Wikipedia talk:Citing sources/Archive 30

If I found some information about Li Bai at but at the bottom of the Li Bai section it clearly references that it got its data from books by Arthur Cooper and Arthur Waley, how should I footnote that? Do I need to mention either of the Arthurs?Active Banana (talk) 01:24, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I'm currently trying to do research for an article, and my problem is it's from the Associated Press but it's via yahoo, so I'm wondering who I cite as the publisher? I'm leaning on something like Associated Press via yahoo, but I'm not sure if that's right or not.--Deathawk (talk) 05:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

You can get better advice on this if you provide a URL. Here is an example citation of an AP article printed in the Tri-City Herald.

Many stories are provided by wire news agencies (e.g. the Associated Press (AP), Reuters, All Headline News (AHN), Agence France-Presse (AFP) or United Press International (UPI) that syndicate their content through other media outlets. Although the wire news agency writes the story, the carrying news media exercises editorial control in deciding whether or not to publish a story. Therefore, a report written by the Associated Press that appears in The Guardian should be credited as follows: the Associated Press as the author, and the Guardian as publisher. Where an AP author is cited this should be included. Where the abbreviation for the agency does not lead directly to a Wikipedia page (Eg w:AFP is a disambiguation page) the full name of the agency should be used (Agence France-Presse).

Whenever possible, choose the wire agency's site if the agency publishes its own stories. If this is not possible, try to pick a site that you think will have the story available online for the longest time, if you have more than one choice.

Articles from news sites which are initially from a wire service should have the wire service added to the author's name, or just the wire service if no author is given. For example, "author=Anne Gearan, AP".

Propose creating Category:Referencing templates for templates used to insert the citation into the document or to format the reference list. Currently, referencing and citation templates are all in Category:Citation templates. A similar proposal was made at . For a list of referencing templates, see User:Gadget850/Reference templates. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:08, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

For a discussion of what is in my view a gross violation of our core principle Wikipedia:NOTADVERTISING, please see HERE. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 11:47, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Is YouTube a reliable source? Acacia Ludwig was a backing vocalist for Red Hot Chili Peppers from 1995 to 1996, and there are numerous YouTube videos of her performing live with the band (, , and for example). I need to cite her as a member on the List of Red Hot Chili Peppers band members, but I cannot find any other verification, other than one sentence on . I'm not sure if MySpace can be used as a reliable source, either.. Any help would be greatly appreciated! WereWolf (talk) 17:29, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

1. Just because you think it's her, doesn't make that belief a reliable source. Is there captioning explicitly identifying her by name?
My take. It depends on the nature of the video. For example, if the video is a documentary, and features an interview with the band, including an identification of the vocalist in the video itself, that sounds okay with me. If it's just a video of the band playing, and you recognize the vocalist: no. That's WP:OR, essentially; it's your belief that the person depicted is who you think it is. If she's identified elsewhere on the page accompanying the video... well, that depends on who's doing that identification. If this is a YouTube channel that's the official RHCP outlet, or maintained by an otherwise reliable source, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
For this particular case, please see , where apparently the New Music Express, which I count as a reliable source, credits Ludwig as "Backing Vocals". I assume that this is not a fan-contributed section of NME.

The result of the proposal was no consensus for the move. -- PBS (talk) 22:03, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Citing sourcesWikipedia:Manual of Style (citing sources) — Consolidating naming per Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#Poll Gnevin (talk) 16:23, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

WP:CITE#Citation styles says for books: "name of the publisher optional" but it ought to be provided if available, otherwise if a book is published on the same year on different sides of the pond, (not an unusual occurrence), the page numbers may not correspond in the different editions. If the ISBN is available then it could be argued it is not necessary, but that is true for all the other information as well. As it is not unusual for another well meaning editor at a later date to add the missing ISBN to a citation, one can not be sure that it is the correct one unless the other information in the citation can be cross checked against it and publisher is needed for that.

As publisher is regarded as part of the definition for a reliable source, "The word 'source' as used in Wikipedia has three meanings: ... and the publisher of the work (for example, The New York Times). All three can affect reliability." it rather mandates its inclusion here to help judge whether the citation is reliable and is useful for red-flagging a book as a self published source.

As many third party sources do not include publisher when they cite a source, it is a useful mechanism to find sources cited from a third party source in violation of WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT. Of course all editors who know about WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT would would follow that guidance, but not all editors have read the guidance, and including the publisher as standard would help other editors to find cases where the editor who adds a citation has not followed WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT.

So I suggest name of the publisher should not be optional. Some archaic books do not have a publisher but in most of those cases they do have a "printed for in them" and where they have neither then that is a case of IAR because it is also true that not all books have an author or a publication date, but that does not stop us mandating their usage here. -- PBS (talk) 21:57, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

The wiki article on the Erechteum contains an old sepia photo that is stated to be of the Erechteum

This is incorrect - the sepia photo is of the Propylaea on the Acropolis not the Erectheum

Its a very beautiful photo - so it should be moved to the Wiki page relating to the Propylaea

BY the way - I think Wikipedia is fantasitic and have just provided this info to assist you.

Never mind, I just figured out my mistake. I put the citation within another, lengthy citation. Arghhhh! ScottyBerg (talk) 23:58, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Is the Internet Movie Database a reliable source? WereWolf (talk) 00:00, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

You should follow the style already established in an article, if it has one; where there is disagreement, the style used by the first editor to use one should be respected.

There is no reference to Yusef Rahman Who was The arranger and Composer on Talking Book. Yusef is in the Book of "Who's Who of arrangers and composers"on this Album, I personally saw this and He introduced me to "Stevie" in LA in The Early 80's. I believe this should be added. He's higher in stature then a Recording Engineer. Thank you Randy Bluesman Hock

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

is a discussion concerning parameters which should be used for citing BBC News. Your input is appreciated. Beagel (talk) 11:06, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

It appears to me that an exclusive focus on academic footnotes has led to ignoring first hand witness statements... these are valid for court hearings so should be acceptable for Wikipedia... third party text sources are NOT accepted in court! But no protocol is cited for first hand witness statements. At present if I first write an article on my own web page then I can cite it because I can reference it...but as a first hand witness statement there has been no increase in validity! Even academic text allow for direct witness evidence or science articles reporting research would never get off the ground!

