Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout/Archive 5

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Wikipedia:Layout#Notes, Footnotes, or References

There is a lot of confusion in articles regarding the title(s) to be used for reference sections. It needs to be made clear in the guidelines. Coming here to try to work out which title, I read:

Format: As explained in more detail at Wikipedia:Citing sources#Adding the citation, the format of these sections, their titles, and the specific information in each depends on the citation style used in the article.

Ah, so I need to click the link to get guidance on the title, but when I do, I read:

The full citation will appear in a section at the end of the article (usually called "Notes" or "References", see Layout).

So that takes me back to where I started. My main point is where notes and references are formatted in the main text and appear in a single section below it. This should be called "Notes and references" as that is what it is, and that is what the guideline used to advise. This seems to have disappeared. Consequently editors just call the section "References". Is there anywhere that such a change has been agreed? I raised the point earlier on this page, having had my mention of "Notes and references" in the guideline removed, and being assured that matters were under revision and it would be attended to. But it hasn't. It's just vanished.

I propose some text along the lines of:

When there is only one section for combined notes and references, then title it "Notes and references".

This is a particularly important point, because this is the most common (and easiest) format for citations.

The heading for this section of the guideline might be called:

Notes, Footnotes, References, or Notes and References

Ty 06:23, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Trust me, you are trying to open Pandora's Box with this suggestion. The real answer is found in the introduction at Wikipedia:Citing sources#Adding the citation: Editors are free to use any of these methods or to develop new methods; no method is preferred. Which is followed by a footnote (no. 5) that includes your suggestion but doesn't mandate particular titles. I think the fix needs to be made at Citing sources, not here. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 19:09, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I did a fix at Citing sources. So, at least, there won't be an unending loop between the two. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 19:18, 21 November 2008 (UTC) P.S. - Maybe the text in footnote 5 at Wikipedia:Citing sources#Adding the citation should be taken out of the footnote and placed in the body of the article. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 23:46, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Under the heading "Standard appendices" there was for a long time this handy summary:[1]

Certain optional standard sections, when used, should be placed at the bottom of an article. There is consensus that the plural form of the section name should be used. Common appendix sections:
  • Quotations (deprecated)
  • See also
  • Notes (or Footnotes)
  • References (or combined with Notes into Notes and references)
  • Further reading (or Bibliography or Books)
  • External links

There needs to be such a summary, as, following the revisions, the reader has to go through all the text and make their own summary. It clearly spells out the options for reference section titling. Now there is no mention at all of "or combined with Notes into Notes and references", but I don't see anywhere that it has been agreed to omit it. Is anyone disputing that where notes and references are combined into a single section, then the title for that section should be "notes and references"?

Ty 04:13, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Two great minds. For a while now I have had on my "to do" list to do a wp:Transclude text section based on wp:Writing better articles#Standard appendices and putting it in this article, the Writing better articles article and the Manual of Style. Maybe you can beat me to it. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 12:59, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
P.S. - You can find a lively discussion of what to say about the notes, footnotes, notes and footnotes, references, citations, etc. sections at (discussions 18, 19, 20, 28 & 36). Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 13:06, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I often see notes and references show up at FAC titled "Notes", and I try to keep my hands off things that seem like established preferences ... but I just can't see a reason to try to create confusion in the reader's mind about the difference between a note and a reference, so I always change it to "Notes and references", and I generally don't get reverted. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 13:00, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Change location of section "Notes, Footnotes, or References"

Resolved: Added to list of perennial ideas that never gain consensus.

Location or sequence of section "Notes, Footnotes, or References" would be the best to be very bottom after "Navigational footers, categories, interlanguage links etc" (which is in dispute though now). Current layout recommends "Notes, Footnotes, or References" is after "See Also". When too much number of notes, footnotes, or references in sentence of body sections with [X], the number of item or line displayed on the screen in "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section is countless. Now, naturally, the reader of Wikipedia is reading from top "Headings and sections" to "see Also", then he or she encounter lengthy "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section. In order to proceed to "Further reading", "External links", " Links to sister projects" and "Navigational footers, categories, interlanguage links etc", reader need to scroll screen to reach these sections.

Basically, thanks to HTML Hyper Link jump capability, clicking the mouse the note of [x] navigates "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section, then reader back to body sections after reading item or description in "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section by again click "^". This jumping capability from [x] click and the back to main section by "^" of Wikipedia is advantage of layout and HTML Hyper Link functions. As far as reader is able to reach to and back from "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section by click mouse, "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section is not necessarily to follow "See also" section.

I understand that "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section follows to "See Also" section is conventional layout in paper type documents that reader is forced to turn page(s) by hand. Contrary, in Wikipedia, go to "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section then back to main section is done by mouse clicking. This implies "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section is not necessary to follow "See also" section, in stead, "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section to be any sequence in sections. This is the reason I suggest "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section to be very bottom or end of other sections.

When layout "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section is placed at the end of article, no body do not mind how many items listed within "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section. "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section lists up number of items of footnotes, it forces reader to scroll the screen to reach beyond "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section that is very inconvenient for reader. Therefore, I suggest "Notes, Footnotes, or References" section to be extreme end of each sections that reader may not be annoying scroll the screen.--Namazu-tron (talk) 18:33, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I hope you all not stick to the style or layout of legacy type paper documents or encyclopedia. We are participating to be the editor for new era of encyclopedia, Wikipedia, to long long-lasting, based on the fact that Wikipedia have only 7-8 yeas history.--Namazu-tron (talk) 00:32, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to propose that the suggestion to rename or change the order of endsections be added to the list of perennial suggestions. I'm not sure why people think this is a good idea, but it gets proposed a lot, mostly by new editors. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 20:59, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Add the suggestions to hide the references or put them in a scrolling box. References are the heart of the article. If someone does not want to read them, then it is real easy to skip over them. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 21:12, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
It's very easy to skip through screenfuls that you don't care about: Just press the space bar or the "page down" button, depending on your setup. Dank55, I like the idea of adding this to PEREN. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:27, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Do not tell me how to operate PC. We are not talking for skilled editor of Wikipedia. I am talking how to improve for millions of reader of Wikipedia world wide, including novice or beginner of PC.--Namazu-tron (talk) 00:32, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Ugh, no. The current order makes much more sense: links to other articles within Wikipedia come first, then references pertaining to the article, then links to other external material, and finally navigational templates. Anomie 02:35, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree. --Eruhildo (talk) 05:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
See WT:PEREN#Moving, renaming and hiding endsections. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 15:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

since when has this guideline been placing "See after" in front of "References"? Is this a recent change? "See also" has always come after "References", but in front of "External links". We shouldn't change a guideline just like that if it potentially affects literally hundreds of thousands of articles. --dab (𒁳) 20:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I almost never see See also after References, and not just at FAC and GAN; I didn't see it when copyediting for WP:0.7. Like we said, people show up about once a month with their own ideas of where the endsections should go. See WT:PEREN for discussion. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 21:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The answer is "since 2003, when it was first mentioned in this guideline." ==See also== was called ==Related topics== at that time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:35, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

this isn't just "my own idea", it's how I've been editing literally thousands of articles over the past four years. I don't mean to obsess over this, but we clearly seem to have a de facto divide here. --dab (𒁳) 17:21, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

What is the rationale of putting navboxes at the very bottom?

Wouldn't it make more sense to put them immediately before the references, i.e. at the bottom of the "See also" section? They include links to within Wikipedia, also, they are things the reader might want to "see also". -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 13:33, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

One rationale is that that's where everyone puts them, and it would be inefficient to create a recommendation that they should be moved around from where they are now. Another rationale is a page layout principle commonly followed in the publishing industry: since navboxes are generally colored boxes, they look better on the bottom or side of a page, giving the appearance of a border, than in the middle. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 15:07, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
It also places them next to the category links, which might otherwise get missed. Navboxes, SeeAlso links, and Category links, are all of a similar intent. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:41, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

See also

I don't agree that "see also" should be exclusively limited to links that do not otherwise appear in the article. In a long article it is useful to gather the main links in one place to aid navigation. For instance, I might remember that I saw in the article black hole that there was a link to an article about the radius of black holes but I cannot remember that that article was called Schwarzschild radius (and even if I did remember little chance of spelling it right on the first attempt). As it stands I have to reread the entire article to find it again. I think this should be reworded to gives editors some degree of leeway in using their common sense. SpinningSpark 11:03, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand your problem. The text says: "Links already included in the body of the text are generally not repeated in "See also"; however, whether a link belongs in the "See also" section is ultimately a matter of editorial judgment and common sense." How can you possibly interpret that as allowing no leeway and banning common sense? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:50, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't interpret it that way, my problem is that some other editors do and delete useful links. I think that it would help if the case of long articles was specifically covered. Similarly, it is my view that in a long article it is ok to wikilink a term at the first occurence in more than one section. SpinningSpark 20:19, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Have you attempted to discuss the matter with them? It's possible that they have good reasons for removing these links that are every bit as valid as your desire to keep them, or that they're simply unfamiliar with our (actual) guidelines. A remarkable number of people read only the first few words of a section in a guideline and then ruthlessly implement their mistaken version of it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:50, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Sister links

Sister project links go at either the bottom or side of the EL section, right? It said at the end, but I see them just as often or more often to the right. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:21, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

They should be the topmost item within either the EL section or the SeeAlso section. (topmost item so that there isn't a block of whitespace to their left). If neither of those sections exists, then they should just go at the end of the article. -- Quiddity (talk) 01:10, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
See the last archive (archive 4) for a discussion about whether to restrict most non-Wikipedia and non-Wiktionary (and possibly non-Wikisource) links to EL. "Topmost" and on the right or left? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:09, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Are you talking about the autoformatting {{wikisource}}-type templates? Because I think that most editors at this page would prefer that this:
were replaced with this:
-- WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:19, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, yes, I didn't mean to make a judgment call on whether the templates are a good thing, I'm just noting that that's what the WP:Layout text currently mentions: "the templates (e.g. {{commons}}, {{wikibooks}} ...". That's what Quiddity was thinking of, too, since he mentions a "block of whitespace to their left", which is a good reason not to put these templates last. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I think your thrust is that these templates promote the wikisource et al. links over our wikipedia and wiktionary links, which is counterproductive, since we have effective ways here to patrol the wikilinks but not the wikisource links? (Added: This is not my position; I don't have a position.) If that's the position, it's certainly not unreasonable; I can start a thread at WP:VPP if you like. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 14:23, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I understand your question. Presumably the same method of clicking on all the links and seeing whether they link to something appropriate works for both the normal format of external links and for the special, screen-real-estate-eating block templates. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:14, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay, by "screen-real-estate-eating", I take it you don't like them, but we seem to be recommending them in the current text. I'll ask over at WP:VPP#Wikisource. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:36, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
They also go at the top of disambig pages. (notime to follow to the other thread currently, will look later) -- Quiddity (talk) 08:17, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't mind them in certain, highly limited circumstances (such as on a dab page). But I don't think that Wikisource's text copy of a book deserves a special, large, graphical box to draw attention to it, when the same text provided by Gutenberg Press is just an ordinary link. The fact that one is hosted by a sister project does not actually make it more useful, valuable, appropriate, or interesting to the general reader. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:30, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
If that were the criteria, we would remove all links to wiktionary and replace them with links to a different "fully-completed" dictionary. The sisterlinks are partially to draw both attention and additional assistance to our other projects.
Wikipedia started 7 years ago in a spirit of Eventualism, and tends to thrive when we keep that in mind. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:19, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that Wikipedia needs to prominently advertise sister projects, and it should never link to individual pages that do not otherwise meet our guidelines (e.g., having detailed information for the reader). Links to bad pages at sister projects hurt our readers, and our duty to them far exceeds my interest in promoting another website, no matter how noble its goal. When an editor creates a link to Wiktionary (or any other sister proejct), the editor has the same duty to make sure that the linked page is worth linking to as the editor would incur if linking to any other website in existence. The fact that it's a sister project doesn't excuse linking to a non-existent page, a blank page, a vandalized page [at the time the link is placed: we obviously don't check every link every day], a Wiktionary definition that doesn't provide a definition for the word as it's used in the current context, or other worthless links. Every single external link must be justifiable -- and justifiable in terms of the needs of the general reader of the Wikipedia article, not the interests of the external website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:45, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
We should happily create links to stub articles at Wikipedia, just as much as we should create links to Wiktionary-stubs.
Don't think of them as "external links", but more as slightly-distant-internal-links - hence they can go in the SeeAlso section, or even within the article's flow if linking to a relevant wikinews article (as noted at the VPP thread), etc.
Seriously, Eventualism is why this whole place exploded in the first place, and a patient community (of readers as well as editors) is why it continues to work well. Read through meta:Conflicting Wikipedia philosophies and understand how integral the eventual and community approaches are, to getting things done. Using only short-term-thinking is selfish and outdated! -- Quiddity (talk) 07:23, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
That said, there is a difference between the sister projects that aim to collect existing knowledge (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikispecies, Wikiquote, and essentially WikiCommons) and those that encourage original writing (Wikibooks, Wikiversity) - which should possibly be dealt with in this guideline (anyone have links to past discussions handy?) - and of course Wikinews exists just to argue about... -- Quiddity (talk) 07:53, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
In general, I do not agree. I link to Wiktionary inline when I think that such a link might be useful for a reader with a limited vocabulary. If the linked Wiktionary page does not actually have a definition for the word as it is being used in that sentence, then there's no point in linking it. If the page provides the "wrong" definition, it would actually confuse the reader. Why in the world would you want me to deliberately link to a page that will confuse or mislead the reader?
Additionally, please note that I haven't entirely rejected links to sister projects: I only say two things:
  • There is no good reason to use a large, graphical template for these links in articles; a plain text link works just as well.
  • Editors creating external links to any page must actually review the page to avoid links to low-quality pages, even when the pages are hosted by sister projects. The mere fact that a page is hosted by a sister project does not excuse the editor from a very basic level of due diligence.
I admit that my opinion is biased in favor of our readers at the expense of other sister projects. I do not apologize for that. As a matter of general practice, I'm very friendly to discreet and useful links to Wiktionary. By contrast, I'm not friendly to fancy advertisements for low-quality/high-POV pages at Wikibooks. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:21, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


