Wikipedia talk:Citing Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
High traffic

On February 7, 2007, Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia was linked from Slashdot, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)

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.


Discussion moved from the article proper[edit]

The following discussion was moved from the article:

I remember seeing a detailed page on how to cite WP. But all I find now is Wikipedia:Readers'_FAQ#How_do_I_cite_a_Wikipedia_article_in_a_paper?. (Somebody asked at Talk:Interjection) --Menchi 00:28, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Particulars depend on the style specified (by a school or publishing enterprise), but for a reference so changable as Wikipedia it is important to include the date and time accessed and the complete URL. In most instances, each page used will require a separate URL entry in the bibliography. -- Someone else 23:24 Feb 22, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks. My teacher says use "proper" citation style - that is, pick one standard. I'm using Author. Title. City: Publisher (Year). OK, I'll use the full date and time. Also, her source requirements won't accept multiple pages from one web site as separate sources towards the requirement of five, hence the reason for my including all pages in one citation. But if I separate them into tree, there'd be no place for articles like Indo-European language or Satem that I may have picked up a few facts from; therefore, I thought this might work better. For the date and time, should I try using the &oldid= attribute to /w/wiki.phtml to ensure others will get the same revision I got?
There's a page on applying the Chicago Manual of Style to internet sources at < > (though it doesn't sound like your teacher is going to be too picky.) Your idea for using the oldid attribute is good, but you should include date/time outside the address just to be complete. -- Someone else 01:23 Feb 23, 2003 (UTC)


Shouldn't one also cite the timestamp on the version of the article retrieved? After all the material in an article can vary enormously over the space of a few minutes. - Hephaestos 05:37, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Good point. Most style guides require the date on which a source was written (if it is known), anyway. You might as well include the time here. Steven G. Johnson 05:51, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Can anyone explain how to reference a Wikipedia page in Turabian Style?1 This page suggests a format for the APA style, but Turabian is oh so very different.

I am writing a paper using the Turabian author-date Parenthetical Reference format in text, and the reference list rather than bibliographic format. I need to cite several different Wikipedia pages such as Wikipedia:Copyrights, Wikipedia:Ignore all rules and as I am writing about wikis and have referred to these pages.

Noconnotations 19:49, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

1 Note: I use the 6th edition

Using history list for URL to cite[edit]

Is there any reason that we don't recommend going into the history list & getting a URL that way, so that you can cite with a URL that will permanently refer to the version you cited? I would think that one of the main advantages of WIkipedia over most web content is this aspect where all versions are permanently archived. There would be no question what the author saw when he/she read the article. -- Jmabel 01:11, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Three reasons come to mind. First, most people looking up the reference for more information will want the latest version (and may not realize they're seing an out-of-date copy if they click that URL), while including the date is sufficient for the anal-retentive minority who want the exact revision cited. Second, the regular URL is shorter and easier for people to copy and type in from a printed citation (and can even be shortened to just if desired, since the article title is already specified), and you have to list the date separately anyway for most citation formats. Third, it's not clear whether the history URLs are stable—they could conceivably change if Wikipedia upgrades its back-end at some point. Steven G. Johnson 03:13, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
We should recommend that the history page be cited, because it is the actual work consulted. This is not anal-retentiveness, it is basic honesty. - Nunh-huh 03:31, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
It's not a question of honesty, because the full date would already be in the citation. It's a question of citing in the fashion that is most useful for the majority of people. Steven G. Johnson
It's very much a matter of citing only that which you yourself have read and examined. You don't cite works ("what might be there in a month or two") that you have have not read; you cite what you yourself have read and used. - Nunh-huh 07:51, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I basically concur with Nunh-huh. One of the real advantages of wikipedia over much of the web as a citable source is that it is possible to cite a particular state of an article. This is similarly true of sites of an archival nature elsewhere on the web. However, many citations of web sites are necessarily shaky: subject to link-rot and to changing content. -- Jmabel 08:09, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Please, read what I wrote, and don't argue against a straw man. By including the exact date, you are citing the exact version that you read. You guys are not arguing about the semantic content, you are only arguing about the syntax for the citation—whether the citation version is described via the URL, the date, or both. Steven G. Johnson 17:49, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I would sincerely hope that any "upgrade" of the back end would continue to correctly resolve existing URLs. As a webmaster of several sites, it is sheer hell on webmasters of other sites when "upgrades" invalidate a previously legitimate URL. Precisely for purposes of citation, there should be a stable way to reference a particular version of an article. This is just like, when citing a book, one cites a particular edition. -- Jmabel 03:56, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Should we vote on this?[edit]

So, is it time for a vote on whether we should or should not specifically recommend citing a particular historical version when you cite from wikipedia? Offhand, I would think the three options are:

  • explain how to get a URL for the current text as a reproducible historical version and recommend this as the URL to cite, when using a URL as part of a citation.
  • explain how to get a URL for the current text as a reproducible historical version but leave it open as to whether this is the recommended URL to cite.
  • recommend against citing a "historical" URL.
  • Any other suggestions? Any objection to starting a vote?

-- Jmabel 08:09, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

First, if the citer is writing HTML, it is easy to include both the article URL and the particular-revision URL without cluttering up the bibliography. Secondly, a backend-based solution might clean this up: if you could add an option to the particular-revision url (something like "&citewarning=1"), the page could say in large letters, at the top Warning: you are viewing an old version of this article. If you followed a link from a bibliography to this article, this is the revision that the bibliographer used. However, it has been updated since then; to see the latest version, please click here. jdb ❋ 07:21, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
That last is a very interesting idea, and probably easily implemented. Not that the developers aren't busy enough... -- Jmabel | Talk 18:52, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)

APA citation style[edit]

I use the APA Publication Manual (ISBN 1-55798-791-2) whenever I cite WP. The citing of internet sources is detailed on pages 268 to 281 (5th edition), and even though it covers everything from e-mails, to postings on newsgroups, to internet articles that are based on print sources (They discuss 25 internet citation styles in total), it gives no guidance in regards to collaborative authorship. So the way I cite WP is:

Collaborative authorship (2003, December 7). Wikipedia talk:Citing Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 15, 2004, from

This follows their instructions for citing an "Article in an Internet-only journal" except I changed the author's name to collaborative authorship. And to follow the APA style it has to be double spaced, all lines except the first one indented five spaces, and entries placed in alphabetical order. If we are going to include times to identify the exact version of the article, it would be placed after Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, but before "Retrieved . . .". mydogategodshat 08:23, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Is he correct, I don't use APA style, so I don't know? If he is, can somebody Be Bold and change it.--michael180 14:51, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Not all wikipedia pages SHOULD be cited[edit]

A couple of observations:

  • It is almost certainly inappropriate to cite a rapidly developing wikipedia page. I think this means wikipedia pages should include some sort of "stability index" (changes per month?) or perhaps this should be directly called something like "citability index". It would even be possible develop a set thresholds with labels like:
    • This page not stable enough to cite as a reference (more than 1 change per month?)
    • Cite only as a developing wikipedia page (1-6 changes per month?)
    • Cite as an established wikipedia page (less than 1 change per 6 months?)
  • Perhaps last change date, plus (for pages changed multiple times per day) a within day version number should be displayed on each page. This could perhaps be combined with something explicitly labeled "cite this page as ...".
  • Does moving a page invalidate historical citations to the page? I haven't tracked down any moved pages, but is a "page moved to ..." link left at the old page location?

