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Help:Formatting references

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References (refs) on PetroWiki are important to validate writing and inform the reader. Any editor can potentially remove unsupported material, and unsubstantiated articles may end up getting deleted; so when something is added to an article, it's highly advisable to also cite a reference to say where the information came from. It can also be a good idea to update or improve existing references. Referencing may look daunting, but it's easy enough to do. Here's a guide to getting started.

This page shows you how to use the most popular system for providing inline citations. There are other acceptable systems, including the use of inline parenthetical references and general references. But the linked reference is the most helpful to readers.

Inserting a reference

If you want to insert a reference into the text and would like it to appear as a linked footnote, the instructions are below. You don't have to build the full reference list at once -- you can build it as you go. The thing to remember is that unlike a word processing program that will renumber subsequent footnotes when you insert one in the middle, the wiki doesn't do that. If the numbers are to stay in order, you'll have to manually renumber, which can be very time consuming.

Instead, you can just add a reference at the end of the existing list and use that reference number at the appropriate place in the text. Yes, they'll be out of order (in edit mode), but they'll appear correctly when someone views the page. And since the numbers correspond, no one should be confused. That is a lot easier than renumbering everything.

Creating a references section

The first thing you do is to make sure there is a section where the footnotes will appear. It may already exist: look for a section with the heading References (which will appear as ==References==, when you are in Edit mode.

Example reference section

This section goes toward the bottom of the page. If the heading already exists, make sure it has the references tags following the header as shown below. If it does not already exist, enter this code:

==References== This heading will turn green as exampled in the image above.

<references> Also called an opening reference tag.

Your citation information will go here.

</references> Also called a closing reference tag becasue it has a /.

The references will go between these two tags. The </references> tag should be after the last reference.

Entering individual references

For each reference that appears, you will need to name it (give it a number) and put the following code around it so that it maybe linked to in the text.

<ref name="r1">Reference citation goes here</ref>

Increment r1, r2, r3, etc. for successive references. The numeric part will be the number that will appear when you add the footnote in the text.

If you are adding a new reference at the end of an existing list, look at the last r#, add one and create your <ref name=rX></ref> around the citation to the document you are referencing.

Adding the footnote in the text

At the end of the relevant phrase, sentence, or paragraph in the text enter the following:

<ref name="rX" />

where X is the number of the reference for that footnote. If the same document is referenced multiple times in the text, you can use the same tag at each text location that points to that document.

Formatting the citations

SPE has a style guide that covers preferred citation formats. See Help:Reference and paper link format for more information and useful examples from the style guide.

While it is great if references to items on a page or links to papers in OnePetro follow this format, we don't want style to get in the way of people adding valuable citations and links into wiki pages. If you don't have all of the information specified in SPE's reference style, just try to include enough information that someone else could find the document you are referencing.

Be sure that any references or links to papers in OnePetro include the following:

  • Author name(s) -- include at least the first author, preferably the first 3, followed by et al. if there are additional authors.
  • Title of the book, paper, or other document
  • Year that the document was published
  • Some indication of the source (publisher, journal, conference, or similar). While SPE style abbreviates the names of many journals, there's nothing wrong with spelling out the full name.
  • For SPE papers, inclusion of the paper number is always helpful
  • If you can create a link to the document online (in OnePetro or elsewhere), that is also very helpful for other readers interested in the topic. Where possible, using the DOI to make the link helps to ensure that the link won't be broken in the future as websites change.

OnePetro papers

Most pages have a section titled Noteworthy papers in OnePetro. Documents in this section would not be referenced in a footnote in the text, but are ones that you believe another user of PetroWiki would find valuable in understanding more about the topic.

If the heading doesn't already exist, you can create it (after the References section) by entering ==Noteworthy papers in OnePetro==

Items in this section are not numbered. You just need to enter a citation to the document, preferably with a DOI link. Help:Reference and paper link format will assist you in preparing the citation to the paper in OnePetro.

DOI number in OnePetro

If you are not sure where to find the DOI number when you have found the paper you'd like to reference in OnePetro, this will help.

Fig. 1-Screenshot of where to find the DOI number on a OnePetro paper.

Once you have found the specific paper in OnePetro, if there is a DOI number for that paper, it will appear towards the right hand side next to "DOI." See Fig. 1.

Please use the DOI link for a paper if it is available as opposed to the OnePetro link as these might change and later become broken. The DOI links, however, will remain the same.

External links and other sources

If you have other sources such as other websites or books, you can include and link to these sources as well. There should be a section at the bottom of the page titled "External links," or you can create one if it is not already there.

If it is a link to another website, please include the URL of the site at the end of the reference. If you are citing a book or another type of outside source, it might be helpful to other users for you to include a link of where the book or other source can be found (such as the SPE Bookstore or an link). See Help:Links for more information about creating external links.