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CreationWiki:Citing sources

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To generate a citation for a specific CreationWiki article: see Special:Cite

Users are expected to supply specific references within their articles where information can be verified, and a full citation provided in a Bibliography at the footer. All citation techniques require detailed full citations to be provided for each source used. Full citations must contain enough information for other editors to identify the specific published work you used.

Full citations for books typically include: the name of the author, the title of the book or article, the date of publication, and page numbers. The name of the publisher, city of publication, and ISBN are optional. For journal articles, include volume number, issue number and page numbers. Citations for newspaper articles typically include the title of the article in quotes, the byline (author's name), the name of the newspaper in italics, date of publication, page number(s), and the date you retrieved it if it is online.

Basic Convention

The basic formats for the in-text and Bibliographic references are as follows.

In-text Citations

Webpage references - Place the internet address within single brackets at the end of sentences.

The website software will then automatically assign the web address a number based its order in the paper. For example the above web address would appear like this: [1].

Book / Article references - Place the authors last name and page number within parenthesis at the end of sentences.

(Purves, p89).
The full citation should then also be placed in the bibliography using standard MLA formatting.

Bible references - Link to the specific chapter and verse at Bible Gateway, along with a note on which Bible translation is being referred.

Genesis 1:1-4 (NIV).
Use the Bible ref template to automatically create a link to Bible Gateway, or the Bible quote template to create a grey quote box followed by the forementioned linked reference.


Webpage references - Place the web address in single brackets, but also include the title of the referenced article within the brackets. Then place the author's name and publisher outside the brackets. Each reference should also be placed next to an asterisk (which creates a bullet) like this:

* [ PageTitle] by John Doe. Publisher. Date.
The above format will link the specified title to the internet address. For example the above would appear like this:

Book / Article references - Use standard MLA formatting.


Main Article: Help:footnote

Another more advanced technique for applying citations involves the use of the <ref> tag. The basic concept of the <ref> tag is that it inserts the text enclosed by the ref tags as a footnote in a designated section, which you indicate with the placeholder tag <references />. The new format cannot be used interchangeably with the old format - you must pick one or the other.

If you forget to include <references /> at the end of the article, none of the 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 "Edit this page", you can see a working example of footnotes. For more help creating footnotes using the <ref> tag: see (help:footnote)


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


Unreferenced material

Two templates have been designed for labeling unreferenced content or pages.

  • The {{reference}} templated is used to place a "Reference needed" label within the text of a document. The label should typically be placed at the end of sentences or paragraphs that contain factoids for which references would be beneficial. The label is linked to the Citing sources help page where instructions on formatting references is provided, and the page is listed within the "Reference needed" category
  • The {{Unreferenced}} template places a header above a page that is generally in need of references. View sample at template:unreferenced.


  1. This footnote is used as an example in the "Footnotes" section.
CreationWiki Policy
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This page is part of the CreationWiki policy series - prepared to inform editors regarding participation guidelines. Browse the Table of Contents