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Using <ref></ref> tags and {{reflist}} allows you to apply a uniform style to referencing either citations or notes. References are useful for cleaning up content that uses excessive amounts of parentheses to give extra information, or in smaller page elements such as tables or sidebars where extra text creates a cluttered look. And obviously they are used purely to cite actual references to avoid copyright or plagiarism.

Typically, references should not be used for external links.

Basic usage[edit]

If there is some information which should be cited to the original author or you want to give more information, either in a footnote or as a link to another page, you can use the <ref></ref> tags to create a numbered link in superscript that navigates to the reference or notes section at the bottom of the page.[1] For unique citations or notes, continue adding notes between the tags like so:

<ref>A note on further information.</ref>

Using just <ref></ref> tags, a new entry in the list will be created with the {{reflist}} template. Place the template where you want the numbered list of references to go, such as under a ==References== or ==Notes== heading.

Reusing citations[edit]

Occasionally you may be able to use the same reference more than once,[2] such as when you are citing the same external link for multiple pieces of information. In that case, you can create a named reference which can be referred to by all <ref></ref> tags using the same note or citation. This is accomplished by adding the name parameter to the tag:

<ref name="note 1">A note on further information.</ref>

Now any tags with name="note 1" in them will use the same reference. Each reference in the body of the page will use the same number, and multiple references in the reflist are displayed by sublisting in the superscript. In other words, if the first note was referenced three times using the same group, you would see:

1.1.0 1.1 1.2 A note on further information.

It is only necessary to put the note[2] between the <ref name="note 1"></ref> tags on the first named reference. On subsequent references, just use the following self-closing tag:

<ref name="note 1" />

Formatting the reflist[edit]

There is an optional parameter for the {{reflist}} template. This holds how many columns should be used to display the reflist. If the list of citations if extremely long, use this parameter to split it up into two columns. Right now, multiple columns only display correctly in FireFox, but it can still be used as it just displays a single column in Internet Explorer.


Using {{reflist}}:

  1. First reference from the Basic usage section.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Example citation using the name parameter