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

Citation template for all language versionsEdit

  • 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:
  • Proposer: Furfur (talk) 10:38, 9 November 2017 (UTC)


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

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)
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)
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)

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)

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)

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)


  •   Support The lack of some citation management is indeed still an unsolved problem. Still there is missing some kind of citation management, where we could e.g. easily change a reference in thousands of articles by one change in a such a manager. VisualEditor can insert a citation by some of universal identificators, but still does not support many of them. In addition VE can not update current citation or change multiple pages. Some form of Zotero-like environment would be extremely helpful Dvorapa (talk) 08:51, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 13:02, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Oppose Per Vachovec. — Draceane talkcontrib. 17:55, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Thomas Obermair 4 (talk) 21:41, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Shizhao (talk) 02:55, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Sebastian Wallroth (talk) 06:58, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   SupportTheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:56, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Slafayette (talk) 19:27, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Bardia90 (talk) 20:31, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Sounds good. The implementation must be self-evidently easy to use for novices. Downtowngal (talk) 01:07, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support AWossink (talk) 08:31, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Exilexi (talk) 14:47, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Trizek from FR 20:03, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Dromedar61 (talk) 20:44, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support --Matthiasb (talk) 22:33, 30 November 2017 (UTC) IMO in the long end creating a reference within VE should create and/or use a Wikidata based item. Will be tricky to solve in Wikitext.
  •   Support Daniel Case (talk) 02:33, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Termininja (talk) 15:37, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 16:00, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Kein Einstein (talk) 10:57, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Support further work on the idea (and on Citoid, because that's what already does 90% of what's described above). Oppose to make references in Polish Wikipedia conform to French bibliographical traditions (or English, or German). Halibutt (talk) 14:54, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support "Making reftoolbar available and uniform across all wikis" Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:15, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Suwa (talk) 06:25, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support I guess Wikipedia should have such templates that are available globally for all Wikipedia sites. ··· 🌸 Rachmat04 · 07:35, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Spiritia 19:25, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   SupportYerpo Eh? 19:29, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support As an editor who often uses French sources, this is what I've been waiting for. SpartaN (talk) 04:53, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Ixocactus (talk) 01:41, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support This would be amazing, and so helpful. I find a lot of edit time is taken up with handling citation data. Jonathanischoice (talk) 08:48, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Ahm masum (talk) 21:29, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:30, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Spinster (talk) 21:04, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support This is for a common set of citation templates, or a similar mechanism, not for new whizzy-gizzy-dash-dot-bells (aka gadgets). — Jeblad 22:17, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Jack who built the house (talk) 22:41, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Haxpett (talk) 23:52, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Iniquity (talk) 07:18, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support BugWarp (talk) 12:46, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support — Luchesar • T/C 13:30, 11 December 2017 (UTC)