I mentioned this dispute at WP:VPP#Wikisource and WT:GAN#WP:Layout (since this is a WP:WIAGA page) several days ago. I'm adding an RFC now. Per WP:SILENCE, whoever shows up here gets to make the rules (until we're reverted). There's been unresolved conflict here and at WP:Wikimedia sister projects for a while now. That's not surprising; a certain amount of tension is unavoidable between Wikipedia and its sister projects. is now is the 4th highest-traffic internet site in the world, which is saying something, considering most hits to and are actually people who are trying to go somewhere else. There's nothing wrong with people who work on sister sites wanting to divert some of our traffic their way, as long as they do it within the parameters set up by the Wikipedia community. A good summary of what we expect to see on external sites to justifying linking there is at WP:External links. The claim was made over at WT:Wikimedia sister projects that WP:EL doesn't apply, but nothing in WP:EL says that, and I don't see how WP:EL could not apply: the things discussed on that page are common-sense standards with wide and long-standing community support.

I propose that we remove WP:Wikimedia sister projects from Category:General style guidelines, because a minimum requirement for inclusion in CAT:GEN is stability, and there's no sign that WP:SISTER ever has been or will be stable. It represents dynamic tension between conflicting goals; you could say that hosting arguments over that tension is exactly what that page is for, so it's doing its job. By analogy (to a more stable and more widely read style guidelines page), WP:Manual of Style (mathematics) largely reflects the thinking of mathematicians, which often, but not always, matches what other Wikipedians want; this makes it a good style guidelines page, but it doesn't belong in (and isn't in) CAT:GEN.

If WhatamIdoing and others are willing to compromise and continue to allow "fancy advertisements" in some cases ({{wikibooks}}, etc., which have been recommended in the style guidelines and present in article-space for a very long time), then I'm hoping Quiddity and others will compromise and allow removal of WP:SISTER from CAT:GEN, and allow the general style guidelines to be firm on recommending that sister project links (other than wiktionary, which is a special case for several reasons) stay in the External links section and comply with WP:EL guidelines. That is, I'm proposing that we change the current "When there is no External links section" language in the disputed section, WP:Layout#Links to sister projects, to say that an External links section should be created if it's not already there to hold sister project links (again, except Wiktionary). Deal? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment: Why Wiktionary is a special case: Because I have some hope that many editors will read and perhaps respond to this RfC, I want to explain why Wiktionary is a special case: Linking to Wiktionary helps address Wikipedia's dictionary definition problem. When you discreetly link inline to wikt:unfamiliar words, you prevent someone from feeling like there ought to be an encyclopedia article for the convenience of readers with limited vocabulary (assuming, of course, that the Wiktionary page actually provides the relevant definition). Linking to Wiktionary can help Wikipedia remain an encyclopedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:50, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. I haven't contributed to wp:sister, so really cannot speak for that page, however it does look unstable and disputable, and your suggestions sound thoroughly reasonable.
In the section above, I'm ever so slightly veering into devil's advocate territory - I fully sympathise with the immediatist perspective in some scenarios, but prefer to support eventualism whenever possible. E.g. even if the wikt:trend page was a tiny stub, I'd still advocate linking to it from trend. A stub at wiktionary is just as useful/useless as a stub at wikipedia, for a reader (in a general sense).
Here's a tentative attempt at a summation of my perspective (which I believe is widely shared (?)):
-Wiktionary (and Wikispecies and Commons) are definitely the main special-cases that should be linked irregardless of quality. Existence justifies linking, to put it bluntly. Same as interlanguage Wikipedia links.
-Wikibooks and Wikinews and Wikiversity are hot-potatoes that I have no involvement with, and not enough background knowledge of.
-The others (Wikiquote and Wikisource) fall in between those two groups, and should probably be treated as WhatamIdoing suggests (judsged case-by-case according to standard EL criteria (with a little leeway given imho)). -- Quiddity (talk) 21:05, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Commons is already thoroughly integrated into Wikipedia, so I have to agree. I like your suggestion of Wikispecies; it feels to me like part of the solution to the dictionary definition problem that WhatamIdoing mentions. If everyone is agreed, then can we also agree on what it is about Wikispecies that sets it apart? Is it the fact that it functions in part as a dictionary, and it's largely written by and for specialists? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 22:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to dispute your analogy with WP:Manual of Style (mathematics). WP:MOSMATH is not at CAT:GEN because it is a special purpose style guideline. Anyone who edits mathematics on WP is expected to follow (or try to follow) MOSMATH, and it represents the consensus of not just mathematicians, but also physicists, computer scientists, engineers, educated laypeople, and so on. But comparatively few people edit mathematics articles; if you wanted, you could edit for years and never once edit a math article. CAT:GEN collects style guidelines that everyone should have at least a passing familiarity with; MOSMATH is not such a guideline. In the same way, WP:MOS-ANIME, Wikipedia:Manual of Style (legal), and Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Style guide all represent the WP-wide consensus on how to present their respective topics; but I don't think I've ever edited an anime article, or a legal article, or a military history article, and so I've never needed their MoSs.
That aside, your basic argument is: WP:SISTER is unstable; unstable guidelines should not be in CAT:GEN; therefore WP:SISTER should not be in CAT:GEN. That line of reasoning still stands, (assuming WP:SISTER is indeed unstable, which I am making no attempt to determine) whatever the status of WP:MOSMATH. Ozob (talk) 23:17, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's a much better description of MOSMATH; I've struck my analogy. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 00:44, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

TL:DR. This is something I've followed for a long time and I'd like to weigh in; would you mind shortening the verbiage above to a brief summary of what the RfC is saying, so that I and other new readers can follow? I can't tell what this RfC is asking or proposing: except for images, external jumps to external and non-reliable sites like the sibling projects (when are we going to lose the sexism?) belong in external links. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:52, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Sibling projects, lol! :-) Lets lose the anthropomorphism, not just the sexism! Unless Larry and Jimbo are mom and dad...
Executive summary of the issues:
  1. Are there any Wikimedia projects to which we should sometimes permit links outside the EL section?
    Your answer would seem to be "no" (the media formally known as "images" only link indirectly to commons). Some consider there may be exceptions, in particular Wiktionary.
  2. If there are no other external links, should an EL section be created just for links to Wikimedia projects? (The alternative is to add them to the end of the article.)
  3. In the EL section should the same rules apply to Wikimedia projects as to any other external link?
  4. Should WP:SISTER be a general style guideline?
Answers on a postcard please. Mine: 1. Probably no, but willing to consider Wiktionary; 2. Yes; 3. Yes, possibly with some leniency towards Wikibooks, Wikisource,Added 23:22, 13 December 2008 (UTC) Wikiversity and Commons; 4. No. Geometry guy 18:28, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Hold on, I was poking around at Wikispecies, and now I'm thinking that Wikispecies isn't an exception. Quiddity, how were you thinking that a page like species:Pan troglodytes would be used in the text of a Wikipedia article? Can you give me an example? Regarding Commons, namespaces hosted at Commons are of course fine in the text, but the {{commons}} template should go in External links, shouldn't it? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:52, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I found it odd that it was readily agreed that Wikispecies is like Wiktionary. That's a slippery slope. Imagine if there were a Wikimedia project that provided a directory of companies... would it be helpful to link to the directory for companies not notable enough to have a WP article? Nope. Geometry guy 18:28, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Postcard from the Edgy:
1. Wiktionary is fine if no Wikipedia link will serve just as well; I think that's it. (Some will argue that the {{Commons}} template should be kept inline when it substitutes for images, but that seems to violate the spirit of WP:SELFPUB to me. Also, what's the harm in just linking to additional images as recommended for instance at WP:Image use policy#Animated images?)
2. Yes.
3. Yes, and leniency is okay with me too, but only if you can make the case that the link improves Wikipedia. A Wiktionary link might avoid a link to a Wikipedia page that's little more than a definition; a Wikibooks or Wikiversity link might be an improvement over including details in the article that are demanded by some but that bore or frustrate others.
4. No. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 21:04, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

I thought we were only talking about the {{side box}} links: {{wikispecies}} {{wiktionary}}, {{sisterlinks}}, etc? Hence, that Wikispecies page should be linked to from the end of our Pan troglodyte article, which it is.
Links to the other projects within the article text is not the concern of wp:layout (and I agree that only Wiktionary should ever be linked from within the article text).
My classification-split above was based on the notion that Wiktionary and Wikispecies are: 1) inherently short - and if any content exists it is likely to be helpful (a dictionary definition only needs to be one sentence long to help a confused reader), 2) generally very stable and neutral - essentially just a short opinion-less listing. (in general)
In contrast, Wikibooks and Wikiversity (and to an ambiguous and much-argued extent Wikinews) rely upon original research/writing, which Wikipedia tends to not be fond of... Hence, they could/should be expected to meet our WP:EL guidelines before warranting addition.
Wikisource can be the best example of its kind (ie preferable to a project-gutenberg link) but only once the source document is fully wikified (images added, navigation links added, proofread and verified, etc). Hence, I didn't suppose it met the same criteria of "if it exists, link it" as a Wiktionary/Wikispecies/Commons page.
Wikiquote is our surgically-removed stunted siamese-twin, that depending upon quality can be really useful or utterly atrocious.
The concept of a Wikicompanies seems unlikely, at least until we implement Wikidata, which will both solve and introduce so many problems that it isn't worth prophesizing about here...
Lots of opinion, happy to be corrected/enlightened :) *crawls back towards coffeepot* -- Quiddity (talk) 21:35, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Postcard from SG (thank you for the helpful summary, Gguy, I pick them well, don't I? 1) Perhaps, in rare instances, wiktionary, but only subject to editor consensus and our normal standards, if the link is shown to be accurate and of high quality. We should never automatically give a free pass to non-reliable sources that anyone can edit. 2) Whatever we call images, they are handled differently: I'm unware of recent changes mentioned, but this is a sibling project where links are in the body of the article. 3) EL applies, and we should never automatically include non-reliable and inaccurate sources that anyone can edit just because they are sibling Projects. As in the examples given many times throughout this discussion of COI, advert and spam text that was removed from the Stuttering article and allowed at Wikibooks, I am wary of all of these outside projects, and because anyone can edit them, we should be even stricter in reviewing or accepting them as External links. We should never be obligated to include them. 4) No. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:47, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
The recent change is that the image namespace is now called "File" not "Image" (and similarly "File talk"). It took me by surprise too, but that's the way of the devs :-) Geometry guy 22:31, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

