nopp is a rather unnecessary workaround, and according to User:RossPatterson, should never be used anyway. See discussion. Are there objections? -- Ynhockey (Talk) 22:33, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

What use does it have to specify the number of pages in a work? I've never seen it in a list of references. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 23:00, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Today on Wikipedia many articles have a list of references based on an adjacent list of bibliography, which also uses citation templates, and where it's highly useful to specify the amount of pages. See for example Battles of the Kinarot Valley#Bibliography. -- Ynhockey (Talk) 19:11, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that it is necessary, but I see no harm in adding support for a parameter named something like, perhaps, totalpages (well, little harm -- some tiny incremental server processing penalty to be paid every time a ((tl|Citation}} template is would be paid rendered by a WP server). OTOH, whether or not {{Citation}} implements this, the info can be added by tacking on in the wikitext something like "(NNN Pages)" immediately following the double-curly-brace closing the {{Citation}} template. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:29, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I too cannot imagine what use it would be to know how many pages a book has. And, I may be missing something, but Battles of the Kinarot Valley doesn't demonstrate any need to have number of pages in its bibliography. (Incidentally, the references section in that article needs cleaning up, its presently mixing harvnb with long ones). -- Fullstop (talk) 10:00, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Number of pages is a very useful parameter for full book citations, even if it may seen cosmetic, much like the publisher field in fact. It helps clarify what book is talked about for books with very similar titles, and just overall provides more info about the book which might interest the reader. This parameter is present everywhere in full book descriptions, including in Google Books.
Moreover, I wasn't aware of a guideline against mixing the two types of citations—you can't technically make several ref sections, and it would be rather impractical to use Harvard citations for websites. At the same time, when many pages and chapters from the same book are cited, using anything but Hardward-style is messy and impractical. Therefore, a mix of the two works just fine until (if) a technical solution is ever presented to have several ref section using the references markup. -- Ynhockey (Talk) 10:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, there are practical considerations for having a page count in full book descriptions and book reviews. Not so in a bibliographic record, I would think. And given that there is no standard for doing such a thing, the number of pages would only appear at the end of a citation, which -- as Boracay Bill points out -- could just as well be accomplished by putting (NNN pages) after the {{citation|...}}.
There's no guideline. It just looks messy. But why should harvnb be impractical for websites? For example, Isseroff would be 'Isseroff 2008, para. N'. The 2008 is from date of the page, which is August 10, 2008. Similarly, 'Ashkenazi 2006' etc. Just my 2 cents. -- Fullstop (talk)
Check the lead of Wikipedia:Citing sources: "Each article should use the same method throughout". And yes, you can create separate reference sections: check the documentation on {{reflist}} groups; this is for creating notes sections though, not mixing reference styles. {{Cite book}} was just updated to change the pages parameter to page to clarify that it is for the page number of the cite, not the number of pages in the book.

Missing parameters


This template should support parameters which are used by other templates: please add

  |YearNote = {{{origyear|}}}

below the line starting Year=, and

  |Archive = {{
              #if:{{{archiveurl|}}}|Archived from {{#if:{{{url|}}}|[{{{url|}}} the original]|the original}} {{#if:{{{archivedate|}}}| on {{{archivedate}}}|. You must specify the date the archive was made using the <code>archivedate=</code> parameter.{{#if: {{NAMESPACE}}|| [[Category:Articles with broken citations]]}}}}


after the line starting PS=. Also please change

  |URL = {{{url|}}}


  |URL = {{{archiveurl|{{{url|}}}}}}

. Once this is done the documentation can be updated with the parameter descriptions at Template:Cite book/doc and Template:Cite web/doc respectively. The edits won't have any effect on existing parameters. Thanks! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 18:08, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Not done for now:For the convenience of the responding admin, please provide a link to a sandbox, so we can just copy the whole thing over instead of hunting through the text. Thanks!--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 21:24, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Periods and Commas

Since {{cite xyz}} are Empty citation (help)  are now normalized to the point that mix-'n-match is not issue, could we please also normalize inter-field punctuation? -- Fullstop (talk) 18:15, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Date parameter and id in HTML code

On the page Proto-Indo-European pronoun, I created a citation with this code:

{{citation|last=Fortson|first=Benjamin W.|title=Indo-European Language and Culture
|publisher=Blackwell Publishing|date=2004|isbn=1-4051-0316-7}}

This produces the following HTML:

<cite style="font-style: normal;" class="Journal" id="CITEREFFortson2008">Fortson, Benjamin W. (2004),
<i>Indo-European Language and Culture</i>, Blackwell Publishing, <a href="/wiki/Special:BookSources/1405103167"
class="internal">ISBN 1-4051-0316-7</a></cite>

with id="CITEREFFortson2008" instead of id="CITEREFFortson2004". As a consequence, the links in the Notes section don't work. Funnily, the other citations (Beekes, Grebe and Sihler) work fine. Could somebody tell me what the problem is? Thanks --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 18:43, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Which links in the article don't work? They seem to work fine for me. — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:19, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I've changed the "date" parameter to "year", now it works alright. The funny thing is, the other citations had "date" params as well and worked before I changed that. In case you want to have a look at the old verson, it's here. Otherwise, sorry for the trouble and forget about it! Thanks --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 20:33, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Oddly enough, I have no problems with the "Fortson 2004" link even in the old version in your diff. — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:37, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Space needed between file format and title

When a citation has no author and the parameter "format" is used, the file format (e.g., "GIF" or "PDF") appears too close to the title of the work. Can a space be inserted?

Wikitext: {{citation|title=The Red Ensign [construction sheet]|url=http://www.mpa.gov.sg/circulars_and_notices/images/mc99-13b.gif|publisher=Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore|date=20 July 1999|accessdate=2008-12-14|format=GIF}}
Result: The Red Ensign [construction sheet] (GIF), Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, 20 July 1999, retrieved 2008-12-14 

Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:16, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Citing parts of edited books

I'm trying to cite the introduction to Shakespeare's Cymbeline, edited by Peter Holland, with this citation template. Currently, the code I'm using to do this is

{{citation |last=Holland |first=Peter |chapter=Introduction |editor1-last=Shakespeare |editor1-first=William |editor2-last=Holland |editor2-first=Peter |year=2000 |title=[[Cymbeline]] |place=London |publisher=Penguin |isbn=0140714723}}.

which produces

Holland, Peter (2000), "Introduction", in Shakespeare, William; Holland, Peter, Cymbeline, London: Penguin, ISBN 0140714723 .

But this is just as a hack, as Shakespeare is obviously the author of the work, and Holland is the editor. Should there be a parameter added so that the author of the larger work can be separated from the editor? BuddingJournalist 19:26, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Links to patents


I notice that currently, the patent citation template makes a link to the European Patent Office. Unfortunately, some valid patents aren't found in that database (despite it being, theoretically, worldwide). Old U.S. patents are a prime example: Google Patents and USPTO both contain data on 87648 and 264935, but espacenet draws blanks in both instances.
Therefore: is there an alternate way to specify a link to the patent when referencing it? (For now, I'm resigned to dropping url = http://www.google.com/patents?id=VPBBAAAAEBAJ in the citation, in the hope that eventually the template will link it up automatically.) TheFeds 01:36, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I just added the {{editprotected}} tag. I don't think it would be controversial to ask for a method of specifying a direct URI to a patent when the default link (to a patent number search on espacenet) is insufficient. (Are there any technical reasons why this is not implemented?) TheFeds 04:23, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
While this seems like a reasonable idea, I've closed the editprotected template, as it is intended to be used when requesting a specific bit of code be changed...not for asking for generic ideas to be included. Let's see if any of the template regulars have anything to say. Huntster (t@c) 04:51, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

HTML cite element

HTML 5 clarifies usage of the cite element. It should be used to mark up (only) the title of a work, whether it appears in running text or as part of a bibliographic entry. The entire entry can be wrapped in a span. Michael Z. 2009-01-01 21:36 z

I see that MediaWiki:Common.css has some declarations which may have to be changed. Michael Z. 2009-01-01 21:38 z
/* Styling for citations */
cite {
    font-style: normal;
    word-wrap: break-word;
/* If there is an inline link to a full citation, the full citation will turn blue when the inline link is clicked */
cite:target {
    background-color: #DEF;
/* For linked citation numbers and document IDs, where the number need not be shown on a screen or a handheld, but should be included in the printed version */
@media screen, handheld, projection {
    cite *.printonly {
        display: none;
I'm glad that HTML 5 clarifies, this, because it had been ambiguous. I was the author of the code in MediaWiki:Common.css, and I totally agree. This code ought to be put instead inside a "citation" class of a span, and the template should be wrapped in a span (class="citation") instead of a cite. Other citation templates ought to be changed as well, because they follow the same practice. COGDEN 00:22, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Most citation templates, including this one, now use the 'engine' template Template:Citation/core to produce their output. I'd recommend that you looked at this template and proposed this change there. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 11:27, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Redundant commas

I have just noticed that the following citation template results in redundant commas appearing:

Wikitext: {{citation|author=J.O.M.|contribution=Robert Hues on the Use of Globes|url=http://nq.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/s1-IV/107/384-b|journal=[[Notes and Queries]]|year=1851|volume=s1-IV|page=384}}
Result: J.O.M. (1851), Notes and Queries, s1-IV: 384 http://nq.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/s1-IV/107/384-b  Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)

I don't recall this happening before, so perhaps a recent edit has caused it. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:47, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Problem solved. I should have used "title" instead of "contribution". — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:51, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Adding two parameters - archiveurl and archivedate

Is it possible to add two parameters used in conjunction with the url parameter? Rationale. To be able to archive the visited web site. For example in the article Edward_Wright_(mathematician) I want to add this [6]. See {{Cite web}} for how it's done. Nsaa (talk) 20:57, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm... sorry I've asked this question before ... Nsaa (talk) 21:03, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
It has already been implemented in the sandbox and is only waiting to be copied into the main template by an administrator - see above (#Archive). User:Nillerdk (talk) 07:49, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Would somebody please:
  • change the template text to read "archived from the original on [date]" rather than "Archived..." since there is a comma before that word; and
  • update the template documentation to mention the new parameters "archiveurl" and "archivedate"?
Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 21:10, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Multiple ISBNs

Many books have multiple ISBNs (a 10-digit ISBN and a 13-digit ISBN, I think) -- which one should be used in such cases? Is there a way to mention both? Shreevatsa (talk) 15:57, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

The 13-digit ISBN supersedes the 10-digit one (see "International Standard Book Number"), so it's only necessary to state the longer one. Sometimes if a work is available in hardcover and softcover, I provide both ISBNs, like this:
Wikitext: {{citation|author=Karen Hearn (ed.)|title=Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530–1630|location=London|publisher=[[Tate|Tate Gallery]]|isbn=185437169X (hbk.), [[Special:BookSources/1854371576|1854371576]] (pbk.)}}
Result: Karen Hearn (ed.), Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530–1630, London: Tate Gallery, ISBN [[Special:BookSources/185437169X (hbk.), 1854371576 (pbk.)|185437169X (hbk.), [[Special:BookSources/1854371576|1854371576]] (pbk.)]] Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help) 
— Cheers, JackLee talk 17:12, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation and the example! Shreevatsa (talk) 22:38, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Hardback and paperback often have different pagination- wouldn't this make page number references confusing? Shouldn't you only use the source you have actually read? --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 04:29, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Do they? I had no idea! I thought that when a hardcover and softcover edition are issued simultaneously, the only difference is the cover. If there is a difference, then I agree absolutely that only the ISBN of the version that has actually been consulted should be stated. However, I see no harm in stating multiple ISBNs when a work is listed in a "Further reading" section and no page numbers are cited. — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:17, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I am physically located on a small island in the Philippines. I often cite page-numbered book sources, such as page 49 here, which I locate in books with Google Books previews. Publication information for that example book is listed here with two ISBNs (presumably, one being hardback and the other paperback). I generally supply both ISBNs in the cite. Do I have a problem? Perhaps this guideline should provide guidance covering this situation. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:33, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

As a rule there is a difference in page numbering between paperback and hardback, so if you are citing a particular page, you also need to ensure you have the right ISBNs. As always, cite what you are using.
In the case of the book on the Philippines, the two disparate ISBN numbers gbooks shows are in fact for paperback/hardback, but they were released with just cover differences. Both have 288 pages, and so (presumably) matching pages, so just pick one or the other.
When in doubt, don't add an ISBN. -- Fullstop (talk) 04:44, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I was religiously collecting ISBNs for both hardback and paperback editions, thinking that pagination should (!) be the same, and that ISBNs are primarily a convenience to provide multiple leads to various forms of the item. But it seems quite awkward to do multiple ISBNs (is the example above the only way?). And from the discussion I wonder if I am mistaken as to the basic philosphy: should ISBNs be considered as primarly a means of precisely identifying the item consulted? In that case it would be incorrect to list multiple ISBNs (unless one consulted multiple editions?). Any comments? J. Johnson (talk) 22:44, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Having read the views expressed above, I think the best advice is as follows:
  • In general, when referring to a work in a footnote, provide only the ISBN of the work you have consulted. Provide multiple ISBNs (e.g., for hardback and paperback versions) only if you are sure that the different versions have the same pagination.
  • However, when mentioning a work in a "Bibliography" or "Works" section (that is, a list of works by the subject of the article, not a list of works referred to by editors when preparing the article), or a "Further reading" section, it is acceptable to provide multiple ISBNs to help readers locate different versions of the work.
— Cheers, JackLee talk 08:35, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Jacklee is right. A citation that corresponds to a reference must precisely identify the source you consulted. In a Wikipedia context, you may think of this in terms of WP:V and WP:OR. In contrast, an ancilliary record in "Further reading" isn't being invoked to support anything you say, and so you can do anything that makes your day.
Also: Multiple ISBNs is the same thing as multiple sources; they are different editions. When you cite multiple sources, you are claiming that you got your information from all of them, and that any of them can be used to support what you are citing them for. Needless to say, don't spuriously (and quite unnecessarily) claim such a thing. -- Fullstop (talk) 09:43, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Let's consider my own real-world situation. I am located on a small island in the Philippines, and have very limited access to dead-tree sources. I do much of my research online, often browsing books which are available with limited previews in Google books. I often provide page-numbered cites from books which I have located in this manner. One example of such a cite (from History of the Philippines) is "Farazmand 1994, pp. 129-130 (footnote 18)". OK, there's a nice clickable link there to page 129, but I also provide a full cite in an endmatter section. The full cite which I provided in this case was:
Now, why did I provide two ISBNs? Well, I've never seen the dead-tree book I cited; I'm working from the online preview from Google Books. I got the info from which I constructed the full cite from Google books info, here -- which describes this book as follows:
Handbook of Bureaucracy
By Ali Farazmand
Edition: illustrated
Published by CRC Press, 1994
ISBN 0824791827, 9780824791827
Note that Google lists two ISBNs for the book. What's a guy to do in the real world? -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:49, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Both of those ISBNs are essentially the same thing. The 10-digit code is the older format, the 13-digit one is the new international ISBN. Both refer to the same book. You just have to pick one. Huntster (t@c) 00:03, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Aha. Thanks. In future when I see both 10 and 13 digit ISBNs I'll do that. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:14, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
As Huntster said, You just have to pick one. As I said before just pick one.
0-8247-9182-7 is the same ISBN as 978-0-8247-9182-7. A 13-digit ISBN number that begins with 978 is actually a 10-digit ISBN number, and any 10-digit ISBN number can be turned into a 13-digit one by prepending 978. Its not rocket science. Just pick one. -- Fullstop (talk) 09:21, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Since 13-digit ISBNs are now replacing 10-digit ones, I would say that the rule of thumb should be "use the 13-digit one where possible" and not "just pick one". — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:29, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
But, going back to an earlier question and noting that prefixing a 978 does not always work (see, e.g., this), can one be certain that identical page-numbering is followed in both the 10 and 13 digit ISBN numbers when both are given? In the particular case of page-numbered citations of books from Google Books, I'm now presuming that the page numbers shown in Google Books previews agree with the 13-digit ISBN. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:35, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
If the 10 and 13 digit ISBNs are shown side-by-side for a particular book, they should both represent the same edition, and thus, the same page numbering. Huntster (t@c) 00:53, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I won't argue with the assertion that they should. I'm not entirely sure that they always do, in every single instance where two ISBNs are shown side by side, in whatever particular sources might show two ISBNs side by side. I've taken to using one or the other, usually the 13-digit one, when Google Books shows two. Since I often cite page numbers from Google Books previews, I'm taking it on faith that the ISBNs supplied by Google Books for those particular books (identified by their Google Book IDs, which might have either one or two ISBNs given) do match the pagination shown in the Google Books preview with that ID. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 02:13, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Spaces in CITEREFs

As noted at Template_talk:Harvard_citation#Fragile code mishandles spaces in parameters, there is a bug in the handling of spaces in citation input parameters that makes the generated CITEREF different for |year=1999| versus |year=1999 | This clearly is not the intended behaviour.LeadSongDog (talk) 14:59, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Parameter support

{{cite book}} supports some parameters which are currently lacking in {{citation}}. Citation/Sandbox and its accompanying Template:Citation/doc/sandbox allow these parameters to be used in citation too. I can't see any reason not to implement this change; I thought I'd give it a couple of days to be sure. Any comments? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:42, 31 January 2009 (UTC) {{editprotected}}

No reasons not to go ahead with this change have been raised; please go ahead and copy Citation/Sandbox and /doc to Template:Citation and Template:Citation/doc. Thanks, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 02:55, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
 Done Please, update documentation yourself. Ruslik (talk) 09:53, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry to be a pain; I missed a couple of parameters (doi_brokendate and dateformat); the current sandbox supports these, Would you mind merging again please? Thanks... Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:12, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
 Done Ruslik (talk) 17:21, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for doing this so promptly - much appreciated! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 17:49, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

'author link =' appears to have stopped working.TedColes (talk) 19:10, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Archiveurl: Great news for the enemies of link rot - but improvement still possible

Today it is possible to specify an archiveurl using the template (thanks to Smith609, RossPatterson and others):

While this is already great, would you please have a look at the following suggestion of an (IMHO) improved layout (with input from RossPatterson):

Note the "reversed" (IMHO: more logical) order of original and archive urls. This would also implement JackLee's wish to use lower-case "a".

Please comment: Would this change in phrasing be an improvement? User:Nillerdk (talk) 16:04, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

The lower-case-a problem can only be resolved if the archival is handled by Template:Citation/core. Your change will also necessitate changes to that template, if it gains support. I have requested the necessary changes at Citation/core and will propose a change here when it goes through. Martin (Smith609 – Talk)
Huh, where and exactly what did you request? Am I unaware of another forum? And what is the general opinion on the order-reversal? User:Nillerdk (talk) 23:11, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
All citation templates use a central 'engine', template:Citation/core to generate, their output; consequently any change affecting this template will affect other citation templates, by design - to avoid drift. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 00:32, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm a random observer, but I must say I greatly prefer "A book about something (archived copy as of 12 January 2006)" to the old format. Shreevatsa (talk) 00:12, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
In most cases, I greatly prefer having the most prominent link be to the original URL, and having the archive link be less prominent, as in the suggestion from Nillerdk above. —AlanBarrett (talk) 12:14, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I'm agnostic as to whether the primary link is the original URL or the archive URL. I guess which one seems more appropriate depends on whether the original link is still live or not. If it is, then it may appear a little odd if the archive URL is the primary link, and vice versa if it is no longer live. But since it's impossible to determine when a link goes dead, it doesn't really matter to me. In the meantime, could we temporarily fix the template so that the word archived doesn't start with a capital A after a comma? — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:22, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Sooo... if there is no consensus yet on how the statement about the archived version of a web page should be dealt with, can we at least get the word Archived temporarily amended to archived so that we do not have a capitalized word appearing after a comma? Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:14, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Full stop at the end of the template

Could the full stop (period) that has suddenly appeared at the end of the citation template please be removed? The full stop makes the template less flexible as other punctuation marks (for instance, commas and semicolons) can no longer be used after it. Thanks. — Cheers, Truth's Out There talk 16:23, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Easy to do: just set use the parameter |postscript=
You can set the parameter to the desired punctuation, or leave it blank to surpress the period.
There may well be a case for removing it by default, which you are welcome to argue if you wish.
Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:31, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Can we get a bot to go around and clean up citation templates that have external punctuation after it. I strictly use the citation template and know that has to be dozens of articles of mine that now have two periods because of the change. Thanks. Wizard191 (talk) 17:16, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure how we'd end up with double punctuation. Could you give me a couple of examples? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 17:29, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Double punctuation now appears in many articles because {{Citation}} previously did not have a full stop at the end, so editors like me manually added one. But before we get a bot to fix this, when was the change discussed? I see no discussion on this talk page. And I think it is far easier to just leave out the trailing punctuation than to have to use a clumsy "|postscript=" parameter. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:23, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
(Sniped, but posting anyway.) I, presumably like Wizard191, have always added a full stop at the end of the template knowing that this was (previously) not provided by default. Having the template automatically add a full stop resulted in all my citations appearing with two stops at the end, since one was previously provided by me. The default should indeed be left the way it previously was, without a stop, and the parameter should have to be provided to invoke the punctuation mark. --Paul_012 (talk) 18:29, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
The "|postscript=" parameter was added by Ruslik0. I've left a message on his/her talk page asking for a clarification. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:50, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I removed period. Ruslik (talk) 19:03, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Much obliged! :-) — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:37, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
You also undid the last revision (doi_brokendate and dateformat). Could you replace them, please? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:31, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for switching it back! Wizard191 (talk) 22:37, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Centralised archival

{{editprotected}} A recent update to Template:Citation/core has made an improvement possible in the way that archive details are handled; please replace Template:Citation with the current sandbox. (Fully tested) Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 00:37, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

In more detail, the improvements are: better error handling (e.g. mark when archivedate specified but archiveurl blank); correction of punctuation and capitalisation; and centralising functionality to minimise future template drift. No change in appearance will be observed (except if 'Archived on' comes after a comma, in which case it will no longer be incorrectly capitalised). Examples are available at Template:Citation/testcases/archive. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 01:21, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Many of the test cases now have an extra full stop when using {{citation/Sandbox}}. I am deactivating the editprotected request until this can be fixed. —AlanBarrett (talk) 12:05, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, this recent change wasn't reflected in the sandbox content. Your amendment did the job perfectly, so I've re-enabled the edit request for your amended Sandbox. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 13:40, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
There's something wrong with the handling or archiveurl/archivedate and related error messages, shown in some of the first five test cases at Template:Citation/testcases. —AlanBarrett (talk) 14:40, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Not done for now, until there's absolute certainty that the updates function correctly. Reactivate when all test cases are explained/fixed. Thanks, PeterSymonds (talk) 01:25, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
A URL should be specified whenever an archiveURL is (as stated on documentation page). This allows the template to accommodate archiveURLs when the original URL is unknown, or when the archive has come from scanning a paper copy of the cited source. On the contrary, the template should display an error when an archive URL is specified without specifying the date of the archive (see documentation); the current template does not, and the new one does. The new behaviour is thus in line with the template documentation and should be seen as an improvement. I'll give a couple of days for people to disagree with me before re-enabling the edit request. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Most of the problems that I saw earlier (in several of the first five test cases at Template:Citation/testcases have been fixed now, but the first test case still has a problem: the current code displays an error message "you must specify the date the archive was made using the |archivedate= parameter", while the sandbox code does not display an error message. —AlanBarrett (talk) 19:17, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the current documentation says "an url should be specified whenever an archiveurl is specified"; I disagree that this is a sensible requirement, but that's a separate discussion that I do not intend to enter into here. You seem to be raising the issue in response to an unrelated comment that I made, and I can only guess that you have confused the first few tests at Template:Citation/testcases (which I mentioned in my comment dated 14:40, 8 February 2009 (UTC)) with the last few tests at Template:Citation/testcases/archive (which I did not mention in that comment). —AlanBarrett (talk) 19:17, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

archive-contribution-url and archive-chapter-url missing

While the archiveurl option already is in place, it is currently not possible to specify archived urls of contributions and chapters. I think this should be made possible

  • for consistence and
  • because in the cases of contributions and chapters, I guess the author primarily would want to provide an archive of the contribution (not the url of the work)

User:Nillerdk (talk) 07:59, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

'coauthors' parameter fails Harv magic linking.

