This policy is based on an RfC, closed on 26 October 2009. The RfC can be found here. Note that this page is still a work-in-progress, and questions and comments should be directed to FastLizard4.

This page in a nutshell: Cite (source) the information you put in articles (instructions can be found below) whenever the information in question could be considered controversial and/or cannot otherwise be easily verified. Better yet, use citations whenever possible.

What Are Citations? Edit

Citations, sometimes referred to as references, are snippets of code placed in-line with the text of an article to essentially prove a statement or to show where the (basis of the) statement comes from. In addition to proving that the information presented is true, it satisfies the copyright restrictions of some sites (e.g., some sites require that you link back to them as part of their copyright). In addition to the in-line code, articles with citations end with a special references section which lists the citations used on that page.

When Should Citations Be Used? Edit

Citations, ideally, should be used whenever possible to back up every piece of information. However, on this wiki, information that is pulled directly from the games doesn't need to be referenced (or, rather, the game that something appears in will be the assumed source). However, any information that comes from another source, such as directly from Nintendo (as opposed from a game), from a gaming website, newspaper, etc. should be cited. At the very least, they should be cited if the information is controversial or seems unlikely.

Citations Instruction Manual Edit

Marking Information as Needing Citations Edit

Firstly, it should be noted that you can (and should) mark information that you feel needs a citation with a template to indicate such. If you feel that an entire article needs citations or verification, tag the article with {{verify}} (add the template at the top of the page). If you feel that a certain piece of information needs citations, add the {{fact}} template after the information, in a format like this:

First sentence.  Sentence containing the information you want checked.{{fact}}  Another sentence

Note that the template goes after the punctuation ending the sentence in question, but before the spaces separating it from the next sentence. If you instead want to tag a particular word or phrase, place the template immediately after the (last) word (in the phrase) unless punctuation immediately follows it, in which case you would put the template after the punctuation.

Both of the templates above add the article to the category Articles needing verification.

Of course, when possible, one should find the citation itself instead of just tagging the page/sentence as needing a citation.

It should be noted that if a piece of information is downright ridiculous, purely speculative, or otherwise blatantly false, be bold and remove it. You don't need to add a citation needed template to it.

Using Citations Edit

Before Using Citations Edit

Before adding citations to the page, verify that the page as a correctly formatted references section. The references section should be at the bottom of the page, below all content but above infoboxes, templates, and categories, and should look like this:

== References ==

The {{reflist}} template automatically creates a list of in-line citations on the page. If a page has a lot of citations, the {{reflist}} line should be surrounded by <small> tags, like this:

== References ==

If the article has an extremely large number of citations, you can save even more space by using a reflist with two columns, in addition to using the <small> tags:

== References ==

(Note that you should never use more than two columns.)

Adding and Using Citations Edit

NOTE: Please, please, please use the "Preview" button to check your edits when adding citations BEFORE saving the page! It's not that hard to use the preview button, all you have to do is press it then look at the page. If everything looks alright, hit the "Save page" button, otherwise, fix it and preview again! Actually, you really should do this with all your edits, but if you don't, at least do it with citation edits!

If you are using the Visual Editor, adding a citation can be done from the "Insert" dropdown menu and choosing "Reference. If a citation already exists elsewhere on the article you can select it using the button at the bottom of the pop up window.

In the Source Editor, the basic structure of a citation is the <ref> tag. It has one name parameter, which is used to easily identify the reference in the future. The reference is interpreted as anything inside the <ref name=identifier> and </ref> tags (usually, a citation template is used). Note the name=identifier part of the first <ref> tag. Set identifier to a unique name (no spaces) for this particular citation. Thereafter, if you wish to cite the same source again, all you have to do is enter <ref name=identifier /> (where identifier is, of course, the same as the original citation) and the same citation will automatically be inserted.

Reference syntax ("complete" citation syntax): <ref name=identifier>Citation</ref>
Parameters: identifier is a unique identifying name for Citation, which is the citation itself.
Reference syntax if a reference with name identifier is already used somewhere in the article (duplicates Citation to this location) ("short" citation syntax): <ref name=identifier />
Parameters: identifier is the identifier used in the previous citation. This will duplicate the citation defined with identifier as the name.
  • <ref name=some_website></ref>
  • <ref name=some_website /> (Assuming that a reference with the name "some_website" has already been used in that article)

Inline references should be placed after a word but before a space, or if there is punctuation immediately following a word, after the punctuation but before the next space. They will appear as superscript numbers in brackets (e.g., [1]) which lead to the citation itself in the references section of an article when clicked. Note that for the citations to properly appear, a properly formatted references section is needed (see above).

