Help:Footnotes

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This page is for technical help on how to generate a footnote with wiki code. For editorial help with formatting citations in footnotes, see Help:Formatting Guidelines for Citations.

How to create a basic footnote

When citing a source, you will probably want to create a footnote.

  1. Add <ref> immediately after the text you need to cite.
  2. Write some text. See Help:Citing_sources for what to put in a citation.
  3. Add a closing </ref> tag. (Otherwise, the rest of the article will be included in the footnote!)
  4. Copy and paste the following to bottom of the page:
==References==
 <references/>

You could also call the section "Notes" instead of "References". But without <references/>, no footnotes will appear.

This page itself uses footnotes, such as the one at the end of this sentence.[1] If you view the source of this page by clicking the EDIT tab, you can see a working example of footnotes.

Example

According to scientists, the Sun is pretty big.<ref>E. Miller, The Sun, (New York: Academic Press, 2005), 23-5.</ref>
The Moon, however, is not so big.<ref>R. Smith, "Size of the Moon", Scientific American, 46 (April 1978): 44-6.</ref>

==Notes==
<references/>

Multiple uses of the same footnote

To give a footnote a unique identifier, use <ref name="name">. You can then refer to the same footnote again by using a terminated empty ref tag with the same name, like this: <ref name="name" />.

In the following example, the same source is cited three times.

This is an example of multiple references to the same footnote.<ref name="multiple">I love this footnote so much I used it three times.</ref>

Such references are particularly useful when citing sources, if different statements come from the same source.<ref name="multiple">This text is superfluous, and won't show up anywhere. We may as well just use an empty tag.</ref>

A concise way to make multiple references is to use empty ref tags, which have a slash at the end. Although this may reduce redundant work, please be aware that if a future editor removes the first reference, this will result in the loss of all references using the empty ref tags.<ref name="multiple" />

==Notes==
<references/>

The text above gives the following result in the article (see also section below):

This is an example of multiple references to the same footnote.[2]

Such references are particularly useful when citing sources, when different statements come from the same source.[2]

A concise way to make multiple references is to use empty ref tags, which have a slash at the end. Although this may reduce redundant work, please be aware that if a future editor removes the first reference, this will result in the loss of all references using the empty ref tags.[2]

Displaying footnotes

Single column

Placing <references /> inserts the full text of all pending inline citations defined by <ref>, anywhere on the page. For example, based on the citations above, the code:

<references />

will yield:

  1. I love this footnote.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 I love this footnote so much I used it three times.

Double column

For pages with many references, you may want two columns of references. Using {{reflist|30em}} instead of <references /> will produce a two-column display of your references; see below for an example.

Separating Footnotes and References

Using groups

Sometimes you have informative asides that you want footnotes for, but if they get all mixed up in your other references it will be harder for people to know they're there and then find them. A good solution is to use groups in your references: adding group=note to your <ref> tag will display the footnote with "note" in front of the number.

<ref group=note>Because this footnote had "note" in front of the number, you knew it was additional information instead of a citation!</ref>

will yield:

[note 1]

You can name the group anything but the group name is case sensitive and will show up in the footnote link.[example 1][example 2][example 3]

Displaying footnotes for grouped references

You will need as many reference sections as you have groups. This article has three: the unnamed group used in the first three sections that just uses <ref>, <ref group=note>, and <ref group=example>. The <ref> tag has its reference display above, but the other two will need their own separate display sections.

Single column

To produce a single-column reference list for a group called "note" use {{reflist|group=note}}[note 2] to produce the following:

  1. Because this footnote had "note" in front of the number, you knew it was additional information instead of a citation!
  2. You can also produce a single column reference section like this one using <references group=note />

Double column

To produce a double-column reference list for a group called "example" use {{reflist|30em|group=example}} to produce the following:

  1. Here you could briefly summarize an example and provide a link or reference.
  2. You can read more on Wikipedia.
  3. Your list of explanatory footnotes could be as long as you'd like! They're probably easier to read in single-column form, but double column works too.