I can't agree with this. If someone uses Wikipedia as a source, they should cite it. The ability (and, in fact, the necessity) to cite a particular revision/date invalidates the problem that might be caused by a rapidly changing page. Links to moved pages become redirects to the new page, so that's not a problem. —Steven G. Johnson 18:26, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I concur with Steven. Jmabel 03:14, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

(from the anonymous original poster) Steven says If someone uses Wikipedia as a source, they should cite it. Unquestionably true. The main issue I'm raising is whether Wikipedia has an obligation to actively discourage citations of a rapidly changing page. I love wikis. I think they're fabulous. However, most people running into a Wikipedia page (from, say, a google search) will have absolutely no idea what they're actually looking at. There is a Disclaimers link on each page that tells it like it is (no guarantee of validity). This is rather at odds with the main page claim (repeated on each page, no less) that Wikipedia is "the free encyclopedia". Imagine you're a fourth grader. You look up something on the web. You find a wikipedia page that sort of looks like an authoritative reference (it's an encyclopedia after all). Without an understanding of what a wiki is, do you have a clue that the very "fact" you're looking at might be a big fat lie that someone just introduced (which we hope will be corrected in short order)? I maintain Wikipedia has a responsibility to help its users to be able to distinguish content that can be considered "likely true" from content that is at least dubious. I further maintain that content stability is a prime indicator of veracity. Content on a Wikipedia page that hasn't been changed in a year is almost certainly true (especially if the page has been seen by numerous people since its last change). Content on a recently changed Wikipedia page might be true, but the probability is much lower. I've added an explicit disclaimer on the Wikipedia:Citing_Wikipedia page which I think could be displayed on every page.

The fact is that if kids are looking stuff up on the web, they need learn how to evaluate the reliability of a source—comparing multiple sources, etcetera. You can't just believe something because it's on the other end of a Google search. In this sense, Wikipedia is no different from any other source. Also, an "activity meter" may not be the best indicator of quality, since it may just mean that the page is too obscure for many people to check it, or that it is on such an advanced topic that most people don't feel qualified to correct it. There's a discussion on Wikipedia somewhere about marking certain revisions of articles as "approved", but it never seems to go anywhere. —Steven G. Johnson 21:09, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Why remove the disclaimer? This seems like the perfect place to forcefully remind someone that what they're looking at here might not be reliable. The difference I see between wikipedia and most other web sites is that wikipedia aspires to be authoritative. Reminding users on the Wikipedia:Citing_Wikipedia page that it's not simply seems prudent. Rick Block 21:57, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Because wikipedia is no less reliable then any other random source on the internet. We should add a different disclaimer serving the same purpose, like, "How to cite wikipedia" Mathiastck 17:58, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Steven: I can live with the version of the disclaimer you added, although I quite like the notion of including something about what we might call the wikipedia paradox (simultaneously more and less likely to be accurate compared to regular "read only" web pages). Rick Block 01:45, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Basically, that's getting into a POV debate over the merits of the Wiki model, and it seems offtopic for this page. (It might be appropriate to link to such a debate from the disclaimers page, on the other hand, e.g. link to the "answers to our critics" page.) —Steven G. Johnson 01:58, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Citing necessary in other languages?[edit]

When English articles are translated for other-language wikis, should they cite the English version as source?

I'd say yes. - dcljr 04:52, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'd say no. But put the source in the summary field of the translation so it doesn't violate the license. Something like "Translated from english wikipedia - revision" 20:19, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I would firmly say yes. See WP:TIE#Instructions (for translation into English, but the situation should be equivalent):
Please do indicate in the references section of the newly created article that an article in a foreign-language Wikipedia was among your sources. For example, the references section of the article "Paragraph 175" begins, "Much of the content of this article comes from the equivalent German-language wikipedia article (retrieved September 30, 2004). The following references are cited by that German-language article..." Note that something like this (without that last sentence) would be in order even if the German-language article did not cite any references of its own.
- Jmabel | Talk 16:31, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

I just reformatted the "examples" part of this article (trying to make it easier to scan) and removed the following sentence:

Exact formatting will differ between citation styles; e.g. the article title might be in quotes, could be separated from Wikipedia by a comma, the date could go in a different place, etc.

This seemed pretty redundant given the three different citation examples. - dcljr 04:44, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Suggestion for a "How to cite Wikipedia"[edit]

I think we could have a link for Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia somewhere in all article pages. This would be useful for newcomers wanting to know how they should proceed in such cases. Kieff | Talk 05:02, Oct 13, 2004 (UTC)

  • I second this -- a link at the very least. "How do I cite this" is definitely one of the most frequently asked questions at VP, Help desk, and talk pages, and is only going to become more critical as more users rely on us as their first line of research. A recent suggestion on W:Help desk sounded great -- perhaps we could include a "citation box" at the bottom of the page (perhaps below the article box and tabs, but above the "About" box). This could include a basic bibliographic citation for that individual article, in the most common (or most complete) citation style, ready for users to copy and paste into their report/article/whatever and modify to their own teacher's/editor's needs. It could also include a link to this page, and perhaps even a link to go to (or expose a hidden div with) a more complete selection of auto-citations in several different styles. I'd guess that most of the variables needed to construct a unique citation (Page Title, Date, etc.) are already there within the MediaWiki code. And including full version URL with version ID (when that's available) would lay to rest fears of "but it said that when I WROTE the report...." Of course this could easily be included on the print css too, to provide a concrete reference for those who just want to print an article and reuse it in some way. Comments? Catherine | talk 09:25, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • While I'm very open to a discussion of how we make this page more prominent, I completely agree that we need to do so. In addition to the village pump, help desk, and talk pages, add the reference desk, by the way -- after seeing this question 3-4 times this week, I posted a note there calling for this very thing. What possibilities should we explore? Is a link in the article too prominent/distracting? Where would it go? What if we put it on the sidebar/top bar? Would it take up too much room, would it get noticed, etc.? I think there are many possibilities. Jwrosenzweig 19:13, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think a sample citation for the article in question as proposed above, in the sidebar or "outside the box" at the bottom of the article, wouldn't be too distracting and would be helpful. —Steven G. Johnson 21:51, Oct 29, 2004 (UTC)
More conversation on this subject at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#"Citing Wikipedia" link, or Citation_Box, on every page, and a Feature Request has been made to Bugzilla at Item 800 -- please comment there if you support this idea, or have recommendations. Catherine | talk 01:31, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"Citing Wikipedia" link, or Citation Box, on every page[edit]

Discussion moved from Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)

"How do I cite this" is definitely one of the most frequently asked questions at VP, Help desk, and talk pages, and is only going to become more critical as more users rely on us as their first line of research. At the very least, a link to W:Citing Wikipedia in a prominent place on each article would be very helpful.

A recent suggestion on W:Help desk sounded great -- perhaps we could include a "citation box" at the bottom of each page (perhaps below the article box and tabs, but above the "About" box). This could include a basic bibliographic citation for that individual article, in the most common (or most complete) citation style, ready for users to copy and paste into their report/article/whatever and modify to their own teacher's/editor's needs. It could also include a link to the Citing Wikipedia page, and perhaps even a link to go to (or expose a hidden div with) a more complete selection of auto-citations for that article, in several different styles. I'd guess that most of the variables needed to construct a unique citation (Page Title, Date, etc.) are already there within the MediaWiki code. And including full version URL with version ID (when that's available) would lay to rest fears of "but it said that when I WROTE the report...." Of course this could easily be included on the print css too, to provide a concrete citation and version reference for those who just want to print an article and reuse it in some way.

