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Wikipedia: Editing and Contributing

Learn the basics about editing and contributing to Wikipedia.

Citations

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Using Citations

'Generally, sources are added directly after the facts they support at the end of the sentence and after any punctuation. Wikipedia permits editors to use any citation system that allows the reader to understand where the information came from, and strongly encourages use of inline citations to do so. Common methods of placing inline citations include footnotesshortened footnotes and parenthetical references.

Inline citations are most commonly placed by inserting a reference between <ref> ... </ref> tags, directly in the text of an article. The reference is a footnote, appearing as an inline link (e.g. [1][2]) to a particular item in a collated, numbered list of footnotes, found wherever a {{reflist}} template or <references /> tag is present, usually in a section titled "References" or "Notes". If you are creating a new page or adding references to a page that didn't previously have any, don't forget to add a references section with this display markup.

There are a number of tools available to help with citation placement and formatting, some of which are internal tools and scripts, while others are available from external sites. For an example of the former, RefToolbar is a JavaScript toolbar displayed above the edit box that provides the ability to automatically fill out various citation templates and insert them in the text already formatted inside <ref> ... </ref> tags. For an example of the latter, the Wikipedia DOI and Google Books Citation Maker converts a digital object identifier (DOI) or Google Books address (URL) into a filled-out {{cite journal}} or {{cite book}} template ready to be pasted into an article. See Help:Citation tools for many others."

--Information from Wikipedia

Citing Archival Information

Typical elements of a citation to an unpublished document in a physical archive include: the title (if available) or a description of the document, the relevant date, location information, the collection title, the collection number, and the repository name. You can usually find these details in the item’s finding aid or catalogue record, but not all citations will have all of these elements.

The main element of the citation is usually the specific document, which is cited first. If it lacks a formal title, you may create one (e.g. photograph, interview, or minutes). Descriptive titles of this kind are not enclosed in quotation marks or italicised. Include information about the specific location of a document in a collection by designating box and folder numbers. See the The Chicago Manual of Style, from 14.221, for more detailed instructions and more examples.

Remember that you need to supply enough information for the reader to track down the source. Be consistent in the format you choose and if you want more advice then ask your tutor or at the library.

 

Rule for Note

Note number. Title (if available) or description of the specific document, Name of the entity that drafted the document, Year drafted, Collection, Repository, Location.

Example of Note entry

1. Minutes of the Committee for Improving the Condition of the Free Blacks, Pennsylvania Abolition Society, 1790–1803, Papers of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Subsequent Note entry

Subsequent citations to the same document, or other documents from the same collection, may be shortened. The writer announces the use of short forms in a bracket at the end of the first citation.

1. Minutes of the Committee for Improving the Condition of the Free Blacks, Pennsylvania Abolition Society, 1790–1803, Papers of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (hereafter cited as Minutes, Pennsylvania Society).

2. Minutes, 15 April 1795, Pennsylvania Society.

Rule for Bibliography

The main element of the bibliography entry is usually the title of the collection in which the specific document may be found, or the repository that houses the collection. Specific documents are not usually mentioned in a bibliography unless only one item from the collection is cited.

Example of Bibliography entry

Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery. Papers. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

or if only one item from the collection is cited

Minutes of the Committee for Improving the Condition of the Free Blacks, Pennsylvania Abolition Society, 1790–1803. Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery. Papers. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

 

Information from Monash University Library libguide.

Archival materials in a database

 

How you cite these sources will depend on where you found them, as each database or website will provide different information. In general citations of archival material accessed through databases or online follow similar patterns as citations of physical collections. They include: the author's name (if available), the title or type of the document, the date of the document, the title of the website, and its URL. If the source is from a database then provide the information you would give if you accessed the source in an archive, as your reader may not have access to the paid database.

 

Rule for Note

Note number. Author (if available), Title or description of the specific document. Date of document, Title of website or database, URL.

Example of Note entry

1. Thomas Haddon, Carrier Pigeons in War. 9 January 1946, War Cabinet, Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office: Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee, Later Committee: Secretariat: Minutes (JIC(SEC)). Secretariat Minutes (1946) 2-312 , Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War, CAB176/9, http://www.secretintelligencefiles.com.
ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/Content/swwf.cab176/0009/010?t0=0&q0=pigeon&o0=
and&pf=1873&pt=2015&pfrr=False&cnf=1873&cnt=1953&cnrr=False&cvf=
1873&cvt=1953&cvrr=False&sid=177840061&st=False&sy=False&rc=true.

Subsequent Note entry

2. Haddon, Carrier Pigeons in War, 25.

Rule for Bibliography

Paper Series (if available). Location (if available). Name of database. Document catalogue number. URL.

Example of Bibliography entry

War Cabinet, Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office: Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee, later Committee: Secretariat: Minutes (JIC(SEC)). Secretariat Minutes (1946) 2–312, Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War, CAB176/9, http://www.secretintelligencefiles.com. ...

 

Information from Monash University Library libguide.

Beginner Training - Adding Citations