I am trying to set up footnotes (like <ref>{{Harv|Ritter|2002}}</ref>) that link to a list of sources set up with "citation". The magic that connects the anchor to the citation works fine - until I add a 'coauthor' parameter. (Compare 'Ritter' and 'Ritter2' in my /Sandbox.) (And same result using "cite journal".) It looks like a bug to me. So might there be a fix in the offing? Or some kind of work around? (Or is this a not so subtle ploy to make me list all authors individually?) J. Johnson (talk) 00:12, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

To do the harv-style author linking, you need to use first1= last1= first2= last2=, and not use coauthor. Then list the same names as arguments to the harv template. Also, please use – (or the n-dash character) in place of hyphens to separate page numbers. E.g.
  | last1 = Bucknam | first1 = R. C.
  | last2 = Hemphill-Haley | first2 = E.
  | last3 = Leopold | first3 = E. B.
  | year = 1992
  | doi = 10.1126/science.258.5088.1611
  | journal = Science
  | pages = 1611–1614
  | title = Abrupt Uplift Within the Past 1700 Years at Southern Puget Sound, Washington
  | volume = 258}}
and {{harv|Bucknam|Hemphill-Haley|Leopold|1992}}. —David Eppstein (talk) 00:40, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
 Yes, I figured it out about an hour after I logged off, and took a peek at the underlying HTML code to see what CITEREF was doing.  It appears that when 'coauthors'

is present the template just cocatenates it to the CITEREF. That tends to end up more bizarre than useful; I wonder if the template might be made a little smarter so it parses for the first string of letters terminated with a space or comma (but not a period, to aovid initials). It still wouldn't be perfect, but a lot better.

And thanks for the tip about using n-dash. Is that specific to template parameters (titles, too?), or is that general for all Wikipedia mark-up? J. Johnson (talk) 19:58, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

See WP:MOSDASH for when to use which kind of dash. The short version: in a compound word, compound name (such as Hemphill-Haley), or if a page name has a hyphen in it, just use the ordinary hyphen. To separate a range of numbers (pages, years, etc) or a pair of names (e.g. Floyd–Warshall algorithm) use an en-dash. To separate parenthetical clauses—like this—use either an unspaced em-dash or a spaced en-dash. And in mathematical expressions with subtraction or negation use −. —David Eppstein (talk) 20:43, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Year bug


When I type

* {{citation|last=Staniland|first=Martin|year=1973a|title=The Three-Party System in Dahomey: I, 1946-1956|journal=The Journal of African History|publisher=Cambridge University Press|volume=14|issue=2|url=http://www.jstor.org/pss/180543}}.,

I get

What the hell? I never said it was published on February 8. ~EDDY (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 00:47, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

The notation 1973a would only be used with Harvard style notation. When using footnote numbers, there would be no reason for the "a". That doesn't mean it shouldn't be fixed.
Also, I disabled the editprotected tag, since no solution to the problem is ready for implementation. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 00:50, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
But how am I supposed to cite two sources by the same author in the same year? ~EDDY (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 01:06, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Please give the name of the article your are working on. Do you understand what I mean by Harvard citation? --Gerry Ashton (talk) 01:50, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Dates should never include an 'a' or a 'b' as this will spoil the COinS metadata. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:27, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
It looks like Eddy is working on Hubert Maga. Using year=1973a is what has been suggested for at least half a year in this situation, so I assume this used to work. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 17:20, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Consider an article that uses Parenthetical referencing. It might look like this:

"It was allowed to go out of print because the International Astronomical Union ...." (Seidelmann 1992b: xxv)


  • Seidelmann, P. Kenneth (1992a), "Secular Variations in Optical Observations of Planets", in Ferraz-Mello, Sylvio, Chaos, Resonance, and Collective Dynamical Phenomena in the Solar System, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers  [Date should read "1992a".]
  • Seidelmann, P. Kenneth, ed. (1992b), Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac, Sausalito, California: University Science Books  [Date should read "1992b"]

The only way to know which of the publications that Seidelmann wrote in 1992 is being quoted is to add "a" or "b" after the year. If Citation can't support this, then it does not support parenthetical referencing--Gerry Ashton (talk) 17:38, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

wtf? 1973a/1973b/1973c is perfectly normal, and indeed absolutely necessary in order to distinguish multiple publications by the same author in the course of a single year.
COinS cannot be allowed to influence how citations are formatted here, and if COinS can't handle a/b/c, then a way has to be found to sanitize year= value for the COinS param, and without screwing up the citation as it appears on wp.
The spurious expansion of a year= as a full date is completely unacceptable. -- Fullstop (talk) 18:17, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Just a comment in passing: could it be that the date expansion is triggered by the appearance of any non-numeric character, which is interpreted as an attempt (possibly

bungled) at an expanded date? If there isn't any arithmetic being attempted on the year, then perhaps a "simple" adjustment to the regular-expression parsing would work. (talk) 21:51, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

In {{citation/core}},...
replace all calls to {{date}} with calls to {{citation/fixdate}}.
Examples of it in action:
  • {{citation/fixdate|2007-04-01}} => 1 April 2007
  • {{citation/fixdate|2007-4-01}} => 1 April 2007
  • {{citation/fixdate|2007-04-1}} => 1 April 2007
  • {{citation/fixdate|2007-4-1}} => 1 April 2007
Examples of it doing no conversion, but which are all valid expressions of a date in a citation.
  • {{citation/fixdate|2007a}} => 2007a
  • {{citation/fixdate|April 2007}} => April 2007
  • {{citation/fixdate|2006-2007}} => 2006-2007
  • {{citation/fixdate|4/2007}} => 4/2007
  • {{citation/fixdate|April-May 2007}} => April-May 2007
  • {{citation/fixdate|Spring 2007}} => Spring 2007
Documentation is over at {{citation/fixdate}}. Its not rocket science. -- Fullstop (talk) 00:51, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Done. Please let me know if I made any mistakes. —Remember the dot (talk) 06:41, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
All's well.
  • {{citation|author=Foo|year=2007a}} => Foo (2007a),   Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • {{citation|author=Foo|year=2006-2007}} => Foo (2006–2007),   Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • {{citation|author=Foo|date=1 April 2007}} => Foo (1 April 2007),   Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • {{citation|author=Foo|date=April 1, 2007}} => Foo (April 1, 2007),   Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • {{citation|author=Foo|date=2007-04-01}} => Foo (2007-04-01),   Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • {{citation|author=Foo|date=Autumn-Winter 2007}} => Foo (Autumn–Winter 2007),   Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • {{citation|author=Foo|date={{date|2007-04-01|dmy}} }} => Foo (1 April 2007),   Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • {{citation|author=Foo|date={{date|2007-04-01|mdy}} }} => Foo (April 1, 2007),   Missing or empty |title= (help)
-- Fullstop (talk) 07:36, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Now Citation/core does not support the dateformat= parameter. Was this intentional? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 22:10, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I think the idea is that you should format the dates as desired before sending them through the template. Whether or not that's the best way of doing this is debatable. —Remember the dot (talk) 22:43, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
This change caused problems in articles including Barack Obama and Daylight saving time and a further change to {{Citation/core}} has been requested; it would revert the change and also remove all calls to fixdate. For details please see Template talk:Citation/core #Please don't mess with editor's date format. Eubulides (talk) 23:54, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Priority of year=/date=/publication-date= parameters has changed

There is a recent change of priority of year=/date=/publication-date= parameters.
Previously, date= was shorthand for publication-date=, but now date= clobbers year=.

{{citation|author=Foo|title=A title|periodical=A periodical|volume=1|issue=2| year=2007 | date=April 1, 2007}}

Previously, that would have returned:

Foo (2007), "A title", A periodical (published April 1, 2007), 1 (2) 

Now it returns:

Foo (April 1, 2007), "A title", A periodical, 1 (2) 

I don't know whether this affects the cite id= span, but many of the harv ref links at (e.g.) Freddie Mercury are presently broken.

To ensure I wasn't imagining things, I checked citation/doc:

  1. publication-date (or date): Date of publication.
  2. date: Date of authorship, if different from date of publication. If only date is used, it will be treated as the date of publication.
  3. year: Year of authorship or publication. (Mandatory for use with links from Template:Harvard citation. In some situations, the template may be able to derive a year from the full date.)

In short,

  • the default (i.e. if not defined) value of year= should be (one from) date=. Date= should not be clobbering year=.
  • the default (i.e. if not defined) value of publication-date= should be date=.

The change of behavior is not necessarily recent; it may have occurred some time ago, and no one noticed. -- Fullstop (talk) 08:24, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Capitalized "Archived" after comma

Can the template please be adjusted so that the word archived does not start with a capital letter after a comma, as shown in the example below? Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:45, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikitext: {{citation|title=366 Criminal Law detentions in five years|url=http://www.todayonline.com/articles/301232.asp|archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/5eVy8aOvV|archivedate=12 February 2009|newspaper=[[Today (Singapore newspaper)|Today]]|date=10 February 2009|page=8}}
Result: "366 Criminal Law detentions in five years", Today, p. 8, 10 February 2009, archived from the original on 12 February 2009 
That would only be a temporary solution. Please see (and comment!) this proposal for a new wording and new order of url and archiveurl. User:Nillerdk (talk) 13:36, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
This temporary solution is in fact proposed above. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:11, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

editor-last vs editor-surname

The examples for an edited book use editor-surname while editor-last is given in the parameter list. Aa77zz (talk) 17:50, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Missing Citation Templates

It would be useful to have more citation formats available, such as one for treaties. Would it be useful to be able to make a destinction between news published in tradionally paper or online formats. Not all that's published online necessarily appears in the print editions and sometimes when an article from a print edition appears online it doesn't provide information like the page number from the print version. I recall missing some others, but can't think of what they are now. Does anyone have any suggestions for other needed citation templates?

Rigimoni (talk) 13:45, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

On the contrary, we seem to have far too many citation templates: is 'Citation' not sufficient for treaties? Can you give an example of how the output of 'Cite treaty' would differ from one using 'Citation'? Give me an example of the output you require, and I can update the documentation with a 'how to cite a treaty' section. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 15:01, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

There is in fact only one citation format. And no, a treaty is not cited any differently than any other kind of publication. There is also no difference between online-news and print-news.
The purpose of a citation is to lead the reader (in the most efficient way possible) to the source that was used by the author. Get that basic banal fact, and the equally banal system that goes with it, and you will find in citations consistency, harmony and inner peace. ;) -- Fullstop (talk) 16:15, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


I just noticed today that the authorlink parameter(s) don't seem to work if the author name(s) is/are specified via the first(n) and last(n) parameters. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:01, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Seems to work fine for me. How are you using it? — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:00, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Here's the cite with which I noticed the problem: Taylor, John R.M., ed. (1907), "Chapter I. Telegraphic Correspondence of Emilio Aguinaldo, July 15, 1898 to February 28, 1899, Annotated" (PDF), Compilation of Philippine Insurgent Records, Combined Arms Research Library, originally from War Department, Bureau of Insular Affairs, retrieved 2009-02-22  External link in |publisher= (help)

Ah! (smacks forehead) the cite lists Taylor (correctly, I think) as the editor, not the author. I should have noticed that. Perhaps an editorlink parameter is needed; I see that there is an inventorlink parameter. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 04:43, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

There is already a parameter that does what you want, but it's spelled "editor-link" (or "editor1-link", etc). —David Eppstein (talk) 05:15, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks (Duh!). I've fixed this in my problem cites. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 02:30, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect editor-name field order in "special-issue" periodical

In a "special-issue" periodical it seems to be desirable to list the names of the editors as well. When formatted with citation, this causes the editors' names to appear before the title of the article, which is incorrect. Example:

{{citation|last=Lastname|first=Firstname|title=Article Title|pages=32-42|periodical=Modern Geology|volume=10|issue=Special Issue: The Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation|year=1998|editor-last=Carpenter|editor-first=A.}}.


Lastname, Firstname (1998), Carpenter, A., ed., "Article Title", Modern Geology, 10 (Special Issue: The Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation), pp. 32–42 .

The editors' names are appearing before the title of the article (and there is also no "in"). Could someone fix this please? Thanks. -- Fullstop (talk) 20:32, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

page/pages: p./pp.

It seems that the automatic adding of "p." or "pp.", which works fine for books, does not work for newspaper/magazine/periodical/journal:

  • Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, p. 243 
  • "Some article", The New York Times, p. 12, March 20, 2009 
  • "Some article", The New York Times, p. 12, March 20, 2009 
  • "Some article", The New York Times, p. 12, March 20, 2009 
  • "Some article", The New York Times: 12, March 20, 2009 

(It is supposed to say "p. 12".) Is it a bug or am I doing something wrong? Thanks, Shreevatsa (talk) 15:17, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

This is most likely intentional an intentional design decision: many citation styles do not denote page numbers this way in serialized content (where a page range is expected), but do label the page range for book citations. --Karnesky (talk) 17:28, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't entirely understand: do you mean that it looks fine this way and I shouldn't worry about it, or that I should use some other syntax (or type "p." manually)? Shreevatsa (talk) 17:54, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
It looks fine the way it is; don't worry about it. ;-) --Karnesky (talk) 20:18, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
It does look weird in the examples above because the date is coming in at the end. In turn, the the date appears at the end because no author has been specified. Compare:
* Fawkes, Guy (March 20, 2009), "Some article", The New York Times, p. 12 
Voila! Weirdness goes away. -- Fullstop (talk) 20:43, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Ok, if you say so. :-) It still looks confusing to me, perhaps because I don't recall having seen this citation style anywhere (when there's a volume number / series etc. it makes sense to drop the "p.", but I don't recall encountering just a single bare number). Anyway, since you both say it looks fine and not weird, I'll stop caring about it. Shreevatsa (talk) 22:49, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Yep, you're right about the volume/issue. The page number really does look rather lost without them. -- Fullstop (talk) 23:17, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Translator 2

What is the right way to include information about the translator of a work in the citation? One solution is to mention the translator outside the citation template, but it would be nice if we had a parameter for 'translator' (or 'translator-last', 'translator-first'). (It seems this was the very first question in the archive :-)) Shreevatsa (talk) 07:06, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

I've just been adding a translator as a second author using the |author2= parameter, like this: {{citation|author=First Author|author2=Second author, transl.|title=Sample Book|location=New York, N.Y.|publisher=Publishing Company|year=2009}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:15, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Urls for titles with []

This is a bug: when a title has square brackets in it, and there is a URL, things go wrong:

It's not so important, because one can use around the ']', but if it's easy to fix, it would be good to. (Actually it might be good to always put <nowiki> around the title text—but there are no doubt reasons against it I haven't thought of.) [[User:Shreevatsa|Shreevatsa]] ([[User talk:Shreevatsa|talk]]) 07:14, 22 March 2009 (UTC) :I work around this problem by substituting the square brackets with "[" and "]". — Cheers, [[User:Jacklee|<span style="color:#ce2029">Jack</span><span style="color:#800000">'''Lee'''</span>]] <sup>–[[User talk:Jacklee|talk]]–</span></sup> 08:13, 22 March 2009 (UTC) ::Yes, that workaround is the only possibility, due to the MediaWiki software. I'll note this in the documentation. [[User:Smith609|Martin]] '''<small>([[User:Smith609|Smith609]] – [[User_talk:Smith609|Talk]])</small>''' 18:54, 22 March 2009 (UTC) :Wrapping titles in nowiki automatically as part of the template might solve this but it would introduce a much larger number of problems concerning the inability to put other formatting (such as italics or math) into parts of titles. —[[User:David Eppstein|David Eppstein]] ([[User talk:David Eppstein|talk]]) 19:01, 22 March 2009 (UTC) ::Yup, that's not a good idea, in my view. — Cheers, [[User:Jacklee|<span style="color:#ce2029">Jack</span><span style="color:#800000">'''Lee'''</span>]] <sup>–[[User talk:Jacklee|talk]]–</span></sup> 06:47, 23 March 2009 (UTC) :::This has in fact been done, and promptly undone, in the past. [[User:Smith609|Martin]] '''<small>([[User:Smith609|Smith609]] – [[User_talk:Smith609|Talk]])</small>''' 20:40, 3 April 2009 (UTC) == editor1, editor2… == The template supports parameters like author1, author2, and so on, but doesn't support editor1, editor2… Is there a reason for this? (I know that it works to use editor1-last, editor1-first, editor2-last, editor2-first and so on, but I'd like to avoid it for names that do not follow such a [[Personal_name#Naming_convention|convention]].) [[User:Shreevatsa|Shreevatsa]] ([[User talk:Shreevatsa|talk]]) 16:24, 23 March 2009 (UTC) Oh I saw the source just now (I had assumed it would be too mystifying to make any sense): <code><pre><nowiki> |EditorSurname1 = {{{editor-last|{{{editor-surname|{{{editor1-last|{{{editor1-surname|{{{editor|{{{editors|}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} |EditorSurname2 = {{{editor2-last|{{{editor2-surname|}}}}}} |EditorSurname3 = {{{editor3-last|{{{editor3-surname|}}}}}} |EditorSurname4 = {{{editor4-last|{{{editor4-surname|}}}}}}

It just needs to be changed to

  |EditorSurname1 = {{{editor-last|{{{editor-surname|{{{editor1-last|{{{editor1-surname|{{{editor1|{{{editor|{{{editors|}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
  |EditorSurname2 = {{{editor2-last|{{{editor2-surname|{{{editor2|}}}}}}}}}
  |EditorSurname3 = {{{editor3-last|{{{editor3-surname|{{{editor3|}}}}}}}}}
  |EditorSurname4 = {{{editor4-last|{{{editor4-surname|{{{editor4|}}}}}}}}}

I think. (How would it affect the template's choice of whether to display "(ed.)" or "(eds.)"? I can't recognise that in the source code.)

Also I see that as far as the template is concerned, I could just use editor2-last='full name' instead of the proposed editor2='full name' etc.; I guess that's what I'll do. :) Shreevatsa (talk) 21:43, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Better still, you could use 'editor2-last=' and 'editor2-first='. I know it's slightly more typing, but it provides consistent formatting and creates more useful metadata. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 22:56, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes of course, that would be the right thing to do where possible, but as I said in the original comment, not everyone has a so-called "last name" and a "first name". BTW, how is the metadata used? Shreevatsa (talk) 23:02, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I missed the first half of your post. The edit you propose would be fine, in that case (I tweaked it a little). Two uses of metadata include allowing the export of references by reference manager software, and the automated location of sources using browser plugins supplied by many academic libraries. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 23:08, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Poll on date autoformatting and linking

People may be interested to know that the Poll on date autoformatting and linking is now open. All users are invited to participate. Lightmouse (talk) 17:25, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

OCLC field redirect

I hate love to be pendantic, but is there a reason the title for the oclc field is a redirect to Online Computer Library Center instead of a piped link? Not a big deal, but I do love a direct link. I'd edit, but I'm afraid of destroying wikipedia in my ignorance. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:49, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

 Done at Template:Citation/core. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:39, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Lovely, thanks! WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 22:10, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

A suggestion

I suggest an addition to the description of the field id in the template: since in the voices on mathematical topics many use this field to place a link to a review, why not to add a link to template:MathSciNet, template:MR, template:Zbl and the other templates for referencing reviews of mathematical papers? Daniele.tampieri (talk) 17:33, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Automatic detection of citation format

I have proposed that Citation bot amends pages using a mixture of 'Cite xxx' and 'Citation' templates so that only one family of templates is used. I would welcome comments on this suggestion here. Thanks, Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:02, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


Could a translator= field be added? Thoughts? Cirt (talk) 18:22, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I asked the same question above: hope you have better luck. :-) Shreevatsa (talk) 17:06, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Quotation marks

When citing journals (see example in doc page) typewritten quotation marks ‘"’ (without single quotes) occur. It would be nice to use typographical ones: ‘“’ and ‘”’ (without single quotes). — Artem M. Pelenitsyn (talk) 09:34, 17 April 2009 (UTC).

Typographical quotation marks are discouraged by the Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Quotation marks (subsection 'Quotation characters') -- Fullstop (talk) 10:57, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Request for comment on including ISSNs when there is a DOI

There is a discussion on changing the documentation for the cite article template to allow for the use of an ISSN when a DOI was present. Ideally, whatever was adopted there would also be adopted here. Martin would also like input regarding whether or not he should setup his bot to insert an ISSN where possible. Please comment on these issues at Template talk:Cite journal#ISSNs are useful, independent of DOIs. --Karnesky (talk) 18:07, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


I noticed something which looks like a problem with this template today. In the following citation:

It seems to me that the link should be on the book title, not on the chapter title. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 06:28, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Usually, if a citation is referring to a particular chapter and also includes a URL, chances are that the URL refers specifically to that chapter. Perhaps a separate "book-url=" field would be a good feature to have, but I wouldn't consider linking to the chapter, given those parameters, as a bug. Shreevatsa (talk) 06:51, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I would expect that if Scott wrote the whole book, the chapter would be given in the place where the page number normally appears. Since the chapter title is given, I would presume that Scott only wrote the chapter, and the name of the book editor has been omitted. However, my interpretation of the citation does not agree with what I can find out in Google Book Search, so I would say this citation is incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jc3s5h (talkcontribs) 14:55, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
This doesn't really solve the problem of the |url= parameter creating a link with the chapter title and not the book title, but is there much point linking to Google Books in the above citation? The full text of the book is not available, so the URL just links to an index page. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:11, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
What JackLee said above. The citation is obviously incorrect, because the URL is of the book and not of the chapter, but I don't think it's a bug in the citation code: it is behaving as expected, and a URL to just an index page for the book is of limited utility anyway. Shreevatsa (talk) 15:18, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
The citation code is certainly not behaving as I expected. I think that it is behaving confusingly. the chapter-url parameter, if set, should link the chapter and the url= parameter, if set, should link the title. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:20, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I do think that behaviour is a bit odd. It appears that when both the |chapter= and |title= parameters are used, but only one URL is specified, the template opts to link the chapter title to it. — Cheers, JackLee talk 03:45, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Documentation needs updating

Template:Citation/doc appears to need updating to explain the intended usage of some parameters (e.g., format=, dateformat=. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 03:26, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


Can someone with access rights add smallcaps to the author first and last name?:

Lastname, Firstname

Pergamino (talk) 01:52, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

That doesn't seem to me to be in the spirit of MOS:CAPS: "Wikipedia's house style avoids unnecessary capitalization". See also MOS:TEXT#When not to use emphasis: "small caps formatting should be changed to title case". —David Eppstein (talk) 02:19, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I was referring to the style used in Rongorongo#Bibliography, which is a featured article. I think that using smallcaps for the author's name could be nice. Pergamino (talk) 02:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
The way that Rongorongo#Bibliography got the caps was by using Template:Smallcaps/Template:Aut. It doesn't follow MOS, but that's just a guideline.   Will Beback  talk  05:33, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
  • You following me? Isn't MOS a style guide for article content? Using smallcaps for authors names in citations is quite common. Pergamino (talk) 13:45, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
No, dude, you're following me! Anyway, there are a variety of MOS pages that cover most aspects of article layout and style. While it doesn't mention the use of small camps in bibliogrphies or reference sections, the FAC reviewers of Rongorongo didn't mind so it can't be too bad. In any case, it's not necessary to alter this template - it can be done as needed.   Will Beback  talk  14:02, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
(a) I am not your "dude"; and (b) I am not following you. Pergamino (talk) 22:24, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I would be concerned that the small caps font might not contain all the diacritical marks that would be available in a regular font, possibly making it impossible to properly represent the names of some authors. --Jc3s5h (talk) 15:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

That makes sense. Thanks! Pergamino (talk) 22:24, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Rongorongo#Bibliography really hoses Zotero. The author gets stored as <span style="font-variant:small-caps;">Bahn, Paul</span>. I would not be surprised to see it break on most reference management software. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:21, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
According to the template notes, diacritics are handled, but there is a problem with the Turkish i. I added a note on the Zotero issue, which I really consider a showstopper. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:53, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Sorting of category articles

I'd like to request a feature.

Pages with broken citations are filtered out and show up on Category:Articles with broken citations. I fix all pages I find there on a daily basis. Among the pages there are template and template talk pages (there might be help and help talk pages in some cases), that have to be there because they show examples of how-you-shouldn't-do-it.

In other related error categories, namely Category:Pages with missing references list, Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting and Category:Pages with broken reference names, we've implemented a tweak that sorts all templates (and help pages, files and category pages) together at the beginning of the list. This serves a dual purpose:

  1. the pages with examples are easily identifiable to the user interested in learning more about them
  2. the users interested in fixing them (I for one) won't have to sift them out from between the other pages and this will sort them all together for priority fixing.

n.b. Priority fixing because templates and files are often transcluded onto many other pages, and help and category pages contain information that serves as guidance to all users.

An admin interested in technical details of the tweak can copy them from this diff. Debresser (talk) 18:44, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


This popped up on my watchlist today. I've seen this mentioned many times in the past. I don't know where the editing style warning not to mix {{Citation}} with {{cite xxx}} templates presently appears, but it probably does appear someplace.