If a full box is considered too large/clumsy, a Cite this article link could lead to/reveal one of these:

Note I'm just hacking examples together here -- I'm not much of a css wizard so I'm sure it would be improved in size and presentation (I don't see variables for last revision date, so I'll fake it here)

==Cite this article ==
APA style
Citing Wikipedia (<<LASTREVISIONMONTHNAME>> <<LASTREVISIONDAY>>, <<LASTREVISIONYEAR>>, <<LASTREVISIONTIME>> UTC). In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from //


==Cite this article==
APA style
Citing Wikipedia (<<LASTREVISIONMONTHNAME>> <<LASTREVISIONDAY>>, <<LASTREVISIONYEAR>>, <<LASTREVISIONTIME>> UTC). In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from //
MLA style
"Citing Wikipedia." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. <<LASTREVISIONDAY>> <<LASTREVISIONMONTHNAME>> <<LASTREVISIONYEAR>>, <<LASTREVISIONTIME>> UTC. 11 February 2016 //>.
MHRA style
[n.a.], 'Citing Wikipedia', Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, <<LASTREVISIONDAY>> <<LASTREVISIONMONTHNAME>> <<LASTREVISIONYEAR>>, <<LASTREVISIONTIME>> UTC, <//>. [accessed 11 February 2016]
Turabian-style foot/endnotes
1"Citing Wikipedia," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia; (Wikimedia Foundation Inc., updated <<LASTREVISIONDAY>> <<LASTREVISIONMONTHNAME>> <<LASTREVISIONYEAR>>, <<LASTREVISIONTIME>> UTC) [encyclopedia on-line]; available from //; Internet; accessed 11 February 2016.
Turabian-style bibliography
"Citing Wikipedia." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Updated <<LASTREVISIONDAY>> <<LASTREVISIONMONTHNAME>> <<LASTREVISIONYEAR>>, <<LASTREVISIONTIME>> UTC. Encyclopedia on-line. Available from // Internet. Accessed 11 February 2016.

Comments? Catherine 10:51, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be fine to use {{CURRENTMONTH}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}}. {{CURRENTTIME}} UTC? That woudl give the time of retrieval. siroχo 01:35, Oct 26, 2004 (UTC)
That's what I did for the dates that are displaying as dates, above -- but most of the citation styles given on "Citing Wikipedia" require the Last Revision Date in addition to the date it was accessed. I'm sure there's a way to do this in MediaWiki; there might even be a variable for it that's not advertised on Help:Variable -- I just don't know enough to do it properly. Remember one big advantage of this is allowing people to cite a particular VERSION of an article -- what it said at the time they referred to it, not what it says now, some indeterminate time later. Catherine | talk 00:49, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I'd rather see one "cite this article" link than further clutter our already somewhat excessive boilerplate. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:16, Oct 26, 2004 (UTC)
I agree with this, although it should be a fairly prominent link. Having a link would allow for a full page with multiple citation styles. Unfortunately, it'd require more special code than footer boilerplate. -- Cyrius| 14:36, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I tend to agree too -- I was thinking that we should have ONE style, in small print, with a link for more, in a box that's part of the webpage itself, not the article (like the yellow-bordered GNU FDL, About Wikipedia, Powered by MediaWiki box that's currently at the bottom of the page). It didn't really occur to me that it should be an in-article template -- it's something that shouldn't be removed from an article, after all. Failing that, a "Cite this article" link should certainly be prominent -- perhaps a sidebar link, even. Catherine | talk 00:49, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps we could create a Special page, so that Special:Citation/Foo would give a set of auto-generated citations, as above (with the advantage that the Special page code could interface directly with the DB to get the required info, rather than needing more magic variables). This could then be linked to in the "toolbox" part of the sidebar for every article. We could use a MediaWiki: page (or perhaps a set of them, I'm not sure) in which the boilerplates were stored, allowing new styles to be added, tweaked, and of course translated. (Hmm. I think I may have just contradicted myself: for editing a MediaWiki: page, having named variables would probably be rather handy after all, even if we used them extra-magically within the Special page itself...) - IMSoP 22:05, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I note that somebody has now submitted this as a feature request at Bugzilla:800, and suggest further discussion be at least summarised there, for future reference. - IMSoP 14:18, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)
We just had a discussion about this at the reference desk Wikipedia:Reference_desk#Tourism_article_Author.3F. While a link at the bottom of a page to an automatic citation like the above would be great, in the meantime why can't we put a "Cite this article" link to the current citation page right between 'About Wikipedia' and 'disclaimers'? By the way, I love the second option above showing multiple citation styles. But why not use the current date of the article, in the form the reader currently wants to cite? - Taxman 15:47, Oct 29, 2004 (UTC)

Britannica includes a "To cite this page" section on every page. For example, see Britannica's article on "Halloween". I'd prefer a link in the toolbox (close to "What links here") that went to a Special page with all the information. —AlanBarrett 13:50, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • I heartily endorse putting a how to cite box on every page. Personally, I use the MLA style when I write things, but have no idea how they treat the Internet since we didn't have such a thing when I was writing papers in high school. PedanticallySpeaking 16:51, Oct 30, 2004 (UTC)

Citing sections[edit]

I want to cite only the 'causes' section of the Great Depression article. What is the correct format? ZephyrAnycon 20:38, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I realize that I may be two years late, but for future reference, just cite the whole article. The world will survive. -- 01:13, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
True but given the length of some wikipedia articles it can become something of an issue.©Geni 15:14, 24 June 2009 (UTC)


SectionBibTeX-Entry gives both

title = "Citing {W}ikipedia (URL_HERE)",


url = ""

Surely something wrong? (URL_HERE and an URL)? -- Jmabel | Talk 07:03, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

MLA has a space for 'Sponsoring institution or organization', which clearly applies to the Wikimedia Foundation. If this is used the citation looks like this: (with the appropriate line warping.)

"Plagiarism." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. 22 Jul 2004, 10:55 UTC. 10 Aug 2004 <>.

(above comment anonymous: User: 20 April 2005)

  • I'm sorry, is that meant as an answer to my question? If so, it didn't explain a thing. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:11, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)
  • Also, what is "line warping"? Do you possibly mean "line wrapping"? or is this something I've never heard of? -- Jmabel | Talk 01:12, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, it didn't seem to make much sense. Changed it about to the way I usually do it, which, by implication must be right. I think line warping is when you forget to turn on wrapping, and your lines get so long that gravity starts to bend, so you can jump around in time or something. — pmcm 14:06, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)


One question regarding citing of authors: how should it be done? Should it be left out? I would put "Various Authors," but I'm not certain if it's the proper idea here. Niteice 00:49, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Examples don't have time.[edit]

Most of the example citations don't seem to follow the recommendation at the top to "...include the full date and time of the article revision you are using". I'd simply edit, but I'm not sure if this is intentional, under the thinking that the examples given should strictly match what the stylesheet has to say on the matter, leaving looser interpertations for the end-users. -- Theorbtwo 2005 July 5 03:15 (UTC)

Should Permanent Links be used when citing?[edit]

Is there a good reason why it's not recommended to cite with a "permanent" link? I.e., to use together with the access date, rather than the link plus revision date plus access date?

This should probably be updated. At the time we wrote this, there was no way to get a stable link to the current version. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:52, September 7, 2005 (UTC)
I agree, they topic was brought up in 2004, towards the top of the page. Some claim, you should get the most recent article. However, I think that if you go through the trouble to find the correct way of citing Wikipedia, you are writing a report and want to show what you saw. If you are causally citing Wikipedia, you would not do it in a certain defined style. I believe that only people writing reports come to this page and in reports, the purpose of citing is to show what you read. Or possibly we could have 2 sections with both current and perm link. Also we should use Meta:Variables to inset the current time.--michael180 00:55, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
The text now suggests using a permant link, and indiactes how to do this, but none of the examples show its uise. I think this should be updated. DES (talk) 15:42, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Citation and page version ref[edit]

It seems to me that the article ID, as used on DIFF and the PERMA-REF, is the critical identifier.

