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Inserting references into wiki pages is a vital part of making sure they are of high quality. Anyone who visits a page needs to see them so that they have confidence in the writing; without them, most will believe that the information was just invented and not found in the real world, and they will not trust the writing. It also helps writers to check what they think they know and make sure it is accurate. All writers, all people, remember incorrectly or simply forget things. This page will explain how to insert references.

Step one: What needs a reference?

Identify the content that you want to reference. For example, I could write an article about the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak, and in my article, I have one of my sentences reads, "Ebola is a virus that is painful, infectious, and deadly in many cases." I have another sentence that reads, "The first case of the virus in New York City was identified on October 23, and the governors of New York State and New Jersey ordered quarantine of travelers from Africa at all regional airports." These sentences definitely need references. Other sentences--other information--in my article need them, too, but I will demonstrate with just these sentences.

Step two: Switch to Source Editor

See "How to Add Content to a Wiki Article". It is a more dependable way of doing this.

Step three: Inserting a reference

Write the reference immediately after the sentence. Write "<ref>" and "</ref>" at the beginning and end of the reference. If it is a Web-based source, put brackets around the information, but do not use brackets if it is a non-Web source. Include all important information about the source, including (but not only) title, date of publication, author, and where it is located. Just writing a URL is confusing to readers. Insert a space between the URL and this important information. My sentences and references will look like this when I'm typing:

Ebola is a virus that is painful, infectious, and deadly in many cases.<ref>''The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story'', by Richard Preston, 1994, Random House.</ref>
The first case of the virus in [[New York City]] was identified on October 23, and the governors of New York State and New Jersey ordered quarantine of travelers from Africa at all regional airports.<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/25/nyregion/new-york-ebola-case-craig-spencer.html "Cuomo and Christie Order Strict Ebola Quarantines," by Marc Santora, ''The New York Times'', October 24, 2014.]

Step four: Putting a list of references into the page

In order for all this information to show up in an organized, numbered list at the bottom of the page, type this at the bottom of your page:

==References==
<references />

Step five: Making sure it works

Preview your page so that you see what others will see before you save it. My finished example will look like this:

Ebola is a virus that is painful, infectious, and deadly in many cases.[1] The first case of the virus in New York City was identified on October 23, and the governors of New York State and New Jersey ordered quarantine of travelers from Africa at all regional airports.[2]

References

  1. The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story, by Richard Preston, 1994, Random House.
  2. "Cuomo and Christie Order Strict Ebola Quarantines," by Marc Santora, The New York Times, October 24, 2014.