Comparing examples taken from template docs (the parameters differ, so I've cross-fertilized them):

In the above comparative examples, {{Citation}} is first and {{cite book}} is second. The differences I see here boil down to:

  1. The separator character used is sometimes a comma, sometimes a semicolon, sometimes a period.
  2. {{cite xxx}} adds a period at the end, {{Citation}} does not.

The full situation may be more complicated than that when other parameters and other examples from the {{cite xxx}} family are considered, but how about adding optional separator= and terminator= parameters to {{Citation}}? That should be simple to do. Is it a good idea? -- Boracay Bill (talk) 02:42, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Adding parameters would increase the number of variations from 2 to 6. Does not seem like an improvement to me. I would suggest if any parameter were to be added, it should be placement=footnote or placement=referencelist (or some shorter version). The origin of the diffeent styles is whether the citation appears in a footnote or an alphabetical list of references, so if placement info was available, it could be formatted appropriately. --Jc3s5h (talk) 13:45, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Ah! I see that a separator= parameter does presently exist, but its usage is not documented. Following is a comparison of Citation with the separator= parameter unspecified, with "separator=." specified, compared with

The terminator= parameter I mentioned above is unnecessary, as a "." can be manually added following the {{Citation}}. (or, in some cases, a ";" terminator added instead—flexibility which is not available if {{cite xxx}} templates are used). -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:00, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The terminator parameter is called 'postscript'. It is subtly different from manually adding a period - the punctuation is included within the 'citation' span if it is included in the template. This means that users with browser plugins will see the citation formatted properly. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:55, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
What sort of browser plugins are we talking about? Why would the citation not be formatted properly if the terminal punctuation mark is not within the {{Citation}} template? — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Many university libraries provide plugins using LibX which identify COinS-formatted references and produce a link (often an image) to the full-text version which the library has access to. The intended display is illustrated here. Without using the postscript parameter, the icon will display within the citation, before the terminal period - which irked me, because it was aesthetically galling.
I also use a plugin (User:Smith609/endnote.js) which adds a link to allows references to be exported to EndNote. Using this plugin the following citations:

*{{Citation|title=title|year=2000|postscript=.}} *{{Citation|title=title|year=2000}}.

render thus:
   * title, 2000.  [Endnote]
   * title, 2000  [Endnote].
This isn't exactly world-threatening stuff, but it's a pity to make a messy output when it's unnecessary. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 17:30, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Problems with docs and with separator= parameter

I noticed that Template:Citation/doc omits documenting the "publisher=" parameter. This should probably say

  • publisher: name of the publisher.

Also, Citation/doc omits documenting the "separator=" parameter. FWICS, the documentation should read

  • separator: specifies the punctuation mark used to separate fields. This usually defaults to a comma, but may occasionally be a semicolon. The template may, in some cases, override the specified character, separating some fields with a semicolon. Specifying a semicolon as the separator character causes the template to malfunction, but a semicolon separator character may be specified as "separator=;".

Alternatively, perhaps Template:Citation/core can be fixed so that specifying a semicolon as the separator char does not cause a malfunction.

Template:Citation/core/doc includes

  • |Sep= specifies the punctuation mark used to separate fields. This usually defaults to a period, but may occasionally be a comma.

AFAICS, this should read

  • |Sep= specifies the punctuation mark used to separate fields. This usually defaults to a comma, but may occasionally be a semicolon.

or perhaps there should be an additional parameter named "Sep2=" which defaults to a semicolon. If this is done, {{Citation}} should be updated to support this new parameter, and the documentation there updated appropriately.

I thought about boldly changing the documentation myself, but decided that the issues related to the "separator=" parameter needed a look by others. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:16, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The 'Sep' parameter at citation/core should not be confused with the |separator= at citation. The Sep parameter in citation/core defaults to a period is no separator is passed to it. Unless told otherwise, Citation over-rides citation/core's default value with a comma. So the definition at citation/core/doc should remain as it is; the replacement definition you provided may be appropriate to use at citation/doc.
Modifying Citation/core to accept a plain-text semicolon as a separator may or may not be possible. If it is, then it would be at the expense of code readability. This would make future maintenance of the core template more difficult. However, I have modified citation (and the cite xxxs) to fix the malfunction. Out of interest, when would a semi-colon be necessary? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:06, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Necessary? I'm not sure. I'm not a professional editor, and my editing of WP articles is seat-of-the-pants regarding citation styles. I tend to prefer {{Citation}} as a handy Swiss Army Knife citation tool. When I recently became aware of the separator= parameter, I diddled around with it in a sandbox and stumbled into the discovery that a semicolon broke it. In my ignorance, I would probably have tried to specify a semicolon at some point, as I suspect some other editors might. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:47, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I've updated the docs to add some info. See this edit. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 02:10, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe there is a single citation format called Harvard citations. You can't find a published style manual that specifies how to write Harvard citations (or can you)? Rather, "Harvard citations" is a name for a group of formats including the APA format and the American Chemical Society format. Also note that most Wikipedia articles use footnotes, while Harvard citations use parenthetical citations. --Jc3s5h (talk) 12:28, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

To my knowledge, there is 'Harvard referencing', which refers to the parenthetical (Author Year) approach to in-line referencing; and the 'Harvard style' of citation format, with a bold volume and a bracketed issue (et cetera) which citeulike's reference formatter treats as a separate output option to APA and ACS. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 12:35, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Just gonna fix the thing in userspace. Will be back

  • Sadly tired of this ineffectual yammering. I'm just gonna fix the thing in my userspace; will be back in 2 or 3 (or 4, if I'm busy.. finals coming soon!) weeks with revised version for everyone to yammer further about. Fear not; I have not yet assailed the sphincter into the morass of adminship known as RfA, so I cannot edit the template directly. Double fear not, because I wouldn't do so anyhow without the prerequisite six weeks of ineffectual yammering here on Talk (I wouldn't do anything this drastic; tiny changes are another matter).
  • Essentially, I plan to collapse several optional parameters into one: |format=. So a user can select APA, MLA, Turabian, etc etc etc etc.
  • Cheers! Ling.Nut (talk) 08:34, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
While I applaud the fact that you are willing to create a template in the absence of consensus, I can only remind you that in the absence of consensus, nothing changes around here, and on the basis of the discussion above I see no suggestion that the template you are about to write will be supported by consensus.
Nevertheless, I wish you the best of luck. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:58, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
If consensus doesn't approve of my template, then I'll just place it separately in template space and advertise it everywhere this one is advertised. In fact, you know what? Screw this tea party. I'll do the latter anyhow. Unwatching! Ta ta! Ling.Nut (talk) 01:28, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

This is not APA format. What is it? Response requested.

  • This is not APA format. What is it? Response requested. Ling.Nut (talk) 11:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia format. Why use an existing format when you can invent your own? (-: From memory, it most closely (but not exactly) resembles the Harvard format. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:12, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
      • My head ---> wall --> bang. Creating a new format is [impolite adjective redacted]. It makes us look very, very unprofessional. Ling.Nut (talk) 09:36, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
        • Doesn't it just. If you want to increase the size of the bruise on your forehead, you could try convincing other editors that using an established format - or even using the same citation format throughout the site - is a good idea. In fairness, I should mention that the difference between this format and Harvard is not major, and that being a web-based site, many of the space constraints faced by printed materials do not apply here. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:17, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
          • Personally, the effort of trying to achieve consensus on such a major change to the guideline as it currently exists is probably not worth the effort. WP:SNOWBALL. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:45, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
            • Except I have felt for some time that the guidelines should be changed to encourage the use of citation templates, or at least to insist that 'hand-formatted' citations are hand formatted to include the metadata produced automatically by citation templates. This would (practically) produce a consistent output format; on having a consistent format it would be possible to discuss what that format would be. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:57, 24 May 2009 (UTC) - see new post at Wikipedia_talk:Citing_sources#Metadata_in_citations.

(undent) The default version of this template does not look like anything I am familiar with. One can tweak a few options to make it look relatively more like APA, but I'm not sure if one can precisely duplicate APA format. I am looking into all the options now... Is there a way to set one variable that will in turn define several other options? I'm thinking something like |APA=yes, which sets all the options to generate APA style. Methinks t'would be much, much more user-friendly.Ling.Nut (talk) 16:51, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Your suggestion would be technically achievable, but there may be non-trivial performance implications. It would also make ongoing template maintenance more complicated. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 17:01, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Second-best would be to create all necessary options, then document them in a section about APA, e.g., "To get APA format, set |lastauthoramp=yes ; |separator=. " &tc. I'm not yet sure that all necessary options currently exist. Ling.Nut (talk) 17:14, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, what does the standard APA format look like, anyway? — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:23, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
  • This may be outdated: http://linguistics.byu.edu. Now that I'm thinking about it, though, several options would have to be set, half of which would have to be created now... and knowing how lazy Wikipedia editors are (and how messy it will look to set so many options), I despair... who wrote this damn thing? Does it actually look like any real format, in its default state? Ling.Nut (talk) 23:42, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Here's a more visual demonstration of the format. I have double checked against citeulike's reference formatter, and the output which most closely matches WP is the Harvard format. The only difference for journal articles is the presence of a space between the volume and issue number, which was revolted against when I tried to sneak it in a while back, with the introduction of 'Citation/core'. If we are to opt to follow a published style, it would probably be the least work to choose the Harvard style. For some inexplicable reason I seem to have developed an addiction to fiddling with citation templates, so whilst I probably don't have the energy to weigh in to bludgeoning out a consensus that a universally-used citation style is a good idea for the citation templates, I could probably be easily persuaded to implement the coding once the consensus was established. I think it would make things more professional if WP as a whole had a preferred citation format, but I can also see the argument that psychology articles might be predisposed follow the APA, while chemistry articles might follow the American Chemical Society format. But then, what paper encyclopaedia would use different formats for different articles? I'll also volunteer now that I would be happy to code a bot to change the format of citations using different styles, if consensus emerges, because I can guarantee that if you do take this matter further somebody will raise the complaint that 'it is too much work to change things'. Well, count me as a volunteer to automate that work. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 03:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I've been wondering myself for a long time why no standardised format for the whole library of citation templates was ever developed. It may seem a bit bludgeon-like, but it seems like it would be useful to poll the community to determine if there is consensus for MLA, APA, or some kind of per-template formatting for specialised groups, like for the American Chemical Society mentioned above. I have to wonder if the prior reluctance to insist on using templates for citations was because there was no standard format? Huntster (t@c) 04:59, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
There's another reason for not insisting that all references be templatized: WP:BITE. The more rigorous and bureaucratic we make our standards, the more intimidating we make it for newcomers to help, and the less people we'll have working on the project in the long run. I'll convert references to templates when I find them in a nonstandard format, but I don't think we want to set up strict rules that references must obey a standard style guide and that anyone who disobeys will be warned or blocked. That said, I think settling on a standard style would be a good idea and I don't particularly care which one it is as long as it can accomodate all the information we want to include and isn't too ugly. Harvard would be my preference, only because it's closest to the existing citation templates. —David Eppstein (talk) 05:05, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I would never suggest that users be warned or blocked for not using templates, but I would like to eventually see something like "The usage of citation templates is encouraged, but not required. Templates are useful as they present citations in a consistent way." on Wikipedia:Citing sources. When I read that page now, I feel like there is pressure to not use templates, even though they have very wide usage amongst our articles. Huntster (t@c) 05:22, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

(undent) A couple times now people have said this template is quite similar to Harvard, but I am still skeptical. I'm gonna try several different ways of entering data.. and compare. I actually doubt the template's output resembles anything at all, but we'll see. Ling.Nut (talk) 05:24, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

First things first - establishing consensus

Call me a cynic, but to save you the effort of a poll I can assure you that there won't be a consensus at present! From my experience, people tend to get very protective about the details of their citations. However, ever the optimist, if we could work out the optimal solution and present a compelling rationale, I suspect that we might be able to improve the consistency within the encyclopaedia. Often, discussions such as this get lost in a sea of emotional but not entirely related responses, so my suggested strategy would be for the few of us who are interested enough to be watching this page to thrash out what we think is a solid and defendable solution here, before presenting it to the wider community who will undoubtedly have a few important thoughts which we won't think of (and no doubt several thousand unimportant points which they will make loudly). If we can distil a shortlist of two or three possible solutions, and present a concise summary of the key advantages to each, I think people will be willing to consider developing a consensus. But getting too much opinion from too wide an audience at this stage is likely to condemn any discussion to a never-ending and overly-verbose battle, concluding with a 'no consensus' and lots of frustrated editors.
To get the ball rolling, I would suggest a couple of benefits of having a style guideline in the first place. Professionalism aside, the main argument for me would be that a guideline means that user input can be formatted automatically by bots, saving human editors from a large amount of work.
The simplest solution would be to use one reference format throughout. (Deciding what format this should be, and whether we use an established format or a 'house format', is probably a task that should be decided after reaching consensus on the way forward from here.)
The alternative which I can see being mooted would be to use a different format for different articles. Arguments against this would be the technical overhead of producing variable templates; the scope for ambiguity (e.g. should Serotonin fall under the chemistry guidelines or the psychology ones); confusion among newcomers; and the precedent of other encyclopaedias, as well as multi-disciplinary journals, which use a single style.
We should also consider the arguments for maintaining the status quo. I think the main argument that would be presented would be 'ease of application' but there are many reasons that this doesn't hold water. I can't really think of any other benefits of a mixture of formats.
Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 06:12, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
  • There are two different conversations going on here. Some folks (not me) want to standardize the citation format: one format to rule them all, as it were... I am very strongly opposed to that idea. I think folks from different fields should be free to use the format that is prevalent in that field. However, I am even more strongly opposed to a Wikipedia-specific format. we should be using existring ones; we should not be making up our own.
  • The second conversation (or it may just be me talking to myself) is the nut's 'n bolts of offering templates for each of, say, four or five extremely standard formats. Someone or other.. i think it was HeadBomb.. was all about making this damn Citation template that everyone could use. Allegedly, according to the talk at the time, it would be flexible, so people could use various options and come up with a perfect example of whatever format they want (e.g., AOA or MLA). I see now that talk was false. As far as I can tell, it is currently completely impossible to reproduce APA format using this template. If it were tweaked to make APA possible, it would require the creation of a few new options, and then the editor would be required to use several idiosyncratic options for each and every instance of the template. I suggest this template be deleted in favor of five or six other templates, simply named CiteAPA, CiteMLA, etc. Ling.Nut (talk) 06:32, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Why do you think that sort of anarchy would be an improvement over the present anarchy? —David Eppstein (talk) 06:49, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
  • No offence, but option two would be even worse than the current situation. At least the existing templates, while arbitrarily created in terms of style, resemble each other. You are suggesting that Wikipedia start using multiple different styles of templates? Martin lays out the arguments against this idea above, and I'm sure we could come up with a variety of others. Given the point we are currently at, the only two really viable options are to adopt a single unified format, or to simply keep what we've already got. Huntster (t@c) 06:56, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Bull. The goal is to come up with an excellent end-product, not to make people happy. The end-product is the output of the citation templates. The output of this template is not excellent. I'm not even sure that it's "good"; I need time to examine every possible case (multiple authors, chapter in book, journal, etc etc.). Having a small number (four or five most common formats) of templates is the only answer that enables people to utilize templates to flawlessly recreate the out put of those four or five formats...UNLESS you wanna make this template really, really huge... adding a |format= option (|format=APA or |format=MLA or whatever)... Ling.Nut (talk) 08:06, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Surely an excellent end-product, somewhat by definition, will make people happy? And I'm a little curious as to why it is so essential to be able to reproduce APA. I think your opening point was that using our own format makes Wikipedia look unprofessional... If this is true, you should notify the editors of Nature, Science, Palaeontology, and the hoardes of other publication large and small which use proprietary formats for references. This is a slightly different discussion from the 'one format, many or any' debate which we are having in this thread, but perhaps you could start a new section below detailing why we should support a/any 'standardly recognised' reference format. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 12:31, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

The complaint that "it is currently completely impossible to reproduce APA format using this template" (Ling.Nut, above) is based on a presumption that APA format should be produced. But where is the requirement to produce any specific format? Any why APA?

For sure it would improve Wikipedia to be consistent and uniform in format, and hopefully even optimally (or at least close enough as makes no difference). But I doubt that any of the score or so of established "styles" fits the bill. It seems to me best that we explore the variations of stylistic preferences (that is, not the styles themselves, but elements of different styles) to sort out what works (shouldn't take more than a decade) rather than aribitrarily adopt a style. In the meanwhile, bibliographic data should be encoded in a way so that what ever style is eventually worked out can be applied separately. (Much like how Cascading Style Sheets work with HTML.) J. Johnson (talk) 22:31, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Different formats for different subjects

A little light is starting to ping on my myth radar. I started to think about this and thought, 'hang on'. It's not subject-matter which determines which format is used, but price-of-paper. Journals which favour short articles because they are pressed for space and have high distribution costs (Nature, Science, PNAS) use short citation formats. And, download a piece of reference management software such as Endnote and look at the range of citation styles available. Almost every journal has a different style, according to its needs and house style. I'd like to see if there is any meat to this idea: as a Palaeontologist, if my submission gets rejected from Palaeontology I will need to re-format the references before I submit it to Journal of Paleontology or Lethaia. So could a proponent of the 'different formats for different fields' concept suggest, for instance, which format should be used for a random sample of subjects:

  • Glaciolocy
  • Physical Geography
  • Isotope geochemistry
  • Geology
  • Cell biology
  • Star Trek
  • Anime

Unless someone can come up with an unambiguous format for each, backed up by unwavering evidence, I suggest that we abandon the 'different format for each subject approach'. Before I personally was willign to consider it, I would like to be presented with a case study of just one other publication which has made a similar editorial decision. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 12:23, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't take your comments very seriously, I'm afraid... I've been in both Linguistics and TESOL for several years.. I've seen APA; I've seen LSA (which is APA that's been almost microscopically altered). That's it. That would seem to be evidence that fields use formats. Others tell me it's true in their fields. Please, stop with the obstructionism. let's make real formats available to people.Ling.Nut (talk) 13:04, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Ling Nut, you have left half a dozen comments on this subject and so far you are being completely unconvincing. You keep iterating that we should use multiple formats, with no reason given beyond that researchers in different areas do use multiple formats. Yes, perhaps it is true that journals in different subject areas use different referencing formats. It is also true that the Encyclopedia Brittanica uses a single common referencing format for all of its articles. Is it the journal articles, readable only by specialists, that we are intending to emulate? I think not. —David Eppstein (talk) 16:23, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
To second that comment, even if we are emulating journal articles, I have yet to encounter an article that uses a mixture of citation formats. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 17:30, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
You have produced evidence that one field restricts itself to two citation formats. I am not trying to be obstructive here, simply to establish whether the assertion you make - that each field uses its own format - is true of all fields, because it does not match my own experience. Perhaps you could humour my enquiry and ask your friends to substantiate their suggestions, and inform us of other fields which exclusively use one citation format. I would also be interested to hear if you are able to find a journal or book in your field that mixes APA and LSA formats. Unless you can find a precedent in the real world, I don't think that you have a very strong case for suggesting that WP takes a unique position and encourages a mixture of citation styles. What advantages would you envision in allowing an un-uniform style? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 17:29, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me that the differences of views expressed above derive in part from different notions of what constitutes a "different format". If every little variation of citation or bibliographic form makes a distinctly different format, then yes, there are many different formats, even to the point of a different one for every (nearly?) publication. But this is misleading, because all of these differences are really just combinations of a very small range of alternatives on a number of different points. (E.g.: to invert co-authors names or not, which separators to use, whether to quote titles - should every possible combination of these choices count as a "different" format?) More generally, all of these little details sort out into two general styles (which the The Chicago Manual of Style - the study of which I strongly recommend - calls "style A" and "style B"), one of which is more prevalent in the humanities, and the other in the sciences. But beyond that I doubt if entire subjects can be characterized as using any particular format. It really comes down to each individual publication (journal, encylopedia, etc.) applying a consistent usage of what it deems to be best practice.

Wikipedia may be unique in allowing various and even inconsistent bibliographic and citation formats. I would suggest that this is a good thing, as 1) no format can be shown to be absolutely best, and 2) I would not want to see the "wars" that would ensue if differences of style were simply flattened by fiat without some convincing basis for doing so. Uniformity would be better (and I certainly endorse uniformity of style within an article), but until there is consensus across the board it will be much better to be tolerant of different usages. J. Johnson (talk) 22:36, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I do not want uniformity; I want a limited number of choices (four? five? six? surely six is enough, but I'm open to input). But I want the choices to follow existing formats perfectly. I want Wikipedia to look professional. Ling.Nut (talk) 23:51, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
J Johnson, I wholeheartedly agree with the above. Until there is consensus, there should absolutely be no major changes made to the operations of our citation templates. But as I said earlier, I would like to see this eventually brought to the community-at-large to try and figure out a way forward. It is certainly not anything for the short term, just a wish for the future. I agree with you, Ling.Nut, in that I want a more professional look for Wikipedia, I just disagree with having several options when a unified format seems like a stronger step forward, whatever that format may be. I don't care if it is APA, MLA, or something else. Huntster (t@c) 00:02, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm against WP:One Format to Rule Them All because I don't want to alienate potential new blood (new editors). Many scholars (and old folks in general, but that's another topic) get decidedly cranky if someone tries to change something in a way that "just isn't done" in their particular field. I want Wikipedia to present a relatively small set of options (4 to 6???) to make it a welcoming environment for real scholars... or, to make it less un-welcoming for scholar, anyhow... Ling.Nut (talk) 00:10, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Beyond your speculation, is there any evidence that scholars are put off from editing WP because their citations are being re-formatted? If so, it is very important that take this point into consideration. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 01:18, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Speculation? <blink, blink>. Look, this WP:One Format to Rule Them All debate is old, older than the hills. I remember people kicking up a fuss for just this reason... aeons ago. I don't remember which forum this took place. You keep asking everyone else other than yourself to defend/prove their positions. Defend/prove yours: What justification (aside from pure, bumbling convenience) exists for maintaining the status quo (a template that produces non-standard output, and creates a de facto impetus for WP:One Format to Rule Them All)? Ling.Nut (talk) 01:28, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Could you provide me with a working link which establishes that your speculation is fact? I'm not particularly interested in archives of fuss being kicked up, to be honest - I've been through that enough for one lifetime. But an unsupported assertion won't stand up when somebody takes it upon themselves to disagree with your opinion.
As for me, I don't have any position to defend at the moment. My only desire is that any decision we reach should be based upon facts - it's not possible to generate consensus if all we have are personal preferences. Thus far, you haven't been able to substantiate any of the concerns you have raised. I don't doubt that some of them may be valid, but often discussions get sidetracked into arguments about hypothetical problems which, on close inspection, don't actually exist in practice. If your position is indeed the best one - and on the grounds of the evidence in the discussion thus far, that is as probable as anything else - then you shouldn't have any trouble finding evidence to back it up. Without such strong supporting evidence, anything we bring to the wider community will be promptly torn to shreds. There are certainly big problems with the current system, but changing a style guideline on WP is a lot of work, and I am eager that the change brings us to the best solution we can achieve - whatever that solution might be. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 02:09, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

(undent) Once again, I'm finding it perilously difficult to fight off boredom spiced with a faint tinge of disbelief. But by now, nothing that happens in Wikipedia—especially nothing that involves moving farther and farther away from professional standards— should really surprise me... Let me see if I can spell it out for you: Not only is Wikipedia emphatically not anything new or game-changing, pretending that it is brings us closer and closer to the sort of gee-whiz aint-we-coolism that ever threatens to merge our DNA with that of FaceBook and Geocities (and 4chan, but that's another topic). At least with respect to citation formats (and I admit that other issues may have other goals), the twin goals here, people, are to be taken seriously by professionals, and to make the encyclopedia welcoming to professionals of every stripe. WP:One Format to Rule Them All is not necessarily inconsistent with the first goal, so long as we choose a professional format or a very-near-clone. However, it is inconsistent with the second goal. It would be preferable if Lit/Chemistry/medicine/etc. people could write Lit/Chemistry/medicine/etc. articles in a format familiar to all Lit/Chemistry/medicine/etc. people. Ling.Nut (talk) 04:22, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I hate to sound like a broken record, but. No other publication uses a mixture of styles. Therefore, no other publication thinks it is preferable for Lit/Chemistry/medicine/etc. people to be able to write Lit/Chemistry/medicine/etc. articles in a format familiar to all Lit/Chemistry/medicine/etc. people. As no professionally produced publication does this, you cannot argue that it is professional to do so ourselves.
Lit/Chemistry/medicine/etc. people are intelligent enough to be able to understand any citation format. Therefore you are inventing a problem which doesn't exist, and have ignored any requests to show that it does exist.