If the Wikipedia template was updated to include in its header either:

You are reading version ID 12345678 dated mm/d/yyyy of this page, the current version at this time
You are reading version ID 12345678 dated mm/d/yyyy of this page. There is a more current version held of this page.

and there was an option under toolkit "Go to a specific version of this page"

Then you could cite Wikipedia without a URL, by citing an article title, a version ID and the date, and others could easily find that same article for verification.

Thoughts on this simple and elegant solution?

FT2 01:41, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

New Special:Cite page![edit]

Developer Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason has created a Special:Cite page that uses variables to create standard citation styles for every page in the article namespace; there's a new "Cite this article" link in the sidebar "toolbox". See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Cite this article and m:Help:Cite. (The text is editable at MediaWiki:Citethispage-content.) — Catherine\talk 05:57, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

It's wonderful, but why just the article namespace? In principle, these citations via permalinks might be useful for project pages and (arguably) even talk pages. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:47, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I believe there is a minor error in the script of the Special:Cite page. For example for the article Robin Lee Graham, the site recommends (for the APA style):

Robin Lee Graham. (2005, December 23). Wikipedia, . Retrieved 21:56, December 23, 2005 from

There is a comma after Wikipedia followed directly by a period. Additionally, there are significant differences to the recommendation of the American Psychological Association (here) --mmtux talk 22:38, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
The MediaWiki:Citethispage-content page isn't currently displaying MediaWiki:Sitesubtitle in that before-comma space the way it's supposed to; I've asked the developer about it. Thanks for the heads-up on the APA style; I fixed it to match the "online periodical" guideline on that page. — Catherine\talk 00:28, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
The subtitle is now fixed. I've also added this text at the top of the MediaWiki:Citethispage-content:
NOTE: Most teachers and professionals do not consider encyclopedias to be citable reference material for most purposes. Wikipedia articles should be used for background information and as a starting point for further research, not as a final source for important facts.
As with any community-built reference, there is a possibility for error in Wikipedia's content -- please check your facts against multiple sources and read our disclaimers for more information.
Be bold if you have ideas for improving the wording or the display. Thanks! — Catherine\talk 23:15, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Inserting Quotes into a paper[edit]

I've got a quote off the Joshua A. Norton article I'd like to quote in a paper. How should I do an in-text citation for that? 05:02, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

You don't mention exactly what citation style you use but if you click on "Cite this article" in the article's left navigation bar, it may give you what you need. If not, you'll have to try rephrasing your question to indicate more clearly what you want (if there is a name for the citation style you are using, that would help). -- Jmabel | Talk 05:46, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Endnote Citation[edit]

simple text output format for endnote software--most used bib software in academia. Also does the citation output reflect guide for citation to academic articles within wiki entries? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Njeremijenko (talkcontribs) 31 Dec 2005

I was just about to mention this myself whenI saw that you already brought it up.. months ago! I know when I'm searching for journal articles for university that I can click "Export Citation" on the article I'm reading and it will give me a file that programs like EndNote can add directly to their libraries. It would be über convenient if each Wikipedia page (that was appropriate for citation) had this functionality. My concern, though, would be that I don't know if the .enl etc file formats are under a copyright. I suppose a solution would be to export the citation as a comma-separated text file, which EndNote etc. can also understand. If enough people think that this would be worthwhile I might spend some time seeing how to best design this. Tom Freeman 10:46, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Ditto! please add a simple output format for endnote software. It would be super useful!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dittdoom (talkcontribs) 02:51, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

I tried this for 15 minutes and gave up when I couldn't figure out how EndNote parses the encoding of formats. There is some odd behavior with special symbols such as pipes. However, here is a way to save at least a little bit of time.

  1. Create a new style and save it as wikipedia.ens or whatever. Specify the following for the Bibliography/Templates for Reference Types book (above) or journal article (below) using tab instead of "|" to separate each wiki_specifier=endnote_specifier pair

    <ref name=Author_Year>`{`{cite book | author=Author | year=Date | title=Title | publisher=Publisher, Place Published `}`}</ref>

    <ref name=Author_Year>`{`{cite book | author=Author | year=Date | title=Title | journal=Journal | volume=Volume | pages=Pages | doi=DOI`}`}</ref>

  2. Select your new output style using the pull-down menu Edit/Output Styles.
  3. Select an entry in your EndNote library and choose command-K (Mac) to get a formatted biblio entry.
  4. Take this and replace tabs with pipes ("|") in your favorite text editor.

You may have to make some other edits. Dabs (talk) 20:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

This page does not offer to be cited![edit]

I found the box at the top of this page incredibly confusing. It refers to a "link on the left of the page", but when you look at the left of this page, there is no such link. Now, I understand the difference between namespaces, but it's still confusing. We could either:

  1. Clutter the box with an apology that the tool doesn't appear here, and please try it somewhere else, or
  2. Offer the "Cite this article" link in all namespaces, including Wikipedia:.

Like Jmabel, I'd prefer the latter. Melchoir 23:23, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

intext citatons[edit]

So what about when we want to do, like (Bowen, 18)? 21:17, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I understand. Are you talking about a paper you're writing, and you'd like to insert a short note in the main body of the text? Melchoir 00:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

What do we do about people plagarizing Wikipedia?[edit]

I've seen lots of guidelines for people plagarizing _for_ Wikipedia, but nothing for those who plagarize _from_ Wikipedia and violate the GFDL. For example, I know of a pay-for-answers mobile service that takes their responses from Wikipedia ad verbatim without attribution. That's not right.

P.S. I just found some guidelines at Wikipedia:Mirrors_and_forks (a link should be made here) but there is nothing for dealing with non-website violations. The service I speak of only exists as a mobile service; customers SMS or call in their questions, and the service SMS/emails back an answer. The problem is that the answer is typically an excerpt from Wikipedia made without attribution. - quanta 17:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I suspect you'd do better to raise this at Wikipedia talk:Mirrors and forks. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Uppercase letters in BibTeX title[edit]

There's a problem in the suggestions for making BibTeX entries: When I use the following title:

title = "Plagiarism --- Wikipedia{,} the free encyclopedia"

then the uppercase 'W' in Wikipedia turns into a lowercase 'w' in my final document.

The problem goes away if I change "" to {{}}, i.e.,

title = {{Plagiarism --- Wikipedia{,} the free encyclopedia}}

For this reason, I propose that we change the suggestion to the latter syntax. This should also apply to the Special:Cite page. (Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in citation and I am not an expert in LaTeX or BibTeX) --Erik 16:30, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

It sure seems to me like it would be better to have the {} just around the problematic character. So

title = {Plagiarism --- {W}ikipedia{,} the free encyclopedia}

Then everything should work nicely, if I remember my bibtex correctly. (talk) 18:20, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Using Wikipedia as source for my thesis[edit]

Er, hi. I was wondering if using Wikipedia as a partial source would be allowed. Let me explain; I'm basically compiling a database of slang and commonly used words on the internet; as I find more words, I add them to the database (which is actually a Windows CHM file to make things easier). I was wondering, would checking Wikipedia articles (and consequently, Wiktionary) for these words be considered plagiarism? I'd read the articles, and add words from them, but the definitions would be mostly mine, short and to the point, with some examples. I would add Wikipedia to my sources, of course - I don't think it would be possible for me to say, add it to every single page, but there will be a very visible credits page at the end of the thesis which will detail any and all communications from sites which allowed me to cite their texts.