I think I have made all the points I wanted to make about this subject in Wikipedia talk:Layout/Archive 4#Links to sister projects. I do not think that links to wiktionary and wikisource should only appear at the end of a wikipedia page, but should be placed where they are most convenient for the readers of the Wikipedia article. For example if I am reading an article on one of Napoleon's battles and he wrote a message to a subordinate commander, if that note exists on Wikisource, the most convenient place to link to it is as an in-line link in the sentence where it is mentioned, as this saves having to have the message repeated as a quotation in that section of the article. If it is placed at the end in external links then it is most inconvenient. --PBS (talk) 00:40, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Except for this one request by PBS (and only disagreeing regarding Wikisource), we seem to have agreement on G-Guy's points 1, 2 and 4. Point 3 is a bit deep, and all the points mentioned aren't black-and-white but are relevant to the trade-offs discussed at WP:EL. How's this for a game plan: aim for resolution on PBS's point, then write our results from points 1 and 2 into WP:Layout and remove WP:Wikimedia sister projects from CAT:GEN, then discuss point 3, perhaps at WT:EL? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 01:24, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Late to the party, but my 2 cents: links to sister projects should generally be both vetted and displayed in the same fashion as external links. I get the convenience argument, but we don't offer inline convenience links to external sites; why should we do so for sister projects? Or, to approach this from a slightly different angle: we would not include an inline link to even an indisputably reliable source; why should we include an inline link to an inherently unreliable source? A footnote pointing to the sister link is no more or less inconvenient to the reader than a footnote pointing to an external link. Maralia (talk) 05:47, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
"but we don't offer inline convenience links to external sites; why should we do so for sister projects?" One reason is that there has been a agreement over the last few years to move quotes off wikipeia into quotes or sources depending on how large they are. If there is no in-line linking to those other wikipedia projects we may as well go back to including the text in Wikipedia articles because from what you write "why should we include an inline link to an inherently unreliable source", only if the full text of the additional article on the slave trade of the 1815 Treaty of Paris is included in a wikipedia article will it be an inherently reliable source. Also WhatamIdoing covers Wiktionary in "Comment: Why Wiktionary is a special case" above. --PBS (talk) 11:51, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
PBS, I wouldn't be comfortable mentioning Wikisource in the text by name, because that seems to me to be "prohibited" by WP:Self-references_to_avoid#Community and website feature references and WP:Self-references_to_avoid#Neutral self-references are acceptable, and has been for at least a year. I use scare-quotes because WP:SELFREF is a general style guideline, not policy, so it can't really "prohibit" something; on the other hand, I can't remember in a year of watching that page and WT:MOS and WP:VPP, or in the archives, where I've seen anyone mount a serious challenge to text or principles of WP:SELFREF. It's a very persuasive page. If you try to solve that problem by making no mention of Wikisource, then we have an WP:EGG problem; the result of clicking on the link is not at all what the reader is expecting. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 14:04, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Dan I don't understand what you have just written. --PBS (talk) 15:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Please read the sections I linked. I read what you wrote that's now in the archives, and I can't tell how you want to link to wikisource; do you want something like {{wikisource}} or like [[s:foo]]? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:09, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
OK now I understand as it is a reply to what I wrote previously not to ... One reason is that there has been a agreement... :-) Mainly [[s:foo]] but sometimes {{wikisource}} -- mainly to cater redirects that redirect to a section of a larger article eg Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, but also as a style issue, sometimes {{wikisource}} or whatever can fit quite nicely into the blank area next to a Table Of Contents. As to your mentioning of WP:SELFREF I don't see it as relevant to sister project templates and links (see the second from last section) and if it did then mentioning sister projects at the end of the article would be just as wrong as mentioning them anywhere else in an article. We all know what WP:SELFREF was written to advise on and I see this as an extension into an area which it was never intended to cover. --PBS (talk) 14:56, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

←How does this not apply to mentioning Wikisource, Philip? "While we're often inclined to mention the Wikipedia community that we are all part of, as well as the website features we use in creating the articles, these confuse readers of derivative works." Also, Wikisource can't appear as a reference because it's not a reliable source; doesn't linking directly to something that looks like it's trying to be a reference, but isn't a reference, give exactly the wrong impression? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 15:39, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

As I said see the second from last section (WP:SELFREF#Examples of self-references as defined by this guideline). "Also...." That is just as true for links to Wikipedia articles. --PBS (talk) 12:53, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
That's a list of "self-references in Wikipedia's main namespace that are not encyclopedia-neutral", and includes the sister site, disambig and NPOV templates. The point of that section is: sometimes we use these things, but always remember that there's a tradeoff, because they are self-references, so there has to be a compelling reason to use them. Not only is there not a compelling reason to put the wikisource template in the text instead of the EL section, there's a compelling reason not to: it looks like a reference, but it's not one. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 14:03, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
You have deeper insight into the meaning of guidelines than I do. When I went to WP:SELFREF#Examples of self-references as defined by this guideline, I had absolutely no idea what it was talking about or recommending. What does "The following is a list of self-references in Wikipedia's main namespace that are not encyclopedia-neutral. They should at least be acknowledged or marked as self-references but not necessarily be deleted as they serve their purpose here on Wikipedia." mean? We've been told already by the guideline that self-references should be encyclopedia-neutral. So these are examples of things that the guideline opposes, but we are told not to delete them necessarily. How does one acknowledge a self-reference? "This is a self-reference"? Doesn't everything "serve its purpose"?
Why is it that style guidelines are often so badly written? I'm reminded of the adage "Those that can, do; those that can't, teach." (Those that can't teach, teach teachers, and those that can't even do that write guidelines on teaching teachers!) The first example in this section is "The word "Wikipedia" anywhere in an article, unless used where Wikipedia is actually the immediate subject of discussion in the prose." What miserable wordy prose! Geometry guy 18:42, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed that this section of this style guideline is terribly written, but how do you get from there to "All style guidelines are terribly written", or even to "This is evidence that no one is paying attention"? Maybe we were paying attention, but the default is to leave things alone until and unless someone asserts that the words are causing an actual problem. You're asserting that, so after we're finished here and we've handled your point #3 over at WT:EL, I'll head to WP:SELFPUB WP:SELFREF next. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 19:13, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:SELFPUB or WP:SELFREF? We were discussing the latter, but actually the former does seem more relevant to the issue of links to other Wikimedia projects, since they are self-published. Anyway, I did not say "all style guidelines are terribly written"; some have even been copyedited recently :-) Geometry guy 19:35, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay, all are terrible except the ones you copyedited :) I replied on your talk page. My position on the section that Philip invoked is that it's not written very well, and we'll go have a look at that, but if it means something, and that something has consensus, it would have to be that some templates are self-referential, so use them only when there's a good reason. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 19:46, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Here's an approximation to what I think it should mean, in an example: {{NPOV}} states "The neutrality of this article is disputed", and links to talk-space with the injunction that the template should not be removed until the dispute is resolved. That's a self-reference, and isn't "encyclopedia-neutral" because of the talk page link and the "disputed by whom?"/"resolved by whom?" issue (Wikipedians). Should such a self-reference be in a Wikipedia article? Obviously not: Wikipedia articles should comply indisputably with WP:NPOV! Acknowledging or marking the self-reference is pointless: resolving the dispute is the priority, and the template is there to mark the failure of the article to comply with guidelines and policy. Geometry guy 21:53, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Okay, moving along; people are of course welcome to disagree with what we've decided here, but we seem to have agreement for the moment except concerning what advice we want to give on when to include or not include links to sites run by Wikimedia in External links, which should probably be discussed at WT:EL#Continuing discussion from WT:Layout. I have removed WP:SISTER from CAT:GEN and haven't been reverted. After this discussion at WT:EL, next up is WP:SELFREF#Examples of self-references as defined by this guideline. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 17:01, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Leaving the debate about WP:SELFREF, but highlighting my mention of we include in-line links to other Wikipedia article even though they can not be used as references. I have edited the replacement text that Dan has introduced. I am not particullarly fussed about the templates, but like wikictionary I think there are times when links to wikisource is appropriate. I suspect this has a lot to do with the types of articles that I edit. One of the areas that I edit are treaties and being able to link to an article in the original source of a treaty is useful. The example of linking to the day orders written by commanders in the Napoleonic wars is also useful and something were hyperlinks have such an advantage over the printed page. For example there is a historical dispute about Napoleon's orders to Grouchy and what was or was not said in the 24 hours in and around 18 June 1815. It would be useful to link to sources of the despatches in question for those who wish to read what was said as well as the opinions of the historians on both sides of the dispute (Let the facts speak for themselves).
So having given that explanation, I have co-edited the guideline. I have also added one or two other changes to the text, the most significant of which is that these things can also be added to a "further reading" section as well as external links section. --PBS (talk) 10:36, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm on it, I'll try to get some kind of resolution today. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 14:05, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm talking with people over at Wikisource, mostly here. I've heard enough so far to conclude that Wikisource is a special case; I don't know yet what to recommend. I'm going to change the text back as I had it (that is, I'm partially reverting PBS's version after discussions with him), but saying "except Wiktionary and Wikisource" until we can get this figured out. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:20, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
The problem with the current wording is it says in the first paragraph. "Links to Wikimedia sister projects ... including Commons ... . ... Images and other media hosted at Commons are not restricted to External links" is contradictory. That is why I structured the first sentence "Other than Commons, ..." --PBS (talk) 12:04, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Happy holidays, Philip. I was trying to keep it short since it's not the main point, but newer users might be confused, so I clarified the sentence; feel free to revert or rewrite it. In other news, I haven't found consensus on Wikisource. One problem is that Wikisource has potential to be something other than what it is; it's almost entirely a collection of very old primary sources in various states of repair and disrepair, but there's no reason why it couldn't contain recent, high-quality secondary sources, given the world-wide trend towards free information. Some people rebel at the idea of excluding Wikisource from, say, the references section on the grounds that "it's probably useless" as a reference; it doesn't have to be. Another problem is that, for instance, User:Raul654 just got Akutan Zero through FAC with the Wikisource "advertisement" in the text. I haven't asked him what his thinking was; too scared. I wasn't clear on what you were asking for earlier concerning multiple links to the same primary Wikisource document; if you've got an experienced editor submitting an article to a review process, that's one thing, but for the typical editor, an invitation to make multiple links to a primary document, interspersed with their "description" of the document, is going to be an irresistable invitation to WP:OR. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 15:18, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
"irresistable invitation". No it is not, it is an encouragement not to include original source in Wikipedia articles. For example there is a clear distinction between the commentaries on a treaty and the treaty itself. Take article 77.1 of Protocol I, The ICRC commentary (3183-3191) on Protocol I makes clear, this is not a complete ban on the use of children in conflict. The ICRC had suggested that the Parties to the conflict should "take all necessary measures", which became in the final text, "take all feasible measures" which is not a total prohibition on their doing so. At the moment the source for Protocol I is not on Wikipedia source. If it were would it not be useful to link to article 77.1? See for example the work I have been doing on the Peace Treaty of 1815 on Wikipedia Source one can link to any article for example Additional article on the slave trade Slave Trade (That happens to be a section heading but one can link to any article eg ART. I.) --PBS (talk) 16:53, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

←Should we be moving online sources to Wikisource, is that its function? I don't have a position. I take your point that we don't want long primary text passages in articles, in general. I left a message on Raul's talk page asking his position on "Wikisource has original text..." logos in articles, in light of WP:SELFREF. If we can't find consensus on anything involving Wikisource, I don't know what we can do other than say something noncommital here at WP:Layout like "Links to Wikisource are considered on a case-by-case basis; see Self-references to avoid and Primary, secondary and tertiary sources." - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 19:44, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Raul replied at User_talk:Raul654#Wikisource. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 22:35, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
IN other words, all of this verbiage to end up right where we started. Sister links go in External links. IAR applies (as in all guidelines) if there is a very good reason. In other words, no change. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:27, 28 December 2008 (UTC)


I am not proposing to change the name of the section in which references or otherwise are made in articles; I am proposing to change the currently titled section in WP:LAYOUT from "Notes, Footnotes, or References" to "Verification".

