WikiProject Bibliographies
Bibliographies in library
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A bibliography, the product of the practice of bibliography, is a systematic list of books and other works such as journal articles. Bibliographies range from "works cited" lists at the end of books and articles to complete, independent publications. As separate works, they may be in bound volumes or computerised bibliographic databases. A library catalog, while not referred to as a "bibliography," is bibliographic in nature.

Bibliographies differ from library catalogs by including only relevant items rather than all items present in a particular library. Bibliographies are a primary tool in academic research for students, faculty and researchers.[1] Within Wikipedia, well crafted bibliographies provide editors with a readily available list of sources that can be used to support creation and expansion of articles on related topics.

Within Wikipedia, bibliographies are specialized lists of books, journals and other references important to the topic of the bibliography. For example: Bibliography of classical guitar is a list of works important to the study of Classical guitar. Bibliographies may also be a listing of published works of an author. For example: Jimmy Carter bibliography is a list of works about or authored by Jimmy Carter.

The primary goal of this project is to improve bibliographies and expand their scope within Wikipedia by establishing a consistent article structure; by ensuring bibliographies follow Wikipedia policies, guidelines and manuals of style; and by identifying topics needing bibliographic coverage and encouraging editors to build those bibliographies.

As of 4 July 2022, there are 1,119 articles within the scope of WikiProject Bibliographies, of which 39 are featured. This makes up 0.02% of the articles on Wikipedia and 0.39% of featured lists. Including non-article pages, such as talk pages, redirects, categories, etcetera, there are 2,650 pages in the project.

Relevant guidelines and manual of style

Bibliographies are Wikipedia articles. They must comply with fundamental principles such as Neutral point of view, and policies such as No original research and Verifiability.

Bibliographies are Lists and must comply with the following list-related guidelines and manuals of style:

Bibliographies of living authors must comply with the guidelines for biographies of living persons.

Notability of bibliography articles

A Bibliography of topic article must meet Wikipedia's guideline for stand-alone list notability which is quoted here for clarity.

Notability of lists (whether titled as "List of Xs" or "Xs") is based on the group. A list topic is considered notable if it has been discussed as a group or set by independent reliable sources, per the above guidelines; notable list topics are appropriate for a stand-alone list. The entirety of the list does not need to be documented in sources for notability, only that the grouping or set in general has been. Because the group or set is notable, the individual items in the list do not need to be independently notable, although editors may, at their discretion, choose to limit large lists by only including entries for independently notable items or those with Wikipedia articles.

For a bibliography on a topic to be notable, the members of that bibliography should be discussed as a group in reliable sources. This discussion may take the form of a published standalone bibliography on the topic, a bibliography in a published reliable source on the topic or recommendations for further reading on the topic published in a reliable source on the topic.


For the article Bibliography of fly fishing there are reliable sources that demonstrate notability of the bibliography for each of the source types above.

Recommended structure

See also: Manual of Style for bibliographies

The following subsections recommend a consistent naming convention for bibliographies and a preferred structure for both topical and author bibliographies. The structures recommended are designed to enhance the usefulness of bibliographies for Wikipedia users as well assist editors in ensuring bibliographies meet Wikipedia policies, guidelines and the manual of style.


The policy within Wikipedia:Article titles applies to the titles of Wikipedia bibliographies. This project seeks to establish consistency in naming bibliographies within the encyclopedia and recommends the following:

The topic or author of a bibliography should be notable and have an article in Wikipedia.

Topical bibliographies

Topical bibliographies are lists of relevant books, journals and other references on a specific topic. The lead of a topical bibliography should establish the notability of the bibliography by citing at least two sources that demonstrate that relevant books, journals and other references on a specific topic have been discussed as a group.

