Wikinews:Cite sources

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Green check.png This page is an official policy on the English Wikinews. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
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Due to the time-limited nature of news articles, every piece of information in a Wikinews article must be referenced and verifiable. This is to ensure that everything we run is true, and that we have a trust-worthy reputation. The only exceptions are the obvious, e.g. France is in Europe, the Pope is a Catholic.

Wikinews Policies and Guidelines

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Cite sources
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  to illustrate a point

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Etiquette

There are two central tenets to this policy:

  • You must cite your sources
  • Your sources must be verifiable

Citing sources

At the foot of any article must be a 'Sources' section, with every document used to write the article listed using the following format:

To format your text in the style demonstrated above, use this template:

*{{source|url=insert_url_here
|title=insert_title_here
|author=insert_author_here
|pub=insert_publisher_here
|date=September 2, 2014}}

To be clear, the fields are url, title, author, pub(lisher), and date.

If your source is missing one or more of these fields, leave a blank space after the "=". The title should be the original title, even if the source language is not English. Note dates are <Monthname> <daynumber>, <year> per the style guide. Multiple independent sources are usually required and they should be listed newest -> oldest with no spaces between the {{source}} templates.

In the case of original reporting, notes must be reproduced on the article's discussion (Talk) page.

Please do not use the Wikipedia style of inline references, as this is not at all appropriate for a source of news where you are — usually — expected to read the entire article rather than scan for a fact and its reference. However, do feel free to provide hidden notes to assist reviewers in establish which facts came from where; this is especially helpful with longer articles.

Published sources must be verifiable

Only published sources that someone else could reasonably be able to check can be used. It is acceptable to link to sites that require free registration, but never those that request payment to view content on the site. The Reference Desk may be useful if you're trying to make sure you have more than one source, or a generally accepted source for a story.

Previously published Wikinews articles may be used, but only articles recent enough that they have themselves passed through the system of independent peer review. It is strongly recommended you mention the use of such articles on the talk page as they should be placed within the related news section (see the style guide for details) and so reviewers may not realise facts have been sourced from them.

Use the sources

Only cite sources used for information — do not add sources if you did not include any information from them.

Considering the review process

In the process of an article moving towards publication it will be tagged with the {{review}} template to request independent review by a Wikinews editor. Due to this it is essential that unused sources are not added to the article; this significantly increases the time to review.

Where long, numerous, or complex sources are used it may be helpful to leave advice for reviewers on the article's talk page and/or within the article to guide them on what information is sourced from where. This significantly speeds up review and is deeply appreciated by reviewers.

An additional concern is foreign language sources. These severely restrict the pool of potential reviewing editors. Non-English sources should be restricted to those absolutely essential, such as where there is only a single English source and the non-English source is required to corroborate the story and avoid potential copyright issues. It is strongly recommended you provide some guidance toward translation, or where such may be reliably and readily obtained, on the talk page. Human understanding is needed because automatic translation is not nearly good enough.

Non-English sources must clearly identify the language using templates such as {{fr}} after the {{source}} template. Example:

See also