Adding citations and a reference section on your Wikipedia page.
Citations are the most important element of any Wikipedia page. No page should be on Wikipedia if it cannot be backed up from a high quality published secondary source.
You should aim to have a citation at the end of every sentence, or at least every paragraph.
Your golden rule for sources used is that they should be published, and they should have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Scholarly material is normally fine, broadsheet newspapers, university-level textbooks and books from respected publishing houses. Blogs from universities or any organisations with an editorial oversight might be acceptable. Tabloids and clickbait journalism tend to be less reliable and should be avoided.
How to add Citations
Before you start you should make sure you are logged in to your Wikipedia account. This video uses the user page to demonstrate how to add a citation.
- Select 'Edit' and make sure you are using the Visual Editor.
- Place your cursor at the end of the sentence where you want to add your citation. Have your citation ready.
- Select the 'Cite' button on the menu above the page/article.
- It will come up with three options for citing: Automatic, Manual and Re-use.
- Automatic allows you to input:
- For example, paste in the URL of your citation, then select 'Generate' and it will automatically create a citation.
- Select 'Insert' to add it to your article.
- Select the 'Edit' button on your citation if you want to add any further details.
- Select 'Publish changes' and add a description to save your changes.
- Video: How to add a citation.
- Citations are the most important element of any Wikipedia page. No page should be on Wikipedia if it cannot be backed up from a high quality published secondary source. You should aim to have a citation at the end of every sentence, or at least every paragraph.
How to add a heading for references
When you add citations the references section is automatically generated when the page is saved. Before starting this video, make sure you are logged into your Wikipedia account and on the article where you want to make your edits. This video is demonstrated on the user page.
- Select 'Edit' to go to the Visual Editor.
- Above the references (numbered 1, 2, 3 and so on) select 'insert paragraph'.
- On the menu tab, select the 'Paragraph' and from the drop down select 'Heading'.
- Type 'References' above your references.
- Once you are done, select 'Publish changes' and give a brief description of what you have done.
- Video: How to add a heading for references.
- A brief video on how to adding a heading for your references section on you Wikipedia article.
© Ewan McAndrew and Hannah Rothmann, University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY-SA 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.