Explicit, discriminate inclusion criteria

When creating a new bibliography, include a concise lead with explicit criteria for what entries are – and are not – suitable. The inclusion criteria are for the benefit of both readers and other editors; they provide part of the context for the list and make a case for its notability. They should be tied tightly to the title of the bibliography and its organization. Avoid indiscriminate criteria – some of the most popular challenges to bibliographies or lists of works are based on the Wikipedia policies Wikipedia is not a directory and Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Well-defined context helps counter those challenges.

(The lead leaves no doubt as to what constitutes a valid bibliography entry.)
(The inclusion of the words "and related organizations" in the title and "and organizations like ..." in the lead create a partially indiscrimate inclusion criteria since "related organizations" and "organizations like" are not fully defined. Although literature about or authored by Prem Rawat is clearly within the scope of the bibliography, its not clear what kind of relationship to Prem Rawat is necessary to include other literature. )
(The concept of risk is not defined in the lead nor is it linked to the article on risk. Even if it were, the article reveals that risk is such a broad and variable term that it would be difficult to discriminate works about risk from works not about risk. This is a classic case of an indiscriminate lead.)

Single article bibliographies

Most topical bibliographies will be single articles or lists with enough entries to warrant a separate list, yet not so many that a summary style is required. If there are fewer than 10 possible entries in the bibliography, then those entries should be included in a Further reading section in the topic article.

In each section, bibliography entries should be organized either as a bulleted list or wikitable in chronological or alphabetical (by author) order. Bulleted lists and wikitables should not be mixed within the bibliography. Chronological entries are most suitable for bibliographies on topics with a long history of literature on the topic. Chronological entries allow the user to see a progression on works on the topic over time. Alphabetical listings are suitable for shorter bibliographies and those where the difference between the earliest and latest publication dates is not great. Section headings are useful for distinguishing between works of different type or focus.


Alphabetical bulleted list:

Chronological bulleted list:

Sortable table:

Author Title Year Publisher ISBN Notes
Miller, Don C. Ghost Towns of Montana 1982 Pruett Publishing, Boulder, Colorado 0871086069
Baker, Don Ghost Towns of the Montana Prairie 1997 Fred Pruett Books, Boulder, CO 0871080508
Fifer, Barbara Montana Mining Ghost Towns 2002 Far Country Press, Helena, MT 1560371951
Whitfield, William W. Montana Ghost Towns and Gold Camps-A Pictorial Guide 2007 Stoneydale Press Publishing Co., Stevensville, MT 1931291381

Summary style bibliographies

The overall topic of some bibliographies maybe so broad as to require a summary style bibliography in which the topic is divided into logical sections, each with only a few entries. Each section should have a ((Main|Bibliography of sub-topic)) template directing the user to the bibliography of the sub-topic. The lead of a summary style bibliography needs to establish discriminate inclusion criteria for the topic and sub-topics just as in the single article bibliography.

Sourcing bibliographic entries

It should be possible to verify that each entry in a bibliography meets the inclusion criteria. Here are some simple rules.

Arnold Gingrich, founding editor of Esquire magazine, is a tremendous part of the literary history of fly fishing. The Fishing In Print, The Joys of Trout, and The Well-Tempered Angler are indispensable titles to the well-read fly fisherman of today.

— Glenn Law, A Concise History of Fly Fishing, 1995.[4]

Author bibliographies

Author bibliographies are lists of the published works of an author. The author should be notable and have a Wikipedia article. If there are fewer than 10 works attributable to the author, they should be included in a bibliography or list of works section within the main article.


The lead of an author bibliography may state something to the effect:

The Umberto Eco bibliography contains a list of works published by Umberto Eco.

Including a description of the various types and numbers of works published, their period of publication and highlights of the most prestigious works will make the lead more compelling. The William Faulkner bibliography is a good example of such a lead. Ensure that the lead for a living author follows the guidelines for biographies of living persons.

Mixed topical and author bibliographies: Some bibliographies contain both works written by the author and works about the author written by others. Leads in these cases should be as explicit as possible on the inclusion criteria for works about the author.

