Citation Style 1 (CS1) is a well-used method of referencing Wikipedia articles using a series of templates that in turn use the meta-template ((Citation/core)). The use of a central template makes individual citation templates simpler to code and amend, and produces a consistent look throughout the encyclopedia.

The use of CS1 or of templates is not compulsory; per WP:CITEVAR:

Citations within each Wikipedia article should follow a consistent style. Editors may choose any style they want. The English Wikipedia does not have a house style, so it need not match what is done in other articles.


There are a number of templates that use a name starting with cite; many were developed independently of CS1 and are not compliant with the CS1 style. There are also a number of templates that use one of the general use templates as a meta-template to cite a specific source. Only general use templates that are fully compliant with CS1 are discussed here.

General use citation templates
Template Use RefToolbar 1.0 RefToolbar 2.0 ProveIt SnipManager
((Cite book)) books Yes Yes Yes Yes
((Cite conference)) conference papers Yes
((Cite encyclopedia)) edited collections Yes
((Cite journal)) magazines, journals, academic papers Yes Yes Yes
((Cite mailing list)) archived public mailing lists
((Cite manual)) manuals
((Cite map)) maps
((Cite news)) news articles in print, video, audio or web Yes Yes Yes Yes
((Cite press release)) press releases Yes
((cite report)) reports
((Cite sign)) signs, plaques and other visual sources
((cite speech)) speeches
((cite techreport)) technical reports
((Cite thesis)) theses
((Cite video)) audio and video sources Yes Yes
((Cite web)) web sources not characterized by another template Yes Yes Yes Yes

These templates use ((cite journal)) as a meta template. By simply entering an identifier, a bot will retrieve the citation information from a database and fill in the template.

Bot filled citation templates
Template Identifier
((Cite doi)) Digital object identifier
((Cite jstor)) JSTOR
((Cite pmid)) PubMed
((Cite pmc)) PubMed Central
((Cite arXiv)) arXiv

How the templates work

CS1 templates present a citation generally as:

author (date). title. publisher. identifiers
title. publisher. date. identifiers

Template differences

CS1 uses a series of templates that provide a consistent output. The main difference is in parameters optimized for the subject. For example, ((cite book)) has fields for title and chapter, whereas ((cite journal)) has fields for journal and title.

This help page uses the names most commonly used across the templates series; see each template's documentation for details.

Authors and editors

Authors may be included by separate parameters for the given name and surname. A single or first author would use |last= and |first= and subsequent authors would use |last2= and |first2= through |last9= and |first9=. This method shows the name in last, first style:

You may also use |author= through |author9= to include the full author name; this method is generally discouraged, as it will not create an expected anchor for Shortened footnotes and parenthetical referencing. This use may be appropriate where the national or ethnic name style is not first last or a corporate author is used.

If the author has a Wikipedia article, the author name can be linked with |authorlink= through |authorlink9=. This method is used because |last= and |first= does not allow a wikilink. This link is not for an external website and will render incorrectly if one is used. If the author is notable enough to have an article, then the website should be linked in the article.

Editors are added in the same manner using |editor-last= and |editor-first= through |editor-last4= and |editor-first4= and |editorlink= through |editorlink4=.

The use of authors modifies the display and order of the citation:

Hardcastle, Gary L; Reisch, George A (2006). Monty Python and Philosophy.
Monty Python and Philosophy. 2006.


Other contributors other than author or editor may be included by use of |others=, usually including a description such as "Illustrated by Smith" or "Trans. Smith".


Dates are generally included by three parameters:

It is important that |date= be used only for the full date; using a year only will create a malformed anchor when that feature is enabled.

Dates formats per WP:DATESNO:

Titles and chapters

Work and publisher

Further information: WP:CITEHOW

Templates such as ((cite web)) use a |work= parameter; this is sometimes confused with the publisher. In most cases this is the name of the website (as usually given in the logo/banner area of the site), otherwise the site's domain name. If the titled item being cited is part of some other larger work, such as a book, periodical or organizational sub-site (e.g., the law school's section of a university's website system), it is usually better to use the name of that more specific work than that of the entire site. The inclusion of the top-level domain such as .com for is left to the editor unless it is part of the company name such as


Edition identifiers

Web links

Links should be to full versions of the source that do not violate copyrights. Very short extracts such as Google Books snippet view should not be used as there is not enough context to verify the content.

Links should be kept as simple as possible. For example, a Google Book link for Monty Python and Philosophy would look like:

But can be trimmed to:

A direct link to a specific page may be used if supported by the host. If the same source is reused with different pages, separate citations must be created. For example, the link to page 173 of Monty Python and Philosophy on Google Books:

URLs containing certain characters will display and link incorrectly unless those characters are encoded. For example, a space must be replaced by %20.

sp " , ' ; < > ? [ ]
%20 %22 %2c %3a %3b %3c %3e %3f %5b %5d
Single apostrophes do not need to be encoded; multiples will be parsed as italic or bold markup

The link button on the enhanced editing toolbar will encode a link.

Access date

Web archives

Further information: Wikipedia:Link rot

The original link may become unavailable. When an archived version is located, the original URL is retained and |archiveurl= is added with a link to an archived copy of a web page, usually from services like WebCite and the Internet Archive. |archivedate= must be added to show the date the page was archived, not the date the link was added. When |archiveurl= is used, |url= and |archivedate= are required, else an error will show. When an archived link is used, the citation displays with the title linked to the archive and the original link at the end:

"Monty Python and Philosophy". Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
"Monty Python and Philosophy". Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)


Most templates support these identifiers:


Shortened footnotes and parenthetical referencing may create links that will jump to an anchor created by the CS1 template. Anchors are not enabled by default, they are created by use of |ref=

Elk, Anne (November 16, 1972). Anne Elk's Theory on Brontosauruses. ((cite book)): Invalid |ref=harv (help)
Creates an anchor named CITEREFElk1972.

Display options

These features are not often used, but can customize the display for use with other styles.

Elements not included

Not all pieces of information about the source are required in a citation. Some elements not included:

The total number of pages in a source are not part of a citation.

Web hosts and physical locations are not part of a citation. There is no need to include a host such as Google Books, Project Gutenberg or Scribd and they should never be noted as the publisher. Similarly, a specific library, library record or a shelf location would not be included.


CS1 templates may be inserted manually or by use of tools:

Error checking:

Common issues

|accessdate= does not show
If |url= is not defined, then |accessdate= does not show; by design
The bare URL shows before the title
If the |title= field includes a newline or an invalid character then the link will be malformed; see Web links.
The author shows in brackets with an external link icon
The use of an URL in |authorlink= will break the link; this field is for the name of the Wikipedia article about the author, not a website


  1. ^ "Some numbered series have gone on so long that, as with certain long-lived journals, numbering has started over again, preceded by n.s. (new series), 2nd ser. (second series), or some similar notation, usually enclosed in commas. (A change of publisher may also be the occasion for a change in series designation.) Books in the old series may be identified by o.s., 1st ser., or whatever complements the notation for the new series."[1]: 14.132 


  1. ^ University of Chicago (2010). The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.). Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226104201.