Help:Citing sources

From PathfinderWiki

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 you can cite other sources, such as websites and video games, most citations on PathfinderWiki are of books. PathfinderWiki provides citation templates based on the {{Ref}} template for each published work. Use the title of the work's article on PathfinderWiki as the title of the work being cited in the {{Ref}} template.

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When editing articles on the wiki using the Visual Editor, use the template tool to add a {{Ref}} template instead of the editor's reference tool.

For example, by using {{Ref|The Inner Sea World Guide}} you can consistently cite The Inner Sea World Guide in the Aroden article:

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

The {{Ref}} template allows you to cite a book with either a single page number or a range of pages as parameters. For example:

{{Ref|The Inner Sea World Guide|198}}

This template cites page 198 of The Inner Sea World Guide. The created footnote looks like this:

James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 198. Paizo Inc., 2011
{{Ref|The Inner Sea World Guide|198|205}}

This template cites pages 198 to 205 like this:

James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 198–205. Paizo Inc., 2011
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See {{Ref}} if you require additional options for customizing the citation's presentation.

References section

The wiki automatically numbers, organizes, and footnotes these references for you. When citing sources, add a References section to the article containing the {{Refs}} template:

== References ==

{{Refs}}

In an article, this section is typically placed after the article content and before any external links, navboxes, and categories.

For an example of how this appears on a content article, please see the end of this help article.

If a citation template for the book you want to cite does not exist, you can instead use a manual citation or ask a fellow chronicler in the Discord 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 order 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 they can read later, in order to quickly learn about a subject.

Citing works manually

To manually cite a work that lacks a {{Ref}} template, you can use <ref> tags.

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Don't wrap {{Ref}} templates with <ref> tags; the template adds these tags for you.

Citing non-book works

When citing websites and other non-book works, wrap a citation template in <ref> tags.

For a website containing confirmed canon details, such as a Paizo blog post or Paizo staff statement, use the {{Cite web}} template and provide details for its five parameters of url, title, page, author, and date:

The planets were destroyed in some cataclysmic, historical event that occurred at some point before the founding of [[Thassilon]] in the [[Age of Legend]].<ref>{{Cite web |url=http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1189?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Questions-Here#59412 |title=Ask James Jacobs ALL your Questions Here! |page=Paizo messageboards |author=[[James Jacobs]] |date=January 4, 2016}}</ref>

For a licensed Pathfinder video game, such as Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, use the game's corresponding {{Cite video game}} template and describe the relevant part of the game.

The '''Helmet of the Abyss Killer''' is a mundane but formidable [[armor|helm]] said in legends to have belonged to a mythical [[demon]] slayer. Such tales claim this slayer was doomed to eternally battle demonic hordes across [[plane]]s.<ref>{{Cite video game/Wrath of the Righteous|Helmet of the Abyss Killer}}</ref>

Citing works lacking templates

In rare circumstances when you need to cite a work without a supporting template, or when you want to create a footnote that provides more context for a citation than a template allows, you can write the citation manually within <ref> tags.

For example:

a group of students known as [[The Six]] at the [[Kitharodian Academy|Kith]] [[bard]]ic college.<ref>Due to a source conflict between ''[[Travel Guide]]'' and ''[[The Six-Legend Soul]]'', the date at which the piece was written predates Kith's supposed date of establishment.</ref>

This reference creates a footnote in the article's references with the given contents.

In the rare instance when you must cite a book that lacks a template, you can add the book's details manually in the general format of Authors. Book title, Page number. Publisher, Year:

The War of Immortals had in fact been only a dream of Aroden's [[Halmeni|pet bunny rabbit]].<ref>[[James Jacobs]], et al. ''[[Divine Mysteries 2]]'', 192. [[Paizo Inc.]], 2024</ref>

Reference names

To cite a single manual reference multiple times in an article, give each reference a sensible shorthand name using the ref tag's name parameter. You can then reuse the reference without repeating its contents by using the tag and name and closing it with a /.

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The {{Ref}} template automatically does this for you as long as the referenced pages are the same between citations of the same book. This is useful only when creating manual citations with <ref> tags.

For example:

The planets were destroyed in some cataclysmic, historical event that occurred at some point before the founding of [[Thassilon]] in the [[Age of Legend]].<ref name="post">{{Cite web |url=http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1189?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Questions-Here#59412 |title=Ask James Jacobs ALL your Questions Here! |page=Paizo messageboards |author=[[James Jacobs]] |date=January 4, 2016}}</ref>

The resulting debris formed the [[Diaspora]].<ref name="post"/>

Divided citations

If you add a sentence from a source that differs from that of other surrounding sentences, replicate the common source for both original statements to clarify that the surrounding statements are from the same source.

For example:

Before your edit:

Aroden was good at basketball. He also could shoot lasers from his eyes.{{Ref|Inner Sea Gods|42}}
Aroden was good at basketball. He also could shoot lasers from his eyes.1

After your edit:

Aroden was good at basketball.{{Ref|Inner Sea Gods|42}} He had problems slipping on slick surfaces, like bathtubs.{{Ref|Palace of Fallen Stars (adventure)|70}} He also could shoot lasers from his eyes.{{Ref|Inner Sea Gods|42}}
Aroden was good at basketball.1 He had problems slipping on slick surfaces, like bathtubs.2 He also could shoot lasers from his eyes.1

Individual citations

Most articles contain references to more than one, and often many, sourcebooks or novels. These statements are mostly not ordered by source.

Cite each significant statement to help the reader quickly locate the source and check the statement or learn more on the subject. For an example of comprehensively cited article, please see Abadar, where each statement is attributed to a certain page in a specific sourcebook.

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.

If you want to add another source to such a section, first distribute the section-wide citation to its statements, then add and cite content from the new source. This helps clarify which statements are associated with each source.

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:

{{Ref|Gazetteer}}

The footnote appears as:

Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer. Paizo Inc., 2008

Citation with a single page number

Written as:

{{Ref|Gazetteer|45}}

Appears as:

Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 45. Paizo Inc., 2008

Citation with a page range

Used these where the relevant text to be cited spans a page division. Avoid using these to provide a vague area of a book spanning many pages on which to cite a statement.

For citation tracking purposes, include the first page of the range as the first parameter, then the range as the second parameter. This ensures that the correct section or chapter, if available, will be displayed; this is most important for Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes, or books such as Plunder & Peril that contain multiple adventures.

Written as:

{{Ref|Gazetteer|45|46}}

Appears as:

Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 45–46. Paizo Inc., 2008

Citation with a page combination

Separate a list of non-consecutive page numbers with commas in the {{Ref}} template's show as parameter. Use this only where it is immediately obvious how the individual pages relate to one another. If this is not clear, use individual citations instead. For citation tracking purposes, include the most relevant page as the first parameter.

{{Ref|Gazetteer|45|show as=12, 45, 61}}

Appears as:

Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 12, 45, 61. Paizo Inc., 2008

Troubleshooting references

Reference not appearing

If you find that a reference doesn't appear, or you see an error message such as Reference error: Template:Cite/Impossible Lands doesn't exist, confirm that the name of the work you want to cite aligns with the title of the work's article on the wiki. For example, the title of the article for the Lost Omens Impossible Lands book is Impossible Lands (sourcebook), so its reference template is {{Ref|Impossible Lands (sourcebook)}}.

If the template still produces an error or doesn't appear, compare the citation with other citation templates and see if you can spot an error yourself, or report it to an administrator or in the Discord chat 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