Wikicite (2006 proposal)/Fact-point

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A Wikicite fact-point delimits a distinct factual assertion within wikitext. Once a fact-point is established, corroborating evidence in the form of a citation may be attached to it, while those fact-points that remain unsourced may be flagged by the page-renderer with a distinct "citation hole" stytle.

Syntax and Scoping[edit]

Fact-point syntax and scope are generally similar to that of the footnote in that both use a postfix notation that generally does not extend beyond the current sentence. There are three types of fact-point notation:

  • Sentence:
    • ...text... ++fn
  • Block:
    • ++ ...text... ++fn
  • Immediate:
    • ...text... +fn

Sentence[edit]

Sentence fact-point notation extends backwards within the current sentence. Its scope ends upon encountering the first preceding:

  • Sentence
  • Sentence fragment (e.g. a semi-colon, ;)
  • Fact-point
  • New-line/carriage return character

For example:

  Columbus was most likely Genoese++fn, although some historians
  claim he could have been born in other places, from the Crown
  of Aragon to the Kingdoms of Galicia or Portugal++fn, or in the
  Greek island of Chios++fn among others.

This divides the sentence into the following 3 factual assertions:

  1. Columbus was most likely Genoese
  2. although some historians claim he could have been born
     in other places, from the Crown of Aragon to the Kingdoms of
     Galicia or Portugal
  3. or in the Greek island of Chios

Block[edit]

Block fact-point notation extends from the opening '++' to the closing '++fn'. Within this extent there should not be any other fact-point mark-up, nor any new-line or carriage return characters. For example:

  Leibniz's parents were Friedrich Leibnütz and Catherina 
  Schmuck++fn. ++He began spelling his name "Leibniz" early in 
  adult life, but others often referred to him as "Leibnitz," a 
  spelling which persisted until the 20th century. In later life,
  he often signed himself "von Leibniz", and many posthumous 
  editions of his works gave his name on the title page as
  "Freiherr [Baron] G. W. von Leibniz."++fn

This divides the text into 2 factual assertions:

  1. Leibniz's parents were Friedrich Leibnütz and Catherina
     Schmuck
  2. He began spelling his name... "Freiherr [Baron] G. W. 
     von Leibniz."

Immediate[edit]

Immediate fact-point notation applies only to the immediately preceding word or, if appearing after a quotation, the quoted text. For example:

  This attempt, popularized in the motion picture Escape from
  Alcatraz++fn, was among the most intricate ever devised.
  Though only some evidence was found that they died in their 
  attempt++fn, they are officially listed as "missing and presumed
  drowned."+fn

This divides the paragraph into 3 factual assertions:

  1. This attempt, popularized in the motion picture               
     Escape from Alcatraz
  2. Though only some evidence was found that they died in
     their attempt
  3. "missing and presumed drowned."

Citation Inputs[edit]

For every fact-point within an article, input fields for capturing citation information are automatically generated at the bottom of the Edit Preview page:

Citation input fields


Citation Holes[edit]

When an article is saved without citations for each fact-point, each unsourced fact-point is flagged as a "citation hole" by the page renderer:

Citation holes

This serves to warn readers which claims within the article are still unproven, and editors which sections of the article are in most need of attention.

See also[edit]