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This page explains how to create numbered footnotes (endnotes) using <ref>,</ref>, and <references/> syntax, which is the current best-practice method in most circumstances.

Footnotes are most often used in References and Usage Notes. See Wiktionary:References and Wiktionary:Usage notes for policy about each.

Inserting references or footnotes


Single citation of a reference or footnote


At the point of citation in the entry, enter the footnote or reference like this:

<ref>''Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition'', 1989</ref>

You can include formatting and links in the footnote or reference in the usual way. The reference will become visible in the <references/> list at the bottom, if there is one.

Creating the list of References or Footnotes


At the point where you want the text of the footnotes or references to appear (usually in a Usage notes or References section), insert the tag:


Note that this must be added before you add any footnotes – if you try to add footnotes without a <references/> present, the edit will be blocked.

Multiple citations of the same reference or footnote


To cite the same reference or footnote several times, identify it using the name parameter of the <ref> tag.

At one of the citation points (it makes sense to choose the first), enter the reference like this:

<ref name="OED">''Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition,'' 1989</ref>

Then at all the other citation points, just enter:

<ref name="OED"/>

You are free to pick any footnote name, subject to a few rules. The footnote name is internal and will not be displayed anywhere when the page is viewed. Footnote names are case sensitive and may not be a numeric integer. The quotes are optional unless the name or group includes a space, punctuation or other mark. Names and groups should be kept simple and restricted to the standard English alphabet and numerals.

What it looks like


The <ref> tags in the main text are converted to auto-numbered superscripts, like this:

It is said that (of foo) it is from FUBAR[1]. Others say it is from foobar[2] but that may be dubious[1].

Clicking on a numbered superscript takes you straight to the text of the corresponding footnote or reference.

The <references/> tag is expanded to show the text of the footnotes or references against their corresponding numbers, like this:

  1. 1.0 1.1 Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989
  2. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

For single citations, clicking on the caret (^) takes you to the point of citation in the main text. For multiple citations, the links back to the main text are distinguished by number superscripts (1.0, 1.1, etc.). Clicking on a letter superscript takes you to the corresponding citation in the main text, assuming the citation is visible and not hidden.

Separate lists of references and footnotes (grouping footnotes)


Sometimes it is convenient to separate explanatory footnotes from references. This can be accomplished with the "group" parameter:


It is said that (of ''foo'') it is from ''[[FUBAR]]''<ref>''Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition,'' 1989</ref>. This could be why some use it today in a negative way <ref group="usage">It is often exclaimed by programmers when execution fails.</ref>


===Usage notes===
<references group="usage"/>


It is said that (of foo) is that of FUBAR[1]. This could be why some use it today in a negative way [usage 1]

Usage notes
  1. It is often exclaimed by programmers when execution fails.
  1. Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989

Note that, at present, such footnotes cannot themselves contain reference links.

List-defined references


As of September 2009, the cite software allows named references to be defined within the reference list rather than in the main part of the entry. This can make editing entries much easier, particularly on heavily cited sections. For example:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.<ref name="LazyDog"/>

<ref name="LazyDog">This is the lazy dog reference.</ref>

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.[1]

  1. This is the lazy dog reference.

Division by entry language


Footnotes inserted in a language entry should be shown in that same entry (rather than all at the bottom of the page). Identifiers such as name= and group= will not collide with each other across language entries.

When to use footnotes


There is no policy on when to use the <ref></ref> tags. Wiktionary:Entry layout, the main policy on formatting, doesn't mention them. By convention footnotes are not widely used and most editors prefer to put references directly under the ===References=== header as bullet list entries.

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