Forums > Senate Hall archive > Hey, let's not be too formal!

The purpose of references is to improve our credibility, to prove that we aren't making anything up, and to give the reader a way to quickly and independently verify our claims.

Articles whose material is based on a number of sources will profit the most from the reference system as it stands, but for articles where the majority of information comes from one source, pointing LOTS of references to a single source isn't going to help the situation at all. Look at Bastila Shan (the article, not its subject): a gazillion references all pointing to KOTOR. However, since Bastila is almost exclusively a KOTOR character, and KOTOR is a long game, it will only cause people to question: "but where in KOTOR is it said Bastila did this?"

I, for one, advocate a more liberal referencing system: for an example of what I mean, see Jedi Exile. In other words, I think you should feel free to include any extra information helping the reader to unambiguously identify the source fragment, even at the cost of being informal. Page numbers, for instance, are not mandatory, but if you know them, why not include them?

- Sikon 10:29, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Definately. As much detail as possible. Otherwise, it'd be like directing someone to go search through War and Peace for a single line of dialogue - \\Captain Kwenn// Ahoy! 11:09, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
    • Unless we're going to start pulling our digits out and using publisher info as well, no way known. That's just double standards to the nth degree. .... 21:01, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
      • No. Aren't we enough bantha poo-doo as is? And it's too confusing, too much work, and not practical. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order (Audience Chamber) 22:54, 12 February 2007


