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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Improve the Citation of Sources

Chapter 2, starting at Chapter 2, discusses how to properly cite sources, as well as what sources are acceptable. For each existing source in the article, go through a three-step process to determine if it’s salvageable and, if so, improve it. This section goes through the three options in detail:

  • If there’s a bad URL, try to fix it.

  • Determine whether the source is verifiable and reliable (see WP:V and WP:RS). If not, determine if it can be easily replaced. If not, delete it.

  • If the source is reliable but not formatted properly, convert it into a correctly formatted footnote with full information.

    Note

    While your goal is to convert all embedded links (the ones that look like this: “[1]”) to footnotes, you might want to avoid the temptation of starting by putting <ref> tags around them to immediately convert them to footnotes. It’s easier to work with sources section by section, and if you create footnotes, the URLs go down to the bottom of the page, where you can’t see them when previewing a section.

Fixing Bad URLs

Links go bad: A link that worked on the day it was added to an article may not work a month or a year later. That’s why full citations are so critical: If the URL stops working, the citation—to a magazine, newspaper, or other source available offline—is still acceptable, because it’s still verifiable.

Unfortunately, you’re often looking at a source that consists only of a URL. So your challenge is to find where the content moved to, or to get ...

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