Wikipedia:References dos and don'ts


Referencing is key to making Wikipedia reliable and trustworthy.

When working with references:
DO:
Use inline citations (either footnotes or shortened footnotes).
Keep citations near the material they support, e.g. after the sentence.
Say where in the source the information came from.
Use a consistent reference style within each article.
Consider using citation templates to create a consistent style.
Tag under-sourced material with an appropriate inline tag.
Tag under-sourced articles with an appropriate header.
DON'T:
Don't rely on unreliable sources.
Don't cite a source you haven't seen for yourself.
Don't add material that's not supported by sources.
Don't place external links in the body of articles.
Don't add references for obvious information.
Don't use all-numeric date formats other than YYYY-MM-DD.
Don't change an established reference style without consensus.