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Advice on creating annotated works and adding annotations.

For the proposed annotation policy, see Wikisource:Annotations.

First principles[edit]

Before starting a new annotated work, make sure that:

  1. A non-annotated, original version of the text already exists on Wikisource,
  2. That the title you are using makes clear that this text is annotated.
    For example, calling it "My Book (annotated)" or "The Annotated My Book" (where 'My Book' is the title of the original.

Methods of annotation[edit]

Wikisource has no set method of creation annotations. The following are just some ways that this can be accomplished.

Additional diagrams and visual references[edit]

Some points may be easier to clarify visually. This can be done by adding an image to the work in the normal way. Examples of this kind of annotation include maps, images of anything (especially paintings and artwork) directly mentioned in the text) and diagrams that provide additional explanation to something in the text.

It must be clear that the additional image has been added by a Wikisource user and is not part of the original work. Wikisource users must not add purely decorative

Floating templates[edit]

See Category:Annotation templates

Templates can be, and have been, created to display common forms of annotation. These annotation templates usually float as a visually distinct box on the right hand side of the screen, often outside the body of the text.

Examples of this type of annotation are: {{dated}}, {{place}} and {{taxon}}


See Help:Footnotes and endnotes

Notes can be added in the <ref> ... </ref> format, just like published footnotes. These will be collected by a <references /> tag or {{smallrefs}} template at the bottom of the page.

These footnotes should also use the {{user annotation}} template to make clear that they have been added by a Wikisource user and were not present in the original work.


Tooltips appear when the user's mouse cursor hovers over specific words and phrases. This is common with typos and other errata, using {{tooltip}} or {{SIC}}.

Note that {{SIC}} for simple misspellings in the original text does not count as an annotation itself. Using either template to explain archaic spellings or words does, however, count as annotation. If the original intent is not clear, user may not add suggestions as to what it might mean; these are interpretive and not objective annotations.

Tooltips may be used to direct the reader to errata notes published elsewhere, either in the same or in another volume or work. Simply noting that errata are available can be done in the notes field of the page's header template.


See Wikisource:Wikilinks

Words and phrases may be wikilinked in the body of the text. Some wikilinks are highly discouraged, please see the proposed wikilinks policy for more information. Some wikilinks can be used without the text being considered "annotated" under the terms of this proposed policy.

Types of annotation[edit]

Many things are likely to be annotated or may be considered to be an annotation.

Additional information[edit]

This includes biographies, dates, locations, names, taxonomies, etc.

Anything that provides further information on a point raised in the text is an annotation. These may, for example, be in the form of a link to an article on Wikipedia, brief explanation in the footnotes or floating markers on the same vertical level as the point being explained.


Corrections to facts and figures, from spellings to scientific theories, are considered to be annotations.

It is not required to provide corrections or other errata to any work on Wikisource. The works must be faithful to the original, which means any errors in the original should be faithfully replicated on Wikisource.

This does not apply to errata provided in the original work. This only applies to corrections made by Wikisource users.


Explaining the meanings of words that are archaic and/or obscure is an annotation. This can be done by any method, including links to Wiktionary and footnotes on the same page.

Translations of words or phrases[edit]

Any translation of a non-English word or phrase within an English text is considered to be an annotation. Translation can be provided by any of the means described on this page, or any other not described here.

If the work is all or significantly non-English in origin, the proposed translations policy may be more relevant than the proposed annotations policy.