  1. There is or have been controversy over what the default title of this section should be (given the lengthy title). This section is founded upon Wikipedia's policy towards verification (WP:V). Therefore the title of the section in the layout guideline should reflect that with a similar title.
  2. The name is unusually lengthy and does no enumerate all the names that are used for this section "Note and references", "Citations", "Bibliography", so on. This is an NPOV issue.
  3. In the contents of this section, it is possible to enumerate the names that have been used or that are status quo, or the second option would be export that responsibility in keeping inline with the status quo among articles (similar to the Furthur reading and Works controversy). ChyranandChloe (talk) 05:06, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Are you thinking that the section title should be "Notes, Footnotes, or References"? I'm sure this is saying that the section or group of sections would be "Notes" or "Footnotes" or "References". Some articles use "Footnotes", but this is now more commonly titled "References". Some articles have a separate "Notes" section. As to the use of "Verification" as a title— I'm not aware of any style guide that would propose that use. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 15:25, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe that C&C is asking for the section in this guideline, WP:Layout#Notes, Footnotes, or References, to be renamed WP:Layout#Verification, with (nearly) the same content.
Perhaps I'm going out on a limb here, but I assume that C&C's major point is to avoid "unduly" promoting the long-standing consensus that ==Bibliography== should contain a list of the author's own works (alternately named ==Works== or ==Publications==), instead of the various </references> used to create the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:04, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
The reason that I like the existing system is that the most common section names are listed right there, in the recommended order. I think that this makes the sequence more immediately obvious at a brief glance. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:39, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
That is point two of my argument. The first one establishes how it was founded and thus why it should be named after such, and the third one proposes a possible concession to information loss (it's not essential unless you feel that it is an issue). The statement "in the recommended order" does not reflect the views of the entire community, which this guideline is suppose to represent. I have my own views, which we have discussed before, and so do others like Bzuk. There is also no absolute consensus on the exact order or the which to enumerate. There is, as you've cited, a de facto practice; but the central point is that all leans towards "Verification". And this policy should remain independent of potential disputes for stability reasons. ChyranandChloe (talk) 03:52, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the fact that this is the order which is very widely followed is precisely why it should be documented here: "Documenting actual good practices" is the #1 source of all Wikipedia policies and guidelines. It is not necessary to have either universal agreement or universal compliance for a practice to be considered normal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:49, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
In my opinion, the documentation of "good practices" is accomplished in the prose of the section, which defers it to "[...]the citation style used in the article". No where in the prose does it state or imply that "Notes", "Footnotes" and so on are actual or common practices; and extending it to the title can therefore be unfounded. "actual and good practices" is certainly subjective; what "Bibliography" and "Citations" lacks in popularity, it gains in rationale. For example, and as stated before, "Bibliography" may be confused with "Works"; and there are several, equally effective, methods not enumerated in the title. My central point is in NPOV, and in the foundation of the section (WP:V); the title should reflect that. ChyranandChloe (talk) 06:49, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
You know, C&C, when exactly 0% of responding editors support your idea, then implementing it anyway isn't so much a "bold edit" as an "anti-consensus" one. I've reverted your change. You tried to get consensus, but it's not there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:50, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
(outdent) You have to remember that there are only two people in this conversation; so the consensus is much more unclear or limited than against. If a few more people would join, I would be much more obliged to go with whatever they view is best for WP:Layout. ChyranandChloe (talk) 01:47, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Myself, yourself, and Gadget850: to quote a Robert Asprin character, "I count real good up to three."  ;-) WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:01, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not entirely polarized on the issue, I'll let it go; but you have to remember how bad our last COI got and how stability is key to good policy. "[...]I've now been in fifty-seven states? and have one left to go." — Barack Obama [2] I'm just glad he can count that high. :-) ChyranandChloe (talk) 04:12, 30 December 2008 (UTC)


The folks at WP:WikiProject Aircraft/page content have their own project-specific page layout guidelines. Today, they assert that WP:Layout#Standard_appendices' injunction that "These sections should all be level 2 headings so that they appear as sections rather than subsections in the table of contents" does not actually mean what it says, i.e., the word "all", which was actually intended to mean "all", is being reinterpreted as "some".

Specifically, they have (sometimes) been using this system:

==See also==

===Citations=== (for short citations)
===Bibliography=== (for full citations)
===Further reading===

==External links== </nowiki>

They now list "Further reading" as a separate L2 section, but believe that having ==References== a L2 header exempts them from making their short citations and full citations use level 2 headers. This "nested" approach was discussed, but received support from only one editor and was disliked by several others (including me).

I don't want to make a huge deal out of this, and I do want to avoid any grousing about using "Citations" instead of "Footnotes" and "Bibliography" instead of "References" (because that belongs at WT:CITE), but if the clearly experienced editors at that project don't understand this sentence about level 2 headings, then no one will. Can anyone suggest a way to improve this? Perhaps it should be restated in the ==Notes, Footnotes, and References== section?

C&C, you may be interested to know they seem to interpret the section heading "Notes, Footnotes, and References" as meaning that there must only be one such level 2 section. I may have to revise my opinion of your earlier recommendation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:17, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I support you on this, WAID, per WP:PEREN#Changes to standard appendices: "Changing systems would be disruptive and ultimately require changing two million existing articles." And if it's done different ways in different articles, that will confuse editors, readers and maintenance bots. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 21:38, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
The statement that "all" section headings should be level 2 certainly has an unintended implication that level 3 headings are barred. Is this the correct interpretation? I feel that there's something more to it.

I am unsure about my "earlier recommendation". Are we talking about "Verification"? If so, my opinion, the standard appendices are evolving and will likely continue to evolve, and keeping with documenting "[...]actual good practices" we should not offer such a definitive guideline. Instead, perhaps we can divide the guideline into two things: a guideline discussing generalizing how layout should be done (this should be definitive), and a recommendation discussing emerging practices and specifics (likely written as an essay). ChyranandChloe (talk) 02:55, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

True: there might be certain exceptions. I've seen history(ish) articles that split full cites of sources into ===Primary sources=== and ===Secondary sources===. I generally think this is strange and often inappropriate (and better handled with ;Bold text headings if truly warranted), but it could be done. However, the "nested" approach that puts three sections (explanatory comments, short cites, and full cites) in a nested section is exactly what was steadily opposed in previous discussions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:27, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi Whatamidoing. I'd just like to clear up what appears to a couple of ways in which I think you've (unintentionally) misstated the case here. The way you've presented it seems to suggest that there's been some decision taken by WP:AIR to fork away from the guideline presented here and/or to interpret that guideline in a specific way. That simply isn't so. WP:AIR's page content guidelines were constructed to reflect this guideline, as it existed at the time (late 2004). If there's tension there now (and I can't see that there is), then it's because the guideline here has moved on, and WP:AIR's hasn't kept up with new developments. This is quite a different scenario from the one that you seem to me to be presenting.

Secondly, nowhere does the WP:AIR guideline mandate (or even suggest) using L3 headers within the L2 references header. The fact that some contributors to articles within WP:AIR's scope have chosen to do this has nothing to do with the guideline.

Thirdly, as I read it, the guideline on this page is ambiguous on this point. It's clear that there should be a L2 header for "Notes, Footnotes, or References", but (to me anyway) the guideline doesn't state or even imply that each of these must be a separate L2 header. Note that the WP:AIR guideline is equally vague on this point, reflecting the ambiguity here. The lack of clarity within the statement that "These sections should all be level 2 headings" is not the meaning of the word "all" (as you've suggested), but exists because which sections constitute "these sections" is not made explicit. I don't see this as experienced editors "not understanding" what the guideline says. I think I understand it very well; it's just that I apparently understand it differently from how you understand it. That's not a lack of understanding on either of our parts; it's a reflection of what's actually written on the page that makes more than one meaning possible.

If there is a genuine consensus that any and all of the "Notes, Footnotes, or References" sections should be separate L2 headers, then this page needs to be revised accordingly, either by separating them into their own sections, or by including an explanatory note to that effect. Cheers --Rlandmann (talk) 20:15, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

PS: it might have been nice to leave a note in the original discussion to let people know that you'd moved the discussion over here.

Hi Rlandmann, Actually, the problem isn't at WP:AIR; the problem is entirely here. We had long and contentious discussions about ref-related sections a couple of months ago, and we all had a clear idea of what the overall goal was. The way we wrote it up, however, has apparently failed to communicate that. It wasn't supposed to be ambiguous on this (small) point, but looking at it now (that is, without the filter of "already knowing what we meant"), I can clearly see now that it's entirely ambiguous. So the editors at WP:AIR don't need to do anything about this, and they have done absolutely nothing wrong. (I don't count "failing to read my mind" or "taking the guidelines at face value without trawling through the archives" as faults.)
The solution, I think, needs to be an explanatory note in the Notes/Footnotes/Refs section. We mushed all of those options into one section so that we could make WP:CITE deal with exactly which section name gets exactly what content (because it depends on citation style), and I still think that was a good choice. C&C's suggestion of renaming our section to "Verification sections" (or something similar) might also help here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:15, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
No problem. I'll also point out that the ambiguity has existed for as long as a "References" section has existed in this guideline (I trawled back to check that the WP:AIR guideline was indeed faithful to what was here in 2004). I'll try to keep an eye on what transpires here. If and when you guys sort it out, there will be no reason for WP:AIR not to follow suit. Cheers --Rlandmann (talk) 03:41, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I've seen history articles do that as well (primary source, secondary, ect.). I'm not against the practice, but I am against the fact that it wastes TOC space. I disagree that we should be deferring so much to WP:CITE, although it is the most definitive guideline in how information is verified; layout mandates how sections are to be used. But you are right, it does depend on the citation style, and perhaps this is a bit like the "Lead section", and we may be interested to use a template.

Most of the issues we encountered in the past were over preference, and as we've discussed before it is a real challenge to write a guideline that documents all good practices. The source of the conflict, that is in my opinion, is that the guideline is too definitive in some areas and too general in others. This goes back to my last comment, which discusses how we can divide the page into a "guideline" and a "recommendation" (and likewise "generalized overviews" and "specific enumerations"). Likely named Wikipedia:Layout (essay), we can use this relieve the conflicts that certain ideas or points are not being discussed (e.g. PBS's and Bzuk's "Bibliography" definition which goes into works, and so on). ChyranandChloe (talk) 00:53, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Lead order

I think maintenence tags should appear before disambiguation links. Disambig links are often too small to easily spot, and the eye tends to move to the larger object first. Stylistically, disambig links are also more similar (i.e., font, coloring, indentation) to the article text than maintenence tags and should remain grouped with them, IMO. For instance, this very Talk page has the maintenence tag first, followed by the disambig link. SharkD (talk) 22:16, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I have question related to this. Shouldn't a well written article that conforms with WP:LAYOUT have no need, and a non-conformist article not care? It's non-essential to the discussion, but I'd like to bring up that point. I agree with SharkD in that it would be more logical visually, however the rationale (this is to my understanding) is that you'd want the screen readers to read the disambiguation links before they get to the maintenance templates. For example directly after the screen reader finishes reading the article title, it begins by saying "cleanup needed..." and then "and oh yeah, here are some articles with similar titles". I believe WP:LS is the one actually responsible for this, WP:LAYOUT only brings because of overlap and for reference. ChyranandChloe (talk) 23:52, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Another option is to make stylistic changes to disambig links so that they are not confused with maintenance banners. An example is the "(Redirected from XXXX)" text that appears beneath an article's title when navigating to it from a redirect. SharkD (talk) 02:12, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that item was handed down from WP:ACCESS, and we can't really change it just because we like it better the other way (although I am sympathetic). The "(Redirected from XXXX)" solution is clever, but we can't do it because the text is highly variable. Also, smaller, unobtrusive text is also a problem for accessibility by people with disabilities. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:29, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Blank Lines between paragraphs

I have a situation where an included image causes a paragraph heading to be significantly separated from its paragraph, resulting in a large blank space between the two. How do I resolve this issue? Page:, section "San Jose extension". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:36, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

This is an Internet Explorer issue I believe, IE interprets the article as this: align the paragraph immediately following image with the top of the image. In the case of the article Bay Area Rapid Transit expansion, the image in the first subsection pushes on the image of the second subsection: and in order for the top of the image in the second subsection to be be aligned with the top of the first paragraph of that subsection, it creates the unsightly gap you're talking about.

There are several solutions: (1) Firefox and Google Chrome interpret the webpage differently from IE, and so it's not a problem for those users; (2) add the template {{clear}} to the bottom of the first subsection so the gap is above the header; (3) move the image in the second subsection to be below the image of the first (this could become a problem for people with screen readers as they would not reader the image caption in sequence with the text); (4) or shrink the image or lengthen the paragraph. ChyranandChloe (talk) 04:00, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

template {{clear}} is the answer I was looking for. Thanks for avoiding the browser prosyletization--oh wait, you didn't avoid it. *sigh*. (talk) 16:23, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Commenting on the various offered solutions: (1) Browser differences regarding css is a can of worms. I don't expect a resolution in my lifetime. (2) Yes! (3) See MOS:IMAGES: "Images should be inside the section they belong to (after the heading and after any links to other articles), and not above the heading." (4) does not address users with different screen resolutions than the editor tailoring the image to look good to him. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:28, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


Does it make sense to list in the See Also section of an article links to articles on the topic's competitors? —Largo Plazo (talk) 20:19, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Listing Ford as a See Also for General Motors? It doesn't make sense to me. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 22:28, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Me neither.. but note in Pepsi there's a "Competitors" section right above the See also which lists Coca Cola and RC Cola. OlEnglish (talk) 00:34, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Should references/notes section be the last section?

