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Wikipedia-edit-a-thon: Adding citations

Guide to collaborative edit of Wikipedia

Adding Citations to Wikipedia

Adding citations to a Wikipedia page is critically important. Citations are how we know we can trust the information we are reading on Wikipedia. Citations allow us to verify information and feel confident what we just read wasn't something someone just made up. Every time we add information to Wikipedia, we should be including a citation that shows where we found the information we are adding to the page. Also, citations are not just creating links, though links are an important part of Wikipedia.

Luckily, when we want to add citations to a Wikipedia page, Wikipedia provides tools to make it easier.

Citations in Wikipedia work as footnotes. That is, the citation shows up as a number in the body text of the Wikipedia article and is linked to the numbered reference in the references list at the bottom of the page.

The great thing about Wikipedia is that once the References List has been inserted, the reference entries are created automatically when we add citations. We just add the citation information where we want the citation to go, and Wikipedia does the rest.

There are two easy ways of creating citations in Wikipedia. The automatic citation generator, which will take a URL and try to fill out the data for us. The other way is where we add the information ourselves. When we add the information "manually" it takes a bit more work, but is generally more accurate.

We can take a look at some of the tools available to us in the video examples below.

 

The Automatic Citation Tool

The easiest way to add a citation is to use Wikipedia's automatic citation generator. First, copy the URL (web address) at the top of the web page you are trying to cite. Then go to the article you are editing in Wikipedia:

  1. Click in the article where you want to add your citation
  2. Select the "Cite" button
  3. Click on the "Automatic" tab
  4. Paste the URL into the box
  5. Click "Generate"
  6. Double check that everything looks correct
  7. Click "Insert"
  8. That's it. You've added a citation.

If the automatic citations tool got something wrong with the citation, check out the fixing citations video below.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

 

Adding Journal Citations

Sometimes it's better to create the citation yourself. In that case you will use the manual citation tool. While this does require more work, most of the work is still done by the tool. As before, click into the Wikipedia article you are editing where you want to add the citation.

  1. Click in the article where you want to add your citation
  2. Select the "Cite" button
  3. Click on the "Manual" tab
  4. Click on the "Journal" option
  5. Fill in as many of the fields as possible (copy and paste from the source where you can)
  6. Fields with an asterisk "*" are required
  7. Double check everything
  8. Click "Insert"
  9. You've added a citation. Nice.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

The great thing about even the manual Wikipedia citation generator tool is that we do not have to worry about formatting or organizing or order. The tool takes care of all of that for us.

Below you can see additional examples for adding a manual citation for books, websites, and news (sources).

 

Adding Additional Fields - or, How to Add Multiple Authors

While the different citation templates provide default fields for the most common types of information related to that citation type, there are times when not everything is covered. Whenever this happens, we can add fields, so that we can add the necessary data.

The most common reason is probably works with multiple authors. We can add fields for a second author by clicking "add more information" option at the bottom of the citation box. We can add "last name 2" for the second author's last name and "first name 2" for the second author's first name.

When adding fields, start like you normally would

  1. Click in the article where you want to add your citation
  2. Select the "Cite" button
  3. Click on the "Manual" tab
  4. Click on the type of citation you want to create, in this case the "Journal" citation
  5. Fill in the fields you can

Then to add fields

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the list of fields
  2. Click the "Add more information"
  3. Scroll through to find the fields you need
  4. After clicking on each field, they will be added to the list of fields
  5. Add whatever fields are needed
  6. Fill in the information for those fields 
  7. Double check that everything looks correct
  8. Click "Insert"
  9. You've added fields to a citation. Excellent.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

 

Fixing Citations

Whether the automatic citation tool got a little confused, or another editor left something out, you might find yourself needing to fix the citation. Fixing citations is always worthwhile because a more complete and accurate citation makes for a more credible citation.

The process for fixing citations is pretty straight forward and not that different than adding citations manually.

  1. Find the citation that needs fixing
  2. Click on the citation number
  3. Click the "Edit" button
  4. Make the necessary changes
  5. Click "Apply Changes"
  6. That's it. You've added a citation. Excellent.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

 

Re-Using Citations

Sometimes a single resource might be used in multiple places on a Wikipedia page. Rather than recreate the same citation over and over again, we can just re-use the citation.

Luckily Wikipedia makes this pretty easy.

  1. Click in the article where you want to add your citation
  2. Select the "Cite" button
  3. Click on "Re-use" tab
  4. Click on the existing citation you want to re-use
  5. That's it. You've re-used a citation. Awesome.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

 

If you have additional questions about citations, please contact one of this years Wikipedia-edit-a-thon facilitators. You can find the facilitators listed under "Who Do I Contact for More Information" on the right (or below this, depending on your device).

Additional Examples

The steps for adding citations for news, websites, and books is the same as it is for adding citations for journals. Many of the fields will be the same, but each type of citations has a default set of fields based on that type of citation it is. If you find you are missing fields you have information for (like a second author, for example), you can always add additional fields.

  1. Click in the article where you want to add your citation
  2. Select the "Cite" button
  3. Click on the "Manual" tab
  4. Click on the option for the type of citation you are adding: news, website, or book
  5. Fill in as many of the fields as possible (copy and paste from the source where you can)
  6. Fields with an asterisk "*" are required
  7. Double check everything
  8. Click "Insert"
  9. That's it. Citation added. Great.

