Submissions:2019/Getting rid of ''ibid.'': Consolidate and improve citations with Harvard-style referencing, Worldcat, and Citer

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2019.


Getting rid of ''ibid.'': Consolidate and improve citations with Harvard-style referencing, Worldcat, and Citer


Reliability of Information

Type of session:



Ibid. is an abbreviation for ibidem, "in the same place". While it is sometimes used explicitly in Wikipedia, more commonly editors use a de facto version, which consists of a full citation followed later by shortened citations consisting of an author(s) name(s) and year of publication. These are usually hand-crafted and typically do not use citation templates. This often leads to citations that are inconsistent in format and placement. They also usually fail to link to a source. This is often confusing and not conducive to a good user experience!

This tutorial will go through the steps to effective use Harvard-style referencing through several steps and many examples.

  1. What is Harvard-style referencing and why is it desirable?
  2. Creating the Sources section
  3. Creating complete and useful book citations
    1. Using Worldcat
      1. Obtaining OCLC numbers to locate items in the nearest library (aligning with Wikipedia's 3rd pillar of providing free content)
      2. Finding online versions of books, articles, and theses, where availabe
      3. Obtaining additional parameter information, such as edition, volume, issue, original publication date, publication place, publishers, series, ISBN or ISSN numbers, and etc.
    2. Using Citer to generate reference citation templates, citation templates with ref=harv, and shortened foot note (sfn) templates
      1. Using Citer with URLs, ISBNs, or DOIs
        1. What Citer generates for the ref parameter without an author
        2. Obstacles with using with Citer
      2. Using Citer with OCLC numbers
    3. Handcrafting special citation templates or altering citation templates generated by Citer
      1. {{cite thesis}}
      2. Correcting templates generated by Citer using a OCLC number
  4. Putting it all together
    1. Placing full citations in the Source section
    2. Using the shortened footnote templates: {{sfn}}, {{harbnb}}, {{harv}}
    3. Using shortened footnote templates to refer to specific pages

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Raymond Leonard

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

Cascadia Wikimedians

Estimated time:

One hour minimum; prefer longer if possible.

Preferred room size:

Two dozen give or take; I am comfortable with right-sizing the room to the projected attendance.

Special requests:

projector & screen; tables so attendees can edit & take notes

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

I have presented on citations before at Wikiconference NA '15 & '16, but not in depth on Harvard-style referencing

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)

Yes, but I do not think it will be as nearly as effective without the requisite time.