Any ideas? Who do I contact? Thanks! Kitsune Sniper / David Silva 00:41, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Certainly as long as we are cited overtly, we have no issue. And I cannot think why we would be any less citable in this respect than any other source. The issue would more be what is considered by your university as appropriate citation and appropriate sources. That you should sort out with your thesis advisor. - Jmabel | Talk 17:04, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Hi Enigma! The problem will be may academics do not consider wikipedia an acceptable source to site. We could use a specific wikipedia page for this issue. Mathiastck 17:55, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Academic use? If you feel that doesn't deal adequately with the matter, then you might want to expand it accordingly. - Jmabel | Talk 07:15, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Style?[edit]

Why not have a new "Wikipedia style" for citing? The Britannica has its own style called "Britannica style" along with others like MLA style. What do you say? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15 Feb 2006

Isn't going to happen. We've discussed this enough to know we don't have consensus on a citation style, and, institutionally, we are pretty much incapable of imposing a standard where there is genuine, widespread disagreement. - Jmabel | Talk 17:06, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Special:Cite for Bluebook[edit]

I just used the Special:Cite tool for the first time. Pretty cool! However, I think the "Bluebook style" used therein is incorrect. Does anyone know of a way that I could fix it? -- Ksm10 23:24, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

AMA (American medical association) request[edit]

received at info-en. Worthwhile? -- Jeandré, 2006-03-29t21:14z

Thanks. -- Jeandré, 2006-04-03t18:30z

Harvard J. L. and Tech.[edit]

Re The Bluebook-inspired style this page attributes to the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology—does anyone have a source for that? A search of the journal's homepage for "Wikipedia" turns up nothing of the sort. In fact, one article from just last fall uses standard Bluebook style: [1], PDF p. 4, n. 8. --zenohockey 23:32, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I can get it up on the JOLT page if that will help. We will be going to print on v19.2 in a couple of weeks, and that is the format that we are now using because we found the Bluebook inconclusive. There is no hard and fast Bluebook style for a source like Wikipedia, so we hobbled a few Rules together to get the most accurate representation of what we are citing. I figured that I'd put it up now - I know a lot of classmates writing their 3L (~thesis) papers now, and it seemed better to get the word out sooner. Ksm10 01:29, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Ksm, can or do the JOLT guidelines take into account the availability of a "permalink" to particular revisions of an article? This can be found by clicking "Permanent link" or "Cite this article" in the sidebar (see the Bluebook citation page for an example) -- should the citation include the URL to the specific version cited, rather than the "raw" article URL? Once you do get this settled and up on a referencable JOLT page, an admin will be happy to alter MediaWiki:Citethispage-content to reflect the guideline. — Catherine\talk 19:59, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Ack! How many places does the Bluebook citation format show up? I thought I had covered all the bases with Bluebook and Citing Wikipedia. With regards to using permalinks, yeah, we considered that. There is a general preference for eliminating "messy" URLs (in theory, because they are there to assist a reader in looking it up - in practice, I doubt many people do); we thought it was more elegant to put the clean URL and then use the parenthetical to get at the specific time version. We assume some base understanding of Wikipedia and its history page among our readership. However, putting the specific url/permalink for the specific version would not be wrong per se, and might actually be useful when you are comparing 2 versions. The real thing that we wanted to get at with this citation format was a different parenthetical. The formats that had been used in the past for general webpages "(last visited [date])" or "(last modified [date])" just seemed incapable of actually capturing what we are going for when citing Wikipedia. We thought our solution was pretty good - though we maintain that there is no one "right" way to do it. Hence, the notation, "Harvard JOLT uses the following format..." As soon as we get our articles in v19.2 up on our website, I will post a link here. Maybe an admin can then help me out and hunt down all the places where it can/should be updated here on Wikipedia. Again, we're not trying to mandate anything here - just trying to be helpful! (Of course, this will need to be updated if those guys on the Law Review feel like addressing this issue in volume 19 of the Bluebook, but that might be a ways off given that volume 18 just came out this past year.) Ksm10 20:42, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

To whom it may concern, we finally got our latest issue up on the web at Look at any of the SPRING articles in volume 19, and you will see our use of the citation format described in the article. Cheers. Ksm10 06:21, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

MLA Parenthetical Citation[edit]

A section should be added to the MLA portion that covers the contents of a MLA parenthetical citation. Simply citing it as (Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia) wouldn't necessarily accomplish much if you have multiple citations. 13:00, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Capitalization of Wikipedia title[edit]

All examples thus far (7/3/2006) list the title of this site in the citations as Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Only the first word and proper nouns should be capitalized. Wikipedia itself titles itself like this: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Just look at the top of any page.

I think the examples should have the title capitalized like Wikipedia itself capitalizes. I don't feel comfortable editing this entry because it looks like a lot of thought has gone into these examples. But we should discuss making this change.

There seems to be random variation in the title punctuation and case. APA style says "The book title appears in sentence case. You capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns." In that case, your capitalization seems correct when a comma is used. An APA example disagrees, capitalizing every word. A few lines lower, still in the APA section, a colon is used instead of a comma, thus lowercasing "free encyclopedia". The MLA examples use a comma once, a colon twice. All words capitalized in both cases. Other examples offer similar (in)consistency. Anybody know, authoritatively, what this wiki-thingy is officially called? Consistency is frequently a good thing, right? bomfog 22:28, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

special:cite, link to contrib list tool[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the right place to talk about Special:Cite, which I just looked at for the first time ever. I'm kind of disconcerted by the "contributions" link to the tool that lists who has the most edits to an article. For example, I'm listed as one of the top "contributors" to Al Gore controversies, when in fact almost all I've done there is delete things one piece at a time. I'm more like the opposite of a contributor to that article, so I'd hate to think that someone might credit me when citing it. Anyone else share this concern? Is anyone trying to develop a version of the contributor-listing thing that might try to judge how much text each user actually added? What would others think about removing the link to this tool from Special:Cite?

I do think that the Contribution Counter is a great tool, and I applaud TDS for creating it; I'm just not sure how I feel about it being linked to under the title "Primary Contributors".

Please point me to some other talk page if I'm in the wrong place. Thanks! --Allen 04:15, 4 July 2006 (UTC)


Could the IEEE format be added to this as well? It will be very appreciated. -- Evanx(tag?) 09:27, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

No.-- 18:24, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Why Not?Bud0011 (talk) 23:37, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Personal comment[edit]

This is a comment i've had about my school where i go to... If you're not interested keep scrolling down the page. My school uses a slightly customized version of the MLA style. But acording to the handbook, there are no differences protaining to format of online wikis. So I just use what the SpecialLCite thing says to do under MLA style citing for the page, so it would look like this:

"Plagiarism." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 22 Jul 2004, 10:55 UTC. Wikimedia Foundations, Inc. 10 Aug 2004

Of course, thats the eample given on this page. But when i get my report handed back, i got an "d" just because of all the "mistakes" on my works citied page for this one article on My instructor says it should be formatted like this:

"Plagiarism." Wikipedia. 22 Jul 2004. Wikimedia Foundations, Inc. 10 Aug 2004

She also informs me the correct web address, making the correct A+ format:

"Plagiarism." Wikipedia. 22 Jul 2004. Wikimedia Foundations, Inc. 10 Aug 2004

Because the link was not blue and highlighted, my instructor said, it must not be a link. I don't know what the word for it is but my instructor is on of those people who think that theres only one way to do it. In this case, using Microsoft products for typing the Cited Sources page. Other people iclude: using AOL for an ISP, AIM for IMing, Google for GIVING you sites, and using the HTTP protocol for connecting to the web.

So i picked up the guidebook i brorowwed from the school and i wrote, "Additional notes: 1) Remember to listen to your instructor for special instructions and 2)If your instructor overrides the MLA format, don't care and please get angry, it wates time and resources." In the back. Then i decided to write "-Billybob Joebob Bobjoebob." i mean, it is true.

NVM what i said earlyier, the guidebook my school uses says don't include the time. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dreamweaver632 (talkcontribs) 19 July 2006.

