Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Citations

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13 proposals, 256 contributors, 460 support votes
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Extend Template:Cite map on English Wikipedia to cover GIS generated maps

  • Problem: Wikipedia:Template:Cite map does not include the ability to note the software used to generate GIS maps, which is required for proper citation
  • Who would benefit: Anyone working with GIS map data as a source
  • Proposed solution: Include a "software" paramater
  • More comments: I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but I have always had difficulty citing GIS maps using the citation template.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Furicorn (talk) 11:00, 6 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


  • If you think this is a change that should be made, it would be better to suggest it at en:Help talk:CS1. --Izno (talk) 18:50, 6 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I too suffer from a problem with citing interactive maps. I use the Queensland Globe which is the official government mapping information all the time. I can choose a various of base map/image backgroups and then add on one or more layers from a catalogue of hundreds of layers. I can see where rivers run, where the heritage boundaries are, where there is a sawmill, a national park, a fire ant infestation, school catchments, ... it's a never-ending source of information for me. But when it comes to citation, all I can do is provide the URL and the name to the Qld Globe itself -- nothing more specific. I have no way of indicating where on the map I am looking nor what layers I might be using, partly because the tool itself has no way to export this information (e.g. centred at lat/long, zoom factor Z, layers This and That) and partly because our citations templates don't have fields to support it. This is part of a larger problem with citing any interactive website where there isn't a way to generate a URL that can re-create "what I am seeing now on my screen" (Google Maps "share" feature does create such a URL for later re-use and I wish other tools would follow its example). So we have a growing problem as more and more websites are becoming more interactive, but I don't have a good solution to propose to solve it. Kerry Raymond (talk) 22:30, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Make citation templates easier for newcomers to find and use

  • Problem: The default form of source - "<ref>This is the template I refer</ref>" - that appears in editing mode, is to simple, and is not structured. Many Editors probably don´t know the existence of more elaborate types of citation.
  • Who would benefit: The great majority of the editors; Wikidata
  • Proposed solution: The current template should be complemented, at the side, by types of more elaborated citation templates, like "cite book", "cite journal", and "cite web". With a click the corresponding type of citation would be opened in the text. The Editor would need only to fill the proposed data.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: GualdimG (talk) 18:02, 7 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


@GualdimG: Which "current template" do you refer to, as there are many citation related templates on many sites? Which mw:Editor do you use? --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 12:39, 9 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Wen we are reading any article, and click at the Edit button ([alt+shift+e]) to make any change, at the line imediately below the edit window, there is the "template" Cite your sources: <ref></ref>. This is the one I sugest that could be complemented by one (or more) more developed. In general, I supose, people at the begining don´t know (I remain so for a long time) that are others more developed and easy to use "templates", for instance:
  • cite news = <ref>{{cite news |last1= |first1= |title=|url=|work= |date=|language=en}}</ref>
  • cite book
  • cite journal

Thank you. GualdimG (talk) 14:23, 9 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

* I will probably be repeating, but what I pretend improve is the possibility of the editors, namely the ones not experienced, from the beginning, gave sources with quality format. Insted of being visible only the simplest example of "Cite your sources: <ref> </ref>" at the line imediately below the edit window, ex: [1], I propose a complete new line with not only the simplest (<ref> </ref>) but also with "cite news" = (<ref>{{cite news |last1= |first1= |title=|url=|work= |date=|language=en}}</ref>), "cite book", "cite journal", and "cite web", in such a way that with a simple click over one of them, for instance "cite news", at the window edit would appear <ref>{{cite news |last1= |first1= |title=|url=|work= |date=|language=en}}</ref> and the Editor would need only fill with the proper data. Thank you. GualdimG (talk) 22:22, 13 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@GualdimG: En wiki has this available in w:Wikipedia:RefToolbar. For other wikis, if you enable the mw:2017 wikitext editor in your beta options, it offers the same drop down menu with different citation types that VE has. This is not rolled out to new users, however. Mvolz (WMF) (talk) 13:50, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I don't want to teach new users to fill citation templates, instead I want to teach them how to autofill them. What we need is the same technique that VE does with Citoid to be added into the normal wikieditor. New and one-time editors don't even need to know what a template is because the technique does it for them. Adding citation templates to the editor is an improvement but only if it has autofill. Before I found ProveIt I used to switch between VE and wikitext so that I could autofill citations. -kyykaarme (talk) 23:10, 22 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]



Bring back doi bot

  • Problem: Lack of citations
  • Who would benefit: Editors who cite, you know, things.
  • Proposed solution: A doi bot that fills in refs if a doi is provided. There used to be one.
  • More comments: Maybe it could tie into Wikidata this time? Wikidata has millions of scholarly articles entered now.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Abductive (talk) 16:54, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


