This citation template provides formatting and organizational features for footnotes. It encapsulates the <references /> tag used by the Cite MediaWiki extension to show the list of references as defined by <ref> tags. It adds support for sizing the column width, groups and List-defined references.

There are no required parameters; if none are supplied, a single-column list will be generated if there are fewer than 10 references in the list. If you have more than 10 references, it will use columns of 30em wide if your device allows this.

References can be grouped into separate sections (for explanatory notes, table references, and the like) via group=:

where groupname is (for example) notes or sources. The group name need not be enclosed in quotes; this differs from the footnote marker where quotes are required if the group name includes a space.

As noted in § Predefined groups, there are predefined groups that automatically add list styling. Using the listed templates is more convenient than using |liststyle=.

Reference lists are by default numbered lists. By using the |liststyle= parameter, you can control how the list is rendered. For example, using |liststyle=upper-roman will result in references being labeled with Roman numerals instead of decimal numbers. The parameter accepts any valid CSS value defined for list-style-type as shown below.

It is possible to use |liststyle= so that the labels for the footnote marker and the reference list marker differ. This should be used with care as it can be confusing to readers. For example:

In the unusual case of an image being placed to the left of a reference list, layout problems may occur on some browsers. This can be prevented by using the columns feature.

The font size should reduce to 90% for most browsers, but may appear to show at 100% for Internet Explorer and possibly other browsers.[general 1] As of December 21, 2010, the standard <references /> tag has the same font styling. The smaller font may be disabled through .

Preferences → Gadgets → Disable smaller font sizes of elements such as Infoboxes, Navboxes and References lists

The use of columns can result in widows and orphans, where a citation at the bottom of a column may be split to the top of the next column. MediaWiki:Common.css includes CSS rules to prevent list items from breaking between columns. Widows may still show in extreme circumstances, such as a reference list formatted in columns where only a single reference is defined.

The following class is assigned by the template when column width is set:

By editing your CSS, the personal appearance of the reference list can be customized. From Preferences, select the Appearance tab, then on the selected skin select Custom CSS. After editing and saving, follow the instructions at the top of the page to purge. See Wikipedia:Skin#Customisation (advanced users) for more help.

The font size for all reference lists defaults to 90% of the standard size. To change it, add:

There have been a number of requests to add functionality for a collapsible or scrolling reference list. These requests have not been fulfilled due to issues with readability, accessibility, and printing. The applicable guidelines are at MOS:SCROLL. Links between the inline cite and the reference list do not work when the reference list is enclosed in a collapsed box.

To display the reference list in a scrollbox or collapsed per user, see Help:Reference display customization.

For discussion on previous attempts to do this with a template, see the discussions for Scrollref and Refbox.

This template displays the list of footnotes at the end of an article and provides additional formatting and organizing options. After hitting "Apply changes" and turning back to VE read mode, you will not see the references list. After hitting "Publish page" and turning back to normal read mode the reference list will reappear with the changes applied, see T53146.