Citing Wikipedia ON Wikipedia?[edit]

I'm editing a page on Wikipedia that cites other, related Wikipedia articles as sources. Is this necessary? --HKMARKS 01:02, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Generally not acceptable sources, except in the rare case where they are primary sources (as at Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius; see its notes). It might help if you indicated the particular article at issue. - Jmabel | Talk 06:31, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Permanent links after page move[edit]

Are permanent links still valid if the page is moved? --Apoc2400 06:20, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


Waiiit a second, people seriously think they can cite wikipedia? Sure, maybe in a dinky high school paper, but even in my first year at a community college my professors made it clear they'd chuck anything that so much as had the word 'wikipedia' on it in the sources. And, frankly, I don't see why they're wrong. Jachra 08:06, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Even if Wikipedia isn't the best source for original information gathering, it is still good for aggregation (All the info in one place) and elaboration of topics. (Wikipedia's citations (when they're there at least)) Besides, if you found 3 words on Wikipedia and thought that was good wording, you could get caught for plagiarism if you used them. That's why I think it's bullsh** when teachers completely discredit Wikipedia as a valid resource. When it's an exclusive resource, that's when problems with fact checking come up, but if you have 20 resources and Wikipedia is one of them, it pretty much invalidates whatever inaccuracy could be in the Wikipedia article. Phort99 07:10, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a useful source for background information on a topic. If the policies of a school require the citing of background sources, and if you used it, then you should cite it. (talk) 23:10, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Citing Wikipedia in a work of fiction[edit]

There is nothing I can find on how to do this. In this particular case, I want to use a sentance from Wikipedia as a chapter heading, but more general policy is mising as well. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:55, 23 February 2007 (UTC).

Citation data should be on the page concerned[edit]

The facility at is excellent; the recent addition of COinS data doubly so. However, I feel that all of the citation data fields, and the COInS mark-up, should be published on the page itself; not least (and not only) because that would facilitate the inclusion of citation data for the page being visited, in a proposed machine-readable microformat.

So far as I can see, what's missing are:

  • Author: Wikipedia contributors
  • Date retrieved
  • Permanent link
  • Page Version ID

(such data should especially be on pages which are printed.)

What do folks think?

I suspect that including these would require changes to Media Wiki. Is that so?

Andy Mabbett 20:46, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, please be aware of the proposal for a microformat for marking citations in (X)HTML. See also Wikipedia:WikiProject Microformats. Andy Mabbett 14:40, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I've been told that RDF or unAPI would be more appropriate. — Omegatron 23:51, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand. More appropriate than what? Andy Mabbett 00:07, 4 April 2007 (UTC)


Using "plagiarism" as an example of a page to cite is confusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC)


Who thought using Plagiarism as the example was the best choice? There are so many better options. LaraLove 18:03, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Haha. I agree! Who had the idea of using plagiarism? --Ben T/C 11:16, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps these references were "procured" from elsewhere. Still, gotta remind the kids to play it safe, eh? — Nahum Reduta [talk|contribs] 04:32, 20 January 2008 (UTC)


I think the bibtex explanation should make reference to the breakurl package rather than url, because the \url command doesn't break the lines, which can become pretty ugly. Also, I think it would be more appropriate to use howpublished (instead of note) and note (instead of url). These two tags are what usually (plain, amsplain, ...) appears in the bibliography. Example:

 @misc{ wiki:PatternRecognition,
   author = "Wikipedia",
   title = "Pattern recognition --- Wikipedia{,} The Free Encyclopedia",
   year = "2007",
   note = "\burl{}",
   howpublished= "[Online; accessed 23-November-2007]"

cheers, --Ben T/C 11:16, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

{{editprotected}} Does this page really need to be permanently semi'd? Anyway...

The "Anthropology 333 syllabus" link in reference-1 has gone dead. You could tag it with {{dead link}} if you want, though {{dlw}} provides this working link. Arigato. -- (talk) 07:18, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I replaced it with [2] which I found from Googling. Cheers! Nil Einne (talk) 15:04, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


I have written an essay about assessing the reliability of different articles. I was hoping to get other editors to review, add to it and edit it. Currently, it is in my userspace at User:Billscottbob/Assessing reliability. Thanks for any input you may have. If you have anything you wish to discuss about it please do not discuss it here. Please discuss it on the talk page of the essay. Billscottbob (talk) 02:09, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Does GFDL allow verbatim copying of content from one Wikipedia article to another (without attribution)?[edit]

On occasion I have encountered Wikipedia article that contain language some of which is an exact copy of something in another Wikipedia article. Does GFDL allow this, and if not, then is it fair use, and if neither allowed by GFDL nor fair use, then is it a copyright violation? Incorporation of the words of one article into another seem to be covered by sections 4 and 5 of the GFDL, which are quite confusing. (talk) 23:24, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Isn't it policy that WP can't be used as a source at all?[edit]

This is from WP:SPS, part of WP:V, and therefore policy: "Articles and posts on Wikipedia may not be used as sources". What am I missing? Why do we have a whole article on how to cite Wikipedia as a source? I have asked the opposite question at WT:Verifiability ... why do we have a "cite this page" tool at the left of every article if we can't cite the page? P.S. This issue seems to have some subtlety, please reply over at WT:Verifiability#Isn't it policy that WP can't be used as a source at all? - Dan Dank55 (talk) 02:38, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

And, this is less important, but ... uppercase and lowercase shortcuts should generally go to the same page. WP:Citing points to the same place as WP:CITE, and did before WP:CITING was created to point to this page. Any objections to making WP:CITING match WP:Citing? - Dan Dank55 (talk) 03:07, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
You are correct that one Wikipedia article should not be cited within another Wikipedia article (its what is called as self-reference, and would be unreliable)... but I think this article is intended to be about how to cite Wikipedia in other venues... such as in a school research paper or on some other wiki. Perhaps a restatement of the relevant passage of WP:SPS needs to be added to the top of this article to clarify the intent. Blueboar (talk) 04:17, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Belated note: please see WT:Verifiability/Archive 26#Academics and journalists for further links and discussions; I found out after a lot of searching that consensus changed substantially over the last year or so. - Dan Dank55 (talk) 19:51, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I think this page makes it clear that many people don't consider citing wikipedia acceptable. However if people do want to cite an encylopaedia, then there is no reason why they can't choose wikipedia if they are careful and if they are going to cite wikipedia, then there is no reason for us to make it hard for them to do so Nil Einne (talk) 21:10, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Is time part of APA standard?[edit]

I've been looking at 'cite this page'. Clicking on it takes the user to a special page that shows how to cite the page in an academic paper. The citation for APA shows a time stamp (time and date) for when the page was accessed. I can find no source which says that APA style calls for or allows the time the page was accessed. All sources say that date alone should be shown. From what I've read here, I take it that the link that shows up on that page, is not a permalink. So if we want the reader to be able to access the same article that we did, we must either use the time or use the permalink? My library science class is waiting with baited breath. Mellen22 (talk) 23:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Correction. The citation link is a permalink. Mellen22 (talk) 18:53, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
This is a fairly low-traffic page, you might want to ask at either the WP:Reference desk or at WP:CITE. It also might be helpful to follow the link I gave above, WT:Verifiability/Archive 26#Academics and journalists, where I give 5 links that would probably be of particular interest. - Dan Dank55 (talk) 02:47, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunate abbreviation of name[edit]

Everyone should be careful to only put "Wikipedia" into the author field of a BibTeX entry - after a brief glance at Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia I entered "Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia" which BibTex converted into "Encyclopedia, W. T. F."!