  • There is no (widely used) bot that goes around filling in citations from doi or Wikidata info without being told to. You are presumably talking about some tool(s) that the editor has to initiate. Abductive (talk) 06:45, 6 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • From the bot's activation page, editors can activate it on specific pages or categories. The bot seems to sign the edits with the activator's name. Smith609 handles the bot, with assistance from Kaldari and AManWithNoPlan. They might have useful input.
I'd also like such a tool to do PMC URLs, arXiv URLs, URLs to pdfs with dois in them, and suchlike (Citation bot does at least some of this). Maybe even Wikidata identifiers. From the editing toolbar, Cite>Template>cite journal>[paste doi and click on magnifying glass below] works on en-wiki. Waiting for the scraping and lookup is annoying, tho. While it's good to proofread the autofill, it's usually very acceptable. Sometimes I'd rather have a bot and come back later and improve the bot-expanded refs. HLHJ (talk) 21:26, 17 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
It sounds like what you really want is the return of {{cite doi}} that is then automatically expanded. You want to be able to add the citations and then not think about it. AManWithNoPlan (talk) 22:40, 17 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
That would be nice, AManWithNoPlan, if there is no reason not. I remember formerly using something of the sort and being delighted that a bot would just turn up and do the tedious work. Though I should use the "Expand citations" link in the sidebar, now I'm aware of it. HLHJ (talk) 22:57, 17 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
FYI, at least for enwiki, w:en:Template talk:Cite doi/Archive 1#RfC: Should Template:cite doi cease creating a separate subpage for each DOI?. Anomie (talk) 22:04, 18 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Though the voting is over, I would like to offer a suggestion.
The problem with something like a doi template is that in the wikitext one sees only the doi, making it extremely obscure as to what source is being cited. Also, articles sometimes differ in how they use a source's full citation, which leads to various problems.
What I would suggest is a feature that displays the requested full citation in preview mode in template form, with options for cs1 or cs2 formatting, full names or initials, etc. The editor can then copy that into the article text, modifying as preferred. That makes the details visible right where they are used, without having to jump between the edit window and the preview window, and avoids various hassles inherent in trying to maintain a centralized citation. ~ J. Johnson (talk) 00:28, 1 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Here's another suggestion that would be relatively easy to implement. It should not be difficult to edit Template:Cite journal to add a maintenance category when a citation is "profoundly incomplete", i.e. only contains a DOI/PMID. Citation bot could then watch this category and expand these incomplete citations. For the technically minded, I would propose a cron job that runs Category.php regularly (hourly, say) on this maintenance category. Smith609 (talk) 06:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Improve document type prediction from citoid

  • Problem: Smoothing the addition of sources is super-important for the wikipedias UX.
  • Who would benefit: Citoid users -- some of the most important Wikimedians, measured by improvements to the encyclopedia
  • Proposed solution: The ORES team has made a generalized predictions-as-a-service interface called JADE; this is a machine learning task which would likely benefit
  • More comments: by Wednesday November 14th
  • Phabricator tickets: to be created upon wish approval
  • Proposer: James Salsman (talk) 02:55, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Please see also wikitech:Citoid. The task is to correctly predict the document type (i.e., Journal, Book, News item, Web page, etc.) from the URL.


Please ask me questions about this proposal. James Salsman (talk) 18:06, 13 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

My general impression is that this would be quite a lot of work (you'd need to build a type-predicting API) and then it is not totally clear to me how we'd even use the API. Zotero determines the type manually and there's no easy way to "change" the type of an item in the middle of the request. And then at the end of all of this I'm sceptical that the type matters all that much - maybe for subtle difference in citation style, but, for instance, Template:Citation can format any citation type. Even if mis-typed, the wrong citation template will still correctly display information about the right item, which is the most important part. I get that the mis-typing is annoying though. It might make a cool GSoC or Outreachy project. Mvolz (WMF) (talk) 14:03, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Minimize references

