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This short tutorial will walk you through the basics of how to properly cite sources.

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The format of a citation depends on where the information is displayed in the article and on the format of the source. If the information needing citation is inside a quote box, then the source is cited using APA-style citations (skip below to: Quote Box Citations). Otherwise, in the majority of cases, the information is cited through an external reference.

Before you begin

Make sure the article you are working on has this code at the bottom of the page:


Paste this code into the bottom of your article. Without this code, your references won't show up properly. If it's a pre-existing article, check if the reference code is there.

Adding citations

This wiki is designed to be compatible with Wikipedia, which means that you can copy and paste sections of wiki code between any wiki site, and the citations should transfer flawlessly.

The general way to use in-line references is as follows:

This is the sentence that needs a citation.<REF>Insert Source Reference Code</REF>

Here is a real example:

UNICEF has current policies promoting circumcision of infants as an HIV-prevention policy.<ref>{{REFweb
 | quote=[...] the Government and UNICEF are working together to introduce infant male circumcision [...]
 | url=
 | title=Medical male circumcision
 | last=
 | first=
 | publisher=[[UNICEF]]
 | work=Eastern and Southern Africa
 | date=
 | accessdate=2011-04-29

This appears in the main text as:

UNICEF has current policies promoting circumcision of infants as an HIV-prevention policy.[1]

Take a moment to look at the formatting of reference code. Clicking on the footnote (try this) brings you to the references section at the bottom of the article. Observe the format of the reference.

Fortunately, you do not need to know how to write reference code on your own, there are user-friendly web apps that can help you easily generate reference codes.

Reference ID code generator

If you have any (PubMed ID, ISBN, etc) codes, the template filler at the following link will fill out the information automatically:

Template Filler

General reference code generator

If you do not have any codes, the following link will take you to a Reference Generator:

Reference Generator

  1. Choose the source type (News, journal, periodical, report, website, book, encyclopedia, etc)
  2. Fill out as many values as you can. (remember to include the source page URL)
  3. Click "Get reference wiki text" to obtain the reference code.
  4. Copy the newly generated code and paste it in the wiki, directly after the information you are citing. If you are trying to place the citation at the end of a sentence, or next to a comma, the citation always goes just to the right of the period/comma, with no space between the citation and period/comma.

Once you have this method down, please visit this page to learn how to make your citations neat and tidy.

Other sources

If the method above doesn't give you the citation type (or fields) you need, you can obtain a professional looking citation (however not a replacement to the preferred method) by going to the following webpage:

Citation Machine

  1. Use APA (whenever possible).
  2. Choose Print or Online, depending on where your source is located. Then choose the appropriate reference type (book, journal, magazine, newspaper, etc).
  3. Choose the number of authors.
  4. Fill out as many fields as possible.
  5. Once you've filled out as much as you can, click the "submit" button.
  6. Use the first citation (the one on top, not the "In-Text" citation).
  7. Copy this and paste it between reference tags like the following:
<REF>Lastname, A. (2011). Title of the work (Description), Retrieved from</REF>

You may have noticed that Citation Machine italicizes some text. Please take a moment do this. To italicize, put two apostrophes on each side of the appropriate text, like this:

<REF>Lastname, A. (2011). ''Title of the work'' (Description), Retrieved from</REF>

Quote box citations

To source a quote for a quote box, please use Citation Machine (APA format). NOTE: DO NOT USE REF TAGS.

  1. Move the URL to the front of the citation, with a single space between the URL and the citation
  2. Enclose it within brackets, like this:
--[ citation goes here]
  1. List the citation in the Sources section at the end of your article.

YouTube videos (jump to a specific time)

If you are using a YouTube video as a source, please add the a time marker so the video will jump to the sourced content in the video.

For example, if you'd like to jump to one minute and fourteen seconds, add the following to the end of the YouTube video url:


Here's a citation example, with the source link jumping 31 seconds into the video:

"Charlie, that really hurt."<ref>{{REFweb
 |title=Charlie bit my finger - again !

Repeating a citation

If you need multiple citations for the same source, the first time you cite the source you should create a reference name as follows:

<REF NAME="insert reference name here">insert reference code here</REF>

For each additional citation, use the reference name you used for the first instance, like this:

<REF NAME="insert reference name here" />

Remember to insert the forward slash / at the end of each additional reference.

Archiving source pages

Many sources are at high risk of being removed from the internet. If you think a source may be removed in the near future, please use the following method to archive the source so that it always remains accessible.

  1. If the reference has a URL, click it. This will take you to the web page, which has the source material on it.
  2. Copy and paste the URL into the box at This will save a PDF archive of the webpage on your computer.
  3. Go to the upload page and upload the PDF (make a note of the file name after it's been uploaded). This will put an archive file into the Wiki database.
  4. Go to the article that you got the reference from, and click edit.
  5. Add the this line to your reference, just before the closing REF tag, like this:
Archive (yyyy-mm-dd): full long url to the pdf goes here</REF>


  1. REFweb Medical male circumcision, Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
    Quote: [...] the Government and UNICEF are working together to introduce infant male circumcision [...]

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