This help page is about how to cite sources of facts and opinions. It does not cover copyright issues or the details of quotation.
Why you should cite your sourcesEdit
There's no need to cite the source of your information for something that (at least among people who are interested) is fairly well known. But in order to make credible your assertion of something that is little known (or disputed), try to cite the most authoritative source you can locate. The source may be a web page, a book, a magazine article, etc.
Just as when you are working on a university assignment or manuscript for publication, there are various ways of citing sources within a Wiki. One that seems particularly handy creates footnotes, moves them and numbers them. It involves the use of two tags, <ref> (which must be closed with </ref>) and <references /> (which is self-closing).
Let's suppose you have assertions (each of which we'll call "assertion") that you want to back up with footnotes (each of which we'll call "footnote"). And let's use "Notes" as the title for your footnotes.
First, somewhere toward the end of the article, and after any section that you think might need an footnote, type:
Of course this creates a new section, a section that consists of a single, self-closing tag.
Now go back to the main text. For each assertion, add a footnote in this way:
That is, write the content of the footnote at the place where you want its index number to appear, and put this content between REF tags. You don't have to worry about placing or numbering (or any later renumbering): this is all automatic.
Multiple references to the same source can be entered using a name; one reference must contain the source, for example:
Other references can simply use the name, thus:
When you create a footnote, ask yourself if the reader will understand exactly what it is that you are attributing to the source. For example, if the note is at the end of a paragraph, are you attributing the factual content of the whole paragraph, the last sentence, or the last clause of the sentence? Also consider how your attribution might be damaged by some well intentioned but hasty later editor. A good idea is to specify within the footnote just what it is that you're attributing. For example:
We can't and won't attempt to rival the Chicago Manual of Style here. In brief, though: somewhere in the article — whether in the first footnote that mentions it or in a separate "List of sources" or similar, or in both — provide as many as can be ascertained, are relevant and seem helpful of:
- For a periodical article: name of author(s), title of article, title of periodical, volume number, date, page, ISSN.
- For a single-author book: name of author, title of book, place, publisher, year, ISBN.
- For a web page: name of author, title of page, URL of page, title of site, URL of site.
If in doubt, err on the side of inclusiveness: later, it will be easier for somebody else to cut what's necessary than to look for and add information that should have been added.
For a source in a language other than English, consider adding a translation of the title(s). But translation(s) should supplement, not supplant, the original title(s).
If some source book is used in various Camerapedia articles, you can consider adding it in one of the pages listed under Source books.