Wikipedia talk:Citing sources

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Wikipedia talk:CITE)
Jump to: navigation, search
Shortcut:
WikiProject Manual of Style
WikiProject icon This page falls within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a drive to identify and address contradictions and redundancies, improve language, and coordinate the pages that form the MoS guidelines.
 
the Wikipedia Help Project (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of the Wikipedia Help Project, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's help documentation for readers and contributors. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. To browse help related resources see the Help Menu or Help Directory. Or ask for help on your talk page and a volunteer will visit you there.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This page has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 

Bundling revisited[edit]

Starting over. Having unexpectedly had quite a bit of free time on my hands over the last two days, I have composed the following description of exactly what bundling is, how it can be done, and how it should not be done. I hope this is clear to everyone.

What is "bundling" in the context of references?
Bundling references is taking something like this:

In this first example, the references are not bundled.[1][2][3]

References

  1. ^ "Help:Footnotes". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
  2. ^ "Wikipedia:Citing sources § Bundling citations". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
  3. ^ Grundy, Lynn N. (1980). I Can Count. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721495079. 
and turning it into something like this:

In this second example, the references are bundled.[1]

References

  1. ^ For information about references, also called footnotes, see:
    "Help:Footnotes". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
    For information about bundling references:
    "Wikipedia:Citing sources § Bundling citations". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
    For information about counting:
    Grundy, Lynn N. (1980). I Can Count. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721495079. 
(Yes, I know these references are ridiculous.)
What are some other ways of bundling?
The last example used a bulleted list and "labels". Variations include not using a list:

In this third example, the bundled references take the form of a paragraph.[1]

References

  1. ^ For information about references, also called footnotes, see: "Help:Footnotes". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07.  For information about bundling references see: "Wikipedia:Citing sources § Bundling citations". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07.  For information about counting see: Grundy, Lynn N. (1980). I Can Count. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721495079. 
or not using labels, which results in a so-called "naked bundle":

In this fourth example, the references are listed in a naked bundle.[1]

References

  1. ^
Whether to use a bullet point for the first citation in a naked bundle is a matter of taste, but omitting it might offend some editors (and it may — or may not — be confusing to people using screen readers).

In this fifth example, the references are listed in a naked bundle but the first citation lacks a bullet point.[1]

References

  1. ^ "Help:Footnotes". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
Of course, the list format can be retained without using bullet points:

In this sixth example, the references are listed in a naked bundle without any bullet points.[1]

References

  1. ^ "Help:Footnotes". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
    "Wikipedia:Citing sources § Bundling citations". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
    Grundy, Lynn N. (1980). I Can Count. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721495079. 
but that can get confusing when the individual citations are long enough to be "wrapped" into multiple lines.
What is the purpose of bundling?
As far as I can tell, the two "legitimate" purposes of bundling are:
  1. To avoid having a series of (bracketed) footnote numbers all in a row in the article text.
  2. To clarify which source supports which piece of information.
Is bundling necessary?
It depends on how important you think it is to accomplish these goals. Note that purpose #2 can usually be accomplished by simply placing the references in the right places in the text:

In this seventh[1] example, the references[2] are not bundled.[3]

References

  1. ^ Grundy, Lynn N. (1980). I Can Count. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721495079. 
  2. ^ "Help:Footnotes". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
  3. ^ "Wikipedia:Citing sources § Bundling citations". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
Granted, some people dislike having multiple footnotes spread across a sentence just as much as having several in row at the end — and to be fair, it is sometimes difficult to choose the "right places" for the various references, given that each source can support multiple facts.
Personally, I don't place much value on purpose #1, so merely doing that for it's own sake seems useless to me. Purpose #2 is much more important, but like I said, it can often be accomplished without bundling. In my opinion, bundling should only be used if it is not clear which of multiple sources support which fact and it is not possible to clarify this by proper placement of footnotes. (Obviously, such a case would not be fixed by a naked bundle, so only a "labeled" bundle would be appropriate.)
Note that the second and third examples fulfill both purposes, the fourth through sixth only #1.
How should bundling not be done?
One should not simply wrap a {{refn}} template around the existing series of references without removing the <ref> tags (and without formatting the references in some manner shown above), because then we get this:

In this eighth example, the references are bundled by simply wrapping them in a {{refn}} template.[4]