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Napata102 (talkcontribs) 17:26, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually stop and think .. because what you are saying is quite UNTRUE. I never suggested that you could have a first hand witness that was anonymous...if someone wished to claim first hand witness then they would have to identify themselves and one could judge their reliability etc. ALL forms of evidence are capable of being challenged and actually a reference to a claim in another article is probably pretty weak when all is said and done...I really did not expect ad hominem remarks ... the fact that I am identified as napata102 is irrelevant because I am making an argument not a witness statement...when making an argument the person making it should be irrelevant to the evaluation of the argument .. we try to anonymise exam papers for this reason ...

There is no requirement for first hand evidence to be read in person to be accepted by a court. Either side can ask the witness to attend and of course if the evidence is disputed then the court would require that the other side have a chance to cross examine...(In fact in one court case the other side objected to a witness to giving oral testimony stating that the witness' statements were not disputed!) .. to cite this (unavailability for cross examination) as a reason is misleading because if I cite my own article you do not have a chance to cross examine me! The statement " In addition, the witness is subject to cross-examination so the accuracy of the evidence can be tested. Neither of these elements is present when someone inserts information into a Wikipedia article claiming: "Of course it's accurate, I was there when it happened." entirely misses the point by assuming that all first hand evidence will be disputed ... I don't think so. If the matter is disputed then an article reference is no better than a first hand witness statement ... also 'it must be true I was there ' ... is not a first hand witness statement and would not be accepted in court or by any legal process. There are many bigotted and untrue articles published every month.

The statement "I strongly suspect if you submitted an article to a science journal and signed the submission Napata102, with no return address and no institution affiliation, your submission would be rejected" is both insulting and untrue. Journals regularly allow anonymous comments, 'Foreign Affairs' famously published an article by X! An anonymous math article with proofs of an argument could easily be published in any scientific journal... As a matter of fact I have published an anonymous article years ago in an academic journal, I submitted it anonymously and it was published .. there was a witch hunt to try and find out who wrote it .. which is why it was anonymous in the first place .. but it was published...

The only point you are making ... which is quite obvious, is that first hand evidence must be shown to be first hand evidence and not an imposter and the only way to do that is by identifying the person claiming it.. First hand evidence is only along the lines ... I believe I saw/heard/smelt the following ... it cannot be I saw the X murder Y or I know that the reason B sacked D is F because I was there ... First hand witness can be mistaken, is subject to rebuttal BUT so are articles!

My direct reason for raising this is that I was invited to Obama's inauguration and I heard a song played almost all the time in the streets of Washington DC ... Clearly anyone else who spent time in Washington DC during the inauguration would also have witnessed this .. the song was Sam Cooke's 'A change is gonna come'... this seems to me an important part of the history of this song ...

Mutual respect and careful reading can go a long wa......y.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Napata102 (talkcontribs) 20:15, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

On List of fatal bear attacks in North America, there is an informative book that I'm using multiple times as a reference. I don't have much experience with this, but I know I could list it as one reference and then have a notes section for separate cites/page numbers. However, this book is available on google books, and for the benefit of the user, it is nice to link to the specific page view for more background information.

Is there anyway to do this besides having a separate reference each time I'm using this book? The book is Herrero, Stephen (2002). Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance.. you can see it used many times in the refs.

Thank you very much. --Omarcheeseboro (talk) 20:32, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

I feel as though this guideline should establish some clarity on how and when (if ever) it is appropriate to link to Google books. I for one think it is seldom appropriate to do so.

Deep links to Google books are only temporary. They expire after a fairly short period of time. Furthermore, content available on Google books itself changes periodically, and varies geographically. So a Google books deep link posted by someone in the United States may not work for someone outside the United States. There is also, as I recall, some concern over the legal implications of deep linking to copyrighted works under the DMCA, though experts would need to clarify this for the purposes of discussion. So, I think the bottom line is that deep links to Google books should be explicitly discouraged.

This leaves open the question of whether it is acceptable to link to the main page of the book (rather than deep linking to a particular content page). I don't see anything particularly wrong with this practice, except that it is obviously superceded by more robust methods of document retrieval, such as ISBN lookup (with which a book can be easily found on Google books, Amazon, WorldCat, etc.) Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:51, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with this in general; we shouldn't be pre-emptively assuming that there is going to be some legal problem in the future if there isn't one now. If in the future one arises a bot could go through and fix links to go to the front page of the book or whatever. At the very least I can't see how it could be a problem to deep link to a public domain work on Google Books. Google gets an HTTP_Referrer header when someone clicks on a WP link; they can just shut off or redirect this kind of traffic - to any page they desire - if they want to have more control of the eyeballs.
It seems like a horrendous waste to me if you're actually doing your research on Google Books and you have the link immediately available to cut and paste, to not do that and force a WP reader to search through the book to find your reference. One of the major benefits of Wikipedia is often being able to immediately and rapidly check the citations of an article, IMO.
Also, I have not experienced the phenomena Sławomir Biały describes of these links being temporary; I just went and examined a sample of my links from two years and more ago and all but one of them worked. You may perhaps be talking about something I've seen on "Limited Preview" books with particular licensing conditions set, where some kind of licensing token appears in the URL as you browse. I've noticed that if you remove the licensing token from the URL you can't access the book any longer; so I wouldn't be surprised if the token has a time limit on it too. But I have only seen those licensing tokens appear on a very small percentage of the books I've looked at.

Since we're talking about Google Books I thought I'd mention an interesting situation I came across: as you may know a book can have an ISBN number but not really be "legit"; i.e. could be self-published or otherwise not a reliable source. I just came across one that really looked like a genuine academic work - and maybe it still is, I guess - but it wasn't until I looked for it on WorldCat that I found that the book had no WorldCat entry and that it's self-published. So it pays to cross-check. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 03:28, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I would like to add: The reason I would like to add this is because the wikipedia is positing an image of what is actual. We know not what is true, but often information is shown as a 'fact', while it is merely derived from a source, which may or may not be correct. It seems prudent to lay a bit more emphasis on this sine often sources are made into 'absolute truth'.

Be sure to separate between what the source said and what actually transpired (and of which we know nothing). That way the reader can apply source criticism and form a personal judgment.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Faust (talkcontribs) 12:19, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

You misunderstood me. My contribution was ment to counteract exactly what you are pointing to. I have seen many remarks at the wikipedia that are not true, but can be sourced. I might, for instance, give 100000000 sources that the world is flat. However, the world, in fact, is round. To prevent eager readers to think that the world is flat, a note saying that this is the source talking and not a fact is beneficial. To be able to judge the source will also reveal the irrelevance of certain sources and would, in effect, eliminate the problem you are raising. Should I choose different words, seeing as you misread me? --Faust, formerly Arjen (talk) 07:43, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Student, I am suggesting that the mainstream opinion is wrong 99,99% of the time (the world is oval, for instance). If the wikipedia is going to be a solid source of information, instead of disinformation, we should leave it up to the reader to decide if a source is correct or not. If we say something is x, the reader will not be thinking of source criticism and will stop thinking altogether, believing the final answer has been given. Do you see my point? --Faust, formerly Arjen (talk) 10:53, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Again, if the statement reads "The world is a cube (cite)" this is going to be a bit hard to accept for the average reader. It would be better if the editor inserted "Albert Einstein said 'the world is a cube' (cite)." The reader is less likely to skip over the article figuring that it has been vandalized.

