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Wikipedia:Cite your sources

This article is part of the manual of style and is also one of our proposed Policies and guidelines.

Cite your sources. When external sources are consulted in the writing or verification of an article, provide a list of references (books and articles as well as web pages). If an article is about a person or organization, list its homepage. Not only is this intellectually honest, but it will help readers to find more information. Do it especially if topic is controversial (like Genocide). If an article has a large number of sources, consider creating a separate bibliography subtopic.

List links to references and primary sources, using links to web resources. You can take advantage of Wikipedia's autofootnoting of bracketed urls and/or make a list at the bottom of the page. See the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack pages for examples.

(The Open Directory Project database would be excellent for this if it were actually open, and not under AOL's control. A wiki/FDL/public domain web directory would be an excellent complement to Wikipedia.)

Use proper references. References and external links relevant to an article should be collected at the end of the article, clearly separated from the rest of the material. Every book listing needs to have at a minimum author and title. ISBN is good too, because many online references use that as an index. Every article needs to have author, title, journal and issue, link to online version where available. Every Internet resource needs to have author (if known), title (so that the resource can still be located even if its URL changes) and URL, which should be given in plain view (like http://wikipedia.com) to make the reference useful if printed out. Preferably, every reference should come with a one sentence summary.

From Wikipedia:Manual of style

Please see [1] (http://bailiwick.lib.uiowa.edu/journalism/cite) for a list of citation style guides. There is currently no consistent Wikipedia citation style, and citations are very poor at the moment.

Proposal: Wikipedia should adopt the recommendations of [2] (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup/cgos/idx_basic)

Please use extended citation styles rather than brief citation styles. For example, for the Warren Commission use "Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. I, p. 1" rather than "1H1".

ISBN numbers are auto-converted to links. This is useful, as this allows readers to go to online stores and purchase books. However, ISBN numbers only identify a particular edition of a book: when it goes out of print, they are not very useful.

The Wikipedia software recognizes inline ISBNs; for example: ISBN 0-12-345678-9 becomes ISBN 0-12-345678-9. This creates an external link to a special booksource page, with links to sites where one may search for the best price for the book or access information about the book such as reviews and reader reactions. It is important when making a link to not put a colon after "ISBN".

Please do not use ISBN numbers alone to identify books: add a proper citation as well as the ISBN.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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