Below are some examples.

News citations

The news citation is fairly similar to the website citation feature and is focused on online news sources. If you are using a print source, you might want to add fields.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

 

Website Citations

Websites should work the best with the automatic citation feature, but sometimes it just doesn't do a good won't capture all the details, you can always use the manual citation for websites. Remember to add as much information as you can find. The more complete a citation, the more credible it is.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

 

Book Citations

The book citation has fields set up specific to books.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

If you have additional questions about citations, please contact one of this years Wikipedia-edit-a-thon facilitators. You can find the facilitators listed under "Who Do I Contact for More Information" on the right (or below this, depending on your device).

Art+Feminism on Adding Citations

Art+Feminism

Art+Feminism offers resources for citations as well. Here is their video on how to add citations.

Adding Citations -  Art+Feminism: Beginner Training (YouTube)

Watch on YouTube | Go to the Art+Feminism YouTube channel

 

The Art+Feminism site also provides a slide show for citations.

Adding Citations - Art+Feminism

View in Google Slides || Download PDF

 

If you have additional questions about citations, please contact one of this years Wikipedia-edit-a-thon facilitators listed under Who Do I Contact for More Information either on the right, or below this, depending on your device.

Adding a References List

Many of the Wikipedia pages we might be working on will already have a references list added. If that is the case, we just need to add new citation information (or fix problem citations), and Wikipedia will take care of the rest for us.

However, if we are working on a new page, or a page that just doesn't have a references list added yet, it's pretty easy to create the references list.

Creating the References List:

  1. Click where you want the references list to go
  2. Click "Insert" to "More" to "References List"
  3. This will automatically insert the references list
  4. You'll see the references list is automatically populated if we have citations already or a note saying there are no references yet if there are no current citations
  5. Either way, any new citations will automatically be added
  6. That's it. You've created a references list.

You can watch the video below to see an example: 

 

Creating Links in Wikipedia

While links to other web pages (both external and internal to Wikipedia) are not citations, it's still worth knowing how to do. Also, Wikipedia pages should not be used as citations to verify information.

However, internal linking between different Wikipedia pages is still an important part of the Wikipedia process. Often new pages suffer from a limited number of things that link to that new page. A new page that has nothing linking to it is considered an orphan, and they are often targeted for deletion. So, by creating links to new pages, we help keep those new pages around.

Internal Wikipedia Links

Creating internal links in Wikipedia is pretty easy.

  1. Select the text you want to be a link
  2. Click the link button
  3. (Make sure you're on the Wikipedia tab)
  4. Select the Wikipedia page you want
  5. You're done. You created an internal Wikipedia link. 

When we create internal links, Wikipedia tries to use the selected text. So a link to the Wikipedia page about COVID-19 should have just "COVID-19" be the link.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

 

External Links

Creating external links should not be used to cite where information came from, but can still be useful to guide people towards more information. The process is pretty straight forward:

  1. Select the text you want to be a link
  2. Click the link button
  3. (Make sure you're on the "External site" tab)
  4. Paste the URL of the site you want to link to
  5. Click "Done"
  6. That's it. You created an external link. 

When creating links we want the link to descriptive as possible, so a link to CDC COVID-19 information should have the "CDC COVID-19 information" or "CDC COVID-19" be the link.

You can watch the video below to see an example:

If you have additional questions about links, please contact one of this years Wikipedia-edit-a-thon facilitators. You can find the facilitators listed under "Who Do I Contact for More Information" on the right (or below this, depending on your device).

Adding images

Adding images - Art+Feminism

View in Google Slides || Download PDF

What? When? Where? How?

2021 Mt. SAC’s ART + FEMINISM Wikipedia Spring Event Series
Panel Discussions

Ria Brodell 
March 15, 2021
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Artist talk and discussion with Ria Brodell, artist, author of Butch Heroes series and who wrote the MIT Book

Student Panel
May 19, 2021
5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Student Panel about past students’ empowering experiences in writing for and editing Wikipedia.

 

Wikipedia-edit-a-thons

Mt. SAC Wikipedia-edit-a-thon #1
Thursday, April 9, 2021
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Online
Mt. SAC Edit-a-thon #1 Dashboard
Zoom Registration: Mt. SAC Edit-a-thon #1

Mt. SAC Wikipedia-edit-a-thon #2
Thursday, June 4, 2021
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Online
Mt. SAC Edit-a-thon #2 Dashboard
Zoom Registration: Mt. SAC Edit-a-thon #2

 

Mt. SAC Edit-a-thon Flyer:
Mt. San Antonio College’s 2021 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Spring Event Series

 

Note: 2021 Wikipedia-edit-a-thons and related events will be held entirely online.

Who do I contact for more info?

Facilitators

Ellen Caldwell, Professor of Art History
ellen.caldwell@mtsac.edu

Eva Rios-Alvarado, Librarian
eriosalvarado@mtsac.edu

Esteban Aguilar, Librarian
eaguilar100@mtsac.edu

Michael Emery, Librarian
memery2@mtsac.edu