Hi Student, this is my point exactly. Is it not beneficial if we make sure that everybody understands that it is a source talking and not a 'fact'? That way a reader can accept the explanation given as a handhold, but that same reader will also know that there are probably more opinions out there and can decide later to do more research. Is that not the entire point of finding a number of different sources for a term anyway? --Faust (talk) 17:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

So I suggest that we change the definition in this guideline to describe Wikipeida editors usage and not that of external sources. -- PBS (talk) 22:54, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

This is a semantic question, of course, and the way a linguist solves a semantic question is with examples. Suppose I'm talking about a Wikipedia article and I say:
On second thought, I would interpret that sentence the same way you would. It would take a second, but it's the only interpretation that makes sense.
Purdue has a nice APA guideline. Looks like references are the fully formatted citations that appear in the reference list, whereas in-text citations are the short form.
Okay, I read a few parts of APA guide, and I think I may be wrong about "citation", or at least not completely right. Sorry.

I am not talking about what other places or style guides call them, I am referring to the usage in a Wikipedia talk page conversation: references are used to mean the list inside a "reference section" just as "external links" is taken to mean those things listed in the "External links section". If an external link is inside a ref-tab, editors don't usually refer to it as an external link on the talk page instead they talk about it being cited. -- PBS (talk) 04:52, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

As I said above, the usage of these words on Wikipedia's talk pages is irrelevant. If Wikipedians have begun to use some words in a peculiar way, they should stop, and speak English. We're supposed to be writers, after all. And more to the point, these guides are supposed to be intelligible to any educated reader. Our audience is new users, not long-time Wikipedians. If we start redefining words, we're sunk. We're a subculture.
Having said that, I think we could use a definition of "citation" that indicates that it is attached to article text (with a footnote or parenthetical reference), i.e. that it is "inline". I'm just not sure how to say that clearly.

Just wondering if 'any' should be removed, per , problem F. Kayau Voting IS evil 07:07, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

-- Kendrick7talk 04:33, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Apparently one of our newer contributors thinks newly added references, with a last name and date (and occasionally a page number) are perfectly permitted by this policy. Is he correct? See . I'm very suspicious of his whole endeavor.

Is it appropriate to edit refs to remove valid online links to the source material? For instance, should the bluelink to the excerpt at google books for the following quote be removed from the reference:

In 380 CE Emperor Theodosius issued the Edict of Thessalonica, which established Christianity as the official state religion, specifically the faith established by the Council of Nicaea in 325:[1]

When it comes to citing web sources, I always maintain the formatting of the source's title. Occasionally I copy over an ALL-CAPPED source, and that gets dropped to lower cases and I generally disregard it. However, at Daniel Lakin, editor Kumioko (talk · contribs) has been changing "Medal of Honor Recipient" to "Medal of Honor recipient"; the former version is as presented at by the US Army. Is there any SOP for the transcription of source formatting to the citation in the article? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 17:58, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

A quick note about this (relatively) new way of making references. It is an improvement of the current syntax and it does makes the syntax clearer. Slightly. But it's a lot of efforts to move every references manually. And the Usability Initiative is currently working on template folding. Template folding will be incredibly better than this reference hack. And when using template folding, it will become a nuisance to unfold a reference and find "<ref name="Moss-VH12002-07-22" />". Which will basically mean that you have to open a new tab and edit the last section of the article to finally see the damn reference. Template folding and reflist won't be compatible blend in nicely.

In short: it's not worth the effort to change the references syntax just to change it back a few months later when template folding will be released. I suggest to remove it from the guideline for now. Or at least explicitly mention that reflist may not be a future-proof feature. Dodoïste (talk) 00:41, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

I meant that the two features won't blend in nicely. It won't be a software issue. But usability-wise, the advantages of the refs at the end of the page becomes soon an inconvenient with template folding.

Having the references in the reference section rather than inline makes a world of sense. Template folding under the name of code folding has been around for years and will compliment list-defined references. Jack Merridew 16:02, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Unaware of the (to me) screwy examples of footnotes on the project page, I perpetrated in one article, but was promptly corrected (?) with . Which is what prompted me to look at the project page.

In the examples of footnotes, the authors' names are inverted. This looks bizarre to me, and I can think of no reason for it.

-- Not even convention (which for example dictates that "Chicago:" should be prefixed to "University of Chicago Press", thereby distinguishing that august institution from any of the other, upstart University of Chicago Presses, which in reality don't exist). --

The project page doesn't give any reason for the inversion of names in footnotes. What is the reason for it? -- Hoary (talk) 23:31, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Um, I do know the difference between author–date and notes. ¶ "APA" and "Harvard" are author–date, for which purpose you need a list of sources ordered by surname, for which purpose the inversion of (non-Hungarian) western names is helpful. I was unfamiliar with the "Vancouver" system; thank you for the tip. I suppose what I'm looking at is closest to this. But why does it invert names? I see no advantage to doing so here. -- Hoary (talk) 12:23, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

That's one of the main reasons why I think we should consider to at least trim down the available options for referencing to at a handful; allowing just about any standards available out there becomes a way to avoid meaningful consensus discussions and ignore complaints.

The cite template hierarchy now support an optional authormask parameter, that is being used in a number of bibliographies, i.e. Michael E. Mann, Hans von Storch. The effect of this is replacing the name of one author, typically the subject of the biography, with a long dash. I'm honestly baffled why we would ever want to do this. I find it annoying and confusing, especially for people who are not aware of this convention. I see no advantage to this for a modern electronic reference work - it may have had a certain charm at a time when manuscripts were hand-typed and corrected with whiteout, but I see no reason to maintain this style today. It's certainly not a style used in any of the journals or conferences I publish in professionally.

