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It's important to provide references to the books or other source material so that facts can be confirmed and proven trustwothy. This is particularly true when a strong statement is being made, or when a fact is not well known. This page will tell you everything you need to know about citing references and making notes.

It's okay if you are unable to provide references. See the #Editorial Notations section below for other ways you can help.

For more details, see Wikipedia's guidelines on References and Citation.

Notes Section

Every page should have a Notes section at the very bottom. We want the references to appear there. This is done by including a <references /> tag first thing in the Notes section. For more on article structure, see Help:Guidelines#Article_Structure.

Reference Templates

To create references you will use a reference template. Templates are a useful trick that simplify the work involved. While not necessary to understand the basics, it may be helpful to take a look at the Help:Templates article for more background on how templates work.

A basic reference template looks like this: {{ref|text=This is a reference.}}. Notice that it's enclosed by double curly braces ({{ and }}). The template name comes first ("ref"), followed by parameters, all separated by vertical bars (|). Named parameters, like "text=" require the parameter name and equals sign along with your input, as shown above. Unnamed parameters (you'll see these below, in all caps) should be completely replaced by your input. When placed in the text of an article, it will be automatically rendered as a superscript, bracketed number: [1]. It links to the bottom of the page, where you'll see that same number along with the text:

  1. This is a reference.

There are a LOT of reference templates to choose from. The right one for the job depends on what the source is. Here are some of the most commonly used reference templates and the parameters they require. For a complete list of all reference templates see Category:Reference templates.


For most books, you can use the general book template (listed first). However, some books use more specific templates because of the way they are structured. These templates will automatically generate links to the book's summary (or epigraphs) page.

General Book {{book ref}}
Looks like: {{book ref|BOOK|CHAPTER}}, where:
  • BOOK is the full book name or abbreviation
  • CHAPTER is the chapter number, "prologue", or "epilogue"
  • If you're referencing an interlude, include |i between the book and chapter parameters.
  • For the Stormlight Archive prelude and all Ars Arcana use part=prelude and part=ars respectively in place of the chapter number.
Epigraph {{epigraph ref}}
Looks like: {{epigraph ref|BOOK|CHAPTER}}, where:
  • BOOK is the full book name or abbreviation
  • CHAPTER is the chapter number, "prologue", or "epilogue"
Mistborn: Secret History {{msh ref}}
Looks like: {{msh ref|PART|CHAPTER}}, where:
  • PART is the part number or "epilogue"
  • CHAPTER is the chapter number; leave blank if PART is "epilogue"
The Emperor's Soul {{tes ref}}
Looks like: {{tes ref|DAY}}, where:
  • DAY is the day number, "prologue", or "epilogue"
Arcanum Unbounded {{au ref}}
Looks like: {{au ref|SYSTEM/STORY}}, where:
  • SYSTEM/STORY is the planetary system or world name
  • If you're referencing a story postscript, SYSTEM/STORY is the full story name or abbreviation


A general URL ref is shown first, but use of the more specific templates, particularly {{wob ref}}, is preferable.

General URL {{url ref}}
Looks like: {{url ref|url=|text=|site=|date=}}, where:
  • url= should be followed with the link URL ("http://...")
  • text= should be followed with a description of the information
  • site= should be followed with the name of the website
  • date= should be followed with the date of the information ("yyyy-mm-dd")
Arcanum {{wob ref}}
Looks like: {{wob ref|ENTRY}}, where:
  • ENTRY is the entry number--the number following "#e" in the url
  • Note: After saving your edits, this will generate a red link for the reference in the Notes section. Following that link will allow you to create a page with the reference's metadata.
Arcanum is the preferred source when possible, but additional url references include:


You may wish to reference a file hosted by Coppermind, such as artwork or a map. For general files use {{file ref}}; for maps we prefer use of {{map ref}}.

General File {{file ref}}
Looks like: {{file ref|FILE|DESCRIPTION}}, where:
  • FILE is the file name, including the extension
  • DESCRIPTION is a brief description of what the file is
Map {{map ref}}
Looks like: {{map ref|MAP}}, where:
  • MAP is the map name
  • Append an optional |DESCRIPTION parameter if the wording of the reference is awkward.


Sometimes you may wish to provide a textual footnote. It's not a reference to some source--just a small note of clarification that maybe doesn't belong in the body of the article. To make a footnote, use the basic reference template described earlier on this page.

Additional Parameters

Most reference templates can make use of additional parameters not mentioned above. Visit the template pages to learn about these other parameter options, if needed.

Named References

If you're going use a particular reference multiple times, you may find named references useful. Just include the additional parameter |name= in the reference template. Whenever you want to reuse that reference, you use the basic {{ref}} template and omit all the other parameters besides |name=.

Example: Say you want to cite book X chapter 4. For the first reference use {{book ref|X|4|name=X4}}, and then for every other instance just use {{ref|name=X4}}.

In fact, you can really keep the article clean by putting long reference templates directly in the Notes section. Instead of <references />, put all of your long citations (with names added) between <references> and </references> tags down in the Notes section. Then you can call them out in the body of the article with the names alone!

For example:

The Coppermind wiki is awesome.{{ref|name=coppermind}} 

And here's another reference to that great website.{{ref|name=coppermind}} 

== Notes ==
{{url ref|url=http://www.coppermind.net|text=A cool place.|site=Coppermind|date=2016-01-01|name=coppermind}}

The Coppermind wiki is awesome.[1]

And here's another reference to that great website.[1]


  1. a b A cool place.
    — Coppermind - 2016-01-01#

Reference Groups

Regular citations always belong in the Notes section, but there may be occasion to list certain references higher up in the article. Particularly in the case of footnotes. This is accomplished with reference groups.

Include the additional parameter |group= in the reference templates that you want placed in a special location. In the location you want these references listed, add the same parameter and input to the <references /> tag.

It looks like this:

The Coppermind wiki is awesome.{{ref|text=It really is.|group=note}} You should visit.{{ref|text=A normal reference.}} 

<references group=note />

== Notes ==
<references />

The Coppermind wiki is awesome.[note 1] You should visit.[1]

  1. It really is.


  1. A normal reference.

Editorial Notations

Not sure about a particular reference? You can still help us out by identifying statements that may need some attention. Just insert the following templates, exactly as shown, after the statement.

Request Citation {{cite}}
{{cite}} acts as a placeholder for future citation. It let's others know that the preceding fact needs a reference.
Request Clarification {{clarify}}
{{clarify}} lets others know that the preceding statement is unclear and needs some work.
Disputed Warning {{disputed}}
{{disputed}} warns the reader that the preceding information may be incorrect or unverified. If you see something that doesn't sound correct (especially if it has no reference), use this.

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