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Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Citations/Citation template for all language versions

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Citation template for all language versions

  • Problem: The correct formatting of citations from scientific journals or other non-scientific web sources is still complicated and error-prone (at least in the non-English wikipedia versions).
    There is a wide variety of styles of citations. Some citations only include a raw http address, others are half-complete including a title, etc. Since many citations are inserted manually (by copy/paste), they are error-prone.
    Wikipedia should incorporate a kind of reference manager tool, i.e. a tool like Endnote, Reference Manager, Bookends, ... to facilitate the insertion of correct and well-formatted references from various sources.
  • Who would benefit: All editors (and readers).
  • Proposed solution: A unified Wikipedia reference manager tool (across all language versions) would facilitate correct and complete referencing. This Wikipedia reference tool should be able to retrieve from the doi, JSTOR or PubMed, etc. ID the full citation (authors, title, journal) of an article and should insert it in the desired format in the articles' text. Ideally (maybe in a second step) it should also allow for searches of databases (like PubMed).
    The same kind of referencing should also be possible for sources from web sites of large newspapers or news websites (The New York Times, BBC News, etc.). E.g., by inserting the web address of the article from the web site the reference manager should transform this into a full and complete citation (author, title, date, newspaper, ...).
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:


Does this translate as "Make reftoolbar available and uniform accross all wikis ?" —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:18, 9 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I believe it does, and if so, it would be very useful. A Den Jentyl Ettien Avel Dysklyver (talk) 16:36, 9 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Does reftoolbar include a tool that automatically completes and formats references when one enters dois or PubMed IDs or web adresses from, e.g., the BBC? I so, it would really be very useful. --Furfur (talk) 10:43, 12 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Yes it does. Just look for the Loupe icon inside the ref toolbar dialogs, as described in its instructions. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:57, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The reftoolbar is indeed very useful. But the problem is that it must be adapted to local citation templates. And they are definitely NOT uniform across all wikis. So this probably needs to be on opt-in basis, where the local project asks and maintainers/developers will help to adapt the gadget to the local environment. --Vachovec1 (talk) 00:22, 14 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

VisualEditor (and the VE-based new wikitext editor) has a citation template editor which does all the things you mention, and can be enabled in any wiki by editing a few MediaWiki pages (and having citation templates that have a compatible parameter structure with the ones on enwiki). That should probably be backported into the older editors.

Having compatible cite templates can be a significant burden for small wikis (the enwiki ones are scary complex); Communit Tech has been working on global templates which would solve that problem. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 06:32, 18 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Citation databases are generally run by publishers, whose interests don't always align with Wikipedia's. For instance, CrossRef (the database used by all the doi lookup tools I know of) will always give the publisher's page, even if the page is paywalled and there is an open-access copy of an article, say in a repository or on the author's website. And publisher citation databases (and in some cases publisher websites) are not always as good as they might be at indicating what open license, if any, an article is under, although they may tell you correctly who holds the copyright. There is also currently a effort by some publishers to make it convention that abstracts can no longer be included in openly-available bibliographic data under fair use. Historically, abstracts were included in library catalogues so that you could guess whether you wanted to order the article, and until recently scrapers generally include it. But now, if you download citation information via CrossRef, the abstract is missing. Abstracts are full of useful searchable metadata.

For these reasons and others Wikidata:WikiProject Source MetaData was started. It is not language-specific. We have database scalability problems with Wikidata, but eventually this Wikimedia source metadata database will make a major contribution to this problem, and many off-wiki ones as well. HLHJ (talk) 03:48, 8 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]