<replied refactored to thread below>

Actually, "no other publication uses a mixture of styles" isn't true. A whole category, edited books, often use whatever style the contributor of a particular chapter used. An example of such a book is Gregorian Reform of the Calendar published by the Pontifica Academia Scientiarum. The way these books are put together bears quite a bit of resemblance to the way Wikipedia is put together, with the relative independence in the way articles or chapters are written. --Jc3s5h (talk) 15:44, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Super! If only Ling.Nut had produced such a document when I asked, a lot of wasted conversation could have been saved. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:34, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
But they use existing styles. Insert cheerful banter. Ling.Nut (talk) 00:50, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, most professional scientific publications don't use "existing styles". For instance, Nature and Science, the two leading publications, use their own style. So does the smaller journal Palaeontology. So, I suspect, do many other publications. Or am I wrong? Do the aforementioned journals use a style with which I am unfamiliar? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:34, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Apparent problem

|title=The peoples of South-East Asia and the Pacific
|editor1=Peter Bellwood
|editor2=Ian Glover


|title=The peoples of South-East Asia and the Pacific


Perhaps this is not working as desired. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 03:40, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I noticed this a few months ago, above. The parameters editor1, editor2 just do not exist, and the code proposed in that section above should fix it... maybe you, as an administrator, could add it? It seems to have been approved by Martin. Shreevatsa (talk) 15:54, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I edited the template. It seems to be working now. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 03:33, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Indeed. Thanks! Shreevatsa (talk) 12:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Transcluding Citation/core/sandbox

It appears that a recent edit has caused this template to transclude {{Citation/core/sandbox}} instead of {{Citation/core}}. Was this intentional? If not, it seems like this is something that should be fixed. — λ (talk | contribs) 15:50, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

That was my error from the edit discussed in the section above. Thank you for calling it to my attention. I've fixed it. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 22:22, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Merge all citation templates

Since {{citation}} can handle journals, books, newpapers and websites, how about merging templates such as {{cite journal}}, {{cite book}}, {{cite news}} and {{cite web}} so that they are redirected to {{citation}}? The sets of parameters look similar, but any parameters that are missing would have to be added to this template of course. Would this be possible to do? Tocant (talk) 10:13, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Parameters with similar names may have different meaning or syntax in templates other than {{citation}}. Also, the question of whether to separate items with a period or comma has never been settled, so the two families of templates give editors a choice. Redirecting would change the choice without the approval of the editors who decided to use the templates other than {{citation}}.
Furthermore, cite xxx and the citation template cannot handle every case. Some carefully edited articles may contain manual citations for these cases, in the same style as the cite xxx templates. Redirecting cite xxx to citation will cause inconsistency between the templates and any manual citation in the articles. (Yes, I am aware that many article contain an indiscriminate mix of citation styles.) --Jc3s5h (talk) 10:42, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Period vs. comma should be settled once and for all, it is not a big issue really. Consistency is more important. Tocant (talk) 11:23, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Outside of Wikipedia, it seems that commas are usually used in footnotes, while periods are usually used in reference lists. Since the templates might be used in either place, there is no clear answer. --Jc3s5h (talk) 11:48, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I understand, but why not use comma or period for both footnotes and reference lists on Wikipedia? Tocant (talk) 12:05, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
You are free to try to get that adopted; I suppose the place to propose it is WT:Citing sources. However, any attempt to adopt any particular citation style has been resisted. Presently, any citation style from any style manual, or the templates, are allowed, provided any given article is consistent. Of course, there is no style manual for templates. They weren't planned, they just happened. --Jc3s5h (talk) 12:12, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
If then should it be done the other way around since a lot of other language versions do use the cite web family, see the Interwikis, e.g. FR, DE, PT, ZH, VN ... some of them use exactly the same template for facilating transferring citations from one into the other language. --Matthiasb (talk) 19:39, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion to add pub-type parameter

The metadata available on medline (etc.) includes a parameter, denoted "pub-type" in ASN.1 syntax or "PublicationType" in XML. This parameter can take values such as "Review", "Journal Article", or "Short Communication". Adding this to our citations could be of great value in sorting the wheat from the chaff. In guidelines such as WP:MEDRS we explicitly prefer meta-reviews and reviews over journal articles, and those over letters, short communications and such. A facility for indicating which is which could expedite reviews considerably.LeadSongDog come howl 18:20, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I just realized this belongs in Template talk:Cite journal, so will move it there.LeadSongDog come howl 21:06, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Order of original and archive URL in citation template

There were previous inconclusive discussions as to whether the title of a work should be linked to the original URL of a web page or to the archive URL. See:

Currently, {{Citation}} links a title to the archive URL, and links the original URL to the words the original in the phrase "Archived from the original on [date]".

Editors may be aware that the web page archiving service WebCite has been experiencing outages, and it appears that these may have been caused or contributed to by frequent calls to the WebCite database from Wikipedia readers: see the discussion at "Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#Apparent loss of data by WebCite". An editor, Easchiff, has suggested that this is a pretty good reason for making the primary link the original web page, and the secondary link the archive URL. I agree. I have taken the liberty of reproducing Easchiff's comment from "Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#Implications of WebCite outage for usage of archiveurl's by Wikipedia citations" in full here:

The WebCite outage, and the possibility that it was to some degree precipitated by calls to its database from Wikipedia readers, brings up one issue regarding Wikipedia's usage of the archive services. Currently, including the |archiveurl= ... parameters in a citation using the {{cite ...}} template causes the main hyperlink in a citation to call the archiving service. This usage implicitly assumes that the original URL is non-functioning, and it shifts all the server load from the original URLs to the archiving service.

I think that we should consider reducing the load on the archive servers by modifying Wikipedia's procedure so that the original URL is normally used for the main hyperlink. This is the procedure that WebCite itself suggested in its documentation. The main disadvantage of this procedure is that readers will more often find dead links on their first attempt. That could be mitigated by adding still another parameter to the template to indicate that the original URL is dead. On balance, the WebCite experience suggests to me that we should make this change. Easchiff (talk) 12:13, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I suggest that in view of this new potential problem, we may want to reopen the discussion on the order of the original and archive URL in citation templates, and try to achieve consensus on the matter.

{{editprotected}} In the meantime, as a temporary tweak, can an administrator please amend the sentence "Archived from the original on [date]" to "archived from the original on [date]" so that the word archived does not appear capitalized after a comma? I don't think that this is a controversial change. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

 Done the tweak. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:56, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Yay! Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I personally see a slightly superior reason to link to the archive URL as primary in all cases - specifically the archived version is presumably the closest to what the citing editor saw when making the cite. However, from the people I've talked to, my opinion does seem to be in the minority. In most cases the page won't change over time so it is probably a minor issue either way. My understanding of the WebCite situation was the burden was coming an increase in new archive requests, which put a lot more burden than retrieval requests. However, reducing lookups couldn't hurt.

Whatever is decided, I have been having WebCiteBOT add a dummy parameter "deadurl=no" to various citations it is editing with the idea the parameter could be flipped to "=yes" if an URL goes dead. The parameter could theoretically be used to decide which URL gets preference on a case-by-case basis, if desired. --ThaddeusB (talk) 19:06, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I think that your point about the archived webpage being a snapshot of a webpage at that particular instant is well-taken, and should be an option. I'm impressed that you'd already started putting in that dummy parameter. I can see that we need to parse out the various options for editors in some good place. Dead-link restoration using, for example, the internet archive is one possibility. On-demand archiving of a particular instance of the webpage using, for example, WebCite is another. If the problem of server loading due to calls is negligible, then perhaps the original approach is still the best. I wonder if Eysenbach (from WebCite) would be responsive to that query. Cheers, Easchiff (talk) 23:57, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll ask him. --ThaddeusB (talk) 03:07, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I see your point, ThaddeusB. I guess it's useful to find out how exactly Wikipedia is contributing to the problems that WebCite is facing. Just a thought – instead of creating yet another parameter (|deadurl=) in what is already a rather complex template, perhaps it might be possible to make use of an existing one (for example, |format=)? I believe the latter parameter is already used to indicate if links are dead. — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:29, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
WebCite may just not have enough server power to be used routinely by Wikipedia. When one reads about "the server" being down, it's clear that the engine behind WebCite is rather small. The Internet Archive has more capacity; we can probably use archive.org links more freely. In fact, it would be useful to have a 'bot which tries to match links in Wikipedia with their Internet archive copies. The Internet Archive runs about six months to a year behind, so the connection to the Archive version needs to be made months after the original link is added to an article. That's a job for a 'bot. --John Nagle (talk) 00:50, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Group as author?

Hi, I'm looking to use the citation tag, but I'm unsure what field to use when specifying a group as the author of a document (for instance, this book is authored by the Federal Research Division). Should I just put the group in the last name field? Is there no way to just specify a non-individual author? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks! ← George [talk] 00:13, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Instead of |last= and |first=, use the |author= parameter, like this: "{{citation|author=[[Federal Research Division]], [[Library of Congress]]|title=Lebanon: A Country Study|location=[Whitefish, Mt.]|publisher=Kessinger Publishing|year=[2005]|isbn=9781419129438}}". — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:10, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Ahh, great, that works - thanks! Btw, that author field isn't listed in the template document anywhere... ← George [talk] 05:46, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I added it to the documentation now. The documentation is actually quite repetitive (had to add in several places); there must be some way of cleaning it up… Shreevatsa (talk) 04:42, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Citing Usenet articles?

Hi there, what is the template/best practice for citing newsgroup articles? Thanks. (talk) 23:58, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Although an article might have started out as a Usenet article, it must be stored in some stable archive to be useful at Wikipedia, so you would cite the archive. Also, it must have been written by an expert writing in his/her field of expertise; see WP:Reliable sources. Finally, there must be proof that the article really was written by the expert purportedly wrote it. --Jc3s5h (talk) 00:42, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Huh? There is no requirement that our sources be stored in stable online archives: this is not the encyclopedia of stuff-on-the-web-now. Usenet posts fall under WP:SPS but are not different in that respect than, say, newspaper letters to the editor. I'd use something like {{citation|last=Thurston|first=William|authorlink=William Thurston|title=beam detectors|publisher=Message to sci.math newsgroup|date=November 10, 1986}}., with an optional url=http://groups.google.com/group/sci.math/msg/f8798982f43f4841 or whatever if you can track down an online copy. The result for this case: Thurston, William (November 10, 1986), beam detectors, Message to sci.math newsgroup . —David Eppstein (talk) 00:55, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say "online". Letters to the editor can be verified by going to a library that keeps back issues of a newspaper and looking at it. Because of the distributed nature of Usenet, there might be no record of a Usenet post other than the memory of a Wikipedia editor. We need some place where the Usenet post is preserved so that readers can verify it. --Jc3s5h (talk) 01:00, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if Usenet permits archiving of its content, but if it does try searching the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (http://www.archive.org/web/web.php) to see if it has been automatically archived. Alternatively, you can archive it yourself using WebCite (http://www.webcitation.org/archive). In a citation template, use the |archiveurl= and |archivedate= parameters to mention the archived copy; the original URL, its date (if any), and the date that you accessed it should continue to be stated in the citation template. — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:24, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Another very good archiving gateway for lists and newsgroups (especially for software-related topics) is Gmane.LeadSongDog come howl 15:41, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Getting back to the original question, we have {{Cite newsgroup}} and {{Cite mailing list}} that provide standardized formatting. Both have doc pages.LeadSongDog come howl 16:13, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
A Usenet posting may be formatted as follows:
|last=<lastname of author>
|first=<firstname of author>
|date=<date of posting>
|contribution= <title of post/thread>
|series=news: <name of newsgroup>
|url= |accessdate=
That will give you:
<lastname of author>, <firstname of author> (<date of posting>), "<title of post/thread>", news: <name of newsgroup> http://company.com/, retrieved 17 November 2017  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help).
Applying that to the example in the Chicago Manual of Style will give you:
Lieberman, Daniel (28 May 2001), "Reply to A Bifurcation of the PRC Proponent", news: misc.publicregulatoryissues http://www.nmregulatorywatch.com, retrieved 29 May 2001  Missing or empty |title= (help).
Easy, no? -- Fullstop (talk) 19:38, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Stray space in diagnostic

{{editprotected}} If you have an archiveURL but no URL, the resulting diagnostic says "... archived from the original . You must specify the ..." with a stray space before the period. Please install this obvious sandbox patch to remove that space. Eubulides (talk) 14:50, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Done. --- RockMFR 03:14, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Co-authors with no author (for "selected works" etc. sections)

In order to implement the citation template in "Selected Works" (or similar named) sections like this one, I'd like to have this template produce this:

"The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," (with Maskin, E.), American Economic Review 94: 1034-1054

when you enter this:

{{Citation |last2=Maskin |first2=E. |title=The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government |journal=American Economic Review |volume=94 |pages=1034–1054 }}

Could someone please do this? Or does anyone refuse this proposal? --bender235 (talk) 21:19, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

That sounds useful to me, too. I have no idea how difficult it would be to rework the template to do this, though. —David Eppstein (talk) 21:31, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
A 'hide first author' parameter would solve this, as well as related problems of a perennial nature. If no-one else is able, I will have a crack at implementing this - but it will be a couple of weeks until I next have web access. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 04:57, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd also suggest to add a feature for co-editors, which would look like:
The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government (co-edited with Maskin, E.), New York: Publisher.
when you enter this:
{{Citation |editor2-last=Maskin |editor2-first=E. |title=The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government |publisher=Publisher |location=New York }}
Doesn't have to be "co-edited with …", could "co-ed. …" or something also as well. --bender235 (talk) 09:58, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
You must still specify the first author's details (to provide metadata to help users' browser plugins locate the source), but can now blank out the first author here & @ Cite Book using |author-mask=. See template doc for further info. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 02:17, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Nice work. But instead of choosing the number of em dashes one wants to see the lead authors' name replaced with, I'd rather like to chose which author's name I'd like to see masked. Because sometimes you have a bibliography with a paper where the author you'd like to mask is like No. 4 out of seven or something like that. --bender235 (talk) 22:42, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Is that standard practise? I'd find it a little confusing to see 'Smith, A.B., Jones, C.D. ——— & Western, E.F.' - I don't recall ever seeing this. Usually if the referred author is not the primary author, they are highlighted in bold or some such. Nevertheless, if there is a genuine need for this parameter, it would not be impossible to code... Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 01:04, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think this would be standard, but it would provide correct metadata (and sooner or later correct hCite microformat data). How the template should display it is another question. Instead of ‘———; Smith, A.B.; Jones, C.D. & Western, E.F. (2000) "Title" Journal Vol’ I'd rather like to see ‘"Title" (2000, with Smith, A.B.; Jones, C.D. & Western, E.F.) Journal Vol …’ (and similar for books, co-editors, etc.). --bender235 (talk) 09:16, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like a matter for editorial discretion; therefore you can now set |author-mask=with to render 'with' instead of '-;'. Changing the order of parameters is probably a little too much to squeeze into citation/core.
  • with Smith, A.B; Jones, C.D. (2000), title 
Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:28, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I'm fine with that. --bender235 (talk) 18:47, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Chapter numbers

In Wikipedia articles, one often sees attempts to cite a chapter or a section in a book, using the number of the chapter (instead of, or in addition to the name of the chapter), and the results usually look like this (similar results with "cite book"):

Last, First (2009), "2.2", Book Title, Publisher .
Last, First (2009), "Chapter 2.2", Book Title, Publisher .
Last, First (2009), "2.2: Chapter title", Book Title, Publisher .
Last, First (2009), "Chapter 2.2: Chapter title", Book Title, Publisher .
Last, First (2009), "Chapter 2.2: Chapter title", in Editor, Book Title, Publisher .

All of these look wrong to me. The first one is incomprehensible, and in any case the number of the chapter should not be inside quotation marks. If we used page numbers instead of chapter numbers, everything looks much better:

Last, First (2009), Book Title, Publisher, pp. 123–145 .
Last, First (2009), "Chapter title", Book Title, Publisher, pp. 123–145 .
Last, First (2009), "Chapter title", in Editor, Book Title, Publisher, pp. 123–145 .

So the question is: should we have a template parameter ("chapter-number", "section-number"?) for producing something like this:

Last, First (2009), Book Title, Publisher , Chapter 2.2.
Last, First (2009), "Chapter title", Book Title, Publisher , Chapter 2.2.
Last, First (2009), "Chapter title", in Editor, Book Title, Publisher , Chapter 2.2.

Or perhaps something like this if you prefer it:

Last, First (2009), Book Title, Publisher, Chapter 2.2.
Last, First (2009), "Chapter title", Chapter 2.2 in Book Title, Publisher.
Last, First (2009), "Chapter title", Chapter 2.2 in Editor, Book Title, Publisher.

Or do we already have one? I didn't find it in the documentation. — Miym (talk) 23:54, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

The doc for {{cite book}} has examples that include
  • {{cite book |last=Bloggs | first=Fred |editor-first=John| editor-last=Doe |title=Big Compilation Book With Many Chapters and distinct chapter authors |publisher=Book Publishers |date=2001-01-01 |pages=100-110 |chapter=Chapter 2: The History Of The Bloggs Family |isbn=1234567890}} which produces:
  • Bloggs, Fred (2001-01-01). "Chapter 2: The History Of The Bloggs Family". In Doe, John. Big Compilation Book With Many Chapters and distinct chapter authors. Book Publishers. pp. 100–110. ISBN 1234567890 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help). 
    LeadSongDog come howl 13:32, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, this is just like one of the "wrong" examples that I gave above. — Miym (talk) 22:45, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Just use the page numbers, or (if lacking page numberswhen might this happen?) use the at= field.
Like this: {{citation|last=Last|first=First|year=2009|title=Book Title|publisher=Publisher|at=Chapter 2.2}}.
Gives: Last, First (2009), Book Title, Publisher, Chapter 2.2 .
Of course, specifying a chapter number is only meaningful when page numbers aren't available, and so the at= field will be ignored if page=/pages= are specified.
-- Fullstop (talk) 09:05, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know about the "at=" parameter! Thanks! Perhaps the "at=" parameter should be documented better? — Miym (talk) 12:43, 21 August 2009 (UTC)


Could someone please add a parameter conference for the citation of conference papers and stuff like that? --bender235 (talk) 11:47, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

What effect would you want this to have on the formatting? Conference papers may easily be coded already by contribution=paper-title, title=conference-proceedings-title. —David Eppstein (talk) 14:44, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
{{cite conference}} does contain additional fields. It is not uncommon for the proceedings title to differ from that of the conference & to cite both. (The conference date & location (which typically differ from the date/location of the proceedings) are also sometimes included in citations, but do not appear in {{cite conference}}.) --Karnesky (talk) 15:38, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Citations are not prose. Citations are not the place to hold forth on the history of the source.
Conference proceedings will typically have a (sub-)title that identifies them as the proceedings of such-and-such conference. That is then part of the title, and thus part of the title= field. If the title of a book does not identify itself as conference proceedings, then an editor has no business identifying it as such. -- Fullstop (talk) 11:22, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Citations are meant to provide adequate information to identify a source. Additional conference info can be useful in locating some sources & are also useful for identifying the resource type (as conference proceedings are perceived differently from both peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters). This is why some citation styles (including {{cite conference}}) contain some of this information. You have not argued as to why we should neglect the conference title in this template when it is included in {{cite conference.}} and I really can't imagine a strong argument being made for this position. Especially after the efforts at allowing all of these templates to use the same core code. --Karnesky (talk) 23:08, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
1. When a book is a conference proceeding, the title of that book will identify it as such. When the title does not identify itself as a conference proceeding, then a wp editor may not identify it as one.
2. Citations have a system, which – once that system is understood – can be used to format any kind of citation. There is no such thing as a conference proceedings "style" of citation. In the real world, citations of conference proceedings are formatted in exactly the same way as any other kind of non-periodical publication:
<chapter-author> (<year>), "<chapter-title>", in <editor(s)>, <book-title: sub-title>, <series>, <location>: <publisher>  Check date values in: |date= (help).
3. Using the same core does not imply that it is necessary to have a conference= field to this template. There is no reason for this template to mimic the uninformed and confused mindset that led to the creation of {cite conference} (and {cite encyclopedia} etc).
The fields that are actually necessary to cite a conference paper (or an "encyclopedia" or whatever) have always existed at {citation} (and at {cite book} too). The clever people who wrote {citation} understood the system behind citations, and so did not suffer from the delusion that conference papers (or encyclopedias or whatever) were somehow "special". Conference proceedings are in fact not special, and have never been special. Which is why a conference= field was never necessary.
-- Fullstop (talk) 08:53, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
In some fields, conference proceedings are special. For example, in computer science, very often conference proceedings are listed without editors, while all other book chapters are listed with editors. This may sound a bit strange, but it makes a lot of sense in practice: (1) something like "Proceedings of STOC 2009" is already unambiguous and easily identifies the book in question; (2) references to conference proceedings are very common, and the names of the editors would be unnecessary clutter and would make the list of references longer. That said, I do think that {{citation}} is enough to handle these conventions without any new parameters. — Miym (talk) 13:04, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
1. It seems we agree that there is additional information, peculiar to conference proceedings, that should be added to a citation. I do not agree that the title field should be corrupted to this end, though. First, the human-readable presentation of this information differs than the title in many citation styles, including those used on Wikipedia already. Secondly, this corrupts the embedded COinS with incorrect information. It will remain wrong when imported into reference managers. Having incorrect information in the title field will also prevent resolvers from matching the reference. This will make it more difficult for editors that use such tools from finding the resource in their library. I think this leaves you with three choices: (i) explain why it is worth making the title field include information other than the title, rather than using another field; (ii) explain why you may change your mind & would not include this additional information; or (iii) agree that an additional field should be added.
2. What do you mean by "citations," though? There are plenty of citation styles that do format papers in proceedings in ways that are different than chapters of an edited book. This is why it is recognized as a different type of resource in most reference managers, why there is an 'inproceedings' in BibTeX, etc. It is true that {{citation}} treats the different types identically right now, but that would be a circular argument for keeping the status quo. And a very ineffective one, given the {{cite conference}} template disproves the contention that other important styles do the same.
3. Civility please. There are obviously people on WP that disagree with you. They are not "uninformed," "confused," or "deluded." Nor have you been effective at demonstrating that they are somehow wrong.
--Karnesky (talk) 13:24, 21 August 2009 (UTC)


One often hears complaints about citations templates. While Wikipedia can definitely consider making tools to hide the complications of the template from ordinary editors, some application of templates may help to show why it is so useful. Shyamal (talk) 15:30, 28 August 2009 (UTC) http://neuro.imm.dtu.dk/services/wikipedia/enwiki-20080312-ref-articlejournal_highlycited.html

Not putting "last name" first

What is the best way to make author names appear in normal order instead of "last-name comma rest-of-name" order? It seems the only way currently is to use the author= parameter and specify the name in the normal order, but this provides less metadata than specifying last= and first= separately, and is also incompatible with using Harvard references. Shreevatsa (talk) 17:18, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

If I understand your objective correctly, my solution would be to use the "ref=" parameter.
Examples using {{Harvnb}}:
  • Lastname1, Firstname, This one has first & last 
  • Firstname Lastname2, This one has author  {generates a <cite id="CITEREFFirstname_Lastname2> tag)
  • Lastname3, This one has author + last  More than one of |author= and |last= specified (help) (IMHO, would be better to put auther in the template expansion here)
  • Firstname Lastname4, This one has author + ref 
-- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:59, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
And if I understand Shreevatsa correctly he/she is asking for
John Doe (2009) ..., instead of Doe, John (2009) ...
without loss of meta-data, which, unfortunately, can't be done yet. -- Fullstop (talk) 10:44, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Which does seem to be what Shreevatsa is asking for. But I have to ask: why? The whole point of bibliographic citation is to aid in finding works, and to the extent that an author's name is used it is always (at least, I can't think of any exceptions) the last (or family) name. The only point for not inverting European names is because inversion seems awkward (but only because we are used to an inherently backward order?), which is why there is variation as to whether co-author names should be inverted. But lead authors are invariably identified by their last name. So why should the personal ("first") name come first? J. Johnson (talk) 21:27, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Because while it is common and usual for last names to appear first in a bibliographic list (for example, in the "References" and "Further reading" sections of articles), this is not generally the way names are indicated in footnotes. I've been advised by one or two FA reviewers that in footnotes names should appear in their usual order. — Cheers, JackLee talk 21:39, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
My apologies for not getting back to this sooner (I've been distracted), and perhaps even for being dense. But I don't understand this bit that names should be in usual order in footnotes. If it is part of the text, sure ("the works of Jack Smith..."), but in a citation – which is the context here – the reference is always (isn't it?) by the author's last name. Could you provide an example? - J. Johnson (talk) 23:51, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html would shed some light. I must say though that I personally find the mixture of forward-in-notes with inverted-in-references to be very disruptive to the reader. Perhaps WP:FN is where this should be discussed? LeadSongDog come howl 15:01, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I think "Last, First" makes sense in a list which is ordered alphabetically by the last name (easier to find). Everywhere else, "First Last" is ok (easier to read). And yes, I would very much like to see an option which lets us use "First Last". — Miym (talk) 15:12, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, excellent link, and I think I better understand the situtation now. (But not certain if I'm awake enough to be fully sensible.)(And perhaps WP:FN would be a good place to discuss this, but I'm thinking this is really a citation issue. Also, in a quick scan of the FN archives I did not see any title suggestive of this topic.) This an instance of a difference in what the CMOS has called the "A" and "B" styles. In the older ("classical") style, still common in literary studies and some what in the humanities, it was typical to put the bibliographic details (citation) into a footnote, and there was not so much concern about creating lists of references (there often weren't that many items) or having to find them, and librarians (etc.) automatically inverted names as necessary. As the sea of materials overwhelms us (especially in the sciences) and referencing becomes more automated, it has become necessary to explicitly invert names to avoid ambiguities. So it has become standard that citations (as in lists of References) invert the lead author's names, and that is the way it is. Building a FirstLast CITEREF would be incorrect.
On the otherhand, in referencing these citations – which might be done in the text, or in a note – it is often preferable to use a whole name, and there the inverted from would be klutzy. But for the most part I don't see a problem here. Something like "so says John ((Harvtxt|Smith|1653))" comes out like "so says John Smith (1632)", with a link to the citation (elsewhere), no problem.
I wonder if the perceived problem here is in wanting to embed the citation in a reference, AND have the citation come out FirstLast. (Yes?) This would be a confusion of reference and citation. Perhaps some FA reviewer can comment while I catch up on my beauty sleep. - J. Johnson (talk) 22:43, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Unify appareance of the various identifiers.