It seems to me that high-quality articles have a much larger <references /> section than any "External links" section. I think we should make this change: explicitly put the references section as the very last section. This is a growing trend and I think that it works. There was a time before in-line references when the "External links" section was a large and disorganized one, but I think that with the advent of in-line references, that that time has past.--Spellage (talk) 00:50, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Your suggestion is one of any number of options for ordering appendix sections, most with very good rationales. However, as you will see at footnote 4 of this article, the current option - which also has a good rationale - has been in place for six years. Whether you (or I) like it or not, it isn't going to change unless a massive consensus builds behind an alternative option. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 02:22, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
See also WP:PEREN#Changes_to_standard_appendices. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:30, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

External links

This would not have worked as intended, of course. The Ref in the External Links section would not have been expanded, though a superscripted footnote link pointing to a nonexistant anchor would have been generated.

The updated cite.php, however, handles multiple <References> tags in a reasonable manner. Situations such as this, then, can now be addressed by adding a second <References/> tag, e.g. in the Link notes section below:

Article text.[2]

  1. ^ A footnote to the external link.
  2. ^ A footnote to article text.
External links
Link Notes
  1. ^ A footnote to the external link.

So, the question here is whether this WP:Guideline should provide guidance about this and, if so, what guidance should be provided. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:55, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry, maybe I'm just not reading it right, but I'm having trouble understanding why there would be a need for footnotes to external links. OlEnglish (talk) 01:58, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
So— technically, this works, but I just don't see the need for this. The groups parameter works very nicely when you need a separate references list, as for table notes or article notes. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 02:34, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, with or without a recognized need being seen, such situations have occurred, and will probably continue to occur. The question is whether guidance regarding such situations and article layout should be provided here and, if so, what thst guidance should be.
I should not have restricted this to External links sections in my explanation above. Actually, it relates to <Ref>-packaged material occcurring after the appearance of the <References/> tag. See, for example, the "Kissinger, United States Secretary of State Henry A. "Lessons on Vietnam," (1975) secret memoranda to U.S. President Ford", "Baker, Kevin. "Stabbed in the Back! The past and future of a right-wing myth," Harper's Magazine (June, 2006)", "Buzzanco, Bob. "25 Years After End of Vietnam War: Myths Keep Us From Coming To Terms With Vietnam," The Baltimore Sun (April 17, 2000)", and "Xiaoming, Zhang. "China's 1979 War With Vietnam: A Reassessment," China Quarterly. Issue no. 184, (December, 2005)" items in the References section of this recent-past example. That example was resolved following on comment at Talk:Vietnam War#<Ref> problems with this article need fixing but, had the updated cite.php been available then, it could have been resolved similarly to my example above. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 03:15, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Notes-Footnotes-References vs Notes-Citations-Bibliography

F.Y.I. - see the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#Notes-Footnotes-References vs Notes-Citations-Bibliography Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 00:47, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

This item is getting moldy. I think, if I date this comment, the section will be automatically archived after 20 days. Someone who is impatient and knows more about archiving than I do can do it sooner. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 18:19, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Requesting feedback on using horizontal rules to separate end sections from stub templates

I've always thought that the stub templates placed at the bottom of articles is too close to the preceding section and it just doesn't look right, what do you guys think of my idea of separating them with a horizontal rule so it looks more neat and tidy? Should we mention this in the Mos? Here is an article example of what I mean: Gulzar Alam. OlEnglish (talk) 02:43, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Looks harmless enough to me. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 02:21, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
A double blank line is preferable. See Wikipedia:Stub#How to mark an article as a stub: "It is usually desirable to leave two blank lines between the first stub template and whatever precedes it." Otherwise we risk encouraging the use of HR's in other inappropriate places. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:51, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we should add that recommendation to this article as well. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 21:46, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Sure. Cross-confirmation is generally a good thing. -- Quiddity (talk) 22:40, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh, wait, we already do mention it in this article. wp:layout#Navigational footers, categories, interlanguage links etc. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 01:59, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I've just added an un-date stamped section at the beginning of this article

The hope is that it won't be automatically archived and can save everyone a lot of time. I also hope that I am not violating a Wikipedia rule against creating such a section on a talk page. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 00:00, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Smart and perfectly fine. You could even remove the header (or change to just a bolded header), to have the note appear above the ToC. Whatever works. -- Quiddity (talk) 22:39, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Although it works even better as a {{tmbox}}, which i've just updated it to. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:59, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
The notification is not objective, and posses a tone of ownership. Furthermore, most of the serious editors who do propose changes to the order of the footnotes already understand that there has been past many proposals in the past. I am challenging the notification under WP:OWN and WP:CCC, and removed it under WP:CON. You can get your point across simply by saying "Please note the Perennial proposals…". ChyranandChloe (talk) 21:11, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

re: Placement of image galleries

Where an article has a small image gallery (and it helps the article) is there some kind of style guideline on its placement? (ie. at the very end, or before the appendices, or somewhere in between?) Or is it just the editor's preference depending on how the article's laid out? For example, in this article on the painter Cornelius Krieghoff, the gallery was originally at the very end after the "External links" section but I moved it directly above the "Works" section, which is where I think it should go.. unless there's something in the MoS specifically on this? WP:Layout#Images doesn't mention specifically image gallery placement. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 01:53, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

In this case it appears that the gallery is of the subject's works. So I'd vote for it being right where it is. (Or, perhaps, have it be a subsection of "Works".) Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 02:10, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Right. It makes sense in this case, but this situation made me wonder if there is indeed a specific guideline on image gallery placement in the MoS, or if there should be. Probably best to just let it be up to the editor though, depending on the article. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 02:46, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
After working on the {{gallery}} template, the most common location I see people place it is directly preceding the standard appendices (similar to where works is placed) or as part of the last section. You can find a articles using galleries here (don't forget that its a transclusion). Most of the guidelines that I know of revolve around "Wikipedia is not a media respiratory", so the whole idea of having a gallery is stifled because of this. One method I've used to qualify this policy was to have a really small gallery (three or four images) with {{commons}} box next to it. PBS uses a similar method with wikisource. ChyranandChloe (talk) 03:45, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
That list seems very incomplete - there are other versions of the gallery format not caught I think? Johnbod (talk) 15:41, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
You're right, the list only applies to the gallery template not the gallery tag. ChyranandChloe (talk) 04:44, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
In Cornelius Krieghoff, I've moved the works section to a sub section of external links, as the works section is a list of ELs, so should not as such be in the main text, but in the EL section. A gallery is part of the main article content, so it makes sense to place it at the end of that content, but before See also, which relates to other articles. Ty 04:11, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • What's this "the gallery"? Many articles on very visual subjects, like the flagship history of fashion series (eg 1600-1650 in fashion) or art articles like Raphael, make very effective use of a number of small galleries at relevant points in mid-article. There is no guideline afaik, nor do I think there should be one. But most come at the end of the main text. Btw, there is an attempt to reword the current outdated wording on the subject of having galleries at all at Wikipedia_talk:Image_use_policy#One_more_try_with_galleries... Johnbod (talk) 04:25, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

I've just added an un-date stamped section at the beginning of this article

{{ tmbox
| text = '''DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE ORDER OF THE APPENDICES?'''<br />No doubt you have a very good rationale for the ordering you would propose. However, as you will see at footnote 4 of [[wp:layout]], the current option - which also has a good rationale - has been in place since 2003. Whether you (or I) like it or not, the recommended ordering is not going to change unless a massive consensus builds behind an alternative option. ''See also'' [[WP:PEREN#Changes_to_standard_appendices]].

The hope is that it won't be automatically archived and can save everyone a lot of time. I also hope that I am not violating a Wikipedia rule against creating such a section on a talk page. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 00:00, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Smart and perfectly fine. You could even remove the header (or change to just a bolded header), to have the note appear above the ToC. Whatever works. -- Quiddity (talk) 22:39, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Although it works even better as a {{tmbox}}, which i've just updated it to. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:59, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
The notification is not objective, and posses a tone of ownership. Furthermore, most of the serious editors who do propose changes to the order of the footnotes already understand that there has been past many proposals in the past. I am challenging the notification under WP:OWN and WP:CCC, and removed it under WP:CON. You can get your point across simply by saying "Please note the Perennial proposals…". ChyranandChloe (talk) 21:11, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Portal template as *only* entry in "See also" section

This guideline now reads See also" is the most appropriate place to link a Portal with the {{portal}} template.

What isn't clear is whether, if an article doesn't already have a "See also" section, if that section should be created solely to put a portal template into it, or, alternatively, if the portal template should go elsewhere. As an example of the first, see Girl Scout cookie#See also.

I realize this may be seen as instruction creep, but I've at least several times moved such a template and then deleted this section (now entry), and now have discovered that Portal instruction pages seem to be silent on the matter of whether creating a "See also" section is appropriate. See, for example, Portal:Transport/Things you can do: Add {{Portal|Transport|Nuvola apps ksysv.png}} to the see also section of Transport-related articles

I think that additional direction in the guideline would be useful. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:24, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Same thing with External links section and interwiki links to sister projects. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 03:36, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
It's logical to place the portal template in "See also", and interwiki in "External links", and no reason not to, just because they are (at least initially) the only entries there. They are not likely to remain the only entries forever. Ty 03:54, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I thought that the recommendation for links to 'sister projects' specified that these links belonged in the last section, whatever that section was called. That is, that you do not create ==External links== solely for {{wikisource}}-type templates. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:49, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd agree with that. Johnbod (talk) 20:38, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Now that portal templates are non-printable, the printed version of an article with only a portal in the See also will look odd. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 23:30, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to add a section heading

I propose that this section of the guideline be renamed to "Related information", thus making it a formally approved member of the TOC.

Wikipedia articles generally follow a rational progression: from the lead (introduction to the overall topic); through the specific individual topics (Early life, Demography, Life cycle, etc.) whose order is determined largely through consensus as to their primacy; and following down through the See also, Notes/References sections and External links. These last are of lesser relevance to the article topic itself, i.e. "the fine print" and "other stuff".

However, right down at the bottom of the page there is often a wealth of "sideways" information. For settlements, there is often a map of what other settlements are adjacent. For prime ministers, other ways of listing them by oldest, youngest, &c. For bacteria, other things that look the same under a microscope. And for almost everything, a whole load of categories that let the reader explore the "space" the article resides in.

For the casual reader, this information might not be apparent, since it resides under External links in the usual article structure. We do a disservice by making these links obscure.

I have tried the insertion of "Related information" in the Vancouver, L/PMOC and London, Ont. articles. The intended effect is to draw the reader's attention in the TOC to the many links available right down at the bottom (which is currently addressed as somewhat of a "dumping ground"). This style element would only be indicated when there was significant content below, i.e. when it would be useful to the casual reader.

As an alternative, the See also section could be moved down to the bottom. The MediaWiki software mandates that categories show at the bottom-bottom of the page, so it's the logical location for any See also/Related information.

For any tl;dr skimmers, first and last sentences are the most important! ;) Franamax (talk) 23:32, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, I'm sure someone who has given this more thought will come up with a reason why this is a bad idea, but it won't be me. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 23:41, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Under WP:PG, guidelines document "actual good practices". While this or a similar method may be a good practice, it may not yet be a practice already in place. In order to verify whether or not it is an actual practice, you can do a Google exact phrase search, which looks for these two words "Related" and "information" in that exact order. Although it may be confounded as words that can stochastically appear in the body of an article, this is the best measuring device we have for preliminary proposals—or proposals that have yet to propose a direct edit to the page WP:LAYOUT. I've done the first step, which yields roughly 2000 hits, however looking at the results it appears to be seriously confounded.[3] The proposal appears to be an unlikely opponent to the current method at this point; and remember that these guidelines document the status quo, not so much as to change it. I can't think for you, and you'll have to provide the burden of evidence; however, just because my search yields false doesn't imply that yours will.

