Help:Citing sources

Citing sources is important to the reliability of the information present in this wiki because it enables each statement's truthfulness and accuracy to be verified. It also allows the reader to use the wiki as a searchable, cross-referenced index and encyclopedia to the vast collection of source material that makes up the Pathfinder campaign setting.

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General citation format for books

Although it is possible to cite other sources, most citations concern books. (For sources containing multiple articles by a number of authors, see the General citation format for multi-article books section.)

PathfinderWiki provides citation templates based on the {{Cite book}} template for each published work, and the MediaWiki software provides <ref> tags to organize and track citations. For example, {{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide}} makes it easy to consistently cite The Inner Sea World Guide in the Aroden article:

Aroden is only known to have appeared once in recent centuries. He appeared in [[4433 AR]] in the [[Kellid]] nation of [[Sarkoris]] to fight the avatar of the [[demon lord]] [[Deskari]] and drive him and his followers into the [[Lake of Mists and Veils]].<ref>{{Cite book/The Inner Sea World Guide|198}}</ref>

If a citation template for the book you wish to cite does not exist, see {{Cite book}} for guidance on how to create it or ask a fellow chronicler in the forums or web chat for assistance.

Rationale for providing page numbers

On other wikis such as Wikipedia, it is sufficient to provide the details of the book without the page number. PathfinderWiki provides page numbers so the reader can determine exactly where in a book to start reading. It would be unreasonable to expect a PathfinderWiki visitor to read an entire sourcebook in to find the reference to the statement they are looking for, especially since we as chroniclers are easily able to provide specific page numbers.

Also, GMs can use the references section of an article to create a set of bookmarks in specific sourcebooks that she can read later, in order to quickly learn about a subject.

Using ref tags

To accurately cite an article, which applies unless all of the text can be attributed to a single continuous passage in the source material, use <ref> tags.

General format

Use citation templates (described in detail below) enclosed within the <ref> tags and positioned in the exact location where the citation should be positioned. For example:

Goblins have a racial fear of horses.<ref name="CMR-p18">{{Cite book/Classic Monsters Revisited|18}}</ref>

Appears as:

Goblins have a racial fear of horses.[1]

The wiki numbers, organizes, and footnotes references for you. When citing sources in this format, add the {{Refs}} template in the References section of the article where you want to display the citation details:

== References ==
{{Refs}}

For an example of how this will appear, please see the end of this article.

Reference names

To help cite a single reference multiple times in an article, give each reference a sensible shorthand name. In the example above, the cited book was Classic Monsters Revisited, the cited page was 18, and the name of the reference was CMR-p18, a combination of book's acronym and page number. To use the same book and page number later in the article to cite another statement, use the shortened format in a self-closing <ref> tag:

Goblins also enjoy fire and fireworks.<ref name="CMR-p18" />

Divided citations

Should you add a sentence in the middle of two others which are from the same source while your source differs from the other two, the original citation should be replicated for both original statements, since it would be unclear that the first statement was from the same source as the third. For example:

Before your edit:

Aroden was good at basketball. He also could shoot lasers from his eyes.<ref name="ISG-42">{{Cite book/Inner Sea Gods|42}}</ref>

Aroden was good at basketball. He also could shoot lasers from his eyes.[2]

After your edit:

Aroden was good at basketball.<ref name="ISG-42">{{Cite book/Inner Sea Gods|42}}</ref> He had problems slipping on slick surfaces, like bathtubs.<ref name="PoFS-70">{{Cite book/Palace of Fallen Stars|70}}</ref> He also could shoot lasers from his eyes.<ref name="ISG-42" />

Aroden was good at basketball.[2] He had problems slipping on slick surfaces, like bathtubs.[3] He also could shoot lasers from his eyes.[2]

Individual citations

Most articles will contain references to more than one (and often many) sourcebooks or novels and mostly, the statements in the article are not ordered by source. Each significant statement should have a citation attached to help the reader find out which book and page number to view in order to check the statement or learn more on the subject. For an example of comprehensively cited article, please see Abadar. Each statement can be attributed to a certain page in a specific sourcebook.

Article-wide citations

This type of citation involves providing a single reference for the entire article. This is only suitable for articles where all of the text can be attributed to a single, continuous section of source material. If this is the case, you can cite the source in the References section of the article.

== References ==
* {{Cite book/Gazetteer|45}}

Also note when an entire article, chapter, or book refers to the article's subject.

== References ==
There is a major article about Ilmurea, "Ilmurea: Shimmering Spiral of the South", starting on page 62 of ''[[The Thousand Fangs Below]]''.
{{Refs}}

Section-wide citations

If an entire section of an article can be attributed to one continuous passage in the source material, it is sufficient to provide a citation at the end of the section. It is assumed that all text in the section is cited by the reference provided.

Citing lists

One exception to the section-wide citation suggestion is for items in a list, which you should cite individually. New information can add to or reorder the list, obscuring which sources refer to each item.

Citation template examples

Citation without a page number

Written as:

{{Cite book/Gazetteer|}}

Appears as:

Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3

Citation with a single page number

Written as:

{{Cite book/Gazetteer|45}}

Appears as:

Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 45. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3

Citation with a page range

These are usually used where the text to be cited spans a page division. It should not be used to provide a vague area of a book spanning many pages on which to cite a statement. Written as:

{{Cite book/Gazetteer|45-46}}

Appears as:

Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 45-46. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3

For some complex books with multiple article, you might need to add the article's first page separately to correctly cite a range.

Citation with a page combination

Comma-separate a list of non-consecutive page numbers. This should only be used where it is immediately obvious how the individual pages relate to one another. If this is not clear, use individual citations instead.

{{Cite book/Gazetteer|12, 45, 61}}

Appears as:

Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 12, 45, 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3

Page numbers not appearing

If you find that the page numbers don't appear as part of your citation despite carefully following the instructions, the citation template might be flawed. Compare it with other citation templates and see if you can spot an error yourself, or report it to an administrator for help.

General citation format for multi-article books

Sometimes a book contains multiple, distinct articles by different authors (as is the case for Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes). Cite these books as you would any other book in text, with a few exceptions.

Citation with a page range or list of pages

Multi-article citation templates allow for two page numbers to be entered: one for determining the author and article title, and the other to be displayed. For instance, you must separately provide the first page of a range of pages before the page range to display in the citation:

{{Cite book/Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition|42|42-46}}

{{Cite book/Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition|42|42, 44, 46}}

Appears as:

James Jacobs. (2012). Burnt Offerings. Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, p. 42-46. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-436-8
James Jacobs. (2012). Burnt Offerings. Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, p. 42, 44, 46. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-436-8

Citation without a page number

To cite an entire article without displaying a specific page number, add a page number within that article to the template, then a pipe (|), then close the template:

{{Cite book/Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition|42|}}

Appears as:

James Jacobs. (2012). Burnt Offerings. Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, p. 42. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-436-8

Creating multi-article citation templates

Multi-article citation templates use either {{Cite complex}} or a complex version of {{Cite book}} using parser functions. PathfinderWiki recommends using {{Cite complex}} to create complex citation templates. If you encounter problems with an older complex citation template, contact an administrator for help.

General citation format for online sources

Because websites are generally not referenced multiple times throughout the wiki, use the {{Cite web}} template to cite these sources individually. For help using this template, see {{Cite web}} or ask a fellow chronicler for assistance.

Test references