Help:Referencing for beginners

A cartoon of a political rally, with someone in the crowd holding up a banner reading "[Citation needed]"
"Wikipedian protester" by Randall Munroe, xkcd. Wikipedians famously demand citations for facts!

One of the key policies of the BattleTechWiki is that all article content has to be verifiable. This means that reliable sources must be able to support the material. All quotations, any material whose verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, and contentious material (whether negative, positive, or neutral) about real persons must include an inline citation to a source that directly supports the material. This also means that BattleTechWiki is not the place for original work, archival findings that have not been published, or evidence from any source that has not been published.

If you are adding new content, it is your responsibility to add sourcing information along with it. Material provided without a source is significantly more likely to be removed from an article. Sometimes it will be tagged first with a "citation needed" template to give editors a chance to find and add sources, but often editors will simply remove it because they question its veracity.

Inline Citations[edit]

Inline citations are usually small, numbered footnotes and are generally added either directly following the fact that they support, or at the end of the sentence that they support, following any punctuation. When clicked, they take the reader to a citation in a reference section near the bottom of the article. While editing a page that uses the most common footnote style, you will see inline citations displayed between <ref>...</ref> tags.If you are creating a new page, or adding references to a page that didn't previously have any, remember to add a References section like the one below near the end of the article:

==References==
{{reflist}}

Reliable sources[edit]

Main article: Policy:Canon

BTW articles require reliable, published sources that directly support the information presented in the article. Now you know how to add sources to an article, but which sources should you use?

Reliable sources are those with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. They tend to have an editorial process with multiple people scrutinizing work before it is published. For this reason we only really accept official products as reliable sources. Other reliable sources include officially supported social media, replies given by writers or Line developers via the official BattleTech forums, magazines, officially produced videos, and news coverage.

Whether a source is usable also depends on context. Sources that are reliable for some material are not reliable for other material. For instance, otherwise unreliable self-published sources are usually acceptable to support uncontroversial information about the source's author. You should always try to use the best possible source, particularly when writing about real persons.

These are general guidelines, but the topic of reliable sources is a complicated one, and is impossible to fully cover here. You can find more information at Policy:Verifiability and at Policy:Canon.

Summary[edit]

  • All article content must be verifiable, that is, possible to support with a reliable, published source.
  • All quotations, any material whose verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, and contentious material, whether negative, positive, or neutral, about real persons, must include an inline citation.
  • Inline citations are added between <ref>...</ref> tags, after the facts they support.
  • A {{Reflist}} template should be added at the end of the article, in a "References" section, for the inline citations to display properly.
  • BTW articles require citations to reliable, published sources, with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.

See Also[edit]