  • Problem: When you are editing in the source mode, as you enter text, you also add references, but sometimes the references contain so much data it's difficult to see the text you are writing.
  • Who would benefit: Facilitate the reading to the editors
  • Proposed solution: Add a "code folding" feature, with a toolbar button to minimize references and templates.
  • More comments: For example this text it's difficult to see which parts are prose and which parts are references/templates:
Entre sus actuaciones más importantes destacaron «''Runnin''» de [[Naughty Boy]] y [[Beyoncé]] que cantó junto a Agoney en la gala 1,<ref>{{Obra citada|título=Operación Triunfo - Míriam y Agoney cantan 'Runnin' en la gala 1 de OT|idioma=es-ES|url=|fechaacceso=28 de marzo de 2018|fecha=30 de octubre de 2017}}</ref> «''I Wanna dance With Somebody''» de [[Whitney Houston]] que cantó en la gala 8,<ref>{{Obra citada|título=Operación Triunfo - Miriam canta 'I wanna dance with somebody' en la Gala 8 de OT|idioma=es-ES|url=|fechaacceso=28 de marzo de 2018|fecha=19 de diciembre de 2017}}</ref> y «''What About Us''» de [[Pink]], tema que la clasificó para la final del concurso en la gala 11.<ref>{{Obra citada|título=What about us - Miriam - OT 2017 Gala 11 -|idioma=es-ES|url=|fechaacceso=28 de marzo de 2018|fecha=16 de enero de 2018}}</ref><ref name=":2">{{Cita noticia|título=Operación Triunfo ya tiene a sus cuatro primeros finalistas|url=|fecha=16 de enero de 2018|fechaacceso=28 de marzo de 2018|periódico=Las Provincias|idioma=es}}</ref>

But if we collapse the references then it's much clearer:

Entre sus actuaciones más importantes destacaron «''Runnin''» de [[Naughty Boy]] y [[Beyoncé]] que cantó junto a Agoney en la gala 1, «''I Wanna dance With Somebody''» de [[Whitney Houston]] que cantó en la gala 8, y «''What About Us''» de [[Pink]], tema que la clasificó para la final del concurso en la gala 11.


  • Hmm, I'm pretty sure there was a proposal or technical work done for what was called "reference folding" which is what is being requested. Am I hallucinating? --Izno (talk) 20:46, 7 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I've made (and self-reverted) a demonstration of how the collapsed elements could hypothetically appear. I don't know if you'd want to include something like that, or if you have better images/idea(s) of how it could be visualized, so I'll leave it to you to add something in. I've also made some copyedits to the explanation, please check that I haven't changed what you meant. Cheers :) Ping @Vanbasten 23: Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 23:01, 7 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • My ultimate take on this problem (see proposal) would be moving the references to Wikidata, and providing in the wikitext only ID number. IMO the references should be eventually removed from the free text and stored in a structured, searchable, allowing an easy reuse database anyway. aegis maelstrom δ 17:54, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I tried a thing for sweeping all the refs to the end (in display only, it didn't change the text), but it messed up copy-paste a bit, as I recall, so I stopped using it. Does anyone know what it is called? It might fit the bill. HLHJ (talk) 07:41, 14 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
en:Help:List-defined references? DMacks (talk) 19:23, 26 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Mini-editor for citations

  • Problem: When working with large articles, you often look at the citation list (in Read Mode) and see a problem (maybe an error report, maybe a misspelling, maybe missing some field that could/should be added, possibly be a reuse of another citation). But it's very hard to find the citation you want to change in a large article. If read mode, you can click on the caret symbol or the a/b/c list to be taken to the citation in the text in read mode. I'd like to be able to click a little pencil icon (or similar) beside each citation and be taken to a little dialogue box where I could fix the citation or have a Reuse selection (similar to the Visual Editor). I use both source and VE in my work and neither handles "find that one citation in a large article with many citations" very well (with wikitext, you are drowning in text, with VE, you can't see the citation without clicking on each one in turn). So I'd like a solution in both please! For bonus points, the edit-citation tool would also have a button to "edit the whole article, positioning me at the citation in question" section for those situations when fixing a citation involves repositioning in the text (such as the very-common need to moving the citation to after the punctuation, when the newbie has put it before the punctuation). Also on a shopping list would be a button to "add on the archiveurl/archivedate/deadurl fields" for this (i.e. archive on demand). I manually archive most URLs I use as citations as deadlinks later are no help to the reader and hard to fix if not pre-emptively archived).
  • Who would benefit: Anyone who maintains large articles with lots of citations. And increasingly we are in maintenance mode for many articles.
  • Proposed solution: Described above. For VE, I'd like it similar to the current Edit citation dialogue. The real value-add is the "edit and jump straight to the citation I am wanting to work with" and avoid the stuffing about searching for the citation in the article and sometimes changing the wrong one by mistake.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Kerry Raymond (talk) 06:57, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