Is there some existing discussion on this? If not, can we get to a consensus about how to handle this issue? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:45, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

There is an open RFC here which may be of interest.  pablo 11:56, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Fresh eyes would be appreciated on an RfC about whether, in using in-text attribution for sources on the Historicity of Jesus, we should include whether that source is an ordained minister or similar. See . Many thanks, SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:05, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Is it good or bad practice to give citations in infoboxes, for facts already cited in the body of an article? Can this project page make clear the answer? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:07, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Steering us away from discussion of the lede and back to Infoboxes..? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:26, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

I second that. It seems like a consistent and reasonable solution. Having 20 or so footnotes in an infobox strikes me as being rather excessive and creates a needlessly messy typography. They should be treated the same as leads, ie primarily summaries of facts central to the article topic.
I don't see how adding notes fixes any of this. The only thing that fixes the problem are editors, and they only need a single reference to a source to fix synchronize several facts or figures.
You're reading me too literally. The point is that there needs to be only one instance where you support a fact or figure with one or several references (in the article text) for a (NPOV-acceptable) synchronization to be possible. Placing reference(s) in more than one location to support the exact same fact or figure achieves little besides adding superfluous notes.

There is a discussion over at Template:No footnotes over the issue of whether sources listed in "Further reading" or "External links" are just as valid a place to list sources as the "References" section. Or put another way there is no support in the WP:V for general references.

But as there is disagreement over where sources for an article may be placed there is as yet no clear consensus over whether the wording should be changed.

It would help if some more people would get involved in the discussion in the section Template talk:No footnotes#Clarification. -- PBS (talk) 09:40, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

"When citing lengthy sources, you should normally identify which part of a source that you quote, paraphrase or cite."

This is a new sentence. I am not sure that it makes complete sense. Is cite the correct word here? -- PBS (talk) 12:30, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, PBS, do you think that it's useful to "identify" which "part" of a source you quote, paraphrase, or cite, if the source only has one part? For example, how would you identify the "part" of a two-paragraph news story you cite?
It may well be that it's silly to provide page numbers for very short documents, but the very first clause of the paragraph takes care of that "When citing lengthy sources,..." so there is no need explicitly to mention vert short short documents as this paragraph only covers "lengthy sources" (and there is more than enough wriggle room right there for a dispute without adding another sentence for people to squabble over).

I know where this has come from "It is often better to read the original source material yourself, in which case you can simply cite the original source."

Yes when one finds an unreliable source that for example quotes a secondary reliable source then yes one ought to read the original source to verify that what the unreliable source is true.

However there is a whole different usage where it is not better to read or cite the original material yourself. That is where a reliable secondary source, cites a primary source, or some other source that has not been published in a reliable secondary source, or some source that a non qualified expert could not be expected to understand and it needs the expert publishing in a secondary source.

So I think the sentence either needs removing or qualifying. -- PBS (talk) 02:43, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, and no. That is, yes, secondary sources are lovely, and usually shouldn't be discarded in favor of primary sources of equal quality. But, no, nobody should blindly trust a mass media story on a technical subject, even if Wikipedia (for certain purposes) calls a lightly edited press release a "secondary source" as soon as it is run in the newspaper. In that case, editors are better off with a good-quality primary source (e.g., the medical journal article that the press release is announcing).
Importantly, the "original source" mentioned here is not necessarily a primary source. A textbook or dictionary (for example) does not turn into a primary source merely because it's mentioned in someone's blog.

In the course of trying to improve an article I added links to and downloaded pdf files from various web sources. Now I find that some of these pdfs are no longer available from the websites that previously hosted them and are appearing as dead links in the Wikipedia article I used them for as references. However, I still have copies of the pdfs. Is it possible to upload the copies I have anywhere and link to them or are there problems with that? Lambanog (talk) 14:39, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

It seems to me that this article is too long and detailed to be useful to someone new to the topic.

There's certainly a lot of repetition of WP:V going on in the article. It might be a good idea to simply dump everything about the "why" and "when" of sourcing and stick only to the "how". At least that would be consistent with what the nutshell summary says.

Hi, re: citations/verifications: have you included the Larousse? Must. Plus, any 18th and 19th cent. American cookbooks, with all the regionals. Pie is American, however, go to Europe (the Larousse) for some origin sourcing. When I write ad copy concerning pies, I go to the origins. If you are an encyclopedia (though what your reputation for that as yet is still out to jury), and you're asking for feedback on sourcing from the public, your best best bet would be food archives, the public library, and anyone's grandmother or great aunt from any town, u.s.a., the source for regional cooking. Thank you. Sincerely,

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I've bolded the existing deprecation of embedded links, to emphasize that they can be used, but are just not recommended at all. Also added 2 additional reasons not to use them. Discuss? --Lexein (talk) 03:37, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Having looked at the POGO article with fresh eyes, I'm only a soft supporter on this. It seems to me that enforcing such deprecation there by converting the labeled inline links to footnotes expanded in a References section would not improve such articles.
Embedded links are only permitted temporarily, during article development by newcomers, and should be simply converted to inline citations with the use of <ref> and </ref> tags. Other editors will help you, and encourage you, to learn to correctly format citations, point you to tutorials, and point you to the various semiautomatic tools which will convert bare urls within <ref></ref> tags to full inline citations.
0. Probably would have been better if you had just rewritten the block to suit your taste, but what the heck, at the risk of being WP:LAME:
1. I sorta had to write that to get this narrowed down. Ok, I take your point that embedded citations accompanied by full citations, are ok (even though I think they're a pain in the ass). But plain embedded links without full citations are still out, aren't they? And what's your position on the many, many primary source links in Project on Government Oversight? Can a Wikipedia article, be a convenient directory of embedded deep links to other websites?
2. In embedded citations, aren't the numbered links supposed to correspond with the numbered full references? If a new claim is added in the middle of an article, isn't extra manual care required to maintain numeric sync? My point was that <ref></ref> avoids that extra effort.
3. Search/replace is wonderful, but there are a broad variety of editors with a range of skills and intentions. If a newcomer reads an article, clicks an embedded link and it's dead, that editor will likely only fix that link, not seeing the full reference at the bottom of the page: a search is unlikely to be done. I tend to advocate simpler as better, single copies over multiple, and so on.
4. No red herring intended. So ECITES, if done correctly, are fine, but embedded links in lieu of full citations are still not ok, right?

1. Michigan: 877-304-38 2. Texas: 845-321-34 3. Notre Dame: 837-291-42 4. Nebraska: 827-341-41 5. Ohio State: 819-308-53 6. Alabama: 813-316-43 7. Penn State 812-351-43 8. Oklahoma: 796-305-53 9. Tennessee: 783-333-55 10. USC: 774-307-54

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:20, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

The discussion on deprecated citation systems reminds me that Wikipedia:Footnote3 is still in use. It is certainly deprecated for in-text citations, but it is highly used in tables. I can understand such use, as [Note 1] uses a lot more space than [a]. Should this be discussed?