Testing whether or not it is a "good" practice can be very subjective, and you'll have to find some people who will support you on this. In my opinion hooking on templates to the bottom of an article like that can be messy and confusing; which is further compounded since they would inherently appear in the External links section or the last section in an article. However, creating a section just for these templates does not appear to be a reliable method for all articles, especially those with only a few templates at the bottom. Not every article or editor follows WP:LAYOUT, and guidelines are inherently "advisory" in nature. Therefore, if you can adequately defend your method in the articles you work with, and likewise remain consistent with the WP:MOS's stability clause. This method can be used. Whether or not it will gain popularity with other editors, or whether or not it will be seriously opposed, isn't up to us. ChyranandChloe (talk) 06:56, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't think this is appropriate, I doubt that it will be popular/ever become a common practice, I don't like the way it looks (particularly when the section contains solely standard collapsed blue navboxes), and I dislike having yet another "appendix" in the table of contents. That's, what, five on the list now? In most articles, that dedicates the majority of the TOC to appendices. I oppose recommending it here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:32, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
The idea actually originated because of a collapsed blue navbox - I didn't notice that what I was asking for was already there, because it was so unobtrusive. Well, that and my excessively thick skull :)
I share the concern on proliferation of appendices, however putting the internal links under the External links heading really doesn't make sense. If the idea does ever catch on, to me the best solution would be to put the "See also" links down there too. Placement of all these internal links at the bottom is somewhat necessitated since that is where the category links show up. Franamax (talk) 18:42, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Moving the See also below the EL probably wouldn't happen. As part of WP:PEREN, the concept is a on-wiki (the article) to off-wiki (EL, References) scheme. The navigation boxes, I would imagine, are considered more like category links than as a "See also" section. I never had much love for the small blue boxes at the end. They can be very obscure, especially when they are collapsed, and the reader usually isn't able to take advantage of them. They are, however, particularly popular in wikiprojects who want to keep track of a large number of semi-related articles (e.g. Template:Zoonotic viral diseases).

{{Geographic Location}} template, as you showed us in the article Vancouver, seems to be a concept WP:CITY likes to promote. This breaks away from the idea of collapsible boxes at the end of an article, which provides greater validity to the claim that of having a section at the end. In a way, I think I'm trying to circumvent the entire issue by taking a step towards mandating what can and cannot be added to the footer. What do you guys think? ChyranandChloe (talk) 06:41, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Infoboxes, sidebars and images in lead

I'd like to propose that infoboxes and sidebars be prioritized over unadorned images in the lead sections of articles. The reasoning being that I think infoboxes and sidebars look more professional, and that they provide more general information at a glance to someone who is merely scanning the lead sections of articles. The lead sections of articles tend not to go into sufficient depth to properly describe an image and its importance/relevance to a topic. Further, I think that they should be prioritized in this order: infoboxes, sidebars, images. Please reply with your opinion. SharkD (talk) 04:37, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not necessarily sure if the concepts is all the way there. This might be a de facto practice in some areas. For example, WWII uses this scheme of infoboxes, sidebars ("part of the series"); however articles such as Islam, who receive tremendous attention might not be able to use this scheme. In my opinion, if I can cut the images and use a navigational footer box instead of a sidebar, which would leave only the infobox. I would. It would probably be best treat these decisions case by case. If they can use this scheme, or perhaps an even better one, the editor would most like have applied it by the time they reach a GA or FA review. ChyranandChloe (talk) 06:20, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
The compromise position, at least with infoboxes, is to include the image in the infobox. See Aspirin for an example. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:55, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, most infoboxes already have some sort of image in them. I'm referring specifically to thumbnails and other images that do not appear within any sort of template. SharkD (talk) 01:02, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Absolutely disagree. There are far too many sidebar templates, and in most cases a good image is greatly preferable. Infoboxes can be helpful, but can also be overused. Many people feel like me, so I would guess your chances of getting this into a guideline are about zero. Johnbod (talk) 19:21, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Notes or References?

I need clarification on something, which has come up in three different discussions with other editors recently regarding my edits, two of which are disagreements. For the longest time, I thought the formatted sources given as numerical footnotes that, when clicked where they appear in the article's body, take you down to the list at the bottom of the article, were called "References", and always titled that section by that name. Recently, however, I discovered on WP:Layout this, this and this, which seems to indicated that that section is actually called "Notes", and that References sections are for the non-formatted list of sources used. User: Gavia immer has insisted On my Talk Page that the list of formatted citations is called "References". Which is it? Am I right, or is he? Nightscream (talk) 03:06, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I prefer to refer to this section in abstract as the "verification sections", as the actual title used may encompass"Notes", "Footnotes", "References", "Sources", "Citations", "Bibliography", and "Works cited". WP:LAYOUT only decided to enumerate three the most commonly used. The key issue though is not what we prescribe. Each method asserts its own merits, which can be applied in different contexts. What I believe you're trying to get at is the stability clause of WP:MOS: "The Arbitration Committee has ruled that the Manual of Style is not binding, that editors should not change an article from one guideline-defined style to another without a substantial reason unrelated to mere choice of style, and that revert-warring over optional styles is unacceptable." This is used along with WP:CON, which defers the style to: the previous stable version, the most rational or effective version, or the primary contributor. I hope this answers your question. ChyranandChloe (talk) 05:49, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
C&C is right: The rule is that there is no rule about what editors choose to call "Notes" or "References". Whatever makes sense to the editors on a page and won't confuse the readers is fine. "References" is (by far) the most common choice for this section, but you're not required to use the most common choice. When in doubt, I recommend sticking with the original choice.
"Sources", "Citations", and "Bibliography" are deprecated in this context as potentially confusing: Sources could refer to source code, a place to buy something, etc.; Citations could be military honors, government proclamations, the author being cited in another important work, the paper that traffic violations are written on, etc.; Bibliography is usually reserved for a complete list of all printed works by an author. Note, please, that "deprecated" is different from "prohibited"; if you find these reasons unconvincing, then you are certainly allowed to use them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:02, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't see why there isn't a consistent guideline. If one uses "Notes" for formatted footnotes, and "References" for non-linked lists of sources, shouldn't that be adopted consistently? If one were to use "References" for the linked notes, and then included a list of sources, what would they call that section?
Is there any way I can start a consensus discussion on this so that agreement can be achieved on this point? Nightscream (talk) 21:17, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Anyone? Nightscream (talk) 15:16, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy) is your best bet. --ThaddeusB (talk) 15:56, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone here (or at WP:CITE, which owns that issue after we evicted it from this page) wants to go through that time-wasting and unresolvable nightmare. Wikipedia has a couple of editors that are absolutely determined that their unusual approach is the sole correct one, and many more that have reached a "live and let live" compromise -- you can use References so long as they get to use whatever they like. It took some work just to get WP:CITE#How_to_present_citations to quit using a few distinctly uncommon titles in its examples. Perhaps five years from now, people will feel differently, but for now, I really wouldn't consider that discussion to be a good use of your energy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:42, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


The pictoral examples provided (thumbs) are so small they are useless. I was going to enlarge and then realized that may be inappropriate at the "layout page". but still. whats the point of an example if it can not be seen. Thanks--Buster7 (talk) 11:38, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Is there a way to do a "click to enlarge" from a Wikipedia page? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 16:55, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Have you tried a)clicking on the image, b)changing your "my preferences" (top right menu bar), "files" settings? Johnbod (talk) 19:17, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. I've incorporated it into the article. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 19:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

We could still use a higher resolution version of the example image?

And maybe an example image with more elements. I find it hard to quickly scan the article for the correct order of everything. (talk) 05:19, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Meta links to portals

Is it possible to translate and use the French template Méta lien vers portail ? It is very useful for a series of articles related to one subject, and it is the most used template in French. It is a substitute to categories (which are often too large and invisible) and a useful redirection for someone who need more information on a subject. Currently, very few pages link to portals so that few people see them. Pah777 (talk) 15:32, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

We use the {{portal}} box (and multiples of that, or {{portalbox}} for many-all-in-one) here at En. I assume that is equivalent. See the section in this guideline at WP:SEEALSO. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:42, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I know there is already a template there but I assume the rules can be changed. A strip like that of the French is more suitable (more visible, the same width as navboxes, one strip can link to several portals, it is placed at the bottom of articles instead of the "see also section" which is inexistant in most articles). Let's compare the utilization rate of the templates: fr=70% en=55% (but in english, because of project banners which all include this template, most of the pages that link to it are talk pages, which are invisible for the internet users, so that does not count). I understand that people here are reluctant to adopt French inventions, however innovative and genius they are. Pah777 (talk) 18:29, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
While the French approach is beautiful, the English Wikipedia has decided to always put these boxes under ==See also== instead of at the very end of articles. Consequently, a full-width/navbox style would look strange. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:58, 27 April 2009 (UTC)


Is it possible to change the layout, I am tired of having disambiguation links (dablinks) before maintenance tags and infoboxes. South Bay (talk) 06:12, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

That part of the order was basically decreed by WP:ACCESS, who say that it is very much preferable for users of screen readers and other (slow) assistive technologies because it lets them 'opt out' of the warnings and such earlier if wanted. You could try to change their minds, but I don't give you very good odds of it working. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:35, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Appendix order

This has probably been discussed in the past, and I don't want to stir up to no purpose a matter on which there is a clear consensus. I just want to say that I personally disagree with the order laid down in the project page, which is to put "See also" immediately after the text of the article.

To me it seems logical to have the footnotes close to the text, and the suggestions for further study, whether inside ("See also") or outside ("External links") Wikipedia, close together.

I have read the rationale given in the project page, but it seems non-intuitive. My opinion seems to be the intuitive view of most editors, since in nearly all the Wikipedia articles with which I am familiar the References (footnotes) section comes immediately after the text, and the "See also" section comes immediately before the "External links" section. In the few cases in which the other order is used, this seems to have been imposed at a later stage by someone who applied the non-intuitive(?) rule given here. Lima (talk) 14:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I assume that you have read WP:PEREN#Changes_to_standard_appendices, as recommended at the top of this page? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:35, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I haven't found it at all illuminating. I suppose that must be my fault. In particular, "These guidelines only seek to document the status quo and not to change it" seems not to correspond to reality. As far as my limited vision goes, the most common practice seems to be to put the notes with the text, and the further reading, internal and external, together after that. It is those who apply "these guidelines" who seem to me (a false impression, perhaps?) to be changing the existing status quo in articles. Lima (talk) 19:52, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I've seen it almost entirely the other way around; perhaps we edit in very different areas. The only common 'deviation' that I see regularly is to put the ==References== last, with the ==External links== above them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:30, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, then, I have had my say. That is enough. Lima (talk) 03:49, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I know I'm coming in late, but one emerging practice I believe you might be interested in is rather than having a see also, the links are either deferred to the navigational footerbox or with the {{dablink}} within the article. This hasn't really amounted to a full force proposal, but it's something I would be looking at. Thoughts? ChyranandChloe (talk) 05:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

'See Also' wording

I have a question about the wording of the following sentence: A "perfect" article then may not have a "See also" section at all,.... This can be interpreted in two different ways: A perfect article doesn't necessarily have to have a "See also" section or A perfect article must not have a "See also" section. The way I understood it, the first interpretation is right. Am I correct? Sorry for asking, but I am not a native speaker and got confused. Is it possible to reword that sentence for clarity? Thanks Splette :) How's my driving? 05:16, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

A perfect article may not need a See also. Yes, a FA can have a See also, but the real decision is deferred to the editors. WP:LAYOUT itself is actually quite neutral. In the article we're working on my comment was directed at Andrewjockly who said that it was a "de facto standard"[4] to all articles. ChyranandChloe (talk) 05:47, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out that confusing sentence. I have changed the language to be less ambiguous. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:58, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. @ChyranandChloe: I wasn't sure how you had interpreted the sentence and also Atmoz said something along those lines. Thats why I wanted to make sure here, it wasn't me who got it wrong. Anyway, thanks for the clarification Splette :) How's my driving? 06:26, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


Would it be useful, or clutter, to add the words "{{lifetime}} if used in a biographical article is placed after Categories, so that the birth and death categories it creates are listed last", either as a bracketed note after "Categories" or as a new bullet point (perhaps indented) below it? It's a question of layout, and is specified in the template documentation and, indirectly, at WP:Categories which says "The order in which categories are placed on a page is not governed by any single rule (for example, it does not need to be alphabetical). Normally the most essential, significant categories are listed first." (Indeed might it be useful to add that sentence to the bullet point on Categories, as it gives helpful guideline on order=layout?) PamD (talk) 08:29, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

