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Community Wishlist Survey 2023/New contributors/Reference requirement for new article creation

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Reference requirement for new article creation

  • Problem: Most new users fail to create articles with higher probability of success because they don't understand how they can reference the information that is added to said article.
  • Proposed solution: That the system does not allow them to publish or move to the main space any article without at least one reference and that they always have a link that takes them to see a video about references, how to search for it and how to add it to the article in question.
  • Who would benefit: New users
  • More comments: This is a proposal for new users to learn more easily and thus have more success. Most enter once and leave because things get complicated for them. Certainly Wikipedia has all the teaching material, but they need it more in plain sight. I also think that every article should come from a registered user.
  • Phabricator tickets: phab:T329942
  • Proposer: Mega809 (talk) 13:03, 25 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]


  • Thanks, Mega809 for adding this proposal! This wish is actually very similar to some ideas I've been discussing with some English Wikipedia community members.
I updated the title from "References" to "Reference requirement for new article creation" to be slightly more descriptive, but please feel free to make further changes.
Some questions that might be worth discussion: Does this wish require a policy change? Could it be built in a configurable way so that each wiki still has control over requirements? Does this requirement impact all users or just new users? --KStoller-WMF (talk) 20:00, 25 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Mega809 - I'll accept this proposal on Friday, so if you want to make any changes to the proposal based on discussion feedback please do so before then. Thanks! KStoller-WMF (talk) 23:35, 31 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • There are some isues:
    • Some articles will have references when there is certain infobox and connection to Wikidata. But before creating thic cannot be connectect and there are no references.
    • In dismabiguation pages sually are no references. This can be solved with accepting some templates instead of references.
    • CAPTCHA. When I edit anonymously and want to add reference, I must write some annoying captcha.

JAn Dudík (talk) 14:01, 26 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]

  • This can be achieved by a edit filter in enwiki to check whether the newly created page has a reference or not, however moving from draft is harder to check. Thingofme (talk) 12:45, 29 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • When trying to publish without a reference, a popup alert could appear with a video already explaining how to add the reference. Elilopes (talk) 14:31, 14 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • For me, reference requirement for new articles seems like a nobrainer. However, different projects may have different guidelines and different requirements. This is where edit filters can help, by preventing whatever behavior is found annoying or againts the rules. Anyway, I think this overlaps with the mw:Edit check (phab:T265163) initiative, so we can definitely expect some improvements in this field. --Matěj Suchánek (talk) 10:27, 19 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • This section of the wishlist is for newcomers, but it doesn't address a newcomers' problem. It addresses experienced editors' problem. Unfortunately, experienced editors forget too easily that to become an experienced editor, one has to be a newcomer first. This change will make it even harder to be a newcomer than it is now. Don't forget the "anyone can edit" principle, please. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:03, 22 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]