Note that such use in tables would be deprecated if/when cite.php is ever updated to support custom link labels; see . ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 03:16, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

If you take a look at Role-playing video game, you can see that some of the footnotes link to another item located in the References section. Is there a standard way using templates to create these sorts of footnotes? SharkD  Talk  20:31, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Also, what if there are multiple authors, or if the same author is cited with multiple works published in the same year?OK, I see now what to do about multiple authors, but not about multiple publications.

I note that there was a recent modification that states general references are unusual. This seems to be discouraging their use. Is this now policy? Flexibility in referencing is important given that the project relies on volunteers to create articles. Creation of new articles should not be discouraged solely on the basis that they aren't cited to GA or FA standards. There are also instances where a general reference makes the most sense. Most encyclopedias I have seen use general references. Guidance on this should be clear: either it is allowed or it is not allowed. Lambanog (talk) 03:20, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Fifelfoo (talkcontribs) 22:01, September 28, 2010
The question wasn't directed to me, but I'll contribute an illustration:

They're discouraged on anything other than under-developed articles, and problematic regardless. If they don't become in-line citations they'll eventually be removed as the article develops, because it becomes increasingly hard to determine what a reference might verify, if anything. --Ronz (talk) 20:44, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

General references are not usually capable of verifying the material in a Wikipedia article. I think Lambanadog is wrong about this. WP:Verification, as I understand it anyway, means that it is possible for a normal person to choose any sentence in any article, use the citation to find the relevant part of the source, and prove to themselves that Wikipedia is accurately reporting information and analysis from the source.
General references simply make it impossible (in practical terms) to make the connection between sentence and source. You're forcing the reader to "trust us". Unfortunately, a cautious reader simply can't trust us without inline citations.
Ronz, the placement of your comment at 16:06, 29 September 2010 (UTC) implies that you think the MLA style makes it "difficult or impossible to verify article content". This is not the case. This style has been used by scholars for decades to facilitate the verification of citations.

General references are preferred for science articles that go into details, instead of merely giving a general overview. You simply cite some general textbook or article while presenting the theory here on Wikpedia. There is no way you could give inline citations to every nontrivial statement in such a case. Count Iblis (talk) 16:23, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that can be a problem (I have actually seen something like, "The human hand usually has four fingers and a thumb."[citation needed]), and a general reference is not actually any less useful than spamming a footnote to the same textbook after each and every sentence in an article.
I stand my ground that it must be feasible to verify an article. If verifying the article requires checking 100 statements against 3000 pages of text in 10 sources, then the article needs more specific citations.
Again, this is Wikipedia, and the reader has no reason to believe what is written here, unless we provide them with a method to verify it. It doesn't matter what MLA does or other publications do. Our citations have to provide WP:verifiability. Theirs don't.
Basically, I think I disagree with everything you've said, which is strange, because I think we'd make the same choices in an article.

Particularly for articles on subjects that are well-covered by textbooks, the second goal can be served particularly well through general references. Unless we add a footnote such as "General references include: ...", the reader has a hard time telling which footnotes actually make good general references. Cf. recursion theory which has a lot of inline references (Harvard style), footnotes (for side comments and online-only references), and a list of general references. A few sections could use additional references, but the overall structure is clear. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:41, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I am just starting to rewrite the article Tornado (robot), having successfully rewritten the related article Razer (robot) to GA-standard last month. However, I would appreciate your advice on an area of referencing with which I am unfamiliar: the best way to combine references to webpages with different URLs, but which are all from the same source - i.e., one website. For instance, on the aforementioned Tornado article you'll see that every reference so far has the same author, website name and access date[1] - there's a lot of redundancy.

My question is: can I remove the redundancies from the references, whilst still retaining all the necessary distinct URLs? Any and all advice would be richly appreciated. Thank you, CountdownCrispy 12:51, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Do we have a preferred method for citing sources from ebooks? In particular, for books on a Kindle? The Kindle has locations which one can use but they don't correspond to pages in any nice way. JoshuaZ (talk) 21:22, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

which appear in has become unavailable and is not present on the internet archive or webcite either. How to deal with cases like this? Do I have to remove the reference from the article? (I am planning to nominate the article at WP:FLC.) bamse (talk) 22:09, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

There is a conversation regarding the use of accessdates in the External links section here . Your comments would be greatly appreciated. --Kumioko (talk) 14:17, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

I feel like a broken record on this but the bureaucratic red tape being thrown up as I am writing the article List of Philippine restaurant chains is getting ridiculous and it isn't even a controversial subject. This guideline says that general references are possible. However, I have an admin challenging use of general references on the talk page of the aforementioned article and has removed them citing the first line of this guideline namely: "The policy on sourcing is Verifiability, which requires inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations. The policy is strictly applied to all material in the mainspace—articles, lists, captions, and sections of articles—without exception; in the event of a contradiction between this page and the policy, the policy takes priority, and this page should be updated to reflect it."

If the above is to be accepted then the implication is that nothing that isn't cited line-by-line is truly safe from being questioned. What makes it really silly is that I had earlier provided two websites that can confirm the items I included in the list and I also provided their official homepages to boot but they were stripped off because one editor expressed the opinion the website was the kind that shouldn't be linked to for the former while another editor believed the official sites were external links masquerading as references. The impression I'm getting is that as long as there is an editor who is willing to question something—anything—the only way to escape some sort of complaint is to cite every line in which case the idea of start class articles would appear to be useless. Can people take a look? There are a series of diffs on the talk page which show the various stages of the article with different ways of referencing used. Lambanog (talk) 18:29, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

I do think that asking for a reference for every entry of List of Philippine restaurant chains is quite similar to asking for a reference for every entry of List of newspapers in the United States (where far from every entry is referenced). As SlimVirgin says, the assumption is that people will not make requests like that without some good reason. While it can be faster to simply add references, in other cases it's better to simply point out that the request is unreasonable and point them at WP:TROUT.