The Richard Nixon bibliography includes publications by former president Richard Nixon and books and articles about him and his policies.


Author bibliographies that contain ((Infobox bibliography)) allow for an image of the author and display a summary of works published. Using an infobox also makes the data within it available to DBpedia. The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article.

Sections and list style

Generally, author bibliographies are best presented in chronological order of publication with the earliest works listed first. If the author has a comprehensive set of works spanning different topics, genres or types of publications, the use of section headings is appropriate to delineate those differences. However, within individual sections, works should be listed chronologically.

Lists of works may be in ordered in list format or wikitable format. Either is acceptable but generally should not be mixed within any given bibliography.

Book links

When a book is available online through a site such as Internet Archive, Project Gutenberg, or Google Books, it may be useful to provide a link to the book so readers can view it. If the book, journal or report is available online, you may include the |"url" parameter to link the entry to the online version of the work. There is no requirement either to add or remove such links. A link to a Google Book should only be added if the book is available for preview; such links will not work if the book is only available in snippet view.

White, Phillip M (October 2004). Bibliography of Native American bibliographies. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-31941-9.

Using citation templates

Citation templates are used to bring consistent formatting to bibliographic entries and help ensure all important bibliographic information is included in the entry. The use of citation templates is neither encouraged nor discouraged. If the editors at a bibliography choose to use them, then the following templates are the most commonly used in bibliographies:

Anderson, Fred (2000). Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War 1754-1766. Random House Digital, Inc. ISBN 978-0-375-70636-3.

For an entry in an author bibliography, use |author-mask= to avoid repeating the author's name. For example, in the above book entry, |author-mask=1 gives the result:

— (2000). Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War 1754-1766. Random House Digital, Inc. ISBN 978-0-375-70636-3.

Hayden, F.V. (February 1872). "More about the Yellowstone". Scribner's Monthly. III (4): 388–396.

Culpin, Mary Shivers (1994). The History of the Construction of the Road System of Yellowstone National Park 1872-1966 (Report). National Park Service.

Ellis, Warren (2011-04-11). "The Spaces Between Stars". Mulholland Books. Retrieved 2011-09-02.

For a complete listing of available citation templates, see: Category:Citation templates

Template limits

The MediaWiki software that powers Wikipedia has several parameters that limit the complexity of a page, thus limiting the amount of templates that can be included. When a page reaches the template limit, the most common solution for a bibliography is to convert some "citation templates" to a "manual style" citation.

Rawls, John (1971). [ ''A Theory of Justice'']. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-00078-0


Bibliography entries may be annotated to provide additional relevance and explanation of the work.[5] Annotations should be indented (by adding a colon in front) and cited with a reliable source.


Bibliographies within Wikipedia should be added to one or more of the following categories (including many sub-categories):

To display all subcategories click on the "►":


Recognized content

Former featured articles

Featured lists

Good articles

Did you know? articles

Main page featured articles

Main page featured lists

Reviews and assessments

This table is automatically updated by Oleg Alexandrov's WP 1.0 bot.
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This article is within the scope of WikiProject Bibliographies, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Bibliographies on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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So many books to read, so little time...
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So many books to read, so little time...
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Bibliographer Barnstar
The Bibliographer Barnstar

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Further reading

Compiling bibliographies is a major activity of historians and scholars. The following sources provide interesting insights into the creation and use of bibliographies.


  1. ^ "About Oxford Bibliographies Online". Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  2. ^ University of New Hampshire Library, Milne Angling Collection Selected Highlights, [1]
  3. ^ Herd, Andrew Dr (2001). The Fly. Ellesmere, Shropshire: Medlar Press. ISBN 1899600191.
  4. ^ Law, Glenn (1995). A Concise History of Fly Fishing. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. p. 162.
  5. ^ "Writing an Annotated Bibliography". University of Toronto. Retrieved 2011-10-10.


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