Currently we have

We should instead have something closer to

Obviously variants are possible (such as not having : between the wikilinks and the links) Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 22:20, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree up to a point; however, it is conventional to refer to dois using lowercase 'doi', as the case of arXiv is a given. It is possible that some software will not recognise 'non-standards-compliant' ways of formatting identifiers. It is of course possible that visual prettification is more important than being technically correct, but I thought that I should point out that there is a reason for at least the casing. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 03:03, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
In general, a more unified appearance would be good. Some comments, though. (1) Please don't try to make everything all-uppercase. For example, “ARXIV” is unrecognizable (we don't even have a redirect like ARXIV, for a good reason). And in general, yelling a long word like “BIBCODE” seems unnecessary. (2) As Smith609 said, there are some standard conventions:
  • As far as I know, a DOI should be printed as “doi:10.1000/182” (lower-case letters and no whitespace); I think the idea is that the whole thing would be a URI, see URI scheme#Unofficial but common URI schemes.
  • I think that ISBN numbers in books should be printed like “ISBN 0-123-45678-9” instead of, say, “ISBN: 0-123-45678-9”. I wonder if we should follow the same convention when referring to ISBNs, too?
  • arXiv has their own recommendations, etc.
That said, maybe we could try to follow the format "Name: code" wherever possible without violating any existing conventions? By the way, we have also some other templates like {{jstor}} which already produces JSTOR 169411. — Miym (talk) 06:10, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
To reiterate what has been said, the formats for doi, ISBN, arXiv and Bibcode do not need to be changed. These formats are already well established. Everything else can, as far as I can tell, be changed to the suggested formatting. I prefer this setup over the one suggested in the section below. Huntster (t @ c) 02:43, 9 September 2009 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} To allow elimination of the last deprecated accessdaymonth and accessmonthday parameters, please add the line {{#if:{{{accessdaymonth|}}}{{{accessmonthday|}}}|[[Category:Cite web templates using unusual accessdate parameters|{{FULLPAGENAME}}]]}} inside the template, preferably right before the <noinclude> tag. Debresser (talk) 21:53, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

 DoneTheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:11, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Three new parameters needed: Developer, Platform and Level

I need 2 new parameters added to this template: Developer and Platform. I need this for {{cite video game}} to work correctly with the citation core. Developer and Platform are essential for describing and citing a particular edition of a video game and software in general. Dread Lord CyberSkull ✎☠ 10:20, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I forgot one more: Level. Scenario would also be appropriate. This is needed to indicate just the "where/what/when" in the game in question is being cited. Section renamed accordingly. Dread Lord CyberSkull ✎☠ 10:25, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
examples please? What would a complete citation with all those fields look like? -- Fullstop (talk) 19:16, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Below is what the cite video games template currently does. Dread Lord CyberSkull ✎☠ 11:40, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
{{cite video game
 |title=[[Halo 3]]
 |developer= [[Bungie]]
 |publisher=[[Microsoft Game Studios]]
 |platform=[[Xbox 360]]
 |level=The Storm
 |quote='''Arbiter''': More Brutes? / '''Master Chief''': Worse.

Sample output: Bungie (2007-09-25). Halo 3. Xbox 360. Microsoft Game Studios. Level/area: The Storm. Arbiter: More Brutes? / Master Chief: Worse. 

It doesn't seem like cite video game needs to be incorporated into the Citation/core machinery. There aren't very many parameters in common, and it would be more efficient to keep it as a separate template. COGDEN 23:51, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Format for accessdate

The documentation says for accessdate, "Unlinked ISO 8601 format is preferred". I propose this be deleted, since many of us want numerical dates including YYYY-MM-DD to be not only not preferred but positively deprecated; pending final resolution of that issue, a clear majority of opinions at MOSNUM are against using this format for this or any other purpose, and wish all dates to be written out in full. -- Alarics (talk) 09:12, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree completely, as I have written there as well. Debresser (talk) 11:14, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Please let us not confuse the parameter passed to the template with the text rendered by the template. Whatever unambiguous form that is passed from the wikitext should be rendered into a MOSNUM accepted format if that is ever settled. MOS does not and should not address the format of wikitext. LeadSongDog come howl 15:30, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
What you put in it, is what you get from it... Debresser (talk) 19:33, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
@LeadSongDog: we had functionality to convert dates in YYYY-MM-DD format to human dates, but it caused pages with lots of citations to exceed one of the mediawiki limits. And Debresser is right that we shouldn't second guess the editor. And, since only bots or editors can figure out what pseudo-ISO dates should be converted to (so that they are consistent with whatever the rest of the article is using), that task is better left to bots/editors to fix. -- Fullstop (talk) 11:54, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I've removed that snippet, and instead added xrefs to the ==dates== section at the bottom of the page. (diff) -- Fullstop (talk) 11:54, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Good show. I've amended the footnote to make clear that it also applies to accessdate. -- Alarics (talk) 12:44, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing up the mystery. When that functionality came out did the reverse function go in so that the emitted WP:COINS metadata is still good?LeadSongDog come howl 13:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Edition not showing up?

The edition parameter does not show up in the examples of Citation in SIGHUP. I could not see anything in the documentation to explain why, and I wondered if it conflicted with one of the other parameters I used. Suggestions? --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 15:14, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

This was because you used the undocumented 'work' parameter, which formats citations as articles in a periodical. Citations for articles typically have no edition listed. I've reformatted those citations as book chapters. No comment on whether {{citation/core}} should be amended for now. --Karnesky (talk) 15:43, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
To me they appeared as Michael Kerrisk, ed. (25 July 2009), "SIGNAL(7)", Linux Programmer's Manual (man-pages-3.22 ed.), The Linux Kernel Archives
Under the assumption that that was probably not what you intended, I've fixed them. -- Fullstop (talk) 16:07, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
You assumed correctly - thanks for fixing them up. Putting my 2p in, I would suggest that going forward, the parameters for citing an article in a periodical and a chapter/section/volume in a book should be more or less consistent. As far as possible, I guess that it is easiest for users if one parameter does not cause another to be ignored. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 17:30, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I really haven't a clue how we'd want edition to be displayed in the case of periodicals. I think it is fine to ignore parameters, as long as the documentation reflects that. --Karnesky (talk) 22:30, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
It might be useful to change the rendering of the edition parameter. Not all editions are ordinal & so not all "versioning/edition" information should be followed by 'ed.' --Karnesky (talk) 22:30, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Series editor

There are certain cases in which a series has one (or more) editors, but the template currently displays it wrong.

{{citation |last=Black |first=Jeremy |authorlink=Jeremy Black (historian) |title=European Warfare, 1494–1660 |year=2002 |series=Warfare and History |editor-last=Black |editor-first=Jeremy |publisher=Routledge |location=London |isbn=0415275326 }}

results in:

Black, Jeremy (2002), Black, Jeremy, ed., European Warfare, 1494–1660, Warfare and History, London: Routledge, ISBN 0415275326 

but should be:

Black, Jeremy (2002), European Warfare, 1494–1660, Black, Jeremy, ed., Warfare and History, London: Routledge, ISBN 0415275326

Could someone please fix this? --bender235 (talk) 12:07, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

I'd say that the template displays it correctly. An 'editor' is the editor of a particular volume, not necessarily of the whole series. The template has no explicit parameter for a "series editor." It makes sense for 'editor' to behave the way it now does. It allows us to refer to entities such as:
Wagner, Richard (1991), "Homogeneous Second Phase Precipitation", in Haasen, Peter, Materials Science Monographs, 4, John Wiley & Sons Inc, pp. 213–303, ISBN 0895736934  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
We could either add a series-editor parameter or you could use 'others', a'la:
Wagner, Richard (1991), "Homogeneous Second Phase Precipitation", in Haasen, Peter, Materials Science Monographs, 4, Cahn, R. W.; Haasen, P.; Kramer, E. J. (series eds), John Wiley & Sons Inc, pp. 213–303, ISBN 0895736934  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
--Karnesky (talk) 15:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Deadurl = yes/no

This has been requested before but didn't receive any attention. Could there be a deadurl parameter that switches the place of the archived url from the title to an archive link when it's not dead? like " Last, First (2008-12-20). "Article Title", Coolstuff.com, Retrieved on 2009-01-25. (Archived on 2009-01-26.)"

Maybe, but not with those numerical dates, please. -- Alarics (talk) 16:46, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
The dates format aren't an issue at all. Just switching from original to archived so that when users click on the title they would go to the original link when it's alive and when it dies they would click on the archived one.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 16:57, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
There are a some things that bots really help with here. As the vast numbers of naked links get bot-generated titles, these become possible search queries for use after wp:LINKROT sets in. Citation bot does the same in spades. The date format is a red herring. Once we know the target has moved, looking for the new location shouldn't be deferred to a later date - it should proceed immediately. If we don't have a bot for this, we should. Note that this is generic to all external links, not specific to citations. LeadSongDog come howl 17:15, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

accessdate field

Three functions - one field.

  1. Where there is a versioning issue
  2. Where we wish to recover from an archive
  3. Where we wish to record currency of the link


Pages may change, but we (the editor at the time) may either not know that specific page is going to change or not have a good way of linking to the version we want.


When creating a web archive link where a page has "gone dead" or been changed, knowing the date is a boon.


a. If see a recent date I have more confidence to follow the link
b. If a recently dated item gives a 404 I might leave it for a bit before labelling the link as dead.
c. If I accessed the page to check a reference I might update this field

Essentially these functions could be served by two fields, and it would probably be better if both were hidden.

  • "accessdate" would be the date the ref was created, more or less.
  • "last accessed date" would be the last tiem it was checked and found valid.

Addition of a short quote field would allow automated checking for content changes. E.G.

... said he died from gallstones. <ref>{{Cite web|[http://.... | access text = "died from gallstones" | access date = ...

A slightly longer one "died from gallstones, with the rest of the team still in the bar" for example would greatly assist those looking for a replacement source if the page goes dead.

Rich Farmbrough, 19:32, 4 October 2009 (UTC).
Obviously if there were a check text and/or a last accessed field, this would be a candidate for a monthly (say) bot check. Rich Farmbrough, 19:39, 4 October 2009 (UTC).

PMC to embargoed article?

A discussion on whether the Citation bot should add PMC references to embargoed articles is at Template talk:Cite journal #PMC to embargoed article?. Comments there are welcome. Eubulides (talk) 10:20, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Do we need to use a bold font for the volume numbers of periodicals ?

It was previously discussed at : Template_talk:Citation/Archive_2#Boldface_volume.

However, I think this is a bad choice, because it attracts the reader's attention on those references which happen to be periodicals. It gives the impression that the volume number is something more important than anything else, which is wrong. It is important, but not more than the author name or the publication year.

See Tabula ansata#Footnotes where I think it looks ugly. Teofilo talk 09:58, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

For what it is worth, this—which seemed to me to look silly—is one of the reasons why I stopped using the template a while back. Ian Spackman (talk) 11:44, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
It certainly looks strange if you write "volume = 90.1" instead of "volume = 90 | number = 1". — Miym (talk) 13:08, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Why would you write that, though? It is expedient, but will screw-up both the human-readable citation & the embedded metadata. --Karnesky (talk) 15:49, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Its convention to boldface the volume number in order to (I think) distinguish fields when the year follows the volume number (which of course doesn't apply here). So, although I'm used to it and would be comfortable if it stayed (the familiarity factor), we don't really need to have it, and it does look a bit odd on wp. It looks especially strange when the "volume = " refers to the volume of a book.
Barr, F. (2009), "Widget", Fooica, Some series, 68, pp. 50–60 
-- Fullstop (talk) 15:15, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I maintain that it should at least be kept for citations to articles, as it improves readability. --Karnesky (talk) 15:49, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Using bold for the volume number is pretty standard for citation formats. I see no reason ours should be different. Huntster (t @ c) 00:25, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Ditto. For print journals the volume is generally the particular physical package, equivalent to a book. Not that the volume number is more important than the name of the journal, but being shorter it needs some assistance to stand out in the citation. It is also nice to have it stand out from all the other numbers that follow (issue, pages, date). - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:44, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

means to stop chapter-url= from defaulting to url=

Currently, citation/core uses url= for chapter if no chapter-url= is provided. That's sensible in a way, but is a problem if someone wants to refer to the whole book rather than a chapter. So, for a {{citation}} that looks like this:

  • {{citation|first=John Q.|last=Public|chapter=John's Foo|pages=20-30|title=Proceedings of the Foo Conference|editor-last=Doe|editor-first=Jane|year=2009|location=Cambridge|url=http://some.conference.org/2008_proceedings.pdf}}.

gives ...

  • Public, John Q. (2009), "John's Foo", in Doe, Jane, [http:// Proceedings of the Foo Conference] Check |url= value (help), Cambridge, pp. 20–30 .

Note that the url= now links the chapter, rather than being connected to the title, which is what it refers to.

The existing behaviour is (IMO) sensible and ought to be retained, but some mechanism is necessary to say "don't default". I suggest defaulting only when chapter-url is not defined (as opposed to merely being empty). Thus, an editor could provide an empty chapter-url= and things would still work as expected.

An implementation that requires only minimal changes to /core could be something like this:

|IncludedWorkURL = {{{chapter-url|{{{chapterurl|{{{contribution-url|}}}}}}}}}


|IncludedWorkURL = {{#ifeq:{{{chapter-url|+}}}|{{{chapter-url|-}}}
|{{{contribution-url|none}}} }} }} }}

the ifeq +/- tests cause IncludedWorkURL = none if any of the three keywords are defined but empty.

  • Then, in citation/core, check if IncludedWorkURL is "none" before trying to emit it. Replacing all instances of



should do the trick.

Can this (or something like it) be done? -- Fullstop (talk) 15:00, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Addendum: A change to core would be uneccessary if this fix to {{Link}} were also deployed. -- Fullstop (talk) 10:41, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

When is it sensible to link the included work with the url of the entire work? If the link leads to the entire work, then the title is what should be linked, not the chapter. This was mentioned at Template talk:Cite book#url behavior with chapter wrong too, so I'm thinking of citing books and journals, but maybe there's some obscure case where it makes sense? --Para (talk) 10:55, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Citation, book

I would need a help from an expert. How a click to a shortened citation highlights the reference? For instance, you click on a note, browser jumps to the citation, you click on it, and a reference is highlighted (the book name, for instance). I hope you know what I mean. I would like the same functionality on the Croatian language Wikipedia, but I was unable to figure it out. I know about HTML, templates etc I but I was unable to figure out the exact mechanism (JavaScript, I suppose...)

Thanks a lot, dnik 10:57, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

That is not part of the template, it is in the CSS. See Help:Cite messages for more information; you can ask questions on this on that talk page. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:06, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes. MediaWiki:Common.css contains
/* Highlight clicked reference in blue to help navigation */
ol.references > li:target,
span.citation:target, cite:target { 
    background-color: #DEF;
*[[#anchor|click this]]
*{cite id=anchor>notice this</cite>
which renders as
It should be noted that whilst Mozilla Firefox 3.0 will both move to and highlight "notice this"; MS Internet Explorer 7 will move, but not highlight. This behaviour is not peculiar to the above code, but happens on any article using {{reflist}} linked to the {{citation}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:01, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Redundant error checking

{{editprotected}} The error checking in this markup is redundant, as {{citation/core}} already checks for this issue, and styles it with the error class so it is noticeable.

|Archive = {{#if:{{{archiveurl|}}}|archived from {{#if:{{{url|}}}|[{{{url}}} the original]|the original}}{{#if:{{{archivedate|}}}|&#32;on {{{archivedate}}}|. You must specify the date the archive was made using the {{para|archivedate}} parameter.{{#if: {{NAMESPACE}}|| [[Category:Articles with broken citations]]}}}}

---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:53, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

But it doesn't add the category, does it? Debresser (talk) 13:11, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I saw in Template:Citation error that it does. Debresser (talk) 13:12, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
BTW, does this answer the question I posed on your talkpage? Debresser (talk) 13:13, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
You have to scroll a bit. And yes. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:53, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
You're saying that removing this code will activate the error message? Debresser (talk) 13:59, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
The markup does currently generate an error message, but in plain text so that it is not noticeable.
{{Citation |title=Example |archiveurl=http://example.org |accessdate=September 14, 2009}}
Example, archived from the original|archive-url= requires |url= (help) on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help) 
{{Citation/core}} already does this check, therefore the error checking part needs to be chopped out. I don't have my head in this template, so I would rather someone familiar with this take a look at it. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:12, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Removing it will make the error message appear in the usual red? Debresser (talk) 14:17, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I think it just needs to be changed to |Archive = . ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:39, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
The way those parameters are doing their thing is inconsistent. But changing the present Archive= <convoluted stuff> to |Archive = {{{archiveurl|}}} won't work as expected. Without accompanying changes to citation/core, it would cause the present "{{{Sep|,}}} {{{Archive}}}" to merely print the url literally, without explanation or formatting.
So, if {citation} is to be simplified (a worthwhile endeavour), it would seem that the "archived from yadda yadda" needs to be moved to /core too. But I'm guessing. The whole archive shebang is weird, and its not clear to me how all those parameters ({{{Archive|}}}, {{{OriginalURL|}}} etc) work together.
Yes, the error message part is redundant. And error message handling could be simplified in /core as well. -- Fullstop (talk) 14:37, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

The solution is to let {{Citation/core}} take care of it all. In order to do so, I think the code handling archiveurl's has to be changed drastically. From

  |Archive = {{#if:{{{archiveurl|}}}|archived from {{#if:{{{url|}}}|[{{{url}}} the original]|the original}}{{#if:{{{archivedate|}}}| on {{{archivedate}}}|. You must specify the date the archive was made using the {{para|archivedate}} parameter.{{#if: {{NAMESPACE}}|| [[Category:Articles with broken citations]]}}}}

to a simple

  |Archive = {{{archiveurl|}}}
  |ArchiveDate = {{{archivedate|}}}
  |OriginalURL = {{#if:{{{archiveurl|}}}|{{{url|}}}}}

For unclear reasons {{Citation}} was taking care of these parameters itself, and not through {{Citation/core}}, as mentioned by User:Gadget850 at the beginning of this section. Debresser (talk) 10:43, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

I have disabeled the editprotected request, because a problem has been discovered in {{Citation/core}}, see Template_talk:Citation/core#Specific_changes, which makes it advisable to keep the present arrangment until that problem will be solved. Debresser (talk) 13:58, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Found it, see Template_talk:Citation/core#Specific_changes. I won't reactivate the editprotected request here, because the changes to {{Citation/core}} and to {{Citation}} should be made together. Debresser (talk) 20:58, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Busted authorlink parameter


Take a look at the first ref in Stainless steel soap. What's the deal with the [|]? I also just tried a cite episode template that failed so badly I had to switch to plain old citation. See ref 3 here. The first word of the title is completely missing in that case. --UncleDouggie (talk) 06:57, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I've performed a double expansion for debugging by someone familiar with the template. --UncleDouggie (talk) 07:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Authorlink should be the name of a Wikipedia article about the author. It is not intended for and does not work for external links. —David Eppstein (talk) 07:09, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I just realized that myself. Sorry. After I had the bad run-in with the cite episode case I jumped to the conclusion that there was something bigger wrong with the template. Any ideas on the episode problem? --UncleDouggie (talk) 07:17, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
episodelink is also for "The title of a Wikipedia article about this episode", not external links. Shreevatsa (talk) 07:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, it's not my day. I use this template all the time, but just never in quite these ways. Thanks. --UncleDouggie (talk) 07:34, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Citing an exhibition catalogue

I'd like to cite a printed exhibition catalogue. However I don't know the author. Only "compiler" (name of the museum), "Designed by" (some person's name) and "Printing and binding" (another person's name) are known. Where should I put these three names? As "editor"? bamse (talk) 09:35, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I would indicate the name of the museum in the |author= parameter like this: "XYZ Museum, comp.". You can generally leave out the names of designers, illustrators, binders and printers of books. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Citing web pages

The introductory sentence mentions that the template can be used to cite web pages, but then the relevant parameters aren't explained. I especially missed documentation of the work= parameter (which I assume has the same meaning as in the cite web template). AxelBoldt (talk) 14:51, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I see that the {{Cite web}} documentation doesn't explain the usage of the work parameter there either, but its treatment is not identical to {{Citation}}. Looking quickly at the template code, I see (approximately) that {{Citation}} sets an internal parameter Periodical to one of journal, periodical, newspaper, magazine, or work (in that order of priority) {{Cite web}} sets an internal parameter Title to work—({{cite web}} also sets an internal parameter IncludedWorkTitle to title; {{Citation}} sets Title to title. The internal parameters are passed to {{Citation/core}} for processing. Wtmitchell
  • {{Citation|title=title|work=work|separator=.|postscript=.}} produces: "title", work.  Unknown parameter |separator= ignored (help)
  • {{Cite web|title=title|work=work}} produces: "title". work. 
Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:55, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

automatic bibtex conversion

It would be great to have a template or markup tag where you could just paste in a bibtex citation and it would automatically convert it into wiki format. As an initial step, an external tool to convert a bibtex citation into a template call might be a good way to start. (talk) 04:55, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Oh neat, it's already done: User:Jakob.scholbach/zeteo (talk) 06:46, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Multiple ISBNs

Is there a way to use {{Citation}} to indicate multiple ISBNs, for example for a book listed in a "Further reading" section? I used to type "|ISBN=9871345472386, [[Special:BookSources/9871435851089|9871435851089]]" but this no longer works. — Cheers, JackLee talk 00:13, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

{{Citation |title=Some book |isbn=9871345472386, ISBN 9871435851089}} seems to work. I don't know about robustness or hackiness. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:04, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that doesn't work. What happens is that the citation template interprets "9871345472386, ISBN 9871435851089" as the ISBN. One possible workaround is to use the |id= parameter for one of the ISBNs, like this: "|ISBN=9871435851089|isbn=9871345472386". However, this only works if there are two ISBNs, and in any case I recall there is a bot going around replacing instances of "|ISBN=" with "|isbn=", so that isn't a long-term solution. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:07, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Use {{citation}} or {{cite book}} as usual for the first ISBN, and on the same line use one or more {{ISBNT}} as necessary. I recommend this only for "Further reading" sections (or lists of works where the article is about an author), because in a citation proper, WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT applies, which IMHO means that only the ISBN of the book in your hand counts - any others the book may have had shouldn't be shown: different editions may exhibit significant differences. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:56, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I did ask this question in the context of a "Further reading" section – see my original query. Also, this may not be a very good solution to the problem, as some editors have commented that all elements of a citation should be contained within the citation template. See "#Full stop at the end of the template 2" above. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:03, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
One could add multiple ISBN numbers using the |id= parameter with most citation templates and still be able to use the MediaWiki auto-linking ISBN feature. For example: |id=ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7 ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7 will render as: "Title. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/978-0-00-123456-7 ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7|978-0-00-123456-7 [[International Standard Book Number|ISBN]]&nbsp;[[Special:BookSources/978-0-00-123456-7 |978-0-00-123456-7]]]] Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help). " Note if you wish to have a separator between the ISBNs it will have to be added manually as there is no way for the template code to automatically add it. If there is a bot changing these, it really should be programmed to detect instances where replacing |id= with |isbn= (such as multiple ISBNs) would not be a good idea. --Tothwolf (talk) 14:56, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, but what do you mean by the separator having to be added "manually"? I can't recall what is the bot that is making the changes. It could be Citation bot. I guess I should try making the suggested edit and see if it gets reverted by a bot. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:03, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
The separator that is used between the values such as '.' or ',' etc.
|id=ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7. ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7  – Title. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/978-0-00-123456-7. ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7|978-0-00-123456-7. [[International Standard Book Number|ISBN]]&nbsp;[[Special:BookSources/978-0-00-123456-7 |978-0-00-123456-7]]]] Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help). 
|id=ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7, ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7 |separator=,  – Title. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/978-0-00-123456-7, ISBN 978-0-00-123456-7|978-0-00-123456-7, [[International Standard Book Number|ISBN]]&nbsp;[[Special:BookSources/978-0-00-123456-7 |978-0-00-123456-7]]]] Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help).  Unknown parameter |separator= ignored (help)
--Tothwolf (talk) 16:59, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

review parameter

I wondered if it would be possible to add a review parameter to this template? So that, for instance, if I use a particular book as a source, and also have a list of critical online reviews of that book, those reviews could then be clicked through? I feel this may help assuage doubts over the reliability of certain sources, where contested, if there are enough reviews of said sources. Parrot of Doom 21:05, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