Often these general "reference everything" requests are motivated by concerns about notability, rather than verifiability, and this seems to be the case with the list of restaurants in the Philippines. The issue of adding general references is not really related to the issue of whether individual list items have inline citations, since general references and inline citations can coexist perfectly well. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:46, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Somehow, this page lost the fundamental point that any system of citations is acceptable, and no method is preferred. That is a core aspect of this page, which has been stable for years, and has become a core editing principle on Wikipedia. Language explaining it needs to remain in the guideline in some form, in case people might be confused that there is some small number of systems from which an author has to choose. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:56, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Similarly, the page somehow said that only certain systems of parenthetical referencing "may be" used, but in reality we allow authors to choose a system that works for the article at hand. They are not required to follow any particular style guide. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:00, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

A niggling question I've been meaning to ask for ages. When citing a work within a work (e.g. a paper within a book), how do we handle last name/first name?

I think the first is correct, and I believe it's MLA style. For example, see their example : Allende, Isabel. "Toad's Mouth." Trans. Margaret Sayers Peden. A Hammock beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America. Ed. Thomas Colchie. New York: Plume, 1992. 83-88.

I know some style manuals, e.g. Chicago (and perhaps all), differ regarding last name/first name depending on whether it's in a footnote or in the references section, which complicates things further. Does anyone know for sure whether it's first name/last name for editors? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:39, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure this is the correct place for this question, but I've got a problem with a reference. just won't display right, probably because of the []'s. How can this be fixed, any ideas? Calistemon (talk) 09:27, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

[showUid]=25237&tx_dfbnews_pi1[sword]=Regionalliga reform&tx_dfbnews_pi4[cat]=212

I recently created an animal species stub based entirely on a fold-out insert in National Geographic. The insert was bound in the magazine, not a loose map or poster like Nat Geo sometimes does, but it lacked page numbers and was perforated for tear-out. The species info is only found on the insert, not repeated within the text of the article that the insert was a part of. The facts I derived from the insert could ultimately be sourced elsewhere, but let's pretend not. For now, I've just cited to the article generally, giving the page range, but is there an established way for giving a pinpoint cite to such an unpaginated supplement? Thanks, postdlf (talk) 16:18, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I knew there was someone out there...  ; ) Thanks for your comments. The fold-out insert itself is bound into the magazine, but perforated so it can be torn out, which is in contrast to the typical map or poster insert in Nat Geo that is just folded and loose inside the magazine. The insert does not have any page numbering, nor is it reflected in the page count; the article's page numbering ignores the insert so it isn't simply that page numbers aren't printed on it. The poster does have a title of sorts, so I think I've decided this is the best way to give all the key information: Tumas, Alejandro; Hobbs, Amanda (August 2010), Todhunter, Andrew (ed.), "Deep Dark Secrets", National Geographic, 218 (2): insert . I'd like to also give the page range for the article it's stuck in the middle of, but I guess you can't have everything. postdlf (talk) 14:18, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

This policy problem arises under WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT. When a source is available in several versions or media (hardcopy, online, reprint in a collection, etc.), we're supposed to cite principally the one we used. I'd like to clarify the policy.

I often want to cite a source available in more than one way but which I read in an online database. The database is available to many people, but the link is specific to one institution where I accessed the database. Anyone who's unknown to that institution and trying that link only gets a home page. Putting the URL into an article footnote is annoying to users. But I didn't read the source in another format, and I don't want to when that would likely entail hours for retrieval and for comparing literal texts, e.g., seeking an old newspaper in hardcopy. I try to provide alternative URLs to give users a choice, but some of those are equally problematic. This applies to sources that are unquestionably citable in WP; e.g., they're reliable sources. This isn't a case of free vs. nonfree; functionally, access may be free but a user must qualify, such as by having a public library card. Many of the URLs I've been citing have been parameterized only for the library where I accessed them, so that, even though the database may be available worldwide, users may need local URLs to access them via subscribing institutions and I don't have a permalink or a uniform URL for worldwide access even if all other qualifications are met (when I see such uniform links I generally provide them). Often a DOI or another uniform identifier doesn't exist for a given source; and I found a case where a DOI linked to a database with even less access than the database URL I had used.

I've seen an indication that a single database may be available in different versions to different subscribers. For example, a periodicals database might offer more articles to a subscribing institution that pays more, even though the database has the same name at all institutions subscribing to it. If this is so, a Wikipedia reader trying to verify a source through a database may not be able to because of the institution through which they access the database, and may not be able to tell the difference. In that case, the URL for the particular article is likely very relevant specifically because it identifies the subscriber, although that could change if the URL is tried much later than when it was copied and the subscriber has changed what it's subscribing to, and at any rate that doesn't solve the problem of not having the login.

Complicating this is that at least one apparently-large-circulation database publisher includes a subscriber's password in the URL, albeit probably only part of the password. When I discussed this with one institution's staff the discussion turned bizarre, so I inquired whether they'd mind if I published their password, which turned the conversation even more bizarre. The database publisher confirmed that they include the password and say it's because they're using older technology for compatibility with customers. (I erased the password string I saw and didn't and don't plan to publish it ever and recommended that they stop the practice but what's important here is that passwords may turn up anyway. It's slightly possible that I've unknowingly published similar passwords in the past, since I don't usually amuse myself by parsing long URLs in my head, but I don't know where to find any older ones. I'll settle for not posting any in the future.)

Some databases have what they call an accession number (approximate term) but I don't know enough either to ensure uniqueness even within the database reporting it or to translate it into a URL or into an identifier useful to WP readers. I'm not sure if any of the databases support searching by those accession numbers.

Thank you. Nick Levinson (talk) 13:29, 1 November 2010 (UTC) (Corrected grammar: 13:43, 1 November 2010 (UTC))

To say "accessed from ProQuest" or "retrieved from EbscoHost" without a link looks like advertising, although I'm willing given the issues around specifying links that most readers can't use. But that looks outside the policy consensus.
When a link is likely to work for most people, and we read the online copy, I assume linking is expected of us. So, if a book in the public domain is available to anyone online, and we read the online copy, that link should be cited, but if we read it in hardcopy, then the link should not be provided, because it's clutter or spam and we could easily come up with half a dozen links for one source.
I guess one solution is for me to keep a link offline at home in case anyone challenges my citation, but I probably won't, because of the overhead in keeping them.
But I'm now getting the sense that the say-where-you-read-it policy excludes distinguishing between hardcopy and an online database that is reliably engaged in accurate and stable reproduction, even if errors may occur and even if some databases like Google Books show different partial texts at different dates/times, so that the linking is not wanted. If that's correct, maybe I'll draft a clarification for the policy, although a recent edit to it is a movement in that direction already.

A different kind of example is this pair: the and the to most users. The access denial doesn't even get as far as the database's front end.