Removing/Modifying Citations Edit

To remove a citation, simply remove the entire reference statement. Note that if you remove the first instance of a citation which is referenced later by its identifier, this will cause an error. Change the next instance of the citation from the "short" version to the "full" version. For example, say you have an article that looks like this:

Something.  Something more.<ref name=lol>lol citation</ref>  Some other stuff.  More stuff.<ref name=lol />  Even more stuff!<ref name=lol />

Removing the <ref name=lol>lol citation</ref> citation will make the following "short" citations (<ref name=lol />) output errors. You should either remove all of these or change the next short citation to the "complete" citation.

To modify a citation, you simply need to find the "complete" citation and modify the information between the <ref> tags (you can't modify a "short" citation, since it merely points back to the "complete" citation). Note that modifying a complete citation will also modify all short citations that point to it.

Citation Templates Edit

Citation template are pre-made formatting templates that make formatting and standardizing citations easier. You should use these whenever possible instead of just inserting arbitrary text between the <ref> tags. Citation template are relatively simple, you just insert the template between the <ref> tags. There are several templates, each for a different type of source:

  1. Template:Cite book - to be used when citing a book
  2. Template:Cite game - to be used when citing a video game
  3. Template:Cite journal - to be used when citing a journal or magazine
  4. Template:Cite news - to be used when citing a newspaper
  5. Template:Cite web - to cite a website

Use whichever template you think best fits the situation. Documentation for using each template follows below.

  • Cite book
    • Syntax: {{cite book |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |title= |url= |edition= |year= |publisher= |location= |language= |isbn= |pages= |chapter= |quote= }}
    • Parameters: What to put where should be pretty obvious. If a field is unused, remove it. The value for each parameter goes after the = and before the |. Note that location is the location published, pages is the specific pages used for referencing, not the number of pages in the book (same with chapter), and that authorlink is the URL if the author's website.
  • Cite game
    • Syntax: {{Cite game|title= |developer= |publisher= |date= |platform= |version= |level= |language= |quote= }}
    • Parameters: What to put where should be pretty obvious. If a field is unused, remove it. The value for each paramter goes after the = and before the |. Only use fields as applicable - for example, if a game has only one platform or is the same across all platforms, the platform field can be safely removed. Same with version and level. Date should be in the format YYYY-MM-DD.
  • Cite journal
    • Syntax: {{cite journal |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |year= |month= |title= |journal= |volume= |issue= |pages= |url= |accessdate= |quote= }}
    • Paramters: What to put where should be pretty obvious. If a field is unused, remove it. The value for each parameter goes after the = and before the |. Use the first and last name of the person who wrote the article. Title is the name of the article, journal is the name of the magazine/journal. URL should be a link to the article, if available. Include the accessdate in the format YYYY-MM-DD if you accessed the article online. Pages only applies if the source comes from a paper magazine/journal - list the page numbers of the article. Authorlink should be a link to the author's website, if available.
  • Cite news
    • Syntax: {{cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= |url= |work= |publisher= |pages= |page= |date= |accessdate= |language= |quote= }}
    • Parameters: What to put where should be pretty obvious. If a field is unused, remove it. The value for each parameter goes after the = and before the |. Author is the person who wrote the news article/news item, title is the name of the article/news item, publisher is the publisher of the newspaper, work is the name of the newspaper, accessdate is the date you accessed the article online in YYYY-MM-DD format, while date is the date the article was published in the newspaper in YYYY-MM-DD format. Use page to indicate what page the article was on, pages if the article spanned multiple pages/
  • Cite web
    • Syntax: {{cite web |url= |title= |accessdate= |last= |first= |author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |quote= }}
    • Parmeters: What to put where should be pretty obvious. If a field is unused, remove it. The value for each parameter goes after the = and before the |. Accessdate is the date you accessed the page in YYYY-MM-DD format. Use the last and first fields if you know the author's full name, otherwise use the author field. Authorlink should be the URL to the author's website. Date, year, and month should reference the date the page was last updated as of you accessing it. Publisher is the name of the publisher, if applicable. Pages rarely applies, but if the page has page numbers, indicate the pages being referenced. Work is the name of the site, usually.

Reliable Sources Edit

It's common wisdom that you can't believe everything you read (or hear) the Internet. Therefore, we only accept certain "reliable" sources as valid for use in citations. Citations using unreliable sources will be removed and the information it applied to will be tagged as needing a citation or deleted.