There is a |laysummary= and a |laydate= parameter. That only allows for one URL though, so I'm not sure if that would work for what you had in mind or not. --Tothwolf (talk) 22:23, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
If there is a WP article on the book itself, you could wikilink the book title to the article, and add reviews in the book's article. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:32, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Nah, its more a recent book that I've used, that has been reviewed by several online newspapers. I just feel it'd be a helpful addition to this template to be able to do such a thing. After all, most books contain errors of some description. Parrot of Doom 15:52, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
If the book meets Wikipedia:Notability (books) then perhaps there should be an article on it. You could see what the good folk of Wikipedia:WikiProject Books reckon. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:16, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Creation of this template in the Wikimedia Commons

Could a knowledgeable person please create this template over at the Wikimedia Commons? There is a version of the template over there, but it seems to be broken. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:51, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Full stop at the end of the template 2

It appears that the full stop at the end of the template has been added back to this template. This ends up displaying two periods in a lot of instances because of manual periods already added (for an example see: Press brake). Can we please change this back. For the previous discussion see: [7]. Thanks. Wizard191 (talk) 18:28, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

This would then be the only template out of the 12 using Template:Citation/core that would not have a full stop at the end of the citation. Since this is only in rare cases (because if there is a quotation the full stop is not added, see the code), I suggest we remove them by hand. The problem is not the dot added in the code. The problem is that dots are not supposed to be added manually. I am willing to remove any dot someone would point out. Debresser (talk) 18:40, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
My initial reaction would be to remove it again (I had only looked at this page when I checked for a previous discussion, not into the archive), although I do strongly agree that the full stop should really be placed as a default in the template, or supplied as a parameter, and never by typed as a separate full stop after the template – in addition to consistency with the other citation templates. I assume we can agree on that?
I realize though that this should better be done through a more concerted cleanup effort, not as a fait accompli without caring who'll clean it up. So, unless someone offers to go through all ≈50,000 pages transcluding this and removing any superfluous full stops (while having a look at potential postscript parameters) in the very near future, I'll change it back.
Amalthea 18:49, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Wait a sec. Let me think a little. It is not a big deal, so no reason to hurry. Debresser (talk) 18:51, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Not trying to rush you, just wanted to make clear that I'd like to have a decision we can agree on one way or the other this UTC day. Wizard, could you give some input if you are generally opposed to making the full stop at the end the default, or if you generally agree that it should be the default it we have a strategy to correct existing usages? Amalthea 19:03, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Why shouldn't we ask some nice bot operator to remove the dot from all instances of {{Citation ... }}.? In the mean time we'll have a few double dots. We have worse problems on Wikipedia. The arguments in favor of keeping this dot in the code are enormous. Apart from the above consider: how many citations would be left without a dot if we'd remove it? Anybody though of that? I think this can wait till tomorrow, no? Debresser (talk) 19:09, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm hoping that Wizard191 will chime in again, to give some more input.
My rationale for undoing this change for now is plain old WP:BRD, and that by default if a change is disputed, the previous status quo is best restored (we typically look for consensus for a change). In addition, I assume that we have more double-dots now than we had missing dots if I undid, that double-dots are looking more wrong than a missing dot at the end of a citation, and that it's trivial to add it back once we have a concept to fix all mistakes (getting a bot approve will take a while). I think that achieving this consistency can wait till tomorrow, or next week, and if our plan to clean it up is a bot anyway, we aren't losing anything by putting this off for a few days. Amalthea 20:06, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Let's wait a little more. Apart from the initial post, there has not been any real discussion, apart from the two of us, and we were involved in the change. Perhaps even the initial poster wouldn't mind to wait till a bot cleans this up. And getting a bot to do this is sometimes a matter of minutes or hours, not days. BTW, my intuitive guess is that we have significantly less double dots than single ones, because editors are not used to adding dots at the end of citation templates. Debresser (talk) 20:35, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
The bot request is at Wikipedia:Bot_requests#Citations, for those interested. Debresser (talk) 20:39, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Note that the documentation mentions nothing about the dot, and that there are no double dots there. That is advantageous. Debresser (talk) 20:54, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

(un-indent) I don't particularly have a problem with this template putting a period at the end of the template by default, however, I've been using the citation template (as opposed to the cite xxx template) for a long time (about 2 years) and always put a period in by hand after each instance, so I alone probably have about 1000 instances of double dots out there. If we can get a bot to go through and clean it all up I'm all for it. Seeing how a bot isn't setup and waiting for us to do that, I say switch it back until we do have a bot ready. Wizard191 (talk) 21:03, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

There shouldn't be dots manually appended after the template, because this renders outside the metadata span and causes scruffy rendering for users whose browser plugins add details and links to the end of citations. Where a dot is required, the parameter |postscript= should be used in stead of a '.'. I support getting a bot to remove the extra periods; if you are willing to wait for a while it might even be possible for me to add it to Citation bot's tasks. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:10, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry to disagree with everyone, but I do not think it is a good idea to have this template add a full stop to the end by default. In fact, the lack of a full stop is one of this template's strengths. It means it is possible to employ the template more flexibly; for instance, by putting several templates together in the same footnote separated by semicolons, or adding additional information behind the template after a comma (such as ", para. 9.6", ", plate 12" and ", 6 vols."). I'm afraid I've been adding all sorts of punctuation marks to the end of {{Citation}} for some time now, so if any change is to be made it will be necessary to have a bot not only check for double full stops but other punctuation as well, and to convert those to using |postscript=. However, the thought of having to use a cumbersome parameter like that in future is just too depressing for words. — Cheers, JackLee talk 21:16, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Hi. Nice to see an original comment. You could always add several citations in one footnote with <br />. I have seen that done. And I am sure you could overcome your aversion for the simple |postscript=. :) Not having a dot at the end looks so sloppy. I believe this is a change for the best. Debresser (talk) 21:42, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
:-D I am not saying that there should be no punctuation at the end of a citation template. (Horrors!) But having a full stop as a default makes the template less flexible, and |postscript= is a bit unwieldy (nine extra characters to type, plus a pipe and equal sign!). Maybe we could have an abbreviated form of |postscript= too, like |ps=. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:41, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I have, for now, restored the old way. I am still convinced it would the correct way forward, mostly for consistency. From a random sampling of twenty pages using this template, none had a manual or a parametrized dot or were using it in a way not requiring a full stop, so they are all displaying incorrectly now. That alone lets me assume that this is not the expected behavior, that this citation template should be selfcontained like the others, and that it would be a minor price to suppress the postscript character (or build them with line breaks as Debresses says, which I'd actually prefer) in the cases where it's desirable.
However, in absence of a response at BOTREQ, and since there doesn't appear a to be an ad hoc consensus here with Jacklee speaking out against it and the last time people discussed it here found against it as well, this is simply not the way to push this through.
What we should do here now is first having a look at the different ways this template is used with regard to postscript punctuation, and trying to gauge how often it's done wrong and how often the postscript char would need need to be suppressed (i.e. rarely enough not to depress anyone). I would still urge to get a bot prepared to tackle this, by removing a manual full stop following the citation template either without replacement or by pushing it into the postscript parameter.
Amalthea 23:45, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree with JackLee. I usually use periods after this template, but often don't when I wish to add additional information to the citation. I don't think the benefit of having the period within the span (is there a benefit to that?) is worth the loss in flexibility in forcing all citation templates to end in a dot. And I very strongly object to a robot removing dots indiscriminately and breaking the formatting of the citations that happen to have some other punctuation after the citation, since it will be impossible to find the dozens of broken citations that this will cause among the thousands of bot edits that this will cause. —David Eppstein (talk) 02:14, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say "removing dots indiscriminately", I said moving it into the postscript parameter where appropriate. And if we leave the default postscript parameter empty, a bot could repair usages by adding the full stop as a postscript parameter where required. Amalthea 06:50, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

OK so we really need some statistics. Rich Farmbrough, 03:47, 20 October 2009 (UTC).

Incidentally if I were botting away the dots I would suggest that other punctuation would be made into a parameter, or a "no-dot" parameter would be used - the stop would be default. But lets see some figures first. ~~
Or trial runs. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 04:26, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
The only statistic we have is Amalthea's "From a random sampling of twenty pages using this template, none had a manual or a parametrized dot or were using it in a way not requiring a full stop". I fear it will be hard to get anything better than manually collected samples. Unless we would have a bot collect them in a list before deciding what to do with them. And that would be overdoing things, IMHO. Debresser (talk) 10:19, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Far from a statistically significant result though, I stress. Amalthea 10:25, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I do not think so. Debresser (talk) 15:41, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

A Difference of Dots

Dot added outside the citation template
<cite class="citation">[http://example.com "Some title"], ''[[Newspaper]]'', December 31, 2009</cite><span title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.jtitle=Newspaper&rft.atitle=Some+title&rft.date=2009-12-31&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fexample.com&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fen.wikipedia.org%3ATemplate+talk%3ACitation%2FArchive+3" class="Z3988"><span style="display:none;">&nbsp;</span></span>.
Dot passed as |postscript=.
<cite class="citation">[http://example.com "Some title"], ''[[Newspaper]]'', December 31, 2009.</cite><span title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.jtitle=Newspaper&rft.atitle=Some+title&rft.date=2009-12-31&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fexample.com&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fen.wikipedia.org%3ATemplate+talk%3ACitation%2FArchive+3" class="Z3988"><span style="display:none;">&nbsp;</span></span>

There's a semantic difference in that the dot isn't part of the "citation" span, a potentially visible difference since the dot isn't affected by span.citation style rules, which can lead to visual artifacts if they are styled differently, and it's a difference if you copy and paste them (or probably if you view them in text-only browsers or screen readers) since there's a hidden &nbsp; as part of the COinS tag which is shown in those cases, and you end up with spaced punctuation.
Those are the problems I see, not sure if there are others. Amalthea 10:25, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Rough stats: there are some 86,000 transclusions, approximately 10,000 are followed by ".", 22,000 by a newline 44,000 by an escaped character, almost certainly almost all "<" followed no doubt by "/ref>". 7900 are followed by a space, 2000 possibly by | 500 by "," 443 by } a few hundred by other brackets and doo-dads, 17 by a number or letter. Slightly more refined figures will be ready shortly. Rich Farmbrough, 14:57, 20 October 2009 (UTC).
How does he do that??
The "}" must be typos, but not for sure. The "|" is likely when the citation is part of an infobox. The dots are all that bothers me, frankly. No need to go for perfection. Debresser (talk) 15:45, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Ummm, if a full stop is going to be added as a default to the end of {{citation}}, then in addition to dealing with redundant full stops, a bot should be programmed to mosey around and move trailing text into the template after a |postscript= parameter. However, I can see that this will be a tricky task since there can be text like ", para. 4.2" after citation templates. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:55, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
The "|" maybe where I didn't parse the text properly. A more accurate run (mainly ignoring newlines) doesn't change any thing salient, but confirms nearly all the escaped characters are "<". The raw data. Rich Farmbrough, 18:43, 20 October 2009 (UTC).

Just to confuse things slightly more, I started using the "|postscript=" thing and it didn't work when citing a patent at Abrasive flow machining. I think that ought to be fixed first before we have a bot going around changing everything over to find that some of the instances are now broken. Wizard191 (talk) 18:24, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Afaiks it isn't implemented for patents. Rich Farmbrough, 20:07, 20 October 2009 (UTC).
Shouldn't it be? Wizard191 (talk) 20:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any reason for it not to be. Rich Farmbrough, 15:53, 29 October 2009 (UTC).


  1. Finish addition of postscript parameter
  2. Internalize all the "."
  3. Make . the default
  4. Remove postscript="."


  1. Make . the default
  2. Remove trailing .

(Estimated transition time 2 days)

What needs adjusting in the above?

Rich Farmbrough, 15:53, 29 October 2009 (UTC).
In your alternate proposal what does "Remove trailing ." mean? Wizard191 (talk) 17:56, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Remove the dot that is trailing behind the citation template. Debresser (talk) 19:17, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I embrace the second proposal. But will not oppose the first also, if consensus would be to go with that one. Debresser (talk) 19:19, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I'll oppose everything that would break articles that use, e.g., "{{citation}}, Section 1.2." Both proposals sound as if these are going to be broken. — Miym (talk) 19:37, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
By the way, it isn't just commas; see, e.g., how this template is used in Cynthia Dwork#Publications. — Miym (talk) 19:43, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
No problem there: make |Postscript= " - ". Can |Postscript= be made to render nothing, BTW? Debresser (talk) 19:58, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
An empty HTML comment <!----> would expand to nothing but it is not very intuitive. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:10, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't you want the bot to read what is trailing the template and then insert that into the "postscript =" argument? And if the trailing character is a period then just delete it? I realize this might be more work, but then we are cleaning up after ourselves. Wizard191 (talk) 20:13, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
If someone uses a bot to fix everything (so that articles that look correct now will look correct after these changes), then it's ok. Proposing that editors should manually fix the mess afterwards doesn't sound like a good idea. — Miym (talk) 20:25, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
That is indeed what I imagined will be done. Debresser (talk) 21:56, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
That is what I was looking for: commas should be given a blank postscript and left, or postscript=, and removed? Etc. Rich Farmbrough, 19:45, 30 October 2009 (UTC).
I would take whatever character is at the end of the template and place it in the postscript argument unless its a period or a "<". Wizard191 (talk) 14:54, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Sounds more or less like it. Debresser (talk) 16:50, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I have seen (and probably inserted) instances of ISBNs, sometimes multiple ISBNs, outside of the template (e.g., Harry F. Wolcott (2001), "Writing up qualitative research", Qualitative Research Methods Series (2 ed.), SAGE  Unknown parameter |separator= ignored (help). ISBN 0761924299, ISBN 9780761924296.). There are probably other cases something like "{{Citation|...}}, § 43.". I've also seen cases where the postscript parameter was set to more than a single punctuation char (e.g. ...|separator=.|postscript=(see section 43)}}. "some quoted text.")—or variations (e.g., with the full-stop moved into the postscript= following the closing paren). Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 17:59, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

See also Template talk:Cite web#Double period bug. Highlights: Anyone still promoting manual corrections should realize that 45,000 articles have double periods. Only about 2/3 of double periods occur at the end of a citation; the second biggest cause is initials in the author's name, when the date is unspecified. Examples at User:Art LaPella/Double period bug. Art LaPella (talk) 14:46, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Deprecated fields

Per these edits the following fields are deprecated and use places the article in the hidden category Category:Cite_web_templates_using_unusual_accessdate_parameters.

  • accessmonthday
  • accessdaymonth
  • accessyear
  • day
  • accessmonth
  • accessday

I am proposing a bot run or runs to eliminate or substantially reduce the use of these parameters at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/SmackBot XXIII. Rich Farmbrough, 23:04, 18 November 2009 (UTC).

Might I suggest that a note be placed in the documentation stating that? Otherwise at some point, somebody may go through the template source, looking for undocumented fields, and document them as if they were live. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:27, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Happy-melon has precisely the right bot for this, and he said he'd be happy to do this, but then he went too busy. It should have been done a long time ago. At least a bot would have taken care of some 90% of them, and I would have fixed the rest with AWB. Debresser (talk) 13:21, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Display tweak for print

On wikipedia, a citation such as

{{cite web |author=R. Nave |title=Confinement of Quarks |url=http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Particles/quark.html#c6 |work=[[HyperPhysics]] |publisher=[[Georgia State University]], Department of Physics and Astronomy |year= |accessdate=2008-06-29 }}

is rendered as

R. Nave. "Confinement of Quarks". HyperPhysics. Georgia State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Retrieved 2008-06-29. .

However in print (see PDF tool on the sidebar), this rather rendered as

R. Nave. " Confinement of Quarks (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsuedu/hbase/Particles/quark.html#c6)". HyperPhysics. Georgia State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy. . Retrieved 2008-06-29.

It should instead be rendered as

R. Nave. "Confinement of Quarks". HyperPhysics. Georgia State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsuedu/hbase/Particles/quark.html#c6, retrieved 2008-06-29.

or possibly:

R. Nave. "Confinement of Quarks". HyperPhysics. Georgia State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsuedu/hbase/Particles/quark.html#c6, retrieved 2008-06-29.

Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 02:53, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Any feedback? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 22:16, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Add edition of a newspaper

Many newspapers used to released in multiple editions each day. The cite newspaper template accepts an edition argument, citation should do likewise. WilliamKF (talk) 19:49, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

There is an |edition= parameter. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 21:28, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm using the |edition= at Nicholas Mayall, however, it is not showing up in the cites. WilliamKF (talk) 19:07, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Identifier sandbox

Alright, so here's a sandbox we can work on


The rationale used now is URI/URI-like things (doi, arXiv) are in URI format, with the identifier type wikilinked and the id weblinked; all others have the identifier type in wikilinked caps and the id weblinked, seperated by a non-breaking space. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 23:25, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Looks ok to me. It's much much better than putting arXiv in caps, certainly. Note that it is possible to wikilink the URI-like things: arXiv:0908.3916. The main visible difference is the lack of the little arrow icon after them. However some people prefer the indication that a link goes off-wiki, and this may be problematic for dois with unusual characters in them. Also, I didn't know that we had the {{jstor}} template, so this discussion has been a constructive one for me. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:35, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I added {{MathSciNet}} output ("MR...") in the table (only in the "before" column, as I have no opinion whether it should be changed and how). — Miym (talk) 05:23, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
See also {{JFM}} and {{Zbl}}. The standard formatting for MR id's (e.g. in math papers) is as it's currently formatted, with no space. —David Eppstein (talk) 07:02, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but we have more than one aspect to balance here. It's like citing authors, some journals use Smith JS, Weisof J, Paul RJ, others J.S. Smith, J. Weisof, and R.J. Paul, while others prefer Smith, J. S.; Weisof, J.; Paul, R. J., and so on. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 20:09, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
And some Smith, J.S., J. Weisof, and R.J. Paul. (That only makes sense if you are sorting references alphabetically.) --___A. di M. 15:07, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Alright, I've implemented those with check marks. Now there is three cases left to be solved. Bibcodes, ISBNs and MRs.

  • BIBCODE: I would say switch to either BIBCODE 01234567 or bibcode:01234567
  • ISBN: I would switch to the fullurl form to produce a visual output that matches with the rest of the links (identifier = wikilinked, number = linked).
  • MR: Looks like there's consensus against switching to MR 0123467

Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 18:51, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I would prefer not to see "BIBCODE" in ALL CAPS, nor is this how it appears in [8]. No preference between "bibcode" and "Bibcode". Spacepotato (talk) 02:03, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree. I think that all-caps should be consistently used for acronyms with portmanteaus left in lower case. But it would make sense to capitalize bibcode when it starts a sentence in a ref.–RJH (talk) 21:43, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I just noticed that "ZBL" has been changed to uppercase. This should be changed back to "Zbl" as this is how this abbreviation appears in the mathematical literature (e.g. doi:10.1007/BFb0075082) and in Zentralblatt itself [9]. Spacepotato (talk) 01:08, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and failure to identify implicit HTML in the format field

Wotcher cites like {{Citation | last = McCoog | first = Thomas M. | chapter = Garnett, Henry (1555–1606) | work = Oxford Dictionary of National Biography | publisher = Oxford University Press | date = 2004-09 | url = http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/10389 | accessdate = 16 November 2009 | doi = 10.1093/ref:odnb/10389}} produce McCoog, Thomas M. (2004-09), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/10389 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/10389, retrieved 16 November 2009  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help); |chapter= ignored (help) with incorrect blank comma sep field after the title. Diagnosis is that |format= is stuffing up autodetection of html because ODNB addresses don't end .htm / .html. Compare to the successful {{Citation | last = Nicholls | first = Mark | chapter = Rookwood, Ambrose (c.1578–1606) | work = Oxford Dictionary of National Biography | publisher = Oxford University Press | date = 2004-09 | url = http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/24066 | format = HTML | accessdate = 16 November 2009 | doi = 10.1093/ref:odnb/24066}} Nicholls, Mark (2004-09), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (HTML), Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24066 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/24066, retrieved 16 November 2009  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help); |chapter= ignored (help). Fifelfoo (talk) 01:41, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I thought I had remarked on this yesterday, but I apparently failed to save my edit. I see that Template:Citation#Citing journals, newspapers, magazines, or other periodicals says in part re the format parameter, "Format of document at that URL, e.g. PDF. Don't specify for HTML (implied as default)." Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:45, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and as noted
  • {{Citation | last = McCoog | first = Thomas M. | chapter = Garnett, Henry (1555–1606) | work = Oxford Dictionary of National Biography | publisher = Oxford University Press | date = 2004-09 | url = http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/10389 | accessdate = 16 November 2009 | doi = 10.1093/ref:odnb/10389}}
produces the very ugly ", ," problem immediately after the "|chapter=" is displayed.
possibly as the website is http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/10389 and doesn't end with .htm or .html etc.
"|format= " does nothing here eg, McCoog, Thomas M. (2004-09), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/10389 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/10389, retrieved 16 November 2009  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help); |chapter= ignored (help)
thanks, Fifelfoo (talk) 00:56, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
  • The bug Fifelfoo has identified isn't to do with the "format" parameter, but the mishandling of the "work" parameter. Using his example, if I change "work = Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" to "title = Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", the formatting is fine:

--Malleus Fatuorum 01:24, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Agency instead of author

Some newspaper articles do not list an author and instead give an agency such as Associated Press. Therefore, for anchors for Harvard references, I suggest adding agency as a valid template parameter as is seen in template cite newspaper and that the Harvard anchor accept the agency name for the author. WilliamKF (talk) 18:41, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

You can create a custom ID using |ref=. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 21:30, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
That's a workaround, but it's a common occurence so some accomodation would be helpful. At a minimum, we should include explicit directions on how to handle news agencies. I've even got a half-dozen citations with no byline at all.   Will Beback  talk  20:31, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
The id for the anchor is generated by {{citation/core}}. You have similar issues where you cite an author with multiple publications with the same year. Yes, you can add an alpha suffix to the year, but that messes up the metadata— |ref= exists for just this purpose. I was already considering a Help page on citation ids. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:44, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
A "help" page would be a benefit. This template is like a multipurpose tool, and some of the functions aren't obvious.   Will Beback  talk  23:58, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I too would welcome proper doc on using anchors with citation templates and had been considering creating some sort of documentation myself. I noticed the lack of documentation while working on the short citation code for {{cite IETF}}. We have pages such as WP:CITESHORT and WP:CITEX which give a number of examples of short citations in use but they really don't fully cover the how's and why's when it comes to anchor generation, the |ref= parameter, or how to link the short citations to the full reference. I would even like to see something we can directly transclude into the individual /doc subpages for the citation templates such as we do with {{AuthorMask doc}} and {{UF-COinS}} that give real world examples of short citations. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:54, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy to use the |ref= parameter and am doing so at Nicholas Mayall, however, in the cite itself, it does not show Associated Press. I think an agency field is needed. WilliamKF (talk) 19:09, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Agree, not just for AP but also Reuter.
When users are puzzled about WP:CITESHORT related issues, I sometimes direct them to examine the wikicode of three short articles as follows:
Admittedly none use {{citation}}, but the principle is the same for that as it is for {{cite book}}, {{cite journal}} and {{cite web}}. I'm pretty well-up on how these work; so, I offer to assist with documentation. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:37, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Observation: {{Cite news}} has an |agency= field, which is passed through to {{citation/core}} via the |series= field (as with the |series=/|version= field of {{citation}}). It is not used to build an automatic value for |ref=harv. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:16, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Cite web, Quotes in wrong position

I recently re-opened a discussion here on the Cite web Talk page about the position of the final quote (quotation mark) when the Template cite web is used. An archived discussion a year ago said

"It would have to be changed in all citation templates."