Differences between source versions and relevant to the article should be noted or discussed, at least significant ones, but in most cases I never do the comparison in the first place and I doubt most people do. We don't have the time. The comparison would implicitly occur if editor #1 quotes or paraphrases source version #1 and editor #2 reads source version #2 and says the article misquoted or misrepresented the source when what really happened is that the source in two versions itself differed and no one noticed that, only noticing the consequence in WP. I have no case in which I found such a difference while preparing content for WP, but that's because I read one version and almost never read any other version of the same original. I suspect that's true among most people, including most WP editors.

Under WP:SOURCEACCESS, "[t]he principle of verifiability implies nothing about ease of access to sources", so access to a rare book or a specialized library may be required. Likewise, a particular version may be cited where the evidence is that only one particular version will do, but, in general, no such distinction is evidenced when preparing WP content.

Which style manual doesn't matter. This is for WP. If we link or not, a style manual has something to say, but I don't think they address the concern of this topic.

I don't know if anyone was confused between got, found, or read. In all three cases, reading is just as necessary. I was concerned about how specific was the meaning of where.

To answer an earlier query, "do we link to a copy of an available source online provided by a third party when the original publisher seems to be restricting access?", we do not link to copyright infringement or to sites that facilitate it, but if the third-party source is legitimately providing the copy then even if the original publisher restricts access to the publisher's own copy WP can still link to the legitimate copy elsewhere.

I start with the assumption that I should be thorough as part of being careful and precise, but it seems I take it too far, in the judgment of others. I can certainly provide briefer citations, if that's preferred in WP.

Google Books is ignored here, since it's in a separate topic on this talk page, not yet resolved.

I think that's about right. If you cite a newspaper, you cite the author, the name of the article, the name of the newspaper, and the publication date. If the article's online, supply a link that goes directly to it, and some editors like to add the access date. If it's a book, then it's name of author, name of book, name of publisher, year of publication, page number. Plus an optional link to the book or page number and ISBN. And for journal articles doi where applicable (not necessary but a good idea).
I'd rather write brief citations without the template, now that I know that WP wants to avoid the longer cites and given some problems with the templates.
I agree on not citing a journal's publisher, perhaps the only exception being if two journals have the same name, which is rare.

This may be sorta "related" to THIS#1 and This#2 (old Talk:-Page entries); but, since those are in an archive, it says to put new posts in the current place (that is, here).

The following may be (sorta) "original research" (reporting on my personal experience, today), -- but that's OK, right? Since this is just a "Talk:" page, not an actual article in the "main" Wikipedia space. (right?).

My apologies if this should have gone on to Talk:WebCite instead of here. (Should I put a link to this, from Talk:WebCite?)

Today I tried to go to -- I was intending to "archive" something. (The web page I was going to "archive" was ); and I got a squawk that seemed to suggest that, either the server was down, or -- (worse?) -- that the domain-name was no longer "set up", as it had been, before. The Google for it, did still contain a valid page, and its "header" stated that it was "a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Nov 6, 2010 10:31:04 GMT." That as-of date is several days "old". (How often does that "webcache" service update their "cache" pages?)

Then, I tried with a different browser, (Mozilla Firefox, instead of Google Chrome) -- a browser that was set up with "Yahoo" instead of "Google" for its default "search" engine. This time, it also gave a squawk -- a similar squawk. ((The webpage "" cannot be found / DNS error occurred. Server cannot be found. The link may be broken.))

Anyone know what is going on? I hope this is just temporary, like the June/July 2009 events mentioned at WebCite#Outages.

I like (the idea of) being able to use Webcite for archiving stuff -- both for Wikipedia and for "non-" Wikipedia purposes. I will really miss it, if it no longer accepts new entries. ...and, if OLD entries were to disappear, then that would be even more disappointing -- on the order of, say, if the Wayback Machine were to start "forgetting" stuff. Just my 0.02. --Mike Schwartz (talk) 21:37, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

A problem: Say an editor creates:
Statement A1. Statement A2. Statement A3.<ref>Source for all type-A statements.</ref>

This displays as:
Statement A1. Statement A2. Statement A3.[1]
1. ^ Source for all type-A statements.

But say we anticipate that later someone will insert something (that's now unknown) into the main text:
Statement A1. Statement A2. Statement B. Statement A3.<ref>Source for all type-A statements.</ref>

This will require:
Statement A1.<ref name="A">Source for all type-A statements.</ref> Statement A2.<ref name="A" /> Statement B.<ref>Source for statement B.</ref> Statement A3.<ref name="A" />

This will yield:
Statement A1.[1] Statement A2.[1] Statement B.[2] Statement A3.[1]
1. ^ a b c Source for all type-A statements.
2. ^ Source for statement B.

But the insertion of the later statement is only anticipated, so, when we edit ahead of that time, we edit either for present display simplicity that becomes wrong later or for future growth with present display complexity.

If opting for present display simplicity:
Statement A1. Statement A2. Statement A3.<ref>Source meant for all type-A statements but that's not obvious for earlier ones.</ref>

Adding Statement B will break the citation for some of the rest, with this yield:
Statement A1. Statement A2. Statement B.[1] Statement A3.[2]
1. ^ Source for statement B.
2. ^ Source meant for all type-A statements but that's not obvious for earlier ones.

That looks like there are statements without sources, when all are fully sourced.

If opting for future growth with present display complexity:
Statement A1.<ref name="A">Source for all type-A statements.</ref> Statement A2.<ref name="A" /> Statement A3.<ref name="A" />

This will yield:
Statement A1.[1] Statement A2.[1] Statement A3.[1]
1. ^ a b c Source for all type-A statements.

Both choices are problematic for readers. Perhaps we need a new provision in the guideline. Nick Levinson (talk) 12:45, 10 November 2010 (UTC) (Corrected format by adding line breaks: 12:55, 10 November 2010 (UTC)) (Clarified wording in one sentence: 13:07, 10 November 2010 (UTC))

When writing material with multiple points from multiple sources, while allowing for future growth, citation bundling is a good solution. For example:

In his lifetime Wittgenstein published just one book review, one article, a children's dictionary, and the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)—25,000 words of philosophical writing published when he was alive, and three million unpublished. Professional philosophers have ranked his posthumously published Philosophical Investigations (1953) as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy.[1]

It avoids lots of little blue numbers. It's easy to read, write, and understand. And both the text and the list of sources can be extended without disturbing what's already there, preserving text-source integrity. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:13, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Input would be appreciated at an RfC to ask whether the sourcing guidelines (such as CITE, IRS, MEDRS) should make clear that the core content polices take priority by saying something like: "In the event of inconsistencies between this page and the policies, the policies take priority, and this guideline should be amended accordingly." Please see the RfC here at IRS. Many thanks, SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:58, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

