This template is intended to assist users at the help desk, AfC help desk, the Teahouse, for replying to ((Help me)) requests and at other fora, where the basics of providing inline citations needs to be explained. It provides a visual guide to inline citations that some users may respond better to than a text explanation alone.
This template may be transcluded or substituted by prefixing "subst:" inside the template code. Thus you may use ((subst:Refref2)) rather than ((Refref2)). However, given the quantity of code in this template, transclusion may be preferable to substitution.
The template does not include automatic signing. Please remember to sign by typing four tildes (~~~~) after the template syntax (or at the end of your accompanying post to which this template may be an add-on).
This template is a more basic version of its sister template, ((Refref)), which unlike this template:
Provides a detailed text explanation above the (identical) visual elements; and
Is hidden by default because of its significantly larger footprint.
For comparison, the sister template's output is shown below:
Visual inline citation guide
Formatting references using inline citations
All information in Wikipedia articles should be verified by citations to reliable sources. Our preferred method of citation is using the "cite.php" form of inline citations, using the <ref></ref> elements. Using this method, each time a particular source is mined for information (don't copy word-for-word!), a footnote is placed in the text ("inline"), that takes one to the detail of the source when clicked, set forth in a references section after the text of the article.
In brief, anywhere you want a footnote to appear in a piece of text, you place an opening <ref> tag followed by the text of the citation which you want to appear at the bottom of the article, and close with a </ref> tag. Note the closing slash ("/"). For multiple use of a single reference, the opening ref tag is given a name, like so: <ref name="name"> followed by the citation text and a closing </ref> tag. Each time you want to use that footnote again, you simply use the first element with a slash, like so: <ref name="name" />.
In order for these references to appear, you must tell the software where to display them, using either the code <references/> or, most commonly, the template, ((Reflist)) which can be modified to display the references in columns using ((Reflist|colwidth=30em)). Per our style guidelines, the references should be displayed in a separate section denominated "References" located after the body of the article.