  1. I don't think specifying the template {{lifetime}} is necessary. The template isn't the only one used, and the categories aren't the only navigational aid that uses templates. For example, {{Link FA}} is used for the interlanguage links.
  2. The order of each category link does have an effect on the order from which they display in at the footer. However, certain infoboxes and templates[5] transclude categories into the article, which completely disregards order from which they appear. However specifying the order of categories editors do have control of, that is "categories [at the article footer] should either be ordered alphabetically, by importance, or by a predetermined reasonable system", wouldn't be unreasonable. ChyranandChloe (talk) 18:57, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Just a suggestion

Perhaps the sample article layout image should show an example of navboxes and the like for further clarification? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 01:03, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The original images should not be resized as well. I'll do that when later on when the standard appendices are better documentation, unless, of course, if you feel that this is a pressing concern. Join in User talk:WhatamIdoing#WP:LAYOUT. ChyranandChloe (talk) 03:57, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Layout policy for talk pages is discussed

In User:Magioladitis/Talk Layout you can find a proposed policy for Layout in talk pages. There is also an ongoing discussion in User talk:Magioladitis/Talk Layout. You are invited to contribute and participate in the discussion. Thanks, Magioladitis (talk) 08:38, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Looking at it. Commented. Are you planning for this to be an addition to WP:LAYOUT, WP:TPG, or as an entirely new guideline? Remember that this is a guideline not policy, unless you are planning on going beyond "advising" editors—to a point where talk pages may be compelled to follow this structure. Most style related project pages are guidelines and to a lesser extent essays. ChyranandChloe (talk) 00:06, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Refs in External links

Sometime after mid-January 2009, a new version of the cite.php extension apparently went into effect. Prior to this, I had noticed a few articles with constructions like the following:

Article text.<ref>A footnote to article text.</ref>

== References ==

<References />

Notes, Footnotes, or References

I believe we should rename the section from "Notes, Footnotes, or References" to "Verification section", and to move the list of possible names into the body of the section. As we've articulated before, this section can take up a number of names beside those enumerated in the title. This likewise also provides the opportunity to adequately address their usage, and those who have been deprecated. Change has been made in the following diff[6]. Wording is taken from the previous resolutions in [7]. ChyranandChloe (talk) 22:00, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I've reverted your changes (without prejudice) pending discussion here.
I could have wished that you'd thought of resurrecting this next week or so, since I've just gotten a list of common headers from a random sampling of 2,000 articles. I'd been thinking that if we had a better handle on what was actually being used, then we might be able to deal with this perennial issue in a more data-driven fashion. If anyone wants to dive into that file, the next step is to fill in the fourth column by hand: "Yes" if the order is what's recommended here, "No" if it's not (e.g., External links placed before See also), "Maybe" if you need to double-check to see how it's being used, and "Single" if there's only one header (because a single item can't be out of order with itself. Additionally, we need to do a sanity-check on a reasonable subsample of the articles to make sure that we're not missing anything.
In general, I don't support changing the section header because it breaks the pattern set by the other headers in this section, and I do support telling people which headers are the most common (because editors frequently like to know that). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:29, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Here are the results concerning the verification sections. Questions are at the bottom.

I can use Notepad++'s count feature to get the numbers. Thanks for the data, that must have been the hard part. I've tabulated and compiled the data you provided me in User:WhatamIdoing/Header frequency; in addition to running a few common statistical inferences. Since our COI is over the verification section, I've restricted the results to just that—for less reading and since it is my central point. The language is semi-formal. I try to keep it as simple as I can, but I don't want to compromise with loosing precision. Bear with me. I'll assume you've have had half of first year statistics or at least an understanding of it, if you haven't just tell me. It's okay. I'll get you up to speed on the parts you don't understand. If you already get it, tell me, I don't like long posts like this one.

Footer type Count Proportion Error bound‡
References 979 48.95% +- 2.19%
Notes* 89 4.45% +- 1.04%
Bibliography* 35 1.75% +- 0.57%
Footnotes 13 .65% +- 0.352%
Sources 1 0.05%
Works cited 1 0.05%
Citations 0 0%
  • * May be confounded
  • † sample size too small to calculate reliably
  • ‡ error bounds are constructed with a 95% confidence interval (CI)

Notes and References in any order occured in 46 cases; which implies that either: one section was used for inline verification and the other for general, or one section was used for explanatory notes and the other for verification. The break down is unavailable.

  • The difference between the proportion of occurrences of References and Notes is 44.5125% with 2.3825% Error 95% CI.
  • The difference between the proportion of occurrence of Notes and Bibliography is 2.85% with 1.058% Error 95% CI.
  • The difference between the proportion of occurrences of Bibliography and Footnotes 0.8% with 1.6% Error 95% CI.

The null hypothesis is that the proportion of sections for each item is the same. The alternative hypothesis is that the proportion of the first listed item is greater than the second. I'm not going to use a lot of the formal language, so use common sense.

  • Comparing References to Notes, References falls thirty-seven standard errors above Notes, with a p-value of essentially zero. We can therefore infer beyond a reasonable doubt that the proportion of "References" is greater than the average proportion of "Notes" and those items listed thereafter.
  • Comparing Notes to Bibliography, note that Bibliography may or may not be used for verification. Running the same test as before, "Notes" falls over four standard errors above "Bibliography". The p-value is 0.000000419. That is to say, if the actual proportion of articles with "Notes" were the same as "Bibliography", then there would be a 0.000000419 probability that a sample would get the same proportion or an even greater proportion than what was produced. The proportion of articles with the occurence "Notes" is greater than "Bibliography" beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Comparing Bibliography to Footnotes. Bibliography falls over three standard errors above Footnotes, the p-value is 0.0007.
  • The remaining have too small of a number of occurrences is too small to run the test reliably.

Beyond a reasonable doubt is with a 5% alpha-level and a 20% beta-level.

I've accounted for rounding error, but if you see a number that looks dubious, tell me and I'll recheck it. Here are the assumptions I check that would allow me to run test reliably: sample size is greater than 40, data is from an random sample, population is at least ten times the sample, n(p) is greater than 10, and n(1-p) is greater than 10.

For those values that are too small to measure the certainty, and using this study as an exploratory data analysis, I can calculate the next sample size.

With the given data I'll conclude the following: for "References" we can list beyond a reasonable doubt, Notes and Bibliography may be confounded since some may use it for verification other may not, and Footnotes we can establish beyond a reasonable doubt. The remaining do not occur enough to allow me to the statistical test and still render reliable results. I'll post my work if you want to, but it'll take a lot of space.

I'll end my exposition here, here are my questions:

  1. Define sub-sample. I don't want any ambiguity between what you mean and what you've said. Talking about this[8] right?
  2. The results above are only counts of the number of times they occur, which does not necessarily equate to the writer's intent. This is a confounder which makes me want to make some amends to the procedures you're using. I counted occurrences of each section title and made a few assumption about their intent. The only issue so far I see is "Notes" and "Bibliography" which have duel meanings. That would probably be our next task, to figure out intent for these two sections. Should we recheck "Notes" and "Bibliography" for confounders? If yes, I'll want to amend the procedures we're using.
  3. The sample size is too small to measure with certainty the last three items on the list. What do you consider we do? I was thinking about throwing them out or listing them as exposition when we get to wording the guideline.
  4. The central point is the verifications section, can we do the order of the standard appendices next week? It would be easier, in my opinion, to tackle one issue at a time. There are also some procedural issues you're using on the fourth column that I think would render the results invalid in an active discussion. I'll comment on that, but my central point is the verification sections. ChyranandChloe (talk) 07:03, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    1. The point is to double-check some proportion of all of the original 2,000 articles, to make sure that we didn't miss a major category. For example: we didn't pull "Reference" sections, only "References" sections. I've already found three headers that exist in a relevant section of an article and weren't included in the original list. If these prove to be moderately common, then we need to repeat the survey with a longer list of headers.
    2. This is why I'm processing it by hand instead of just running the stats. It's slower, but you get stronger results.
    3. I think that removing distinctly uncommon choices from this page entirely is an acceptable response. WP:CITE and associated pages, of course, will doubtless want to be more inclusive.
    4. I don't see any way to "document actual practice" in this section without actually knowing what the actual practice is. As for your desire to rename the section to make it inconsistent with the other headers, I oppose that no matter what the order or frequency is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:04, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Reasonable to say, if the only part of the edit you dispute is the section title, I'll save it for later. This diff[9] only has the updated prose consistent with the wording from [10]. ChyranandChloe (talk) 17:53, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Renamed section to "Notes or References". Footnotes is rarely used as we've established in the survey, it can be enumerated in the prose. Notes is kept since the section may refer to explanatory notes. Cleaned up the prose to be more explicit. It may be clearer if we divided the section into "Explanatory notes" and "References". ChyranandChloe (talk) 05:25, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I think that the shorter heading is acceptable, if no one else happens to object.
The problem with splitting this section (and the reason it was merged to begin with) is the existence of combined sections, typically titled ==Notes and references==. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:44, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Separate sections for general and in-line references

At the moment, Wikipedia:Layout suggests that "References" contain either in-line or general references. However, often pages (like stubs) will start with general references and grow to include in-line references. In those cases, an initial "References" section like:

* Doe, John. "A general reference." 2009.

will often change into

* Doe, John. "A general reference." 2009.

or worse (e.g., combining the smaller-fonted {{reflist}} with explicit bulletted lists, which might themselves be numbered). This problem is occurring on many Wikipdia pages. Arguably, it's best to convert general references to in-line references once the first in-line reference is added. Among other things, that prevents ambiguity. However, when it's not obvious about how to do that, it seems like there should be a separate "Works cited" section (which might begin and end with {{refbegin}} and {{refend}}). No? —TedPavlic (talk) 15:41, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

You're talking about a topic that's deferred to WP:CITE. WP:LAYOUT just tell you where to stick this section or group of sections, and the titles used for them. On top of using both general and inline citations, just inline, or just general—there is parenthetical citations which may use a numbered list, bulleted list, or indents (e.g. Actuary); and a citation style from which the inline citations refers to the general citation, such as when a larger work is broken down (e.g. Jane Austen, Ebola). ChyranandChloe (talk) 19:08, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's a problem, but, no, it's not "our" problem. If anyone is interested, Ted has started a discussion at WT:CITE#References.2C_Inline_references.2C_and_further_reading. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:51, 3 June 2009 (UTC)


Just out of Curiosity, who and where did these layout rules come from?? South Bay (talk) 00:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

The wording for "Notes or References" came from WhatamIdoing and I in addition to being backed by a study we did not too long ago; the order of the standard appendices is backed by the study we did on WhatamIdoing's talk in addition to the reasons enumerated in the archives and in WP:PEREN [11]. Butwhatdoiknow did much of the prose, but I don't have notes on which pieces exactly. This guideline has been around since November 2002[12], and has passed through a number of people [13]. ChyranandChloe (talk) 00:28, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
More generally, like all of Wikipedia's style guidelines, it represents, or attempts to, what experienced editors do everyday throughout the encyclopedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:15, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Appendix template

Interesting thread about the {{Appendix}} template (which collects the last few appendix sections of an article in a box, see History of the Earth#See also for example) taking place at User talk:Gimmetrow#Appendix template. Could use some more feedback or elbow grease. -- Quiddity (talk) 18:02, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Pretty soon whole articles would be one big template, and editors would only have to fill out the fields like a bunch of yes or no questions. This looks like a move towards that, and a template of that design wouldn't be hard to write. WP:LAYOUT cannot definitively say no, but it likewise cannot definitively say yes. This is my interpretation. Remember that it's a guideline and inherently advisory. It'll hold weight at WP:FA and WP:GA as they may withhold approval, or when stability is being challenge (see WP:MOS#Stability of articles); but if it can reasonably defended on the articles those promoting its usage work with—then neutrality, consensus, and stability prevents this method from being irradiated if the proponents are determined. This is a non-standard practice which has evaded our studies. WhatamIdoing might have something to say about this, but this looks like something the community on a wider scale needs to look at. Notify the village pump and run an RFC. ChyranandChloe (talk) 06:27, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I would second what ChyranandChloe has said. My worry is that as more and more templates get added to articles, it becomes harder and harder for non experienced editors, who may not be particularly computer literate, to join the party. If that happens then Wikipedia will gradually lose a large pool of potential new editors, and we already have problems of systemic bias --PBS (talk) 09:56, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I have a weakness for the "editability argument". It is true we should not include too much wiki mark-up which confuses new users. However, I think the appendices are not usually a place where new users want to edit. Most new users I see doing so add linkspam or other undesirable content. This template is btw relatively easy to edit, unlike for example infoboxes and <ref>-tags it doesn't move sections of the source text to other places in the article. Woodwalker (talk) 09:43, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I have nominated it for deletion. Please see Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2009_June_10 if you have an opinion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:37, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:ALSO and Template:See_also

At Template:See_also, it says that this template is "used for small sets of see also information at the head of article sections according to Wikipedia:Layout." However, Wikipedia:Layout doesn't actually say anything about the "see also" template. If this policy is unsettled, I would like to propose that we permit the use of the template as a hatnote at the top of an article. Certain articles are so closely identified that they are virtually identical, yet are nevertheless inappropriate for redirects; and it is too risky to assume that a reader will appreciate this identity from the "see also" section at the bottom of the article, or even from prominent text in the opening paragraph. I also think this convention will minimize the degree to which the two articles diverge. (I have these examples in mind: [14] [15] [16] [17]. Can I use the see also template in these instances? Agradman (talk) 23:06, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:ALSO and WP:SEEALSO redirects to WP:LAYOUT#"See also" section, while the shortcut can also refer to the {{Seealso}} template as well. WP:LAYOUT covers the template in "Section templates and summary style", to place it in the context of the {{main}} template and the like. What I think you're looking at is a disambiguation on WP:ALSO[18] and WP:SEEALSO[19], which differentiates the template and the section. If that's where the discussion is leading.

