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Community Central

The cite feature allows you to add footnotes and references to articles, like this.[1]

How to use it

To create a footnote or reference, simply switch to source mode while editing and then place your text inside <ref></ref> tags. In source mode, the first sentence on this page would look like this:

The cite feature allows you to add footnotes and references to articles, like this.<ref>Like this!</ref>

At the end of the page create a references, footnotes, or citations section and include the code <references />. This will create a numbered listing of your footnotes[2].

Named references

To give a footnote a unique identifier, use <ref name="identifier">footnote text</ref>.[3] You can then refer to the same footnote again by using a ref tag with the same name. Note: the name cannot be a number, or it will return an error.

Only the first occurrence of text in a named ref will be used, although that occurrence may be located anywhere in the article. For legibility, putting the full footnote first is recommended.

For subsequent identical references, use a self-closing empty ref tag that looks like this: <ref name="identifier" />.[3]

When deleting content with footnotes, make sure you do not delete the named citation which holds all the reference information. This will result in an error for all the other footnotes depending on it. Remember to copy the <ref name="identifier">footnote text</ref> to one of the identical references.

Grouped references

To separate different kinds of references into individual lists, use <ref group="identifier">grouped reference text</ref>.[identifier 1] To list the references in the group, use <references group="identifier"/>. In this way you can create multiple partial reference lists.

All reference lists have to be located after all the related references, otherwise they will render errors.

  1. grouped reference text

Citation needed!

Some communities use a template to flag information that need citations. Often that means adding {{fact}} or {{cite}} just after the text in question.

To create one of these templates, start a new page called Template:Fact. Switch to source mode, and use the following code:

<sup><span title="This claim needs references to reliable sources" style="white-space: nowrap;">[''citation needed'']</span></sup>

This will create [citation needed].

More fun with citations

Eventually, you may want to create templates specifically for use within references to keep order - for example, a template for web addresses, another for book references.

Finally, you may wish to customize the references list design itself, such as giving it two columns or reducing the text size slightly. This can be done effectively with CSS, using the .references class as a selector.

Citation templates

If your community deals with an academic subject, you may wish to have default citation templates. The non-Lua versions of these templates can be found on w:c:psiepsilon:Template:Cite book and w:c:psiepsilon:Template:Cite journal.


  1. Like this!
  2. Like this!
  3. 3.0 3.1 footnote text

See also

Next steps

Further help and feedback