        • I still say (1) citations with full publication info aren't needed for any source we mean to have an article on anyway, and (2) page numbers can vary with edition, and the equivalent for films (timestamps, I guess) are probably too much work to find. However, I could see the use of providing chapters for novels and long reference works, DVD chapter numbers for films/TV series released on DVD, or level names for video games, in some cases. Maybe it should be optional? I'm undecided on that. —Silly Dan (talk) 23:05, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
          • No, we need to pick a standard and stick to it on this sort of thing. We need to be consistent one way or the other. jSarek 02:35, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
            • I agree. I think we should have the person who said it, the page or level, and the game or book it's from. Ardraon 21:38, 12 February 2007 (EST)
            • Yes, we need to pick something. Asking too much on the references can make it a quagmire. A lot of effort for marginal at best benefit. -Fnlayson 03:56, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
              • No page numbers. No. Page. Numbers. -- Ozzel 04:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
                • No page numbers. This is tough enough as it is, and we don't want to discourage it any more. And besides, if we went to page numbers, you'd pretty much have to go to full-blown MLA/APA/etc. to have an accurate reference, which is really way too much. Also, look how much Bastila Shan got cut down to from before...much better as it is now. —Xwing328(Talk) 04:13, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
                  • If we make this too much of a pain, we will a) give a lot of people headaches, b) make sourcing even harder and more confusing, c) cause an order of magnitude more work, d) make me a huge believer in WP:IAR. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order (Audience Chamber) 05:01, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • No! If citing page numbers like this becomes standard, then I will never write a full article. That's way too much trouble I'd have to go through, and since this site is voluntary, it won't be worth my time. I have better things to do than to cite every page number, chapter, etc... like the formatting and style of the article. If it does pass, then maybe there could be a committee who did it for the articles...though I doubt anyone will want that job...I'm sorry, it's just not practical, whether it looks nice or not. <3 China! 04:44, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
    • Well, citing references is already standard; see Forum:Sourcing revamp. It's just a matter of whether we include page numbers and ISBNs or not. jSarek 04:48, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • That's what I meant. Thanks for correcting me! I changed it...It's late, and I'm tired. And, can someone fix the page? My computer messed it up, and I can't fix it. It won't let me...Grr... <3 China! 04:57, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • If anything, we cite the most controversial and dubious sections of articles: BTS. -- Riffsyphon1024 05:23, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • 1) I don't really see the need for a unified policy. Refs in general is are a long way from being standard. 2) That said, Jedi Exile's references are definitely more useful than Bastila's. Chapter/level information is definitely helpful in some circumstances, but we shouldn't make it a requirement for FA status or anything. 3) If you write a great article without putting in refs, it's not like you're going to get in trouble. It's certainly better to have an unreferenced article than no article at all. -LtNOWIS 05:28, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
    • Bah, this whole thing is a mess. This vote was passed WAY too quickly. I realize the minimum is 2 weeks, and this vote only had three, but for such a huge, site-wide change, I think it needed be open longer. However, the vote is closed, and that's that. But we still don't have a standard official method for this, although numerous discussions are going on. The Layout Guide remains unchanged. And what about the Notes and references thing we passed only a few months ago (which we decided only to use for OOU references)? And what about the {{fact}} template? Is it appropriate anywhere in an article now? I'm seeing it used that way. And what about the general "Notes" sections, like the one on Luke Skywalker? How does all this fit with the new references system, and why was all of this not figured out before we started implementing this site-wide? -- Ozzel 05:57, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Fourdot, how are these double standards? I'm proposing less formality, not more. Adding publisher info isn't going to help users - at best, it'll just confuse them, and at worst, it will make sourcing an unnecessarily complicated, troublesome task without any clear gain. - Sikon 06:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • While sourcing is good, I agree with Ozzel that the motion was passed way too quickly. Because of this, everyone seems to have an opinon on how it should be done with almost no one agreeing. Not only is this confusion regarding sourcing holding up FA noms, it's causing sitewide dissention on how things should be referenced. Should there be a reference after every paragraph? Under each heading? Who knows! For such a major change, it seems that this was passed way too quickly and without a lot of thought. StarNeptuneTalk to me! 06:30, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
    • About Isolder: If that's referring to me, I'm not trying to hold it up; I've given my vote for it, I'm just also stating my thoughts on the referencing policy in general. I do agree we need to hash out a policy on this. - Lord Hydronium 08:13, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
      • I only objected because frankly it made the table of contents look awful - I don't think we need any ADDITIONAL sourcing - merely that, perhaps, such sourcing could be at the end of a section, rather than on the heading. QuentinGeorge 09:19, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
        • Sikon: Jedi Exile, for instance, has no ref stating that TSL is a source. Curious, don't you think? If you are going to denominate specific situations of a videogame, you should first, name the source always, and then, only use a set demonination, say, level titles. For games like KOTOR, that's the different locations. But if you cite specific incidents, that's a precedent for references to start popping up that look like this: "The part where Shryne decapitates Appo". No thanks. And if you apply a rule to one type of source, you have to invariably apply it to all other kinds of sources as well. Or else, you end up with, as I stated before, double standards. .... 09:28, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
          • Well, I can replace "Prologue" with "001EBO" and "Rebuilt Enclave sequence" with "650DAN"... - Sikon 12:34, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
            • Having just looked at Jedi Exile, I can say that that type of sourcing would be a tremendous pain, because it's completely subjective. Simply placing the name of the work is enough, IMO. Sourcing has become a confusing thing, with everyone having different ideas of what to do. This needs to be hashed out in very clear, and concise words what exactly we want. In one place. Until then, I'm not sourcing anything else until it's clear, because it's not right now. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order (Audience Chamber) 16:56, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • So far as the video games are concerned... I've seen many discussions here that end with phrases along the lines of "Wookieepedia is not a game walkthrough site". And we don't need it to be. Though I created the Lorgal article, I did not know your character could use Force Choke to kill him until someone added that at the article's end, and it got the message across in a narrative format. I don't need to know that I have to level-up my character with the Force Choke power for it to work. -BaronGrackle 19:58, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Whatever we do needs to be done consistently. Already we've got several different styles of referencing being used and this whole thing's starting to get messy. I'm with Ataru in stopping referecing until I know what I'm doing. Green Tentacle (Talk) 15:54, 14 February 2007 (UTC)