I've been replacing "ibids" from hundreds of articles this week and I needed such a tool so badly. If we don't make it easy for people to work with citations, they will just do the easy things (endless fiddling with minor copyedits and endless recategorising). Maintaining citations is not fun, so please make it as easy as possible so more people will do it. Kerry Raymond (talk) 06:57, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster, wouldn't that be fantastic? Drives me crazy trying to fix these little pesky problems in cites within long articles. Yet citations are essential to making Wikipedia as useful and as credible as we all want it to be. Lawikitejana (talk) 08:15, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Yes! Excellent proposal. Such a tool would save tons of time and improve citation quality immensely. Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) 15:27, 8 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
For VE, would the ability to click on the text of a reference in the reference block and have it link to the reference editor for that citation address the problem? Mvolz (WMF) (talk) 14:28, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
If you are already in the VE, yes, that would be useful. But not in Read mode, as clicking there has a very different semantic to the reader (would need a different "trigger"). Kerry Raymond (talk) 21:45, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Error handling for ref tag problems (unclosed ref tags, ref tags missing the last slash, etc.) would have to be considered carefully. HLHJ (talk) 22:52, 17 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I just requested a rapid grant to enhance the ProveIt gadget. The ProveIt gadget is a reference manager for Wikipedia that currently works only on edit mode, but that could be extended to work in read mode in the way requested here. Please feel free to add any comments, questions, ideas and endorsements to the grant, thanks! Felipe (talk) 19:48, 4 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]


VisualEditor: Allow references to be named

  • Problem: One cannot enter a name for a reference in the VisualEditor. When references are used multiple times, VE automatically assigns ":0", ":1", etc. as names.
  • Who would benefit: Everyone using VE, everyone editing content containing references added using VE
  • Proposed solution: Allow editors to assign individual names to references when clicking on a reference in the VE
  • More comments: This is a resubmit of Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Editing/VisualEditor: Allow references to be named from last year which got a lot of votes but sadly not enough to get into the top 10. Since then, nothing more seems to have happened here.
  • Phabricator tickets: task T52568, task T92432
  • Proposer: SoWhy 15:19, 3 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


  • I like this. These reference names are confusing to new editors, highly unmemorable, and cause problems including incorrect citations when people copy text between articles. It causes friction between manual editors and Visual-Editor-using editors. My BibTeX software makes auto-names which run "[surname of first author]_[year of publication]_[first word of title which is not the or A or some other very common word]". The second phab ticket suggests something similar. HLHJ (talk) 02:05, 10 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Exactly. In addition to allowing editors to assign ref tags, the VE should suggest a Harvard style ref tag in the form of first authors last name + year of publication (i.e., "Smith_2017") appended by a, b, c, etc. if necessary to disambiguate. Boghog (talk) 07:21, 26 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • This would be useful, especially as some editors heavily use refname it may allow to achieve some consistency. What is more, this may be used as an e.g. description text when the references are finally moved to Meta. aegis maelstrom δ 09:27, 10 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • We need naming references to solve a problem we see facing our student editors (in the large Wikipedia Education program) and others moving material in from their sandboxes. Using VE they have references named ":0", ":1", etc. The target article often has existing references named ":0", ":1", etc. VE handles the conflict by renaming the incoming references. As students and other editors integrate their new pieces, the first batch will be renamed ":02", ":12", etc. VE will does not know that the next batch coming in should match, and will rename those ":03", ":13", etc. This confuses students and is nearly impossible to fix without learning how to use the source editor. StarryGrandma (talk) 01:59, 20 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Allowing editors to specify the name for a named-ref is like asking if you prefer your poison in mint or cinnamon flavor, as the real problem is the use of named-refs. But if (as Boghog suggests) named-refs were done in a style compatible with {Harv} it would be lot easier to clean up when VE-using editors intrude into an article not using named-refs. A better approach would be to not use named-refs. ~ J. Johnson (talk) 00:08, 27 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    That's a bizarre, incredibly extremist opinion of referencing. --Izno (talk) 00:36, 27 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
A comment full of inflated hyperbole, signifying nothing. ~ J. Johnson (talk) 23:34, 27 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The naming of references should automatically include a number and a word. This would help having many references named “0”, “1”, “2”, etc. Gleeanon409 (talk) 19:27, 28 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Dealing with unsourced additions - "citation needed" button

  • Problem: There are many edits by new or unregistered users that add unsourced content. Recent changes patrollers (on at least en.wp) have a bias towards action, and thus often address these edits by reverting, which is not optimal when the content could potentially be cited.
  • Who would benefit: New users who would be put off when their accurate (to them) edit is unceremoniously reverted.
  • Proposed solution: Add a new action for recent changes patrollers to add a "citation needed" template after the added content. Other inline cleanup templates could be added as options. Another option: an inline "add a citation" menu (VisualEditor-style) so editors who search for sources can easily add them. We would have to put this in Huggle and other countervandalism tools to reach as many users as possible with this feature.
  • More comments: I think this is a very important feature, and will work on it myself if it is not taken. This idea isn't mine - it came out of a discussion between Pharos, Legoktm, and I during WikiConference North America 2018.
  • Phabricator tickets:


Maybe such a function should also encompass the ability to quickly add citations. Otherwise we might see a lot of reviewers adding "cn" tags when they could just as easily add citations. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:34, 2 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Absolutely. In my mind, I'd rather have another "cn" tag than a new editor turned away, hence the proposal. If this has a chance of passing, and before I start working on the tool, I'll definitely have an en.wp RfC, to see if the community agrees. Enterprisey (talk) 18:05, 2 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Very much favor something, anything that makes it easier to mark where citations are needed and/or add citations. Just now I had to open pieces of an article to remind myself how the syntax for [citation needed] worked. Also, anything that would make laying out a citation a little easier. Presently, we have two or three different formats competing, often in the same article. Lawikitejana (talk) 08:06, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yes, please make it as easy to tag as to rvv! It's intrinsically faster to tag than to good-faith-revert (since that should really have a custom comment). Editing tools like Huggle and Twinkle should enable fast inline tagging.
Tagging edits rather than reverting them has been shown to train and retain new editors.[2] We need such editing tools to fight our declining editor numbers. HLHJ (talk) 21:55, 17 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Shouldn't this wish be listed in the Patrollers category? --Dvorapa (talk) 17:40, 18 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I know we had a community decision not to poke knives into toasters, but I want to get the toast out! -HLHJ

Give a new button will not solve this problem, since patrollers will have to place the template where the citation(s) are needed. Revert is easier would say the knight on top of their castle, facing vandals. You will solve that issue by taking a community decision that would change the (bad) revert-only behaviour. Trizek from FR 10:36, 19 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Many uncited edits areadd one or two sentences, or a sentence clause, or a few words. I think a button to add a {{citation needed}} or {{cn}} to the end of the edit in question should be possible.
Let's continue with metaphor, Trizek :). Evidence suggests that if you want hospital staff to wash their hands more frequently, putting alcohol handsanitizer in easy-to-use dispensers exactly where they need it is more effective than lecturing them about how not washing causes hospital-acquired infections.[3] It's not that the hospital staff don't care about patients, or don't know that dirty hands kill. It's not that users of semi-automated tools don't care about newbies, or don't know that reverting instead of tagging good-faith edits hurts retention.
Most people know that you shouldn't poke a knife into a toaster to extract the toast, but have probably done it anyway. They were focussed on getting the toast out; the toolusers are focussed on getting the vandalism out. A community decision not to poke knives into toasters is a good thing, but insufficient. It might be more effective to show everyone how to wiggle the lever to bounce the toast out of the slot, catching it by pinching it with the other hand as it emerges (which is usually easier than fishing it out with a knife). Getting toast out of toasters is a legitimate goal; this is a proposal for a toaster redesign, because the bounce-the-lever trick does not work with our current toasters. Multiple changes to toaster design[4][5] may be needed before we come up with one that makes vandalism toast and does not burn the newbies' fingers. HLHJ (talk) 04:36, 20 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
The toaster metaphor is a good illustration, HLHJ. :) However, I understand this proposal as putting a sticker on the toaster saying "don't put a knife in it" (or ask people to wash their hands, for the hospital methaphor). And the issue is that most people don't know what a knife (or a bacteria) is! Citation needed? "Yeah, I'll put a link to a Google query, or just say that I've heard it from grand-pa." I think that asking for in-context explanations (like on those mockups) would be a better gain than adding a simple button (that can be made by the community?).
The sticker has a link to know more about it. But the page is not that great: Wikipedia:Citation needed is mostly about when and how to use the template (which is supposed to be used carefully; it is matching the purpose of the button?). :/ Reading that page would not help a newcomer, I'm afraid. It was the case on my home wiki, where we have decided to change that page. The French one is now a short explanation of the purpose of {{cn}}, and editors are invited to make the change following a tutorial. I think refreshing the tutorial before designing the sticker would be a nice effort to make. :) Trizek from FR 10:14, 20 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, Trizek. In the old days of 2007, the content of the english Wikipedia:Citation needed was aimed at newbies seeing a "citation needed" tag (like the French one you linked to); now it is mostly aimed at editors inserting it. Wikipedia:Citation needed#If your work has been tagged does give a newbie a pretty good quick guide, but it was in a little paragraph down at the end. I've now improved this. I think an interactive tutorial like that suggested at those mockups would be a good thing to link to from that page; tutorials are much less annoying if one finds them while looking to learn that information than as popups when one is trying to do something else.
In my metaphor, the toaster user is an experienced editor using a semi-automated tool (not a noob who doesn't know what a reliable source is). A sticker would be a notice telling toolusers not to revert newbies needlessly but teach them to fix their edits (the average tooluser probably already knows they shouldn't revert newbies needlessly, same as a nurse knows he should wash his hands). A "CN" (or other inline cleanup template) button makes it easier for toolusers to actually do what they want to do, defend the encyclopedia from poor-quality content without needlessly discouraging a newbie (who could become an ally).
"Hit-an-run" tagging seems preferable to reverting, though tool interfaces that made it easy to add a citation or rephrase for neutrality without leaving the interface might be better still. Drag-and-dropping inline citation templates into the article text might also be a pretty slick interface. We could call it Taggle :). Automated tools also have the major advantage that they are fast; if a statement gets tagged while the new user is still around, they are much more likely to see it and add a citation. This suggestion might actually decrease our CN backlog, if it trains a bunch of new users to fix CNs.
My basic reason for thinking that this will increase editor retention is that it will make the new-user experience more like it was in the days when many more new users stuck around. Instead of being instantly reverted, they will instantly have their edits criticized, with a hyperlinked tag that leads them to info on how to fix. It would always be good to do a randomized test, tho. HLHJ (talk) 01:43, 21 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks HLHJ! We are actually seeing things the same way.
Your drag and drop idea is nice, I like it (however the name you suggest sounds for French hears as not really friendly :D). And +1 to randomized tests. I should have suggested that as a wish...
Trizek from FR 10:53, 21 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
LOL. Then maybe we could call it Muzzle instead, Trizek ("Muzzle it!" being a colloquial translation)? Glad I misunderstoood you and not the other way round. Not sure if randomized tests could be an independent wish, an infrastructure for using them in many cases, maybe? HLHJ (talk) 05:16, 22 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Automatic web archive