References

  1. ^ "Help:Footnotes". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
  2. ^ "Wikipedia:Citing sources § Bundling citations". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
  3. ^ Grundy, Lynn N. (1980). I Can Count. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721495079. 
  4. ^ [1][2][3]
Why do I have a problem with this way of doing it?
  1. While it avoids having a series of footnote numbers in a row in the article text (purpose #1), it merely pushes this problem to another place on the page; now there's a series of footnote numbers in a row in the list of references. And while it is not impossible to figure out that this means the information at footnote 4 is supported by the sources listed in footnotes 1 through 3, I believe this places an "unnecessary cognitive burden" on readers (it doesn't match what references typically look like in Wikipedia nor in any printed source I know of).
  2. Obviously it doesn't clarify which source supports which piece of information (purpose #2).
  3. The footnote numbers (1 through 3) for the three bundled references do not appear anywhere in the article text, which again is unexpected and might confuse some readers.
  4. The "mouseover" mechanism (which is not enabled in these examples because I'm using {{reflist-talk}}), whereby a reader can "hover" over a footnote number in the article text and see a "tooltip" containing the citation, merely shows "[1][2][3]" in the tooltip, which is very odd and definitely unexpected (and hovering over the 1, 2, or 3 in the tooltip doesn't bring up any additional information). You can see an example of this "in the wild" by hovering over footnote 9 in the lead section of this revision of the "R (programming language)" article.
  5. The "return-link" mechanism (which is likely to not work too well here because everything is so close together in the example), whereby a reader can follow a link back to the article text from a note in the references, does not work for footnotes 1 through 3: clicking on the "^" in front of footnote 2 in the reference list, for example, would bring the reader to footnote 4 in the references section, not to the place in the article text that the source in footnote 2 is related to. Again, you can see this effect "in the wild" in the "References" section of the same article revision: the "return links" on references 5, 6, 7a and 8 all lead the reader to reference 9 instead of to the article's lead section.
Conclusion
References should not be bundled by merely wrapping an existing series of references in a {{refn}} template, as done in this edit (for example).

Does anyone take issue with any of this? Can we agree that the eighth example shows what should not be done when bundling references? - dcljr (talk) 02:39, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Good work! This warrants a careful consideration. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:15, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
More could be said about bundling (the nice exposition above misses some points). But I think that does not matter, as the issue dcljr raises here is not on the merits of bundling, but on whether bundling should be done by means of wrapping individual "references" (notes, the stuff in the <ref> tags) within a {{refn}} template.
I am inclined to say no, that {{refn}} should not be used in this manner, as 1) there is no need for it (bundling is readily done without it), 2) it has no value other than saving a "bundling" editor the trouble of removing existing ref tags, and 3) it has all of the objections cited above. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 05:43, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Putting citations in the lede sections[edit]

I've seen some other editors saying that it's Wikipedia policy to not put citations in the lede sections. I can't find anything in the policies - am I missing something?Timtempleton (talk) 18:58, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

WP:LEADCITE. --Izno (talk) 19:03, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks - and now I also see a small section in the citing sources article [[1]]. My takeaway is that it's up to consensus to decide if the lede should be sourced, but not explicitly forbidden. In the rare cases where citation-needy lede material isn't repeated in the body, such as with short articles or stubs, then citations should definitely go in the lede..Timtempleton (talk) 23:11, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
I think the lede is intended to summarize the article, and, generally, should not include material that is not found elsewhere in the article. However, clear exceptions come to mind, such as where the topic, or some immediately relevant aspect, needs to be defined. It seems less a matter of whether citations should (or not) go into the lede, as whether content that requires citation should go into the lede. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:50, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Good points - thanksTimtempleton (talk) 19:28, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Question about URL error in citation[edit]

I saw a red URL reference error on the Eden ahbez page, and can't figure out how to get it to go away. It's reference #10 and the full text of the reference is this:<ref>{{cite book|title=Nature Boy|url=http://books.google.pt/books?id=DEYEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA131| title = Life Magazine May 10, 1948, pp. 131-135}}</ref> It shows up as this: Life Magazine May 10, 1948, pp. 131-135 Nature Boy Check |url= value (help). Is it because the Wiki code doesn't recognize the .pt domain? If so, can a request be made to fix that?Timtempleton (talk) 19:38, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

@Timtempleton: It should be valid. Send a complaint to Help talk:CS1 errors for the attention of Trappist the monk (talk · contribs). --Redrose64 (talk) 20:14, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks - will do.Timtempleton (talk) 20:26, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
The |url= should only contain a url, not the linked title. You need to insert |journal= before the title. Boghog (talk) 21:14, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Better yet, use {{cite magazine}} and format it something like {{cite magazine | title = Nature Boy | url = http://books.google.pt/books?id=DEYEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA131 | magazine = Life Magazine | date = May 10, 1948 | pages = 131–135 }}. Boghog (talk) 21:31, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Quotes in Reference name - new?[edit]

All of a sudden I am seeing these annoying quote marks in my reference names again. Can these be permanently not used again. They were blessedly missing for a very long time. They are very unnecessary in my opinion. Not sure why they are making an unwelcome comeback. Adding this here too as well as Note talk page, not sure which is best area of discussion -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 22:31, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

@BrillLyle: You posted the same message at Help talk:Footnotes#Quotes in Reference name - new?. Please see WP:MULTI. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:41, 30 January 2016 (UTC)