Feyrauth (talk) 06:25, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. I've warned my friends. Bob the Wikipedian, the Tree of Life WikiDragon (talk) 02:15, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

In some other styles, Wikipedia contributors is used as the author, which is quite good i think. Why isn't that used for BibTeX entries? Arguably, Wikipedia (as an organization) is not the author of an entry.--Johannes Bo (talk) 18:26, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Ok, this is already mentioned in section 29 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johannes Bo (talkcontribs) 18:35, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Harvard Style[edit]

Using this word 'plagiarism' as an example is inappropriate, as it sarcastically implies that people who use must be plagiarizing. It is also unprofessional, as the person who used it as example, is showing his or her academic bias with regards to citing this information. Finally besides thinly veiled sarcastic remark, and been unprofessional, it creates confusion as , at first, it seems that siting Wikipedia, in itself, is plagiarism. Besides Wikipedia takes credit for ALL the others peoples work, under it's own name, thus I find such attitude, in the first place, very ironic. Would it not be more proper to site GFDL as the basis of this work, since after all Wikipedia, is just one of MANY other portals that could host such information? Talking about pompous, self-aggrandizing attitude. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

People these days[edit]

What is the point in letting people have a Wikipedia account? Someone hacked mine, and the minds of the people these days! they don't care about the what's what! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia (or any other wiki) should not be used academically[edit]

Why does this page even exist? It should only say that Wikipedia, being a wiki, should not be cited in academic research or used in academic papers. If I'm working on my Ph.D. dissertation, do you think it would be okay for me to say, "according to a 16-year who posted on Wikipedia, 'Jupiter is actually much smaller than Earth, as you can see just by looking at it.'"? --RisingSunWiki 19:55, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Citing Wikipedia[edit]

If you are using Wikipedia as a resource than your paper is not good. Use a real encyclopedia. Wikipedia is fun to browse though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:43, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

ABNT / Brazil[edit]

I was wondering if it could be possible to have the ABNT style for citing sources. It's a style only used in Brazil. Wondering that, I've come to the greater issue: how does it work for any people with an specific/official language to cite wikipedia articles in other languages? All styles must be available in every wikipedia language? Khullah (talk) 16:38, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

My IT Lab[edit]

In My IT Lab, the article Drive-in theater is used as a reference in a Microsoft Word tutorial and it tells you to enter January 27, 2007 as the date of creation of the article, which is quite wrong; it's much older than that. It also tells you to enter Wikipedia contributors as a corporate author for the citation. Daniel Christensen (talk) 18:04, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

My IT Lab is an online educational program, of course. Daniel Christensen (talk) 18:07, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

MLA style[edit]

Why does this page have Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia underlined in the MLA style but the syntax generated from Special:Cite shows it italicized? -- penubag  (talk) 05:55, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Should the text for the first citation version really be Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia and not Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia? I don't have enough edits to fix it yet if needed. Squeegie1138 (talk) 18:48, 4 March 2012 (UTC)


I wonder why there is no enery here how to cite Wikipedia in DocBook. Which tags should be filled out? --BayerMeister (talk) 06:40, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

It should be a well known fact[edit]

That no academic student should ever cite from wikipedia.Tomcat96 (talk) 14:47, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia can be a useful starting place for new information; like many teachers, I allow my students to cite Wikipedia, although I expect them to cite it correctly, and to get most of their information from primary or secondary sources. Of course, no good essay relies significantly on Wikipedia- but if it is consulted, it should be included among the cited sources. I do not agree that this page should be deleted, nor do I think that a deletion discussion on this page would be successful. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 14:54, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Websters relies on Wikipedia... [3] -- œ 06:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I know the feeling, helping out I've got some non Wikipedia primary or secondary meda, on video which I would to cite without breaking any rules around here.GinnyStar (talk) 05:41, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Turabian section outdated[edit]

Note on Turabian style: Please understand that Turabian does not have rules that cover anything like Wikipedia. These examples are based on "reading between the lines" and assimilating rules from various not-so-similar cases that Turabian does cover. If the party to which you are submitting your paper is particularly strict, you might want to find out if they have their own adaptation of Turabian that would apply in this case. Alternately, you could always consult with the party before the deadline to make sure it's acceptable.

This information is based on the 6th edition published in 1996. The 7th edition was released in 2007 and covers just about everything, AFAIK. Also, Turabian and Chicago style should appear in the same section as they are generally classified together, even thought there may be minor differences. Viriditas (talk) 12:07, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Non Wiki within Wikipdia[edit]

Newby to this, and not to word. Working on a few of the Entertainment Hub Wikipedia and some of them are on video media, so how cire them?--GinnyStar (talk) 05:37, 9 September 2009 (UTC)


The example given for a Chicago style Wikipedia citation is not correct, according to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., p, 716, section 17.239. The correct format would appear to be:

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. "Plagiarism," (accessed October 9, 2009).

I'm not sure where the Chicago form currently on this page came from. As a new user, I don't feel comfortable editing it.

Jkcohen (talk) 23:43, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree on this. Reading from this source [4] it is obvious that a book with no given author must be cited under the title only. Pepato (talk) 10:18, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Special (German) characters[edit]

I have had troubles in html-editors when citing the URL for titles which contain non-English letters/characters, such as German ones. For instance, when pasting in a document the link displayed in the browser for the URL for "Jürgen Habermas", the ü gets translated in such a way that the link will not found, probably depending upon the particular preferences of character sets in my computer. Where do I find the translation of all "foreign" Western characters with accents, signs, etc. into their basic component-characters in order to solve this problem? (talk) 17:54, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

How to give proper credit to a picture from Wikipedia used outside Wikipedia?[edit]

Poul-Henning Kamp. Proper credit: Photo: Hans Schou CC-BY-SA-2.5

The usage of pictures with the license Creative Commons has increased a lot the last years. Often I find that the users has tried to give proper credit but it seems like they are a little confused about how to do it right.

If you click on an image you get to a page where all details about the picture is. All the information needed to give proper credit is there but please admit: it is a mess.

Is it possible to change this default view of images so people who would use these pictures, could get a simple one-liner description of what to write to give proper credit?

As an example I have put a picture to the right of how it could look. The next question is should actually be written. If it is written like in the example it will be fine with me.

If this question is already answered somewhere else pls inform me. --Chlor (talk) 20:10, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Sounds to me like you're requesting the thumbnail template be edited to include crediting information for easy reuse? Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 08:04, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I have changed the subject. Here is an example: It says "Foto: Jina Lee/Creative Commons" where I think should be "Foto: Jina Lee/CC-BY-SA-3.0" because "Creative Commons" does not specify "attribution" and "share alike". Then I thought it would be nice to the end user if there was some proper credit he could just copy/paste. --Chlor (talk) 14:49, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. It's clear to me the purpose you wish to serve...but I'm still trying to figure out what your actual proposal is. I have two suspicions as to what it might be:
  • You want an abbreviated version of all available credits included on the file page.
  • You want the thumbnail template modified to include credits.
Once I figure out what you really want, I'd be happy to show you where to make that proposal at and help you out with it! Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 03:29, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Number 2 solution (I think). If you go and look at it says "Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixels". I want to change that description to "Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixels. Proper credit: Photo: Jina Lee/CC-BY-SA-3.0". The problem in the actual case with was that they just wrote Photo: Wikimedia/Commons. I then asked them to change it but it is not clear what should change it to. By making this real clear we might reduce the number of copyright infringements. -- (talk) 08:24, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see what you're saying now. I've uploaded an image illustrating an example of what I think you're trying to say. I've used a collage to illustrate an example where multiple attributions would be most appropriate. Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 03:59, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Here's how the page would appear if we were to add that "easy credit" to the page:
Credit proposal.png
I like the detailed credits. However, I would never accept to write that visibly on a page in which I used the pictures, and I do not think online news papers would accept that either - thus we would not be encouraging reuse. I would, however, be fine if this information is only shown if you hold your mouse over the picture. Tange (talk) 11:37, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Whether they like it or not, online newspapers are required to give proper credit. I've browsed hundreds of online periodicals, and most of them follow the rule of giving credit, even if they didn't secure rights for the image.
I'm not exactly sure where the most appropriate place is to post this proposal, but I'm going to guess the page Wikipedia talk:Images would suffice. That would at least get the attention of people who care about images. I'd suggest using an image such as the one I uploaded to show exactly what it is you're proposing when you do make the proposal there, as it helps communicate the proposal more clearly. Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 05:41, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

MLA style has changed (Dec 2009)[edit]

See the Purdue OWL for differences:

The most important changes:

  • URLs are no longer required
  • The word Web. is inserted after the creation date
  • Monographs/Sources are now italicised, not underlined.

