Forums > Senate Hall archive > Referencing rant

There's no need to have superfluous references just for the sake of it.

For instance, there's no point in having several consecutive paragraphs all linking to the same reference.

Also, don't insert references in section titles, it screws up the TOC.

End rant. - Sikon 06:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Hear hear! -- Ozzel 06:24, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
    • ...and this is why we need a uniform policy on sourcing. StarNeptuneTalk to me! 06:50, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
      • We should definitely have one, especially since we are saying that articles should comply with new requirements of the Manual of Style, when the truth is that there are none. -- Ozzel 08:16, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
        • Last thing I heard, we were told to do every paragraph or the section title if it applies to the whole section. We really do need to sort the Manual of Style out to make it clear. Green Tentacle (Talk) 10:13, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
          • We shouldn't need references in the intro either, unless there's info there mentioned nowhere else on the page. You're giving a summary of the article; all the referencing is already in the article, and on a lot of articles it's going to be more confusing then enlightening (look at the intro for Luke Skywalker; you'd need to reference every sentence, and in some cases, multiple ones per sentence). - Lord Hydronium 10:19, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
            • See Quarsh Panaka for an example of what not to do. The [3] in the "Early career" section header shows in the TOC, and the "Invasion of Naboo" section has five consecutive paragraphs all linking to the same reference (TPM), which is pointless to the extreme. At least there could be some extra info specifying the scene from TPM the paragraph references, so these would be distinct references. Or we can just assume that the average Wookieepedian knows Panaka is a TPM character and remove most of the TPM references altogether. - Sikon 11:28, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

We said at the last Mofference that we should start a CT track to discuss this. Perhaps first, we should use this Senate Hall track to list some of the issues the CT track needs to discuss. Off-hand, here's the ones I can think of:

The {{Ref}} template: keep as a way to save space, or remove in order to keep the table of contents tidy?
If we don't use {{Ref}}, is there another way to simplify the footnotes for an entire section with only one source, while keeping it clear that several paragraphs really are completely sourced?
Should the reference section be called "Notes and references" or just "References"? Is the div class="references-small" code necessary, or can it be left only for articles with a lot of footnotes?
Links in footnotes or not?
Few people agreed to require page numbers in the original discussions: should we allow them as options?
Footnotes in introductory summaries? How about for opening paragraphs for short articles which aren't really summaries?
Footnotes in infoboxes?

What else? —Silly Dan (talk) 12:34, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

  • First source or most complete source? See Keyan Farlander. Technically the first source for his participation in the missions is Star Wars: X-Wing but X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide mentions all that plus adds the names of pilots, etc. I did it so that if a sentence only contained stuff from X-wing, I put that, otherwise I put the Strategy Guide but I could source entire sections if I just put the Strategy Guide for everything and it'd probably look nicer. Though this is probably an unusual example the films and novelisations would have the same problem. Green Tentacle (Talk) 12:49, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
    • What's the point of {{ref}} to begin with? - Sikon 13:52, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Getting consensus on this will be a pain. I think we should keep the {{ref}} template as is, not source intros or sections like "personality" or "romances", leave off page numbers, keep the section at "References", have links in footnotes, not in infoboxes, and have at least para by para cites, ref citations for paras from 1 source, but have as many cites as needed within a paragraph if it is from multiple sources. That's my take on it. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order (Audience Chamber) 18:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Use Ref. The vast improvement it adds to sourcing all-one-source sections is far greater than the minor inconvenience to the honestly-useless TOC. Havac 22:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Ditto with Ataru and Havac. I would have finished throwing together the CT thread, which I started in my notes, but I've been too busy to finish it. Sikon, is there some JavaScript or CSS that could somehow label the footnotes tagged with {{Ref}} to not show up in the TOC? —Xwing328(Talk) 03:51, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
    • The TOC is managed by MediaWiki, so no. I suppose it could be technically implemented with JavaScript, but it would be dirty and hackish. - Sikon 06:06, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I know that We Are Not Wikipedia, but perhaps a good starting point would be to import their sourcing rules, strip them of superfluities we have no need of (I'm sure they've got rules for citing 17th-century manuscripts that won't help us at all) and *then* hammer out the details in CT tracks. jSarek 05:22, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
  • If we can't insert references in section titles, then I don't see any alternative except to reference each paragraph in the section. I believe that most citation guidelines require paragraph citations at minimum... this seems to be the case on Wikipedia as well. Sarendipity (Talk to me) 06:06, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
    • I don't see what's so scary about paragraph citation anyway. Any article big enough to make that a serious chore is going to be drawing from a broad variety of sources that would need to be cited anyway. jSarek 07:13, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
      • For a counterexample, see Brenn Tantor: almost every paragraph in his bio comes from the same source. —Silly Dan (talk) 15:04, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
        • I love how the only thing in that article from a different source sounds a little like speculation. And think how ugly that article's paragraphs would be without the Ref template—Xwing328(Talk) 21:43, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
          • It's extrapolation from this:
"Sure, they don't look like much. But when you're trapped on Eos, where the electromagnetic fields keep "advanced" airspeeders grounded, you'll wish you had a whole fleet of AT-PTs."
Imperial commander Brenn Tantor[src]

I felt the need to mention the one other source, and that was about the only way to do it. Havac 01:20, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

  • That helps me understand. Thanks Havac! Do you think there's a way to include the quote in his article? —Xwing328(Talk) 04:21, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Possibly. I can't think of a good spot for it myself, though. Havac 05:19, 4 March 2007 (UTC)