[WikiEN-l] No references in the 'end product'?

Chris Keating fightingforfairness at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 5 10:24:12 UTC 2006

In a perfect world we would automate references to a higher degree. An idea
I've just thought of is introducing reference-space to Wikipedia, in a broad
parallel to image-space. We currently have images with a separate existence
 from articles, and each image can be used on many articles. This system
means that image copyright is centralised and anyone happening upon a useful
image can include it without needing to upload the image again, provide
license info, and so on.

Why not streamline referencing by having a page for each reference, which
provide full cite information and external links, and a MediaWiki trick to
 mean a full reference can be supplied with three or four words rather than
(as currently) writing out a long string of author name, title, publication
details and index numbers.

To give an example, instead of having

Sen, A: "On the Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal", Journal of Political
Economy, date,volume, issue number

incorporated separately into every one of a dozen different articles, we
 would have a page called

Reference:Paretian Liberal (Sen)

which would have the full details of the source, in a standard format,
details of any duplicates (e.g. hardback/softback and domestic/international
editions of books), and links to whatever online searchable databases were
available (similar to the current ISBN search facility for books). It would
also have a list of 'articles that reference this work" and possibly a brief
user-contributed summary.

When referencing that particular article, one would be able to wikilink to
[[R:Paretian Liberal (Sen)]]. A wikilink to reference-space would appear as
an inline reference and, if it were the first use of the source,
automagically add the full cite to the References section at the bottom of
the page. The full cite would link to the reference-space page.

What d'you reckon? Clearly it would need a lot of developer time but would
make exhaustive referencing much, much easier if that is where we need to


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