  • Problem: many people forget to archive websites when they use websites as a source. That makes it harder later if/when a page has changed and the URL does not work anymore
  • Who would benefit: All who take care of broken web links and all readers since the information is documented
  • Proposed solution: since we probably will not get our own archive. That with every weblink the outside goes to archives in the webarchive [7]
  • More comments:


@ZellmerLP: This sounds related to m:InternetArchiveBot? --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 12:48, 30 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@AKlapper (WMF) and ZellmerLP: IABot just finds the archived copies; the archival of sources is done separately by a script that looks through recent changes on certain WMF wikis. I believe the relevant task for this request would be phab:T199193, since archival is already performed on most new URLs anyway. (As I noted there, a significant portion of the URLs currently not being archived correctly are likely unarchiveable because of limits to the Internet Archive, and not because the bot can't find the URLs fast enough.) Jc86035 (talk) 13:11, 30 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
As noted at task T199193, instant archiving of new references is something we're already looking to work with InternetArchive to accomplish as part of the Knowledge Integrity program :) Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 13:15, 30 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@Samwalton9 (WMF): Is the WMF still planning to use the original idea of archiving sources instantaneously? I think it could be valuable, but it would be a little disappointing if it's simply decided that any page with a robots.txt or with dynamic content doesn't need to be properly archived, and to me it seems quite odd to ignore them in a plan called "Knowledge Integrity". That these are perhaps inherent limitations of the Internet Archive's software doesn't mean that it couldn't be done differently. (As stated in the task, I would think most URLs don't disappear between their addition to Wikipedia and their archival by IA a day or so later.) Jc86035 (talk) 13:43, 30 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Honestly we haven't really got into the details on this task yet - it's dependent on the citation event stream which is being worked on first. Your comment on that task is a really great overview of the limitations, however, and we'll make sure to take that into consideration when moving ahead with this. Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 13:50, 30 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
ZellmerLP It appears to me that InternetArchive already does this as part of their work on IABot. Cyberpower678 might be able to provide more insights. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 21:47, 30 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I think this is the same as or very similar to Community Wishlist Survey 2016/Categories/Bots and gadgets#Automatic links to Internet Archive, which is about automatic archiving at the time the link is saved. IABot still does a fantastic job of doing this after the fact, so I wonder if that is sufficient. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 22:42, 30 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Might be relevant here? Apparently it's run by some libraries and archives on request by anyone; it's specifically designed to prevent linkrot in academic texts. HLHJ (talk) 02:36, 31 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@HLHJ: I personally think it's nice but not large enough to have much of a noticeable effect. The Internet Archive is basically doing the same thing already, but on an industrial scale (the Wayback Machine has about five and a half orders of magnitude more captures than Jc86035 (talk) 13:14, 31 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

We have a ticket open to do this in real time with mw:citoid at task T115224 (and was assigned to me with high priority), but it is currently stalled because the patch increased response time dramatically. This potentially could be revisited using the IABot service though, which may be fast enough, which I haven't done. Currently citoid development is frozen due to deployment issues but hopefully will be unfrozen soon. Mvolz (WMF) (talk) 12:12, 6 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Add Template:Cite Thesis to VisualEditor Citation Tool