WP:LAYOUT, in the section "Section templates and summary style" constrains the scope of these templates mainly to the sections within the article. For articles, these templates are placed in the lead, therefore WP:LEAD covers this issue—and they constrain the scope of these templates mainly to "Disambiguation links". The guideline is not necessarily ambiguous than asking the question: if it's that important then why is it using the less aggressive, almost mitigated, "See also". Would {{For}} or {{Otheruses}} be more descriptive? For example, in the Tomographic reconstruction and Radon transform issue you've cited, how about telling the reader what the difference between the two topic is than simply "see also"—such that "For the mathematical basis for tomographic imaging, see Tomographic reconstruction" in the article Radon transform. ChyranandChloe (talk) 05:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't see the advantage to using {{See also|Article X}} at the top compared to using ==See also== * [[Article X]] at the end, but I'd suggest that you have this conversation over at WP:HATNOTE instead. I do not believe that you will be the first person to ask them that question. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:45, 15 June 2009 (UTC)


Confusing ""References" is the most popular, followed by "Notes", and then "Footnotes"." because reading it quickly it might be taken for the ordering of the sections not the popularity of the names.

BTW who says that it is true and what about sections called "Notes and References" etc. --PBS (talk) 11:25, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Guidelines document "actual" practices (WP:PG), references is by far the most common found in 48% (±2.19% CI95%) of all articles, the closes runner up is "Notes" found in 4.45% (±1.04% CI95%) of all articles. You can reword it if you want to better reflect the original intent. I don't understand the first clause of your second statement, "who says that it is true"? "Notes and references" are simply putting together two the names enumerated, it's possible to have "Notes and Citations" and likewise, but combinations would make the list cumbersome. I decided against it, however since "Notes and references" seems to be used more often than the other possible combinations, enumerated it if you want. ChyranandChloe (talk) 17:21, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
It is not as simple as you suggest. Guidelines don't just document "actual" practices but influence practice as well (you seem to be ignoring "Proposing a change in practice and seeking consensus for implementation of that change.") A good example of this is the change of whether or not to link dates. For many years most articles had all their dates linked so that auto-formatting would work, because of the wording of the MOS. After a long debate and a vocal pressure group, that was changed (and the bots got to work). If guidelines only ever "document "actual" practices" changes such as that would never be made. In reality there is a symbiotic relationship between guidelines such as this and editing practice in articles.
For example for a long time I placed article sections in the order "References, Further reading, Footnotes", I only changed to "Notes, References, Footnotes" because that was the suggestion on this page (because some people preferred the Notes to be next to References. I preferred Footnotes last so that any footnotes in "Further reading" could be included in the Footnotes section. --PBS (talk) 18:50, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
"Proposing a change in practice and seeking consensus[...]" defines how its done, not necessarily what. I understand the proposal process PBS. What guidelines document are the: "actual" and "good" pratices—I failed to enumerate the latter in my last post. Date delinking is successful in part because "actual" can be challenged because of the use of bots, and "good" because of neutrality among multiple systems. This is my central point to what goes into this guideline: what a guideline will cover is to documentation, how changes are implemented is to consensus.

In order for "References" to reach the levels of acceptance it currently exerts now, it certainly has to be: a stable, comprehensive, actual, good practice. The competitors of "References" as the primary heading for the verification sections certainly deviates from the most accepted practice, therefore under the undue weight clause of WP:NPOV, "References" receives the greatest prominence. Proposals to new guidelines or changes to existing ones usually occurs when the guideline fails to be articulate, its points clear, simple, rationale solid, and actual (prevalence) verified. With that in mind, below are my thoughts on how to articulate what I believe our issue is, and where this discussion should be headed:

  1. Distinguishing between (1) explanatory notes (such as those found in Jane Austen, Global warming, Reston ebolavirus, and Mary Shelley) and (2) inline or general items used for verification, the "References". There is a clear and notable difference between the two. Explanatory notes do not verify the article, instead they're more akin to exposition: prudent, but too awkward to be directly in the prose. Therefore I've made the bold change to separate the two.
  2. Explanatory notes often come before the "References", however the proportion of articles that use this system are far too few for me to run such definitive tests as declare with certainty: (1) "References" is twelve times more prevalent than the closest competitor, (2) the order of the standard appendices as prescribed by WP:LAYOUT is followed 71% (±7.77% CI95%) of the time when the guideline is applicable[20]. Because of (1) the ambiguity of where explanatory notes may belong and (2) because I feel that it may be challenged if I do provide a location—I've therefore left the location field in "Notes" section blank. For now. Rationale on what the "good" practice is and proposals on alternative methods is what this guideline is about. I've made the bold change, diving the two and while keeping as much of the original wording as a can. If you disagree, we'll move back to the stable version[21], and move the changes to a sandbox for further evaluation. If you want to see change, here you go. Articulate it.
  3. There is an overlap in our guideline. "Notes" and "Footnotes" are the most natural names for explanatory notes—however—they're used for verification as well. For these reasons they may also be merged, with ambiguous intent to be used for (1) verification or (2) for both verification and exposition. This yields the form we talk about earlier: "Notes and references". The first step is tracking down all notable methods, the second is to begin differentiating. This process of: determine what has been done, and determine what is best—is how "References" is recommended for verification out of array of possibilities, and how the order of the standard appendices has become reasonably stabilized. Remember if we don't say anything, then anything goes. This is what's on my mind. What's on yours? ChyranandChloe (talk) 04:23, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
IMO, the problem with (2) is a good reason for not splitting these sections. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:28, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I reverted the edit by ChyranandChloe [22], because notes frequently contain {{reflist}} and References contain bullet pointed full citations as used in WP:CITE#Footnote system --PBS (talk) 09:33, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

WhatamIdoingChyranandChloe, I think your interpretation of how guidelines are formulated is too limited (as the dates issue shows). However let us put that to one side for the moment as I would like to investigate another aspect of this. I presume you are running you tests over a random sample of pages (the good the bad and the ugly)--or are you actually looking at all the pages on Wikipeida? The relationship between what the guidelines say will be far higher in pages that are Wikipedia:Good articles and Wikipedia:Featured articles. I suspect that if you were to look at what this page recommends as layout at any particular time and when a page becomes a good article the correlation would be high. Indeed as there is a list of good articles, it would be interesting to see what your stats return on these types of pages. --PBS (talk) 09:45, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I think you intended to direct that comment to C&C. My contribution to this discussion to date has amounted to a single sentence. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:47, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Apologies WhatamIdoing, it was to do with the indentation levels that confused me. --PBS (talk)
I stated that "Notes" can be used as references as well as exposition, which implies that it can hold {{reflist}}. Two of my four examples are feature articles (Global warming and Mary Shelly), and the other two aren't far behind. What I am proposing is to distinguish when the section title "Notes" is used for (1) exposition, and when it will be used for (2) verification. The difference is great enough that they should be discussed as two different topics. Explain to me how the proposal contadicts this central point. Here's the oldid: [23].

Item two, section order; all four the examples I've cited place the explanatory notes above the References, which is to a lesser extent supported by the current version as Notes comes first in "Notes or References" even though "References" is more common. PBS might have some examples where they're placed elsewhere, this is where I think we'll disagree on, but I'm not certain.

The study not too long ago is actually confounded through what is called Simpson's paradox, where the measure is too general to adquately describe the situation. Furthermore what you're talking about is actually called "stratification"; straifying samples from FA, GA, unranked, and stubs and determining whether or not it's compliant with WP:LAYOUT is descrete random variable, not a continuous random variable. You won't be running a regression and determing the correlation, "r" value. Also WP:FA and WP:GA withhold approval if the article being propose doesn't follow WP:LAYOUT; the formats actually used that are not covered was what the study was trying to determine. ChyranandChloe (talk) 06:01, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I think we need to agree terminology or we could be talking at cross purposes. Can we use the terms notes, citations, for the things generated by the footnote system and refer to a bullet list of sources as "references"? --PBS (talk) 22:36, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
The usual Wikispeak is
  • short citations for "Smith, p. 256"
  • full citations for "Smith, John. 2008. The Story of Everyman. One Publisher, Earth."
  • explanatory notes for other text.
This system has the advantages of not leading to statements like "I think the references should be labeled notes." Will these terms work for you? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:20, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Does not really help because full citations can also appear in a {{reflist}} it depends on the style of footnotes. Better to use the terms as I have described them. --PBS (talk) 18:57, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good. PBS, you haven't addressed to the level I am looking at on how differentiating between explanatory notes and full and short citations is not justified. I'm trying to keep the central point simple. Of course there are more dimensions to the dispute; my intentions aren't to boil down Date delinking to two distinct aspects, but to write it in a context that can be used to better describe our situation. You sound like you have something in mind. Please explain. I am not certain what questions you are asking or what you want this discussion to be about. If you do not articulate yourself, I cannot address your central point, and discussion in the first place becomes inane. ChyranandChloe (talk) 04:41, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
The edit I reverted contain this wording: "Contents: Although less common, this section presents explanatory notes that provide prudent exposition that would be awkward in the prose." for the Notes section, because the notes section more often also includes citations and/or notes and citations (mix together in the order they appear in the article text). Sometimes editors use two reflist with one >{{reflist|group=nb}} (as is done in the article Battle of Britain, but this is less common than mixing footnotes an citations in one {{reflist}} --PBS (talk)
Yeah, I've used the group attribute in {{reflist}} and in the less popular <references group="notes" /> before. Mary Shelley, which is one of the examples cited above, uses this method; although it doesn't nest the sections as in Battle of Britain. Global warming originally combined the two in "Notes and references"[24], it switched to method said above[25], to hard coded XHTML[26], to {{Cnote}}[27], and finally to the newer {{Cnote2}}. I understand that Notes is used more often in citations than in the form of explanatory notes. Went over this before, if it concerns verification, the exact methodology is deferred to WP:CITE; WP:LAYOUT only covers the title and general location of the section. "Notes" and "Footnotes" are enumerated as a possible titles in the '"References" section' in the old id and in the current version. I'm not catching on how you want to word this; you should give it a try. ChyranandChloe (talk) 20:13, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
C&C, based on the change to the indentation, I think you've incorrectly assumed that the bulleted terminology list is from PBS, when it is in fact from me. It appears, though, that he cares more about the mechanics of it than the content. He seems to be trying to distinguish a <ref>-based citation from the same citation by any other means (e.g., "typing a bulleted list"). I've reverted the indent so that the first and last lines of my five-line comment are the same. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:26, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Isn't that deferred to WP:CITE? I mean I'm going over the differentiating between explanatory notes and verification. Short and long citations is WP:CITE's problem. ChyranandChloe (talk) 05:45, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
[User:WhatamIdoing|WhatamIdoing]] I though my explanation was in why I reverted C&C's edit, the notes section can and often does have citations in it, it is not reserved for only "explanatory notes that provide prudent exposition that would be awkward in the prose." --PBS (talk) 10:38, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I didn't intend to sound like it would be reserved for only explanatory notes. I wanted to make it clearer, that it can be used for both citations and explanatory notes. If the following clause was added, "Note that this section title is also used to hold inline References", would it satisfy what you're looking for? ChyranandChloe (talk) 06:48, 17 June 2009 (UTC)