Help talk:References/Archive

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Note: This page holds discussions from Help talk:References that have been archived because they are no longer active. See the original page for current discussions.

Use of Cite.php

You should probably install Cite.php, especially if this site intends to use content copied from Wikipedia. --Davidstrauss 09:12, 4 Aug 2006 (EDT)

We'd like to use Cite, but currently we're running an older version of MediaWiki that isn't compatible. We'll be updating and upgrading later this year. --Sheldon Rampton 10:54, 4 Aug 2006 (EDT)
I believe this is resolved, which is why you can now use "<ref>"--Conor Kenny 15:45, 1 June 2007 (EDT)
If resolved, shouldn't this mini-discussion be deleted without need fro or benefit from archiving? --Maynard 14:53, 14 June 2007 (EDT)
Good point, archiving now.--Conor Kenny 00:37, 4 September 2007 (EDT)

Standardizing formatting on references

There are two areas of proliferating formatting standards for references I think we should address, which I know Artificial Intelligence and Bob Burton have also been interested in. I've made some proposals in the area and would like to know what any of the staff editors, citizen editors or sysops think. Please place your comments below under "reactions" and once we have a consensus we'll lock this in as an official policy.--Conor Kenny 15:44, 1 June 2007 (EDT)

Using the <ref> extension

Patricia Barden and User:Sheldon Rampton installed the <ref> extension a while back, which now makes it possible to put footnotes at the bottom of a page that include both links and other information (tips on how to use "<ref>"). This has a few advantages over the old system of using simple links at the point of reference and then making a separate entry at the bottom of an article:

  1. When an article gets too long and sections and paragraphs are split off into different articles, the references get moved with them automatically.
  2. The full details of a reference can be viewed without leaving the site.
  3. The reference links are easily tied to more information - you don't have to go down to the bottom of the page and figure out which source goes with the reference you're looking for.

However, the system is a bit more complicated than simply inserting a link between single brackets, which makes it difficult for new editors to use. Also, almost all of our existing articles don't use the "<ref>" system, which creates a bit of a hodge-podge effect.

I believe the advantages outweight the disadvantages of not adopting the new system at all, but the amount of work in converting all the references over to the new system is huge.

Therefore I propose that we adopt the use of the "<ref>" referencing system as the "preferred" option and encourage editors to convert pages over to the new system. However, editors that are not comfortable using the new system are free to still simply insert links between brackets - hopefully someone will come behind them to clean up. While there will still be a hodge-podge effect, the advantages of the new system are worth it.--Conor Kenny 15:44, 1 June 2007 (EDT)