related topics
{work, book, publish}
{math, number, function}
{system, computer, user}
{@card@, make, design}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}
{household, population, family}
{line, north, south}

For current content, see:

See also Wikipedia:Cite sources

This used to be Wikipedia:Manual of Style :: Footnotes

a next step of the discussion is at Footnote2

Then, a new proposal for autonumbered footnotes using templates was made at Footnote3. The current guideline for footnotes is at Wikipedia:Footnotes.


Footnote1 format


All footnotes (text that for clarity or conciseness should not be inline) should be of the following form.

(footnote ref)'s can be any number or other reference which is not already used in the article; they don't need to be in order of appearance in the article. Later, someone doing copy-editing can re-order the existing footnotes in an article so they match.

After whatever is to be noted, insert:

<sup id="fn_(footnote ref)_back">[[#fn_(footnote ref)|(footnote ref)]]</sup>

Alternatively, you can insert the note reference into the text using the template <ref>.</ref></nowiki>, such as this[1].

At the end of the document, in a section titled "Notes", insert (in numerical order):

<cite id="fn_(footnote ref)">[[#fn_(footnote ref)_back|Note (footnote ref):]]</cite> Some good note
  1. ^ Like above, you can list the references using the template {{note|fn_(footnote ref)}}.

[edit] Example

The widget was designed by Jones and Haddock1 and built by Longreach and Grab5.
The widget design was much improved by Sukett and Cie3.

==Notes== Note 1: Design of a good widget (Jones and Haddock 2002) Widget design Note 5: Building a well-designed widget (Longreach and Grab 2003) Widget building Note 3: Improving widgets (Sukett and Cie 2004) Widget improvement

[edit] Discussion

Please comment on this proposal on the Talk page, or if you have an improvement, feel free to just change the proposal. If you like it, or use it, please mention this on the talk page also. If enough people like it, I'll make it into the Current guidelines. JesseW 05:45, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Suggested amendments: take advantage of the fact that any HTML tag can be annotated with an ID, use the SUP tag, use numbers (OK you can use * or † if you know there will only ever be a single footnote in the article). --Phil | Talk 08:42, Oct 20, 2004 (UTC)
This approach lends itself well to situations where you have more than one Footnote. It should be mentioned that h2g2 does this automagically. (NB I have no idea why the italic formatting is not terminating correctly but it doesn't look too bad.) --Phil | Talk 12:37, Oct 20, 2004 (UTC)
First, thanks for your amendments, and thanks also for putting in more realistic example text; I'm glad to see people working on this page.
Regarding numbering, please see the talk page, especially where I explain why numbered footnotes are a pain to update.
Also, if numbers are used, there's no reason for an internal name; since you used the numbers as the names in your example, I assume it was just an oversight that you left the internal name in the format section. I've corected it.
<Sup> also presents some problems with being easily readable sometimes, but it's at least as good as "*", so I shouldn't complain. :-)
The italic wasn't terminating because it was in the <cite> block. I've moved the cite block to surround the "Note" section, rather than the whole footnote. I think that works better. It certainly fixes the italic issue. JesseW 05:00, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
A fix for the re-numbering issue: Newly added footnotes could just use any unused number. A later copy-editing task could be to renumber the footnotes in an article so they are in order of mention and don't have any unused numbers in the middle. That would allow for identification of footnotes, and the creation of short obvious names, but will still allow people to make new footnotes without renumbering all the existing ones, which is quite important for the wiki process, IMHO. I've updated the proposal to reflect this. JesseW 08:32, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I was thinking of something more generic, like how documents are cited in articles (e.g. [S&C04], so you might want to retain the option of names as well as purely numeric references. --Phil | Talk 11:04, Oct 21, 2004 (UTC)
Makes sense. I was trying to keep it simple, but feel free to update the proposal and example with something like what you described. JesseW 09:24, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

[edit] Current guidelines

If the purpose of the footnote is to direct the reader to an outside source, simply put the link to the source in single brackets: [][1].

If the footnote involves original text of any kind, this is obviously unsatisfactory. The best solution is to put the notes as body text in a "Notes" section and then direct the footnotes to the "Notes" section as a whole1 (<sup>[[#Notes|1]]</sup>). Depending, presumably, on how many notes you have. If notes are added and removed, notenumbers will have to be adjusted in the text manually.

[edit] Example

[edit] Code

This is a text with a footnote<sup>[[#Notes|1]]</sup> directed to the following section.
== Notes ==
# Note 1 goes here, yada yadda
# Note 2 goes here, yadda yada
# And so on, yohoo

[edit] In use

This is a text with a footnote2 directed to the following section.

[edit] Notes

  1. Note 1 goes here, yada yadda
  2. Note 2 goes here, yadda yada
  3. And so on, yohoo

[edit] Another proposal

I added a proposal to the talk page that is easy to use, numbers the note, automatically renumbers notes added in the middle, uses wiki markup instead of html, and allows reference to books and other offline sources [2] Pedant 14:15, 2004 Dec 4 (UTC)