A page from Wiki should now look more or less like this: Plagiarism." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 22 July 2004. Web. 10 Aug. 2004. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheStripedOne (talkcontribs) 22:59, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I have now updated the page accordingly. TheStripedOne (talk) 23:13, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Strange book[edit]

A Complete Guide to Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Mary Anderson - 2007 looks like a 1 to one copy of wikipedia. Is this OK? --Stone (talk) 12:52, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about it. See User:PrimeHunter/Alphascript Publishing sells free articles as expensive books. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:24, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

More on the BibTeX format (which is rather incoherent at the moment)[edit]

Both the BibTeX entries described on this page and generated by the SpecialPage do not match the generic bibliographical information given elsewhere on the same documents.

AFAIK, it should be something like that.

@misc{ wiki:xxx,
  author = "{Wikipedia~contributors}",
  title = "TITLE",
  publisher = "Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia",
  institution = "Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia",
  year = "YEARREV",
  month = "MONTHREV",
  day = "DAYREV",
  url = "BASEWIKIPEDIAURL/index.php?title=TITLE&oldid=ID",
  note = "accessed DAY-MONTH-YEAR",
  type = "Page Version ID",
  number = "PVID",

BASEWIKIPEDIAURL should always be something like "" I'm using HTTPS Everywhere, and the SpecialPage used the as the base URL, which I think is incorrect as it is not the canonical URL. I'd also drop the \url{} as it is a matter which should be dealt with by the bibliographystyle

I suppose the name of the “publication” in the currently generated titles is a hack around BibTeX's generic handling of MISC entries, however, I wonder if relying on publisher and editor fields wouldn't be more reliable, as I propose here.

DAYREV-MONTHREV-YEARREV is obviously the date of the current revision, while DAY-MONTH-YEAR is the current date. I'm not sure how to handle times to allow for a truly unique identification of the version this way. A better option would then be to use, as I showed, the type and issue fields to give the precise revision PVID of the page. I know this works well for TECHREPORT entries.

Compare the following, generated with the above entry, using the TECHREPORT class [1] and the MISC one [2], with the IEEEtran BibTeX style.
[1] Wikipedia contributors, "Title," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Page Version ID ID, MONTHREV YEARREV, accessed DAY-MONTH-YEAR. [Online]. Available: BASEWIKIPEDIAURL/index.php?title=TITLE&oldid=ID
[2] ----, "Title," MONTHREV YEARREV, accessed DAY-MONTH-YEAR. [Online]. Available: BASEWIKIPEDIAURL/index.php?title=TITLE&oldid=ID
I find [1] much more appropriate, if not exactly semantically correct in its use of document class. The “----” in [2] is just a standard IEEEtran replacement when the authors of the previous document are the same.

Also, some smart wrapping would be needed for titles with mandatory capitalisations other than the first letter, and I tried to address weird abbreviations mentionned above by adding markup to the author field.

shtrom (talk) 02:32, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Suggested Bibliographic Citations in Bulgarian, БДС 17377-96[edit]

According to the Bulgarian Institute for Standardization, citations in Bulgarian language must be done in БДС 17377-96. Below I will show the pattern:

[article title][.][space][//][space][website domain][space][(website's name and description)][space][<][article URL][>] [space][(access date in digit format)][.]

Факты. // (Мир библиотек: События, факты, личности) <> (28.11.2005).

Example with a wiki article:Книга

Citation has to be:

Книга. // (Уикипедия, свободната енциклопедия) <> (28.05.2011).

(Ivanov224 (talk) 08:03, 28 May 2011 (UTC))

give HTML code on Special:Cite[edit]

It would be extremely helpful (and push towards correct citation of WP pages) if clicking on the link "Cite this page", i.e., the page, would yield (somewhere at the beginning), the correct HTML code for citing that page, e.g.

Wikipedia, <a href="">Article</a>, as of Month DD, YYYY.

or the like. I don't say this because I'm lazy, but because (I know that others are, and) this would help to achieve the goal of getting correct citations of WP elsewhere. — MFH:Talk 21:10, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Advise Special Care With Political Articles[edit]

Wikipedia articles that do not appear to be viewed a lot--especially those addressing political topics--are highly subject to the personal views of those who, either through persistence and/or their status as administrators, determine their content. These people can even remove completely warranted warnings about bias and other types of misinformation present in the articles. Unless and until this flaw is corrected, perhaps a special warning should be posted at the top of these types of articles advising users to always check the cited sources and to even conduct their own independent research before relying on the article's content. Dave148109 (talk) 18:50, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Change BiBTeX-Entry from wiki:xxx to wiki:Article_title[edit]

Currently, if somebody chooses BiBTeX on Cite This Page, the bibliography reference is of the form wiki:xxx, regardless of the article title. For example,

@misc{ wiki:xxx,
author = "Wikipedia",
title = "Nuclear space --- Wikipedia{,} The Free Encyclopedia",
year = "2013",
url = "",
note = "[Online; accessed 3-January-2014]"

Since this is for copying-and-pasting, it requires a user edit from xxx to the article title every time. The space before the wiki: is also unnecessary. Could somebody modify the template to read


with the actual article title prepared (as in the URL field), instead of the constant

@misc{ wiki:xxx,

? Thank you!

--Hierarchivist (talk) 19:48, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Atlantic Fleet v4 Apk+Obb[edit]

It is a tactical and strategic shifts simulation of the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II!

Atlantic Fleet Download Game

PERMALINK: Atlantic Fleet v4 Apk

We are working to fix these problems over the next several updates but recommend delaying your purchase if you are not comfortable with the possibility of experiencing such problems.

Atlantic Fleet is a turn-based tactical and strategic simulation of the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II.

Take command of surface ships, submarines as well as carrier and land based aircraft in a deadly struggle for control of the shipping lanes. Features:

  No In Apps/Advertising. No Pay-to-Progress. One Price = Full Game
  Stunning full 3D graphics and environments, including underwater
  Unique blend of deep strategic planning combined with quick tactical decisions
  Play as the Royal Navy and her allies or Kriegsmarine (German navy)
  Up to 10 versus 10 ships in combat
  3 Game Modes:

1. Single Battle Editor with 30 Historical Missions for standalone combat

2. Campaign of 50 missions per faction

3. Full Dynamic Campaign from 1939 to 1945

  Individually saved games for each campaign and faction
  Multiplayer Hotseat for Single Battles
  Sink ships with realistic buoyancy physics, not with hit-point bars!
  Target specific ship subsystems to sink or cripple the enemy
  Destructible ships, subsystems and visual damage to ships
  60 historical ship classes representing over 630 ships and 350 submarines
  13 playable aircraft
  Submarine warfare, wolf packs and convoys
  Carrier operations and land-based air strikes
  Too many more to list here, visit

Android requires: 4.0 or Better | Size: 78 MB — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mastitune (talkcontribs) 09:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I need help with citation[edit]

Is there someone here able to help ?