Wikipedia:Avoiding linkseas

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There are methods to reduce the overuse of links, which can form a large linksea (or "refsea") of numerous links in a sea of details which can drown the related text. The most common links are footnote citations, such as reftags with {{cite_web}} or {{cite_book}}. However, some links are external websites, or footnotes with extensive quotations or explanations of detailed analysis. When a linksea is growing to expand with ever-more links, it is known as a "wp:Linkfarm". However, a linksea could also be a stable collection of links which have remain unchanged, not growing, for months or years.

Use of Reflist "refs="[edit]

Perhaps the easiest way to drain the text, in a linksea, is to move the longest reftag footnotes "<ref>...</ref>" into the references section, such as by using "{{Reflist|refs=...}}" where each reftag can be named and then linked by the shorter markup as just "<ref name=xx/>" in the upper text formerly drowned by long footnote text.

Removing minor references[edit]

Because Wikipedia pages are structured as article pages, rather than full books or dissertations, then the use of references should be limited to the major citations needed to refer to detailed sources. In many cases where a linksea has flooded the text with numerous citations, then many sources could be combined, or some removed, to reduce the clutter which can drown the surrounding text, or images, in pools of citation details.

See also[edit]