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This page or section is an official policy on Wookieepedia.

It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone must follow. Please use the Consensus track to propose changes to this policy.


This page in a nutshell

Content on Wookieepedia must be attributed to a reliable source by adding references (citations).

Wookieepedia's Sourcing policy outlines how and when to use citations—commonly called "references" or "refs"—in articles. As Wookieepedia does not accept original ideas or fanon, all content should be based on reliable sources. The Attribution policy mandates that all information on the wiki must be attributed to a reliable source.

Any material that is challenged and for which no source is provided may be removed by any editor.

Why sources should be cited

Relevant policy: Wookieepedia:Attribution
  • To credit a source for providing useful information and to avoid claims of plagiarism.
  • To show that your edit is not original research.
  • To ensure that the content of articles is credible and can be verified by any reader or editor.
  • To help users find additional reliable information on the topic.
  • To improve the overall credibility and authoritative character of Wookieepedia.
  • To reduce the likelihood of editorial disputes, or to resolve any that arise.

When to use references

The infobox, introduction, and article body should be completely referenced, including the "Behind the scenes" section for in-universe articles.

  • Although so-called "self-sourcing"—for example, citing a claim in the Behind the scenes section about a subject's appearance in a Star Wars film to said film—may seem redundant, fully sourcing an article's text removes any possible uncertainty regarding unsourced claims. Additionally, reference notes serve as navigational anchor points between the article body and the "Notes and references" section, allowing readers to quickly find all instances in an article being referenced to a particular source.
  • If an entire paragraph can be sourced to only one source, add the reference at the end of the paragraph. However, if there is more than one source, then reference specific sentences as necessary. Finally, if that is not enough, tag individual words as a last resort.
    • Avoid repeatedly making separate references for the same information in an article body. For example, if a person's pronouns or rank can only be sourced to [1], then that reference must be made upon the first mention of the information in the article body, but it can be spared in subsequent mentions where the rest of the sentence uses other references.
    • For tables, at a minimum, each table row must be referenced. A cell that spans multiple rows references the information in the preceding cells of those rows.
  • Do not insert more than one reference per claim unless necessary, such as when making exceptional claims. If more than one reference is used to cite a claim, list them in ascending order. For example, [1][4][5], not [4][1][5].
  • If something can be attributed to a source that is already referenced in the article, reuse that reference instead of adding a new one, if possible.


The following exceptions apply for referential need:

  • The infobox name field
  • The ISBN field in infoboxes: This field is used to populate Special:BookSources and should not contain references.
  • The article introduction: Because all information present in the introduction should also appear in the article body, the introduction should not be referenced. Articles with a body shorter than 165 words, as established by the Layout Guide, do not feature an introduction, meaning that the entire article should be referenced.
  • Section headings
  • Images: All files uploaded to Wookieepedia must be properly sourced on the file description page, as mandated by the Files policy. As such, images and other files used in the article should not be referenced.
  • Image captions
  • Excerpts: Verbatim excerpts using the {{Excerpt}} template require a source, but not a separate reference.
  • Lists of appearances and credits: The content of the {{App}} and {{Credits}} templates used in articles on Star Wars media do not need to be referenced after the release of said media.

How to insert references

Wookieepedia uses the built-in MediaWiki reference handling system.

We recommend you use the Source editor rather than VisualEditor (VE) while managing references. This guide explains how to manage references using Source editor.

Inserting a reference

On the first usage of a reference, insert the following code:

<ref name="Reference name">Reference content</ref>

Replace the placeholders with the appropriate content:

Reference name
When working on long articles or collaborations, users are encouraged to use full titles as reference names to prevent accidental duplicates of a reference, though this is not a requirement. This is not necessary on shorter articles, and abbreviations are acceptable.
Reference content
Replace this with the actual content of your reference.
Reference content should always be defined in the first instance of the reference, even if the MediaWiki reference handler will work when this is not the case.
For rules and guidelines regarding the formatting of reference content, please see below.


<ref name="TEA">''[[The Essential Atlas]]''</ref>
<ref name="Supply Lines">{{TCW|Supply Lines}}</ref>

Reusing a reference

Individual references only need to be defined once. Upon subsequent insertations of the same reference, use the following code:

<ref name="Reference name" />


<ref name="TEA" />
<ref name="Supply Lines" />

Automatically generated references

Some transcluded templates, like the Year infobox, automatically generate one or more references. These will automatically appear at the bottom of the page unless {{Reflist}} is used, as outlined below.

Producing the reference list

The list of references used on a page—the "reflist"—should be added in a dedicated section called "Notes and references." This is achieved by using the {{Reflist}} template:

==Notes and references==

For rules regarding the placement and formatting of the Notes and references section, refer to the Layout Guide.