Could someone with more experience please explain what was meant by this, and whether it is true. (Ideally please comment here and cross-reference on the Cite web Talk page.)
See also archived brief comment here Thanks!--Lidos (talk) 10:29, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Oh dear. This began at Template talk:Cite web#Quotes in wrong position bug and I advised user to ask at Template talk:Citation/core. He seems to have come here instead. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:49, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry!--Lidos (talk) 10:51, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
All discussion (and a solution) is now at Template talk:Citation/core .--Lidos (talk) 09:15, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Italy vs. Rome

Currently the {{cite book}} and {{cite paper}} templates are formatted as

Author(s) (year). Title, italicized. Publisher, roman et cetera.

Whereas {{cite journal}} uses quite the opposite formatting:

Author(s) (year). "Title, roman font, and surrounded with the «"» inch marks". Publisher, italicized et cetera.

Is it possible to make the formatting consistent across different sub-templates? And also would be nice to use the “quotation marks” instead of inch glyphs. ... stpasha » talk » 14:05, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Stpasha's description of {{cite journal}} is not quite correct. The title of the article is in quotes. The title of the journal is italic. The name of the publisher is not normally given when citing a journal.
As for using typographic quotes, there has been a long-running fight over that at WP:MOS and that fight was a factor that lead to the full protection of that page. Straight quotation marks are currently recommended and typographic quotation marks are currently not recommended. I happen to favor the current recommendation because it is too much trouble to use the large number of key presses that would be needed on Windows keyboards to insert typographic quotes. Since putting typographic quotes is impractical in the article, the citations should follow the same style. --Jc3s5h (talk) 15:43, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
I apologize for confusing the terms; certainly it should have been Journal title instead of Publisher in the second example. The terms however seem to be interchangeable: in the case of a book the publisher is the entity responsible for the content of the books they publish, whereas in the case of a journal the publisher is usually meaningless and the responsible entity is the journal’s editorial board. I use the term “responsbility” mainly in the reputational sense: we look at the book’s publisher / article’s journal to judge the reliability level and trustworthiness of the publication.
As for the discussion at WP:MoS, I’m certainly aware of it (having participated in one myself >.>). The consensus about the use of quotes has changed already, however unfortunately the MoS cannot be edited right now because of the block (and the reason for the block was the discussion regarding British/American punctuation style within quotes). ... stpasha » talk » 20:42, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

When citing a paper within an edited volume, the citation templates use the same style as journal: paper's title in quotes, book's title in italics. From that point of view, {{cite book}} and {{cite journal}} are completely consistent: the book title is parallel to the journal title, not to the title of the paper within the journal. "Fixing" {{cite book}} as Stpasha suggests would make it less consistent for citing papers within a book. —David Eppstein (talk) 18:56, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I see your point, and also suspect that there could be certain difficulties which I cannot foresee, such as items published in-collection, or whatever. But I cannot agree (yet) that current usage is consistent. The point is that when citing an article the central item of information is the article’s title. The title of a journal is relatively unimportant, it serves a role like a publisher to the book. It is so unimportant that we never even print the title in full, only as a shortcut. For example instead of the full title
Econometrica, volume 18, issue 4 (November 1950)
we write simply
Econometrica, 18(4)”
because journal’s title is not the same as book’s title, and doesn’t deserve being treated the same way. The real title of the publication being referenced is the article’s title.
I was talking about consistency not in the sense of being consistent with how these questions are handled in a particular journal, but being consistent in the sense of general formatting: it would be nice to have a list of references where after the year all titles go in italic (or in straight fonts). If there is such a need to distinguish references of journal articles from references of books then formatting is not a good way to go (and besides self-published manuscripts are formatted same way as books anyways). ... stpasha » talk » 20:42, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
It is a longstanding custom in many citation systems outside of Wikipedia to italicize the title of a journal. Also, I would say that the journal title is shortened not because it is unimportant, but because there are a limited number of journals in any particular field, and the people active in the field are familiar with most of them. The journal title is also important because in the library, the journals are usually shelved alphabetically by journal title. --Jc3s5h (talk) 22:27, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, in almost all citation systems that I have used (outside Wikipedia), the title of a journal is written in a similar way as the title of a book, and the name of a journal article (or conference article) is written in a similar way as the name of a book chapter. The titles of journals and books are usually written in Title Case, Typically in Italics while the name of an article or a book chapter is often written in "Sentence case, without italics, possibly in quotation marks". There is some variation (and some writers are a bit sloppy with these details), but this is the general rule, and it is a useful convention once one gets used to it. For example, a quick look at a citation tells the type of the work. Please don't break it here. (And please pay attention to Title Case vs. Sentence case when using these templates...) — Miym (talk) 23:12, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, a contribution to a journal/periodical is formatted the same way as a contribution to a book, and the name of a journal/periodical is formatted the same way as the name of a book. Its the same paradigm: contribution-in-publication
And yes, please don't change anything. Nothing is broken. -- Fullstop (talk) 23:45, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

By the way, I support writing journal titles out in full here. In a scientific paper it may make sense to abbreviate the title: everyone else who could be expected to read the paper can also be expected to learn what the abbreviation means. But that's not true here: there's no particular reason to expect an average Wikipedia reader to understand that, e.g. "Math. Z." stands for "Mathematische Zeitschrift" and we don't have to worry about how much paper we're saving. But I don't consider the volume and issue numbers to be part of the title. —David Eppstein (talk) 22:39, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree with David Eppstein. --bender235 (talk) 22:32, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes. In a given field it is natural to abbreviate journal names, not only for saving space (and writing effort), but because the full name is more information than is needed. For the broader context more information is needed. The proper question might be: how much? E.g., is it reasonable to expect that "J." stands for "Journal"? The abbreviation is sufficient, and spelling it out does not really add much, even tends to clutter the title. Even better, I often cite "GSA Bull." Anyone with any exposure to the geological literature knows "GSA" (and I believe it is always cited that way). If not, would "Geo. Soc. Am." be sufficient? The full title is actually less distinctive than "GSA", and seems unnecessarily pedantic. On a slightly different tack, while I would accept "GSA", I have been finding "Bull." (for Bulletin) annoying, and am thinking I should spell it out. Which seems inconsistent, but illustrates that there is an element of esthetics involved. - J. Johnson (talk) 21:27, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
I would simply write "GSA Bulletin", with a wikilink to an article about the journal (which we don't seem to have yet, but perhaps we could simply redirect to Geological Society of America). Looks good, and the link helps those who don't know what is GSA. On the one hand, I find something like "Geo. Soc. Am.", "J.", or "Bull." ridiculous in Wikipedia or any web media where you don't need to save space. On the other hand, I think it's perfectly fine to use names like "Journal of the ACM", "IEEE Transactions on Information Theory", and "SIAM Journal on Computing" without spelling out "ACM", "IEEE", and "SIAM". I think using "J. Assoc. Comput. Mach." instead of "Journal of the ACM" would be the worst possible solution: mysterious to laymen, not that easily recognisable to an expert. — Miym (talk) 21:54, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
So perhaps "writing out in full" shouldn't necessarily mean every part of a title. Are well known acronyms "full" enough? - J. Johnson (talk) 22:15, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
No, I don't think they are, because they are probably "well known" only to specialists in the field, whereas we are writing WP for a generalist audience. -- Alarics (talk) 08:59, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
At the risk of verging into a different topic, I agree that who we are writing for is a definite (but not sole) factor regarding citations and their format. For my articles I like to include secondary references that provide a more general explanation and context. (Rather like the commentaries Science magazine provides.) But there is also the verifiability issue. In the sciences the standard is to reference primary sources (such as journal articles). That these may not be easily intelligble to people with no scientific background is beside the point; Wikipedia policy has been that we may assume some familiarity with field (see wp:Scientific citation guidelines.) So I would argue that we should be able to assume some familiarity with certain well-known (at least to the librarian one goes to) acronyms, such as ACM and GSA.
Now here's an interesting twist. I am rather ambivalent about making journal titles wiki-links (lots of extra typing). But: most scientific journals are now on-line (though not free), and I generally provide a url (and doi, where available) to each article. As those links provide full information on the journal itself, do they not provide sufficient explication of any acronyms or abbreviations? Is this not also a factor to consider in the format of citations? - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:43, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Re David Eppstein's subthread: at college we were instructed that for the first instance the journal name is written in full; for subsequent citations from the same journal (even if a different volume/issue/article) then abbreviating the journal name would be sufficient, provided there was no ambiguity. The principal journal that we would refer to was "Journal of the Textile Institute", which for the second and subsequent citation we abbreviated to "JTI". But that's unambiguous - I don't know of another JTI. So, to take an unrelated case, if a railway-related article cited both Railway Magazine and Railway Modeller; then "RM" would not be permitted, but "R. Mag." and "R. Mod." would be, but only if the first citation from each had been given the full title of the journal. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:25, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
That's just like standard practice with acronyms. But I can see three big reasons for not doing journal names that way: 1) it creates variant forms of the name in the same article; 2) as references are added or deleted it is an added difficulty of tracking what is the first instance; 3) references are likely to be referred to in quasi-random order, and be excerpted, so they need to be complete and able to stand-alone. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:10, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with JJ. It is tiresome for the reader to have to trail back to find the first instance to discover the name of the journal being referred to. There is no need for it. Just write out the journal title in full each time so that each separate citation works on its own. -- Alarics (talk) 08:04, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree on full Journal titles — there are current standards, maybe even ISO standardized abbreviations, that tools like Wikipedia template and the Citation Bot are using. I'm not entirely sure that PubMed searches always work if you provide the full Journal title. I'd suggest limiting journal= values to only the full title or one of the blessed abbreviations.
(ie Scientific American, Sci Am or ISO Sci. Am.) Also provide redirects from the abbreviation(s) to the article on the journal. A BOT should then be able to validate the values if a PMID, DOI or URL provides a cross reference. Linking first reference to journal names or authorlinks automatically when rendering the article should also be possible.
Examples of long Journal titles from PubMed
    • J Vasc Surg
    • J. Vasc. Surg.
    • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A — 1,007 (includes ISO form below) — redirect exists
    • Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. — 575 — redirect exists
I've further abbreviated that to Proc Natl Acad Sci USA in the past and have seen PNAS.
The Templatetiger tool has data on the 345295 cite journals at 2009-05-30, 339417 have the journal parameter, 255943 have doi values and 220377 have PMIDs. The tool's owner may be able to break down data on journal titles if there is a good reason to do so.
RDBrown (talk) 01:32, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
There was a related discussion recently at Template_talk:Infobox_journal#ISO_or_NLM_abbreviation_of_journal_title? that touched on these same issues.LeadSongDog come howl 04:29, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Missing spaces if empty fields are used

Consider the missing spaces in the first of these two {{cite book}} citations:

  • Biermann, Christpher J. (1996). "3". Handbook of Pulping and Papermaking (2nd ed.). Academic Press. pp. 72–73. ISBN 0-12-097362-6. 
  • Biermann, Christpher J. (1996). "3". Handbook of Pulping and Papermaking (2nd ed.). Academic Press. pp. 72–73. ISBN 0-12-097362-6. 

The two are in fact identical, except that the first contains a couple of empty fields, probably because someone used copy-and-paste to enter the template. The {{citation}} template has the same problem:

  • Biermann, Christpher J. (1996), "3", Handbook of Pulping and Papermaking (2nd ed.), Academic Press, pp. 72–73, ISBN 0-12-097362-6 
  • Biermann, Christpher J. (1996), "3", Handbook of Pulping and Papermaking (2nd ed.), Academic Press, pp. 72–73, ISBN 0-12-097362-6 

This might therefore be a problem somewhere deep in the citation core. The templates should be fixed so that empty fields do not make a difference for the final layout. AxelBoldt (talk) 16:50, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

The problem appears to be with supplying an empty separator= parameter. I tried to fix this in Citation/core/sandbox by forcing Sep to a comma if it is empty on entry, but that didn't work. I've edited the citation/sandbox and citation/core/sandbox templates to match the current version of the non-sandbox versions. Someone more familiar with this template and at ease with template internals than I should take a look at this. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:44, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
You can't force |Sep= to a certain value inside {{Citation/core}}. Sep is a parameter, MediaWiki template syntax has no concept of variables. I had a number of other fixes in the sandbox queued up that deal with other issues but it seems they have yet to be merged into the in use version. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The bug is due to how MediaWiki handles whitespace. What is happening is when |Sep= is undefined, the leading whitespace is being stripped. If |Sep= has a value in it, the whitespace between the value of |Sep= and the next parameter is preserved. Fixing this will require significant changes to {{Citation/core}} but it can be fixed. --Tothwolf (talk) 02:05, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
This now works properly with {{Citation/core/sandbox}}, [10] see Template:Citation/testcases#separator parameter. --Tothwolf (talk) 05:24, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The same user raised a similar query at Template talk:Cite book#Missing spaces if empty fields are used and the responses given are inconsistent. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
{{Citation/core}} is used by {{Cite book}} (and many others) so this deals with the whitespace bugs in all the other templates which use {{Citation/core}} as well. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:21, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

accessdate not necessary

Why require accessdate? Reader can find the date at the archiveurl which makes requiring this field seem entirely nonsensical to me.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PayPal#cite_note-49. I can see having it here may serve some purpose, but hardly enough to make it mandatory! Please don't require accessdate when accessurl is used.--Elvey (talk) 22:51, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

?--Elvey (talk) 09:48, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
To which I would add, please don't use accessdate for a newspaper or magazine article which has its own publication date. It serves no purpose and just creates clutter and potential confusion.
And it can also lead people to suppose that the accessdate is the important one. Publication date is the one that matters. -- Alarics (talk) 08:45, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Publication date makes sense. It may be useful to have the accessdate kept but commented out so that it could be seen from the editing box but, as mainspace content, it is not encyclopaediac whereas the publication date is. I thought that accessdate was publicationdate for ages and I just gave up and ignored it. ~ R.T.G 07:54, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

[citation needed] - requested edit

Please add to the hatnotes something like - 'For the [citation needed] template, please use {{fact}}. ~ R.T.G 22:49, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean within the green "Template documentation" box? If so, this is Template:Citation/doc which is not protected. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:14, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
No I meant the bit above that where it says This text is transcluded.... It's more complicated than that because the hatnote doesn't seem to appear on this page or on the /doc page. ~ R.T.G 07:47, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
The hatnote reading
This documentation is transcluded from Template:Citation/doc. (edit | history)
is generated within {{documentation}}; but it does appear inside the green box (in Monobook skin anyway). --Redrose64 (talk) 12:04, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Would it be enough to add {{Citation needed}} to a See also section? I agree that it's useful and just tried how it looks, but since exemplary template output is very often placed above the documentation box, the hatnote might be confused with the supposed output of this template. Amalthea 12:42, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think many people will scroll all the way to the bottom of this page as it is very long and nothing got to do with [citation needed]. Usually if it is something unrelated that the names get mixed up it is noted at the top "Not to be confused with..." etc. ~ R.T.G 17:38, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Is that fine? It is below the "This documentation is transcluded...", but it's still visible without scrolling. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 18:19, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
That should do it thanks. I have used the template a lot of times but not very often so every couple of months I find that I don't know where it is! Happy new year to you. ~ R.T.G 20:13, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, and to you, too! --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 21:09, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Publication date vs. accessdate

There seems to be a bunch of techy activity on this page. At the top of the current talkpage someone said something that makes sense. The "accessdate", as in the date that an editor looked at a source, is not encyclopaediac. The publication date is encyclopaediac. It may be worth noting in some hidden way the date on which an editor last checked a sources content but on the reading page, only the publication date is worth anything to the article. I could note my last edit time on an article. That one confused me for a long time thinking it must be the publication date. It is the only maintinence date still appearing "on stage" except for the top-of-page templates asking for inline sources or notability. ~ R.T.G 08:03, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

accessdate is required in a number of manuals of style for sources that have a low level of permanency or a high rate of change or sources which lack a publication date. Fifelfoo (talk) 08:34, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
It would still seem that on the page the publication date is important. I cant think of a good source that is liable to change a lot, and I think those are discouraged, but I am aure the accessdate is often used on online newspaper articles, do those change a lot? Of course webpages are liable to change but with the amount of book and newspaper cites publication date is always relevant in the refs. ~ R.T.G 17:43, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Just by-the-by, I did see a case recently where an online version of a newspaper report was changed, probably to lessen the identifiability of a school where a teacher had been accused – and was later found guilty – of improper conduct with a pupil. We had a short discussion here, near the bottom. Mr Stephen (talk) 22:46, 10 January 2010 (UTC)


Re this request, how about adding an optional Chapter-author parameter to cover the case of citing a Preface, afterword, etc. written by someone other than the author(s) of a book (for usage like |chapter=Preface | chapter_author=Whomever)? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:41, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Adding ref support to the Cite thesis template

{{Cite thesis}} does not yet use the citation core code. I tried manually adding support for the ref parameter to the template, but for some reason my code won't seem to work:
{{#if {{{ref|}}}|id="{{anchorencode:{{{ref}}}}}"}}
Could someone take a look at it and fix it if possible? Thanks. Kaldari (talk) 22:32, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Why is a special template required in order to cite a thesis? If it's published, {{citation}} or {{cite book}} will be suitable; if it's unpublished, it's not even a primary source, so is inadmissible as a ref source, per WP:PRIMARY. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:51, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Theses and dissertations have their own unique citation style. I don't know why, nor do I care. I just want to know how I can get the code above to work correctly. Kaldari (talk) 04:16, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
For example, when citing a PhD thesis, it is very common (and extremely useful) to include the string "PhD thesis" somewhere in the citation. It'd be great if there was a simple and well-documented way to achieve this with {{citation}} (and/or {{cite book}}). — Miym (talk) 08:49, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, you could append it to the title; or put it in the |series= parameter; so you might have:
{{cite book |last=Doe |first=John |title=An examination of the meaning of life in relation to the nature of being (PhD thesis) |year=2010 }}
{{cite book |last=Doe |first=John |title=An examination of the meaning of life in relation to the nature of being |series=PhD thesis |year=2010 }}
which produce:
Doe, John (2010). An examination of the meaning of life in relation to the nature of being (PhD thesis). 
Doe, John (2010). An examination of the meaning of life in relation to the nature of being. PhD thesis. 
But I would still like to know why unpublished material is considered a valid reference source. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:57, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
A good question, to which two not entirely satisfactory answers can be proposed: accessibility, and because the professionals cite this kind of "grey literature". In regards of the accessibility, sometimes significant journal articles (or books) are not readily available, or only at cost, but essentially the same material can be found on-line in the form of theses, or authors' submitted manuscripts. As to grey literature, strictly speaking theses are published. Just in a minimally limited edition of one. A similar problem arises with certain reports, which have been published, but may be available in only two or three repository libraries. "Published" is not a sharply defined concept. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:43, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
{{Cite thesis}} was created in November 2009, apparently by someone who did not understand that {{cite paper}} was merged into {{cite journal}} which is used to reference "articles in magazines and academic journals and for academic papers." I don't see any reason to keep {{cite thesis}}. Discuss at Template talk:Cite thesis#Redundant. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:05, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it is a good idea to abuse the "series" parameter to identify the type of the publication (indeed, many PhD theses are published in a book series, so it may be already reserved for that purpose). Neither should we add comments in the title of a book; besides, typesetting "PhD thesis" in italics looks strange. Using {{cite journal}} doesn't help either (sure, again one could abuse the "series" parameter to produce a reasonable output, but it's semantically incorrect). I think a proper solution would be to add a parameter (called "type"?) to {{citation/core}} and then we could use {{cite book}} or {{citation}} with "type=PhD thesis" to cite a PhD thesis. — Miym (talk) 15:45, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, I'll drop that line: but I still want to know which part(s) of WP:NOR and WP:V permit the use of unpublished material. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:06, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Even if a PhD thesis was "published" (whatever it means), it would be very helpful to add a remark like "PhD thesis" (or "dissertation" or something similar) in the reference, to identify the type of the reference. — Miym (talk) 16:50, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
If you don't know what "published" means, I suggest that you read Publishing. Many PhD theses do get published as books; but those that are published rarely get the description "PhD thesis" on the cover. They may possibly have it mentioned on the title page (but not as part of the title itself), although it's more likely to be in the preface. The book's author and title should uniquely identify a published work; it's an extremely rare occurrence that two similarly-described works exist, where one is a PhD thesis but the other isn't. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:59, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
For the record, yes, theses are commonly published (especially PhD theses), and no, {{cite journal}} cannot be used to properly cite theses (in particular theses titles are neither italicized nor put in quotation marks). Kaldari (talk) 17:52, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I would find it odd if you had in the same list of references the titles of books Like This, the titles of articles "Like this", and the titles of theses using yet another format. I think this is an inconsistency in {{cite thesis}} that should be fixed, not a feature. — Miym (talk) 18:12, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Right. Which brings me back to my original point: if it's a published work, why is {{cite book}} unsuitable? --Redrose64 (talk) 18:19, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Because the reviewers at FAC say so. Personally, I don't care. The APA says italicize it, other sources say don't italicize it. I'm just sick of changing it back and forth since every editor seems to have a different opinion on it. Kaldari (talk) 18:21, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
In most style guides that I have seen, doctoral dissertations are typeset using a format that is similar to books, with one notable difference: there is usually a remark such as "Phd thesis" or "Doctoral dissertation" somewhere in the citation. APA is a good example of such a style. Hence I think it'd make a lot of sense if we had an extra parameter in {{citation/core}} so that we could use {{cite book}} or {{citation}} with a parameter like "type=PhD thesis" to produce such references. Then we wouldn't need to worry about {{cite thesis}}. — Miym (talk) 18:29, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Kaldari (talk) 19:28, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I've recommended changing the citation style of {{cite thesis}} so that it can be reimplemented with citation/core (and also match current APA guidelines). Please join the discussion at Template talk:Cite thesis. Thanks. Kaldari (talk) 04:23, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Where'd everybody go? I propose doing something proactive to solve the problem, it's suddenly it's a ghost town :) Kaldari (talk) 16:47, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that everyone is happy and supports your suggestion, so please go ahead and implement it. :) — Miym (talk) 16:55, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Some went over to Template talk:cite thesis and continued there, others invoked WP:LETGO. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:56, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, not everyone is happy with the suggestion. Right now it has one support and one oppose :P I've created an alternate suggestion at Template talk:Citation/core#Proposal to add a "type" parameter which would allow people to cite a thesis without relying on {{cite thesis}}. Kaldari (talk) 22:07, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
{{cite book}} may be usable without modification. See my last comment at Template talk:Citation/core#Proposal to add a "type" parameter. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:44, 22 January 2010 (UTC)


The "trans_title" parameter is included in the documentation, but apparently it hasn't been included (or has been removed) from the actual template. Could someone verify/fix this? --Waldir talk 12:21, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I've checked every single version of {{Citation}} right back to the original (05:04, 15 November 2005) and |trans_title= has never been a feature of this template. I rather suspect that in the attempt to harmonise documentation between the various cite templates, the use of {{Citation parameter legend}} may have been a little overenthusiastic. See this diff --Redrose64 (talk) 13:09, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I noted that its inclusion had probably happened at that edit. I think it could be rather useful to have, though, and its addition would solve the sync issue with the docs. Could you add it? --Waldir talk 18:25, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Me? No. It's protected. I think you'll need to wait for an admin or similar to notice. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:32, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
One possible solution would be to smarten up {{Citation parameter legend}} (which, incidentally, is not protected) to recognize an optional parameter something like transcluder=Citation so that it could produce transcluder-specific output. I haven't been involved {{cite xxx}} vs. {{Citation}} harmonization and don't want to upset any applecarts there. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:48, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I actually just did something along these lines for Template:Ref/doc using #switch:{{FULLPAGENAME}} so we don't even need to pass a parameter. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:25, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I did consider that; or, as an alternative, give {{Citation parameter legend}} some parameters which would have the same name as the parameter whose documentation is to be switched on/off, and the allowable values for such a parameter would be "yes" or "no", with "no" being the default; so, for example, a template which provides |trans_title= would have {{Citation parameter legend|trans_title=yes}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:31, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
The point is, I think that parameter is useful and should be added to this template (and possibly others) rather than removed from the documentation... --Waldir talk 12:07, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree. trans_title is extremely useful. « D. Trebbien (talk) 02:16, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I just hit this problem myself also. I would prefer that the parameter be added but if the consensus ends up being otherwise, then so be it, but please make the appropriate changes to the documentation to prevent others from falling into this hole. --Remy Suen (talk) 21:51, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Since I don't have edit rights for the template itself, and there were no objections to my last suggestion, I have modified {{Citation parameter legend}} so that it now takes a parameter; this controls whether or not trans_title is described in the documentation for the relevant templates. {{Citation/doc}} passes |trans_title=no, whilst {{Cite journal/doc}} passes |trans_title=yes.
Thus, I think we can now say that the documentation matches the template behaviour (for this parameter at least). Should {{Citation}} ever be modified to recognise a |trans_title= parameter, it is a simple matter to amend {{Citation/doc}} to pass |trans_title=yes instead of |trans_title=no into {{Citation parameter legend}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:06, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Support inclusion of trans_title. Switching to {{Cite book}} is no solution since this breaks the {{Harvcoltxt}} links. Alas, I don't know enough about the code of this template; so I am not able to give a description what should be changed. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 11:50, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't see why switching to {{Cite book}} would break the {{Harvcoltxt}} links - just remember to add |ref=harv, and also make sure there is either |last1= or |editor1-last=, plus either |date= or |year=. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:19, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! That had escaped my notice... ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 12:48, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Just a nit, but the harv family is supposed to work properly even without a |year=, so long as |last1= or equivalent is provided. LeadSongDog come howl 14:11, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Yep, sorry, my bad. The ID for internal linking is generated within {{citation/core}} which relies on what's passed by the outer templates. In the case of both {{citation}} and {{cite book}} the required parameters to generate a harvard ref link ID are either |last1= or |editor1-last=, but there are eight other parameters which may be used to generate a link ID.
These two templates vary in their behaviour should |ref= be omitted: {{citation}} passes a default |ref=harv into {{citation/core}}, whilst {{cite book}} does not; the latter used to pass a default value, but I think that the behaviour was changed in September 2009. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:55, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I've disabled the request for now because, after reading the above, I am not sure what you are asking for exactly. Please make the request detailed and specific when using {{editprotected}}. Thanks. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:46, 9 January 2010 (UTC)


Re-enabling. To clarify, the request is to add functionality for the parameters |trans_title= (and perhaps |trans_constribution= and |trans_chapter=) similar to that in {{cite book}}, {{cite news}}, and several other citation templates. Arsonal (talk) 07:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Looking at {{Cite book}} I find
Which on the face of it seems a bit odd. Is that what you want added?  Ronhjones  (Talk) 22:48, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't get it either, but you are correct. I would like to see this added under "citations for things like books and periodicals":
Arsonal (talk) 04:26, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Please could you:

  1. Put your proposed code in Template:Citation/sandbox.
  2. Thoroughly test to make sure it does what you intend.
  3. Seek consensus for the change on this page.
  4. Replace {{editprotected}}.