  • Problem: The Citation tool does not allow editors to cite theses visually using the "Manual" tab. Note that a Cite thesis template already exists.
  • Who would benefit: Editors, particularly those who don't know about the template.
  • Proposed solution: Add a "Thesis" option to the "Manual tab" that is powered by the Cite thesis template.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Batreeq (talk) 06:37, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


It's just change in interface message. Ask locally. I don't thinks it is in Community Tech scope. --Wargo (talk) 21:36, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Reuse of VE-citations, allowing new text to be added

  • Problem: Making a VE-citation is easy, but contains a lot of details. I often use the text from a book to assure the reader that my citation is correct. You can see the article of Konrad Adenauer as an example. If would like to refer the same book and the same page once more, but to a different text, I have to make the same work twice. My wish is that I could be able to reuse the citation, but at the same time change, page number, the text from the book etc, and still be able to stay in VE. Now I have to turn to stone age editing, and copy and paste! Perhaps this wish should be posted somewhere else?
  • Who would benefit: I would!
  • Proposed solution: Se above.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:


  • Trygve W Nodeland: I don't know what's available on, but has Template:Rp (which can be placed after the in-line citation to denote different page numbers and even quotations) and Template:Sfn (which allows a common reference to be placed in a Bibliography section and then simply reference with author/page/quote in-line). Would something similar work for you? Huntster (t@c) 14:01, 2 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
An there's also en:w:Template:Quote, which you can put in ref. All of these (except Rp) requires additional manual work (setting ref=harv or ref=harvid). It would be nice if it was done at least semi-automatically in VE (by ex. drop down for ref field in citation with harv/harvid options, or by choosing on sfn dialog to which ref it links) -- 16:05, 2 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
See also WMDE_Technical_Wishes/Book_referencing. JAn Dudík (talk) 18:27, 2 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Is it possible something could be worked out to make these templates more conspicuous or more available? I edit primarily in, and after over a decade of editing, I've never seen any of the templates you've just mentioned. I would love a simple way to reference different pieces of the same work while having all the references connect to each other in the reflist as part of the same work. Lawikitejana (talk) 08:11, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, Lawikitejana, but I don't think you can do this easily even in "stone-age editing". :) I've used rp for page numbers, but not quotes. The problem is that this:

Something is true.<ref name=test>testref</ref>{{rp|quote1}} So is something else.<ref name=test/>{{rp|quote2, which is really quite a long quote, and will look odd in the article text}} This means that...


Something is true.[1]:quote1 So is something else.[1]:quote2, which is really quite a long quote, and will look odd in the article text This means that...


  1. a b testref
...which is unusable for long quotes, as the quotes are displayed inline. My usual reason for adding quotes from sources is for verification, so the quotes are usually a sentence or two. ::::SFN/Harvard also does not allow you to use the same ref name with different quotes, if I understand rightly (see section on "Additional comments or quotes). In fact, I think you can only have one quote per source!
On the other hand, WMDE Technical Wishes/Book referencing looks wonderful. I think you would use it like this:

<ref name=test>testref</ref>

<ref refines=test>p. 123-163</ref>

<ref refines=test>"quote3"</ref>

I strongly support "Book referencing", and of course I'd support VE being able to do it, too. HLHJ (talk) 00:23, 18 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I agree this is an issue and I've encountered it myself. It's not clear to me how to solve this in VE. The wikitext solution to this on en wiki is to use Harvard citations (see: w:Template:Harvard_citation). We have some open tickets about using harvard citations in VE here: task T144695. However the technical solution to doing this was never resolved. This is also different from the proposed solution here, which is simply to repeat the text just with minor variations - this is technically feasible but I'm not sure how people would feel about the resultant wikitext. Mvolz (WMF) (talk) 12:43, 6 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Trygve W Nodeland would a keyboard shortcut that allowed you to *duplicate* the reference in VE, i.e. Ctrl+D, as opposed to copy the reference to the same one, be a workaround for you, and maybe for wikis that don't have special templates to do this? Mvolz (WMF) (talk) 12:53, 6 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
      • I have bumped to very similar need as originally described: sometimes I need to make a citation to the same piece of source but just a different page, webpage etc. and then your solution - creating a new reference prefilled with the same desfription instead of giving a new link to the already existing reference - would be handy. Not sure what keyboard shortcut / button would be the best UX-wise. aegis maelstrom δ 17:44, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think the solution to this is resolving the WMDE work regarding this referencing, which I could swear has been proposed before for the CommTech team but it's not jumping out at me in previous results. --Izno (talk) 19:03, 6 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I use both source editor and VE and the problem is not specific to the tool but the underlying way we do citations. The workaround a lot of people do is just to cite "Snodgrass, p45" assuming there is a full and unambiguous citation to Snodgrass already in the article. This can be done in VE (Cite > Manual > Basic). Similarly VE users can add the {{rp}} but I think that solution sucks as you have the citation down in the References section and page number back in the article text (not at all helpful). What a VE user can't easily do is to copy-and-paste an existing citation and just change the page number, because copying a citation in VE implies reusing a citation and so copy-paste-change gives you two citations but both to the 2nd page number. To be exact, that only happens if you are using one of citation templates that are "built in" to the VE (cite web, cite book, cite news, cite journal). If you use another style of citation, then you can open a pre-existing citation, copy the contents, create a new citation, paste and change, as the VE treats the citation and the contents of the citation as distinct elements for editing purposes, whereas it treats a citation of cite book/web/news/journal as a single unit for editing purposes. For most purposes, the "single element" solution is fine. This change-of-page number situation is the one time it doesn't work so well, but as I say, it's symptomatic of a larger problem, which remains unsolved. The change-of-webpage scenario (when there are multiple entries to related things each with their own webpage on the same website) seems less common in my own editing experience but I agree it occurs. In the VE, what we could do is extend the Cite from Auto / Manual / Reuse with a 4th option "Changed Copy" which allows you to select an existing citation (like Cite > Reuse) but then takes you to a pre-filled Edit > Manual dialogue to make the page (or whatever) change; this would seem to be re-using existing components so should not be very hard (famous last words). Kerry Raymond (talk) 22:11, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Kerry Raymond is quite correct: the real problem is "the underlying way we do citations."
VE (and also {sfn}) generates "named-refs" (the "<ref name=" construction) for making a note ("footnote") appear in more than one location. Use of this for citations – and more particularly, for full citations – is fundamentally flawed because it precludes annotatng specific in-line ciations with page numbers, etc. (Except with the grotesque {rp} template.) This incidentally (and likely unknowingly) puts users of VE in violation of WP:CITEVAR when they edit an article using a different style.
Movlz says that "the" solution is {Harv} templates. Strictly speaking that is one solution. For those editors allergic to anything named "Harvard" another solution is to directly generate a wikilink compatible with the CITEREF value used in the citation templates. Either way is better than trying to enhance the fundamentally flawed "VE-citation". J. Johnson (talk) 00:00, 27 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Enhanced conversion of bare references using VE

  • Who would benefit: Every VE user
  • Proposed solution: When using VE and clicking a bare reference, the following notice currently appears: This reference consists of just an external link. You can use the “Convert” button below to generate a properly formatted reference. I would like to propose that for articles containing multiple bare references, an option “Convert all bare references” (that is based on the current VE functionality) is introduced to efficiently convert all bare references in an article. The result of the conversion may be reviewed by the user before saving.
  • More comments:


Endorse: As I am dealing daily with this mess. We need better tools to reduce this clutter! Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 01:32, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

will refill help?--Cohaf (talk) 16:02, 14 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I am aware of the existence of reFill, but the proposal refers to create a built-in functionality for VE. --Leyo (talk) 11:10, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
This is something that should be done by a bot or a game, because it would take a long time to run on all the references in page. Sometimes even a single request takes too long unfortunately. Mvolz (WMF) (talk) 13:44, 16 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Given we have various gadgets (e.g. Expand citations, Refill) that already do this with the source editor, and, yes, they can be slow to run, I see no reason why we can't have the same tool built into the VE (until such time as we have a solution to allow gadgets to work within the VE). I don't understand the argument that it takes "too long". Yep, Refill can take a long time and source users wait for it, or get bored and interrupt it (their choice). I know the VE does seem to time-out sometimes on converting a single naked URL citation, but I presume that time-out is a decision that someone programmed into the VE. We could do a "Abort or Wait a Bit Longer" dialogue as an alternative and if we provide some progress information (e.g. "Done 3 of 10"), the user may be able to an intelligent decision. Or keep the time-out on each individual citaiton being expanded and show a progress dialogue "Done 1", "Done 2, "Time-out on 3", "Done 4" etc. I note that the VE user has a disadvantage over the source user in expanding such citations. The source user can just search for patterns like <ref>http to find the naked URL citaitons. The VE user can't do this but must open each citaion individually (which is when VE offers to expand it with Citoid) so it seems a pretty reasonable thing to let the VE user do this to the whole article. I'd see this as something that could go on the "Whole of article" menu (the 3 horizontal bar icon) where you manipulate categories, redirects, etc. I think there may be a need for a progess indicator to manage the human impatience factor (and there needs to be either a hardcoded timeout on individual conversions or a Abort-or-Wait dialogue to deal with it). — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kerry Raymond (talk)