Help:Footnotes and endnotes

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Footnotes and endnotes
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Best practice for implementing footnotes on Wikisource

Types of footnote[edit]

In publishing there are, and have been, various methods of printing notes: either as notes at the bottom of the page, or aggregated at the end of a chapter or section. Sometimes all notes are accumulated as lists at the end of the book.

Footnotes are often indicated by numbers or typographical symbols: such as the section §, the Pilcrow or paragaph mark ¶, the single and double daggers † ‡, and the asterisk *.

Adding footnotes[edit]

On Wikisource all footnotes should be use implemented with <ref> tags. These can be automatically collected and listed by another tag at the bottom of the page: either <references/> {{reflist}} or {{smallrefs}}.

Footnotes[edit]

Instead of putting the footnote text at the bottom of the page, it should be placed immediately following the noted text (ie. where the note indicator is in the text) wrapped in <ref> ... </ref> tags.

For example, if the printed page contains the following text:


And here it is doubtless thought by some, as it is in France by M. de Lagevenais, that Government, by supplying good music, should exclude the bad, such as that of Offenbach.4


For which the accompanying footnote at the base of the page is:


4 Revue des Deux Mondes, February 15, 1872.


When rendering this into wikitext while proofreading, it should look like:


And here it is doubtless thought by some, as it is in France by M. de Lagevenais, that Government, by supplying good music, should exclude the bad, such as that of Offenbach.<ref>''Revue des Deux Mondes'', February 15, 1872.</ref>


Once saved, this will appear as:


And here it is doubtless thought by some, as it is in France by M. de Lagevenais, that Government, by supplying good music, should exclude the bad, such as that of Offenbach.[1]


For reference: this example is based on Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 1.djvu/13; which can be seen as part of "The Study of Sociology I," an article published in Popular Science Monthly in May 1872.

Displaying the footnotes[edit]

The most basic way of displaying footnotes is with the <references/> tag. This should be placed:

  1. At the bottom of the page in the main namespace, immediately after the transcluded text and before the categories and other footer items.
  2. In the "footer" field of the each page in the Page namespace that contains footnotes. By default, all index pages automatically add this footer but this can be overridden manually at the index page.

This tag will automatically create a numbered list of all items in <ref> tags on the page. It does not matter if the tagged text has been directly written into the page by editing or if it has been transcluded from the Page namespace. The list will be sorted in the order the footnotes exist on the page (ie. first footnote is number 1, second footnote is number 2, etc).

Using the example above:


Wikitext <references/>
Appearance
  1. Revue des Deux Mondes, February 15, 1872.


Optionally, instead of the <references/> tag, one of the following template may be used instead:


Endnotes[edit]

If the original work put the notes at the end of the section or chapter and the full section or chapter will be transcluded into one subpage in the main namespace: use the method described above.

If the original work put the notes in a separate section, for example, collecting all footnotes for all chapters in one section at the back of the book, either:

  1. Ignore the formatting of the original work and include all footnotes at the bottom of the section or chapter as described in the method above.
  2. Create a separate subpage for the endnote section. See Alternatives for possible ways to link between note indicator and the footnote itself.

Advanced[edit]

Footnotes that continue over page breaks[edit]

In some works, footnotes can continue on to the next page and, in some cases, one or more pages beyond that. When proofreading individual pages in the Page namespace, this will be impossible to handle using the basic method described above.

When using the <ref> tags for the first part of the footnote, add the "name" parameter. The name used can be chosen by the individual proofreader but it is best practice to use the page number.

Other parts of the footnote should use the "follow" parameter with the same name. The position of this text does not matter to the footnote but adding it to the bottom of the page, where the footnote would normally be, is the most obvious position. Make sure that it is a part of the page that will be transcluded with the rest of the footnote: ie. not in the header or footer of the Page, not in <noinclude> tags, and—if sectional transclusion is being used—in the same section as the rest of the footnote (so all parts are transcluded into the same page in the main namespace).

For example, if the footnote "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa." has been split into "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer" on page 51 and "adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa." on page 52:

The first part should be written as:


<ref name="p50">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer</ref>


The second part should be written as:


<ref follow="p50">adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa.</ref>


The separate parts will be rejoined by the <references/> tag, or equivalent template, in the main namespace.

Grouped footnotes[edit]

It may sometimes be necessary to split footnotes into different sections. Different footnotes may be listed in more than one place or there may be different types of footnote, each with its own list at the end. In these cases, the different sets of footnotes should be grouped.

When using the <ref> tags add the "group" parameter. The name of the group used can be chosen by the individual proofreader but note that it will be visible on the page as part of the numeric indicator for the footnote. All tags in a specific group must have the same "group" parameter.

Each <references/> tag must also have the same "group" parameter. Each tag will only list footnotes that have the same group name.

For example:


Lorem<ref group="A">Foo</ref>

Ispum<ref group="B">Bar</ref>
Dolar<ref group="A">Baz</ref>


Group "A": <references group="A" />

Group "B": <references group="B" />


This will appear as:


Lorem[A 1]

Ipsum[B 1]
Dolar[A 2]


Group "A":

  1. Foo
  2. Baz

Group "B":

  1. Bar

Alternatives[edit]

The preceding instructions are best practice for producing footnotes on Wikisource. However, in some rare cases it may be more appropriate to use one of the following methods instead.

Ref and Note templates[edit]

The reference indicator can be replaced with a {{Ref}} template, with the matching text following a {{Note}} template. This gives the proofreader more control over the placement of the footnote but it has the strong drawback of not being able to group footnotes when transcluded to the main namespace.

Using the example above, the main text will be written as:


And here it is doubtless thought by some, as it is in France by M. de Lagevenais, that Government, by supplying good music, should exclude the bad, such as that of Offenbach.{{ref|4}}


The footnote will be written as:


<sup>4</sup> {{note|4}} ''Revue des Deux Mondes'', February 15, 1872.


The result is:


Text And here it is doubtless thought by some, as it is in France by M. de Lagevenais, that Government, by supplying good music, should exclude the bad, such as that of Offenbach.[4]
Footnote 4 ^  Revue des Deux Mondes, February 15, 1872.


When using this method, it is important to prepend the footnote the appropriate figure or symbol. This means the note can be found if it is being read from a printed copy instead of form a screen.

Endnotes with anchors[edit]

If the original work had endnotes at the back of the book (or other publication) it may sometimes be more appropriate to list all the footnotes in a special subpage. This subpage should ideally transclude the endnotes section from a scan of the original work.

In order to create the link from the indicator in the text to the footnote, wikilinks and anchors can be used. The indicator should be a wikilink in a format such as [[My book/endnotes#footnote4]]. The footnote should be preceded by a {{anchor}} template.

If the preceding example were in this format, with the footnote in another section, the text would appear as:


And here it is doubtless thought by some, as it is in France by M. de Lagevenais, that Government, by supplying good music, should exclude the bad, such as that of Offenbach.<sup>[[Help:Footnotes and endnotes#footnote4|4]]</sup>
Although, rather than this help page, the wikilink would look more like [[The Study of Sociology I/Endnotes#footnote4|4]].


The footnote would be written as:


{{anchor|footnote4}}<sup>4</sup> ''Revue des Deux Mondes'', February 15, 1872.


The result is:


Text And here it is doubtless thought by some, as it is in France by M. de Lagevenais, that Government, by supplying good music, should exclude the bad, such as that of Offenbach.4
Endnote 4 Revue des Deux Mondes, February 15, 1872.


See also[edit]

  • Cite extension on MediaWiki, the source of the <ref> tags.
  • Help:Footnotes on Wikipedia, where the same system is used to create lists of citations.