Thanks — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 07:48, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


When viewed in a text-browser (Links 2.2) the chapter-url is reproduced after the citation . Example :

version inline;

Mao Zedong (1992), "Speech on the question of intellectuals (January 20, 1956)", in Michael Y. M. Kau; John K. Leung, The Writings of Mao Zedong, 1949-1976: January 1956-December 1957, Armonk,N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, p. 6 

version in note/reflist


(appearance in note)
  1. ^ Mao Zedong (1992), "Speech on the question of intellectuals (January 20, 1956)", in Michael Y. M. Kau; John K. Leung, The Writings of Mao Zedong, 1949-1976: January 1956-December 1957, Armonk,N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, p. 6 

Sechinsic (talk) 16:49, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, but apart from the different font size (and the "1." at the start of the second one which occurs because {{reflist}} generates a numbered list), these look just the same to me. Maybe it's browser, OS or skin specific: I'm using Mozilla Firefox 3.0.17, Windows XP, Monobook skin. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:48, 9 February 2010 (UTC) amended Redrose64 (talk) 18:52, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
In IE6/XP/Monobook they look almost identical, except that the note is numbered 1. and it is rendered in a smaller font size. I'll observe in passing that "Armonk,N.Y." should be "Armonk, New York", but the real question that bothers me is why the editors are not identified as such. It looks like they are authors! LeadSongDog come howl 18:42, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
{{Reflist}} does not generate the numbers— they are are created by Cite. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 18:18, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Cite interview

Could someone familiar with this template tell me whether it could be used to generate the output for Template:Cite interview? I've had a request to update the functionality of that template (to include |archiveurl= and |archivedate= parameter) and thought I'd check whether there was an easy way to do it first. Thanks — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:18, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

DOI tweak for print (and possibly other IDs)

On wikipedia

{{cite journal |author=C. Amsler ''et al.'' |title= Higgs Bosons: Theory and Searches |publisher=[[Particle Data Group]] |journal=[[Physics Letters B]] |volume=667 |issue=1 |pages=1–1340 |year=2008 |doi=10.1016/j.physletb.2008.07.018 }}

is rendered as

C. Amsler; et al. (2008). "Higgs Bosons: Theory and Searches". Physics Letters B. Particle Data Group. 667 (1): 1–1340. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2008.07.018. 

However in print, this is rendered as

C. Amsler et al. (2008). " Higgs Bosons: Theory and Searches". Physics Letters B (Particle Data Group) 667 (1): 1–1340. doi: 10.1016/j.physletb.2008.07.018 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2008.07.018). .

The doi http://... links are giving as a convenience on wikipedia. For print, these are useless. It should instead display as

C. Amsler et al. (2008). "Higgs Bosons: Theory and Searches". Physics Letters B (Particle Data Group) 667 (1): 1–1340. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2008.07.018.

(Note the difference in spaces too). Also, when not specified, a doi: . is still shown at the end of the references (this should obviously not be the case).Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 03:01, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Would wikilinking the doi, as in
C. Amsler et al. (2008). "Higgs Bosons: Theory and Searches". Physics Letters B (Particle Data Group) 667 (1): 1–1340. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2008.07.018.
be a solution to this issue? It would also have a slightly different online appearance (no arrow icon after the doi link). And there may be issues with encoding of special characters within the doi. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:20, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Well this is most likely a larger problem that just for the dois. You have pmid, arxiv, bibcode, pmc, ... Anywhere that there is a url given basically. Perhaps it's possible to modify the software that generates the PDFs, but a simpler solution would be to modify anywhere that there is a url. Something to the nature of:
[[Digital object identifier|doi]]:[http://dx.doi.org/{{{doi}}} {{{doi}}}]
[[Digital object identifier|doi]]:{{Hide in print|[http://dx.doi.org/{{{doi}}} {{{doi}}}]}}{{Only in print|{{{doi}}}}}
And similar for the other identifiers. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 05:24, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Any feedback? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 22:16, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Hi? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 21:34, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
See Template_talk:Citation#Identifier_overhaul. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 22:54, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Coloring of the Cited source?

Hi when I press this link Monty_Hall_problem#refWhitaker1990 I miss that the cited book (vos Savant, Marilyn (2006). "Ask Marilyn" column, Parade Magazine p. 6 (26 November 2006).) is out marked with another color by the same color as here (light blue background). Could this be done by CCS? Nsaa (talk) 13:32, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

No. This article uses parenthetical referencing with hand crafted linking. The target highlighting works only when you use the <ref>...</ref> tags or a template that uses them. There are no CSS classes involved in the current method, so there is no place to apply CSS. Wikipedia:Parenthetical referencing#By hand is wrong. You could convert the article to use templates per Wikipedia:Parenthetical referencing#Using templates, but you need to discuss it first. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:01, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
We (Thanks to Kjetil r (talk · contribs)) did the following on the MediaWiki:Common.css file at Norwegian Wikipedia [11]
cite:target {
background-color: #ddeeff;
and it works. Nsaa (talk) 14:12, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
I was just rethinking that. We do have CSS at MediaWiki:Common.css for sup.reference and span.citation but not cite. This would have to be requested on the talk page. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 15:41, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
See related info and disussions at MediaWiki talk:Common.css#Coloring of the cited source missing, Wikipedia talk:Parenthetical referencing#By hand, Wikipedia talk:Citing sources/Example edits for different methods#Highlighting. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 21:50, 7 March 2010 (UTC)


In the Spanish–American War article, I just noticed the broken link between the following:



I see that the documentation for this template says, "Please use 'author2', ...", but I wonder whether the current behavior (which seems to have come about in this edit, and which would have broken existing links such as this) is the desired behavior.[ This] appears to be the relevant discussion. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:33, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I've fixed that instance, but as a general rule, the anchors produced with |coauthors= will not be linkable. They include the full coauthors names, not just the last names. This should be fixed or else the doc should warn that {{harv}} will not link with {{citation}} when coauthors are used. User:LeadSongDog come howl 06:02, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

The problem which I see is that the current behavior looks unreasonable and no doubt breaks many {{Harvnb}} links created prior to the October 27, 2008 edit. This old revision of the Philippine-American War article, for example, contains the following citation:

  • Schirmer, Daniel B. (1987), The Philippines Reader: A History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance, South End Press, ISBN 0-89608-275-X  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)

The ID generated for that citation is "CITEREFSchirmerStephen_Rosskamm_Shalom1987", which is unexpected. I believe that the ID which should be generated is "CITEREFSchirmer1987". That is, the content of the coathors parameter should not be used in generating the ID. I believe that placing the coauthors parameter in the Surname2 parameter for {{Citation/core}} was incorrect, and that this should be reversed. I note that this was not discussed in what I think was the discussion leading up to that edit.

Is there any objection to my editing the template to change

|Surname2 = {{{last2|{{{surname2|{{{author2|{{{coauthor|{{{coauthors|}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}


|Surname2 = {{{last2|{{{surname2|{{{author2|}}}}}}}}}

Restoring the content of the Surname2 parameter to what it had been prior to the October 27, 2008 edit? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:57, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Are you sure that this proposed edit would only change the CITEREF and not the visual appearance of the citation? For instance, if you make this change, is the template going to start completely ignoring the coauthors parameter? That would be bad, if so. —David Eppstein (talk) 05:11, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Good point. I still think it's a problem, though. It looks like if the coauthors parameter is not empty, its contents need to be passed to {{Citation/core}}. I would have sandboxed proposed changes, except that I see that the sandboxes don't match the current template versions and I don't want to step on any work in progress. Any problems with my sandboxing proposed changes re the coauthors parameter? Any disagreement about the need for the changes? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:54, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I can't see that the edit Wtmichell proposed would solve the whole problem. We cannot programatically determine if the "coauthors" are lesser or equal contributors to the first author. It appears in the example case that Schirmer and Shalom should both be authors. See the title page http://books.google.ca/books?id=TXE73VWcsEEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false here] or the WorldCat entry here. We shouldn't be taking credit away from second authors by calling them just "coauthors" unless we are following the publication data to do so. User:LeadSongDog come howl 07:39, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Personally I stay away from |coauthors=, and fill in |last2= |first2= |last3= |first3= etc. - there are nine pairs available. The CITEREF is built from |last1= through |last4= inclusive. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:32, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
LeadSongDog, As I see it this isn't about taking credit away from second authors, it's about wikilinks within an article. There may be a question about how coauthors should be presented but, if there is, that's a separate issue.
The problem as I see it is that one effect of the the October 27, 2008 edit was to append the coauthor parameter to the produced CITEREF id without that having been discussed in this, which is what I previously took to be the relevant discussion. This appears to have been an unintended change in the behavior of this template which would have broken links from {{Harvnb}}s and other similar templates existing at that time to {{Citation}}s with coauthors. Like Redrose64 , I tend not to use the coauthors parameter, but other editors do use or have used it, as in the example above.
I haven't been keeping a close eye out, but where I recall the coauthor parameter having been used in articles with {{Harvnb}}s linking to {{Citation}}s using coauthors, it seems to me that I've seen the {{Harvnb}} target just the {{Citation}}'s last= parameter(s) and omit the coauthors. I've now dug a bit deeper, and this looks like the relevant sandbox edit and this is the discussion on the :cite journal talk page which led to it. The discussion was about coauthors and, AFAICS, the change appending the content of the coauthors field to the produced CITEREF link was unintended. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 05:03, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Since my last comment 3 days ago, I've been criticised by another editor (who shall remain nameless) for my preference of |last2= etc.; when I asked why he didn't use them, he said that filling in separate parameters is complicated, compared to his favoured method where he "just pushes a button". I didn't actually know what he meant, but since then I have encountered Magnus's citation generator, which does produce a {{cite book}} (or equivalent) template using |coauthors=. Perhaps that's the tool that inspired the October 27, 2008 edit. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:47, 25 February 2010 (UTC)


I'm sure you are right that the present rendering of the full coauthor in CITEREF was accidental. The difficulty is that the {{harv}} family parameters have to align with {{citation}} to get matching CITEREF values. As harv and co have no way to distinguish author2 from coauthor users of these templates must consistently either include them sequentially after the author(s) or else omit the coauthor (as the doc presently says they do). In either case, the rendered last names for display must be the same ones used for the CITEREF to have any hope that they will be filled in correctly by editors. As a consequence, this means that ignoring the coauthor in generating the CITEREF is only feasible if we accept that the coauthor will not be displayed by harv and co. I don't believe this choice meets WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTITWP:Citing sources, but if the harv docs indicated that coauthor would not be displayed, at least that behaviour would be predictable by editors.
In any case, unless I am mistaken, these template talk pages should not define the style to use, just implement whatever is agreed on at wikipedia talk:MOS pages (or at least enable their implementation). In other words, MOS must determine if coauthors are named in harvard citations. The template can implement that choice by any feasible method we can figure out and agree on. Is that pretty much correct? User:LeadSongDog come howl 14:08, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Handy examples:

{{harvnb|Jones|Smith|Taylor|1999|pp=1-10}} *{{citation|last1=Jones|first1=JJ|last2=Smith|first2=SS|coauthor=Taylor, TT|title=There never was such a work|publisher=Virtual Press|date=31 February 1999}} {{reflist}} generates:

Jones, Smith & Taylor 1999, pp. 1-10

  • Jones, JJ; Smith, SS (31 February 1999), There never was such a work, Virtual Press  Unknown parameter |coauthor= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)

Note that at present this citation generates id="CITEREFJonesSmith1999" without using Taylor at all. If we simply change the docs for {{harv}} and co to clarify that the coauthors in the citation (ex: Taylor, TT) should not be used at least the links will work consistently. Right now the harv docs simply omit mention of coauthor. User:LeadSongDog come howl 16:02, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Whether coauthors are named in the visible part of the citation and whether they are used to getenrate the CITEREF text are two different things. I tend to think that the current default, of showing three authors' names but switching to et al when there are four or more, is pretty good; see here for a contrary opinion that we should always show all names. But regardless of what we display, it's important that the CITEREF text use more than just the first author's name because otherwise we would have more frequent instances of two citations with the same CITEREF, which leads to technically invalid html code. —David Eppstein (talk) 16:19, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and changed template:harvard citation/doc to explicitly reflect {{citation}}'s present behaviour of ignoring coauthor and to clarify that listing coauthors' last names in the {{harv}} parameters won't work right. User:LeadSongDog come howl 16:44, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I found that description to be confusing so I rewrote it: [12]. We don't want to tell people how to use {{harv}} together with the coauthor parameter: it just doesn't work. Either you get a citation that incorrectly omits some authors or you get one that doesn't link. What we want to tell them is "don't do that, here's why." —David Eppstein (talk) 17:04, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Definitely better than mine:-) Thank you.User:LeadSongDog come howl 17:34, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This suggests a possible automation: check for instances of cite/citation using |ref=harv that also use |coauthor(s)=. Where found, check that the matching {{harv}} family usage list generates a matching CITEREF. I wonder if user:citation bot already does this? User:LeadSongDog come howl 18:33, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Just ran a quick test. Apparently it does not at this time. User:LeadSongDog come howl 18:44, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Given that Citation bot has recently made changes that break CITEREFs (that's in part what its recent block was about) it would surprise me if it did that. But some sort of automated check that every {{harv}} family template generates a CITEREF that matches something, and that all CITEREFs are unique, would be a good idea. —David Eppstein (talk) 18:48, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The template:harvard citation/doc, as currently rewritten, says Please note that the above list does not include the coauthor parameter, which is ignored in generating the citation's CITEREF anchor. It is recommended that, when used with the harv family templates, citation templates always use the numbered last parameters instead of coauthor so that a more accurate CITEREF anchor may be generated. If coauthor is used, it will not be possible to generate a Harvard citation that displays the authors' names correctly and that generates a link to the correct CITEREF anchor. This, I think, was the situation prior to the October 27, 2008 edit except that I quibble that the name of the parameter in question is coauthors (with an 's'), not coauthor.

Besides this, I still think that the behavior of the Cite and Citation family templates since the October 27, 2008 edit is problematic. Consider:

case wikitext produced rendering desired rendering produced id desired id
1 {{Citation |last=last |coauthors=coauthor1, coauthor2 |title=title |year=2010}} last (2010), title  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help) last; coauthor1, coauthor2 (2010), title id="CITEREFlastcoauthor1_coauthor22010" id="CITEREFlast2010"
2 {{Citation |last1=last1 |last2=last2 |coauthors=coauthor1, coauthor2 |title=title |year=2010}} last1; last2 (2010), title  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help) last1; last2; coauthor1, coauthor2; (2010) title id="CITEREFlast1last22010" id="CITEREFlast1last22010"
3 {{Citation |author=author |coauthors=coauthor1, coauthor2 |title=title |year=2010}} author (2010), title  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help) author; coauthor1, coauthor2 (2010), title id="CITEREFauthorcoauthor1.2C_coauthor22010" id="CITEREFauthor2010"
4 {{Citation |author1=author1 | author2=author2 |coauthors=coauthor1, coauthor2 |title=title |year=2010}} author1; author2 (2010), title  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help) author1; author2; coauthor1, coauthor2 (2010), title id="CITEREFauthor1author22010" id="CITEREFauthor1author22010"

It appears to me that all four cases have problems. In two cases, the rendering is other than desired; in the other two, the id is other than desired. Also, changing Harvard family template documentation today does not unbreak wikilinks which the were broken by that October 27, 2008 edit for usages which look like cases 1 and 3. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 20:33, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Yep. And it gets worse. Forgive me if I don't generate your tabular form:
  • {{Citation |last=lastA |first=first |coauthors=cofirst1 colast1, cofirst2 colast2 |title=title |year=2010}}
  • {{Citation |last1=lastB1 |first=first1 |last2=last2 |first2=first2 |coauthors=coauthor1, coauthor2 |title=title |year=2010}}
  • {{Citation |author=firstC1 last1 |coauthors=cofirst1 colast1, cofirst2 colast2 |title=title |year=2010}}
  • {{Citation |author1=firstD1 last1 | author2=first2 last2 |coauthors=cofirst1 colast1, cofirst2 colast2 |title=title |year=2010}}

Renders as:

  • lastA, first (2010), title  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • lastB1, first1; last2, first2 (2010), title  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • firstC1 last1 (2010), title  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • firstD1 last1; first2 last2 (2010), title  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)

Which citations as of today look like:

  • lastA, first; cofirst1 colast1, cofirst2 colast2 (2010), title
  • lastB1, first1; last2, first2 (2010), title
  • firstC1 last1; cofirst1 colast1, cofirst2 colast2 (2010), title
  • firstD1 last1; first2 last2 (2010), title

These respectively include anchors:

  • id="CITEREFlastAcofirst1_colast1.2C_cofirst2_colast22010"
  • id="CITEREFlastB1last22010"
  • id="CITEREFfirstC1_last1cofirst1_colast1.2C_cofirst2_colast22010"
  • id="CITEREFfirstD1_last1first2_last22010"

I believe the desired citations rendering should be closer to:

  • lastA, first; colast1, cofirst1, colast2, cofirst2. (2010), title
  • lastB1, first1; last2, first2. (2010), title
  • last1, firstC1; colast1, cofirst1, colast2, cofirst2. (2010), title
  • last1, firstD1; last2, first2. (2010), title

(give or take some punctuation details around the inversion of authors input)

With the desired anchors:

  • id="CITEREFlastAcolast1colast22010"
  • id="CITEREFlastB1last22010"
  • id="CITEREFlast1colast1colast22010"
  • id="CITEREFlast1last22010"

So all have problems.User:LeadSongDog come howl 21:36, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I think that Wikipedia:RefToolbar is the main page for the tool that I mentioned earlier. There appears to be a discussion on its talk page concerning planned improvements. Seems that they intend using |last1=/|first1=, but only three pairs, after which |coauthors= is used. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:53, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I look on this as a sidebar exchange not focused on the main topic of this section—which I think is to come to consensus on how the cite/citation family templates should behave (the table above relates to how I see that) and to get any needed changes made so that they do behave that way.
That said, I'll comment that I've tended to hand-code citations, templated or not, because (1) I sometimes need {{citation}}, sometimes {{cite xxx}}, and sometimes plain wikicode, and (2) the parameters offered by the various tools tend often not to be a complete match with the parameters available in the cite/citation family templates. That said, keying off of your remark above, I've stumbled over this tool which looks like it will be useful to me. There's some discussion about it at User talk:Apoc2400#Citation_tool Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:15, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've sandboxed draft changes to address the Coauthers issue. I've only done {{Citation/sandbox}} and {{Citation/core/sandbox}}. If these changes are OK, {{Cite book}}, {{Cite journal}}, and possibly other {{cite xxx}} templates (???) need to be done as well. Comments? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 07:59, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Bill, I've thrown up some test cases. The ones in the /core don't help much, but the Citation ones do. There's a missing separator in one case, there may be other trivia. User:LeadSongDog come howl 16:03, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I noticed that their appear to be problems in Citation/core with going to "et. al." for Surname3 and beyond. Best not to try to address more than one thing at a time, though. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:43, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I just now (d'oh!) realized looking at the code in {{citation}} that |author1=Smith, John is not the same as |author1=John Smith and that neither of them has the effect of defining |last1=Smith|first1=John. The fact that an author string isn't parsed into its components leads to the (documented) limitation against using |author= to generate the CITEREF anchor. I expect that mw:Extension:StringFunctions could be used to do this if there aren't templates already built for the purpose. In the alternative, some error message should at least make it clear to editors that ref=harv should not be used with the author or coauthor parameter. Bots could be made to clean up the mess afterwards, but burying it in the template doc that few editors read doesn't really suffice. User:LeadSongDog come howl 08:22, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

That is probably a good point. However, here I am hoping to get a longstanding problem fixed before twiddling the template further. Is there any objection to moving my sandboxed changes into the live template? If so, are there improvements/corrections? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 13:10, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Right. I made one small tweak to Citation/core/sandbox to put ; in front of the {{{Coauthors}}} in lieu of the prior and this seems to have cleared up the separator issue in the testcases using |last1= |last2= and |coauthors=. I think at this point the sandbox version is an improvement, though there's still further improvement needed as discussed above. I don't object to it rolling out, but I'd like to have some other eyes on it first if that`s possible.User:LeadSongDog come howl 04:53, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
That's fine with me. I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow and may be throttling down my WP activity while away. Publish the changes whenever you see fit and please leave a note here when you've done that. Cheers. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:54, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
It looks right to me, but I'm not sure how to "publish the changes". Can someone help out? User:LeadSongDog come howl 20:00, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I just got back home from a couple of weeks away and was going to "publish" my sandboxed changes per discussion above, but I see that my changes in {{citation/core/sandbox}} have been overtaken by other changes there. I'm too short on sleep to do anything which requires much thinking, so I'm going to put this off until at least tomorrow and then see if I can figure out what to do next. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:22, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

OK, I've re-sandboxed the Citation/core changes. In doing that, I noticed that the conditional I had put in on Surname1 - 9 was causing a problem, so I took that out. It seems to be working OK except for the unrelated apparent problem with using "et. al." after x-many authors. Unless someone speaks up saying not to, I'll go live with the sandboxed versions later this week. If there are no problems with that, I'll move forward with similar changes to {{Cite book}} and {{Cite journal}}. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 07:24, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've just gone live with the changes; I manually picked up some changes re deprecated parameters which hadn't made it into the sandboxed version of {{Citation}}. I thought that I had published these changes several days ago, but I must have somehow been mistaken about that. There is an outstanding to-do synchronizing {{Cite book}} and {{Cite journal}} with the changes to {{Citation}}. does anybody know of any other templates which should also pick up those changes? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:30, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

(short list) {{cite web}}, {{cite news}} (long list) anything that pulls in {{citation/core}} --Redrose64 (talk) 13:47, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, seems that a revert may be necessary, since discussions have sprung up on several citation-related talk pages. I think we'd better centralise the discussion of these related problems, I suggest Template talk:Citation/core#Last change breaks Editor fields. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:18, 20 March 2010 (UTC)