Citation templates are used to format citations in a consistent way, as an alternative to formatting the citations by hand. The use of citation templates is neither encouraged nor discouraged. Templates may be used or removed at the discretion of individual editors, subject to agreement with other editors on the article. ; see WP:CITECONSENSUS and WP:CITEVAR. The various citation templates below may be freely mixed, since they all produce a similar format. WP:DUPLINK and WP:OVERLINK do not apply to citations. It is expected that a reference citation includes wikilinks to the relevant article for the source, such as The New York Times, rather than The New York Times.Because templates can be contentious, editors should not add citation templates, or change an article with a consistent citation format to another, without gaining consensus
For a citation to appear in a footnote, it needs to be enclosed in "ref" tags. You can add these by typing
<ref> at the front of the citation and
</ref> at the end. Alternatively you may notice above the edit box there is a row of "markup" formatting buttons which include a <ref></ref> button to the right—if you highlight your whole citation and then click this markup button, it will automatically enclose your citation in ref tags (i.e.
Note, if this is a new page or if there are not already references previously cited, it is necessary to create a section usually named "Notes" or "References" near the end of the page; see WP:FNNR and MOS:APPENDIX for more information on section names:
Add a name attribute when creating a footnote
<ref name="name">citation text</ref>. Thereafter, the footnote may be referenced by just using the following expression
<ref name="name" />.
Below are examples of how to use various templates to cite a book, encyclopedia, journal, website, comic strip, video and editorial comics, etc.
For a list of tools that can help create some of the templates below, see: Wikipedia:Citation tools.
Citations are commonly embedded in reference templates. For more information, see: Wikipedia:Footnotes.
Wikipedia does not dictate a particular way to insert citations into an article. As a result, there are multiple ways to structure citations in an article; multiple ways to insert individual citations; and multiple ways to link a short citation (e.g. Turner 1851) with the full citation in the bibliography, when using a style that calls for short citations.
There are three ways to structure citations as a whole in an article (see Help:Citations quick reference for a tabular comparison of these three ways):
When using shortened footnotes, there are three ways to link the short and full references:
This template places the citations in their own box under the bold header References. The resulting reference box does not appear in the table of contents.