Reference rules

References that require explanation

If a cited source does not explicitly portray or otherwise describe the subject of the article in which a statement or passage is being referenced, the reference should explain the logic behind using that particular source. Some common examples include:

  • Dating notes: Star Wars media that explicitly dates events does not necessarily mention the subject presented in an article.
    <ref name="Death Date">''[[Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy]]'' states that Linwodo was hunted down and [[Death|destroyed]] in the aftermath of the [[Battle of Kashyyyk]], which ''[[Star Wars: Galactic Atlas]]'' dates to [[19 BBY]].</ref>
  • Properties that apply to a group of subjects: A source might establish a property that applies to a group of subjects, without mentioning a specific subject in that group.
    <ref name="EAOC Jeyell">{{SW|url=news/star-wars-the-essential-atlas-online-companion|text=''Star Wars: The Essential Atlas'' Online Companion|int=Star Wars: The Essential Atlas Online Companion}} &mdash; Based on corresponding data for [[Jeyell system]]</ref>
    • Example: We know that clone troopers are clones of Jango Fett and therefore share some properties like physical characteristics and birthplace. The birthplace, gender, and height of a clone trooper could therefore be sourced like this:
    <ref name="CT DB">{{Databank|clone-troopers|Clone Troopers}} &mdash; Based on corresponding biographical and physical details for all [[clone trooper]]s</ref>


  • References go immediately after punctuation and outside of quotation marks, with no space between the end of a sentence and a reference tag. The following exceptions apply:
    • References should immediately precede dashes (see WP:DASH).
    • If a set of parentheses is cited with a single reference, place the reference immediately after the closing parenthesis. If more than one reference is used, include the references within the parentheses.
  • References should be formatted like entries in the Appearances and Sources sections. This includes italicization where appropriate, as with book titles, etc.
  • Only references that constitute full sentences should receive a period (full stop).
    Wookieepedia:Mofferences/February 12, 2012
  • For linking purposes, all references are treated as independent entities. Therefore, all mentioned subjects must be linked upon their first mention in each reference.
    See Forum:CT:Links within references
  • Articles shall cite information from comic books by individual comic issue or comic story, not by overall series, story arc, or compilation (such as trade paperbacks or hardcover collections).
    See Wookieepedia:Mofferences/November 7, 2020
  • References may not cite information by individual page or chapter number, unless there is a specific referential need. This does not apply to citation templates that include page-number parameters, such as {{CSWECite}}.
    See Wookieepedia:Mofferences/August 30, 2019
  • Unless a dedicated citation template exists for the purpose, references to works not covered by articles on Wookieepedia should be cited in Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format. Additionally, the designation "Print" in the citation itself is not to be used.
  • An individual's gender must be cited to a source that explicitly mentions it or refers to the individual by gendered terms (e.g. "princess" or "boy"). Pronouns do not indicate an individual's gender, and if no source specifies the individual's gender, then it should not be assumed.
  • An individual's pronouns must likewise be cited to a source that explicitly mentions those pronouns. If no source specifies the individual's pronouns, the article may use non-assumptive singular "they/them" pronouns.
See Forum:CT:Sourcing pronouns and gender

Citation templates

Use citation templates where available. Wookieepedia has standardized the following practices for citation template usage:

  • Citation templates designed for the purpose of citing multiple parameters in a single reference may not be used merely to adorn the name of a source
    Example: WEG icon2 "An Old Flame in Need..." — Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, not WEG icon2 Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook
  • Citation templates may not be used or created simply to adorn the name of a source with a logo
  • Available citation templates must be used in Appearances, Sources, Notes and references, External links, and index pages whenever applicable, with the exception of {{CSWECite}}, as noted below
  • The optional parameters "author," "date," and "quote" may only be used in Notes and references in an article.
See Forum:CT:Refining the use of citation templates


  • {{CSWECite}}, including all parameters, must be used in individual citation references when applicable
  • {{CSWECite}} may not be used in the Sources list, with the only exception being when a subject is referenced in an entry but does not have a specific entry of its own. In that case the template must be used without specifying page numbers.
    • Additionally, if a subject does not have an entry of its own and is referenced in more than one entry, the item will be formatted as such in the Sources list: *The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (Mentioned in multiple entries) — {{CSWECite}} has a specific parameter for this purpose: {{CSWECite|multiple}}
See Wookieepedia:Mofferences/January 26, 2014, Forum:CT:Tense and CSWECite in MOS

Archival links

When citing an external link, a permanent archival link (also called a backup link) must be included in the reference. Use Internet Archive's Wayback Machine or archive.today for this purpose.

  • Social media posts must likewise include a backup link. In the instance a social media post cannot be archived through one of the aforementioned archiving services, an accompanying screenshot of the post must alternatively be uploaded to Wookieepedia and linked in the reference itself.
  • The Wookieepedia community, particularly the article-reviewing panels through the article-nomination processes, may judge the validity of expired external links, including social media posts, that cannot produce a backup link or screenshot. The original URL must be provided in the reference, accompanied by a note indicating that its content has expired, such as (Information no longer available).
See Wookieepedia:Mofferences/June 29, 2014, Wookieepedia:Mofferences/March 6, 2016, Forum:CT:Wookieepedia:Sourcing - Permanent archival links, and Forum:CT:Sourcing policy amendment: Backup links for social media posts

Technical limitations

  • References cannot be placed within another reference. <ref name="Cloak of Deception">''Cloak of Deception'' Also mentioned in <ref name="Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter" /></ref> does not render correctly.
  • References located under a {{Reflist}} are not listed in the reflist. This is why the Layout Guide places succession box above the Notes and references.

See also

Forum discussions