It seems to me that "in-text attribution" has nothing to do with citing sources. It may be there is a more appropriate guideline or policy where it can be placed but it is cluttering up this guideline and should be removed or compressed to one sentence. -- PBS (talk) 20:31, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Since I last looked here the section "Text-source integrity" seems to have been plonked in front of "How to write [footnotes]" which seems odd because how is someone who needs to know how to write them meant to understand their ordering before it is explained to them how to write them? Also "Text-source integrity" seems to be at best a subsection of the older Bundling citations and at worst a reiteration of the same information. I suggest that the text is moved down to Bundling citations as a subsection and then integrated into Bundling citations. -- PBS (talk) 21:00, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

<Slim, I liked the structure you had a few weeks ago, where you placed a number of topics under Background. Although this was a bit of a potpourri, it helped first-time readers to jump straight into the "how-to" section. Could we revive the "background" and place integrity in there? That way integrity would still be prominent but not obstructive. ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 21:27, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Just in case it's not clear: the issue here is that the current structure buries the first time reader in details that will only begin to make sense when they have understood the basics. ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 21:33, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Keeping in mind that my top priority is that new editors find the information they need without getting confused and giving up, I like this structure:

I'm thinking of "in text attribution" as type of citation, and it belongs in the section describing types of citations. I'm thinking of the next set of things as philosophy: important to understand and to point out to other editors, but not something you're looking for the first time you open this page. ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 23:25, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Nothing in the guideline says that you can't use them together ... you might need to add a sentence to the section "inline citations" that says "in text attributions are used in articles that use footnotes and also in articles that use parenthetical references." This is not awkward at all.
Ok, I did it. (Keep in mind that my main interest is in presenting topics in an order that is most useful to the first-time reader. I think it's important to keep in mind that this is a guideline and not a legal document or a computer program. The most important thing is that new editors find it useful, not that its logical structure is airtight or that it covers every caveat and detail every time a subject comes up.)

A problem: Say an editor creates: Supported statement.<ref name="main-source" /><ref name="less-important-source" />

Along comes a bot or editor who rearranges the references into numerical order. Then they'll be in less than ideal order, because the less-important source will precede the main source.

I don't have much of a suggestion, except that editors should not count on the order in which references appear. Perhaps this should be addressed in the guideline. Nick Levinson (talk) 12:12, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

That only works if your sources are lengthy (e.g., books) and you're not citing the same page several times.

The order of refs is a matter of editorial judgment. It is standard in my field for references to be presented out-of-order, because they are sorted by author at the end of a paper and then referenced by number. So you might see "This is a claim [5,2,7]", which indicates that 5 is the best source, then 2 then 7. However, if someone in another field is used to sorting the inline notes by number, that's fine too. It's a matter of the citation style in an individual article. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:58, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

But it's completely established practice in some fields to sort juxtaposed references by importance. You can't make a general principle about it, nor can you assume it will be lost on readers.
The more important thing is that if some editor has explicitly gone out of their way to sort the references, they shouldn't be resorted by some quasi-automated process. One difficulty with longer notes (e.g. Headbomb's example) is that they wouldn't fit well in an article that only uses short footnotes.

If the discussion about Google Books comes up again, you can now point people to User:Uncle G/On common Google Books mistakes. Uncle G (talk) 21:01, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

There seems to be clear consensus that Google Book page links (page links, not general Google Books links) are appropriate so long as preview is available, so I'll add words to that effect to the guideline. SV

Should WP:CITE say that Google Books page links are allowed in footnotes, although not required, and that editors should not go around removing them?

Note: this RfC is about whether we're allowed to add URLs that go directly to a specific page of the book, where preview is available. It is not about adding Google Books links in general. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:18, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

There seem to be four arguments against them: (1) they add clutter to footnotes; (2) they increase load time; (3) they may not be visible in all countries; and (4) they are unstable.
For example, if you enter the url used about in Slimvirgin's example, it generates a proper cite, even including isbn.
Inappropiate cites may always removed. Adapt the last part: If appropiate, such footnotes should not be removed.
Adding a link to a footnote isn't changing the citation style. For example, changing this:
Deboick, Sophia. "Poland's faith divide", The Guardian, 28 October 2010.

I think we need to be more specific regarding what we mean by Google links, since their appearance and usefulness greatly differ. There are

a) and b) have little or no value for verification or further information to readers or editors and hence can bee seen as purely promotional links for a particular company (aka spam). However c) and d) can be very valuable for verification and further information. I suspect that most supporters have mainly c) and d) in mind, while some opposers are particularly annoyed by a) and b). So it might be useful to state the undesired arbitrary removal of Google book links refers to the c) and d) scenario or more precisely taking the geolocation issue into account refers to links for which c) or d) is true for a large part of our readers/editors.

Another thing is the exact intent of the added text. Is its purpose to generally block people from removing Google links or is its purpose to block people from going on a anti Google rampage in "other people's" articles? This also connected to respecting style or preferences of the main authors or maintainers of an article. Concerning the latter one might even wonder, why we would need a specific "lex google" at all, since this seems to be covered by general guidelines/practices anyway. The problem here is that individual editors might adopt (or apparently have done so in the past) a very particular notion of Google books such as considering them generally as undesired spam. From that perspective they could overrule any "respecting the style of other authors or articles" by claiming a guideline violation such as WP:SPAM. Hence it might be useful, that if the community at large does not share such a specific viewpoint of Google books links, it will get stated explicitly to block such a line of argumentation in the future. Also Google books seems to be a of a "hot issue" over which editors repeatedly clash, therefore it makes sense to deal with it explicitly.

The current guideline contains already a section for convenience links (i. e. online copies of a cited source). I think this section could be expanded a bit to deal with the Google books explicitly to be clear which kind of behaviour or approach towards Google books links is accepted and which is not and how it relates to other guidelines (such as WP:SPAM). We probably should state there as well that other non-commercial convenience links (, gutenberg, university sites offering free online copies, etc.) are preferable to Google books links (if available).--Kmhkmh (talk) 09:17, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

also available legitimately for free on another site, we ought to link to the free onewhen we've got the choice, the same book one being sold on GoogleBooks, the other totally free, go for the free one

In this list of responses, I can't figure out what these support and oppose terms refer to. There's more than one question, and I think a few editors may be using the opposite terms to label the same positions. Does "oppose" mean "I oppose including links" or "I oppose removing links" or "I oppose saying anything about the links here"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:27, 30 October 2010 (UTC)