Help: Documentation

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In an effort to make documentation style more consistent project-wide, this page has been created to make it easier to find information on how to document sources in your articles.

You may want to bookmark it for easy reference in the future.

Introduction to documentation

Note that the Chicago Manual of Style lists both a Humanities style and an Author-Date style of footnote and reference. The New World Encyclopedia prefers the Humanities style of reference because of its emphasis on values, philosophy and religion. However, it will also accept the Author-Date style. The reference style of an article must be consistent throughout the entire article and conform to the basic style outlined below. See the Chicago Manual of Style (sect. 17 in the 15th edition) for additional information for more specific cases.

Humanities style

Humanities style uses numbers in the text that indicate an endnote. A bibliography should also be included. When multiple references are made to a particular source, use the <ref name> system. If different page numbers are necessary, simply create a new <ref> tag using author's name and page number after citing the entire work on first reference:

<ref>Kenneth Gray, et. al., ''Corporate Scandals: The Many Faces of Greed'' (St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2005, ISBN 1557788383), 6.</ref>

On subsequent references:

<ref>Gray, 9.</ref>


Kenneth Gray, et. al., Corporate Scandals: The Many Faces of Greed (St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2005, ISBN 1557788383), 6.
Reference List
  • Gray, Kenneth, et. al. Corporate Scandals: The Many Faces of Greed. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2005. ISBN 1557788383

A note about ISBN numbers

Adding the ISBN number of the book is preferable, using this format:

ISBN 0805070044 (no hyphens)
ISBN 978-0805070040 (hyphen only after 978)

This will automatically generate wiki links to online book sellers (, Barnes and Noble) and make it easier for the reader to locate books and provide referral fees to the New World Encyclopedia.

Editors as authors

John Hershey (ed.), Main Street & Babbitt (New York: Library of America, 1992, ISBN 0940450615).
Reference List
  • Hershey, John (ed.). Main Street & Babbitt. New York: Library of America, 1992. ISBN 0940450615

Editions other than the first

In both footnotes and reference lists:

Corporate Scandals: The Many Faces of Greed, 2nd ed.

Part of a book

John Q. Author, "Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite" in Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, ed. and trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 13-16 (Cambridge, M.A.: Loeb Classical Library, 1914).
Reference List
  • Author, John Q. "Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite." In Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, edited and translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 13-16. Cambridge, M.A.: Loeb Classical Library, 1914.

Multiple dates of publication

In Humanities style, use the following format to indicate multiple dates of publication:

Abraham Heschel, The Prophets (1955; New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2001, ISBN 0060936991).
Reference List
  • Heschel, Abraham. The Prophets. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2001 (original 1955). ISBN 0060936991


Sheila C. Crifasi, "Everything's Coming Up Rosie," Public Relations Tactics 7(9) (2000): 34-37.
Reference List
  • Crifasi, Sheila C. "Everything's Coming Up Rosie." Public Relations Tactics 7(9) (2000): 34-37.

Other periodical (magazine, newspaper, etc.)

John Harris, "Despite Bush Flip-Flops, Kerry Gets Label," The Washington Post (September 23, 2004). Retrieved January 4, 2007.
Reference List

Note: If the work is available online, the hyperlink is included in the title of the article.


Links to the web are sometimes difficult to document. Please make an effort to include all information in a citation:

  • Author's name – if no person is listed, list the publisher's name as author and publisher. See example citations below.
  • Page title – Use the actual title, which is not necessarily the same as what is listed in the title bar of your web browser. Example: the title of this page is "AllPolitics - All About Hope - Aug. 30, 1996," but the headline at the top of the page is "Clinton Proposes Bridge To 21st Century," which is the proper title.
  • Publisher - Note that the publisher is not, but U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. But: Italicize if the work has appeared in a printed publication or web-only periodical: Time, Boston Globe or Slate. But: BBC News, PBS,, Public Relations Society of America.
  • Date of publication - Omit if none listed.
  • Date of retrieval.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations Specialists, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2007.

In wiki code, the above would look like this (with <ref> tags added):

<ref>Bureau of Labor Statistics, [ Public Relations Specialists,] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2007.</ref>
Reference List
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. Public Relations Specialists. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2007.

Note: No named author is given.

In wiki code, the above would look like this:

* [ Public Relations Specialists.] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2007.

Author-Date style

Author-Date style uses an author-date citation in parentheses in running text or at the end of a quotation. These citations correspond to the author, date listed in the references at the end of the article. This style is less desirable for the project than the above humanities (Chicago) style, but is acceptable.

In-text citation

All references, no matter what kind of source (book, journal article, etc.) will look the same in the text of the article:

(Gray 2005) – no page number
(Gray 2005, 26) – page number follows, separated by comma

They are placed inside the period of the sentence they support:

It has been noted by multiple studies that the chances of survival when falling from a height of 30 meters are very slim (Ferron 2006, 21).
No named author

If no named author is given, list the publisher as the author:

(Bureau of Labor Statistics 2006)
If multiple works by one author in one year

Assign a lowercase letter of the alphabet (usually corresponding to titles in alphabetical order) to each work.

(Author 1973a)
(Author 1973b)
If no date is given

When no date is available for a source in the author-date style, it is generally recommended that the notation "n.d." follow the author's name in the citation, as below:

(Author n.d.)

However, for this project, "n.d." can be omitted unless there are multiple works by one author that need to be distinguished from one another. For example:

(Author 1973)
(Author n.d.)

Otherwise, if only one source is cited by a particular author, the following is sufficient:

(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Reference Lists


  • Gray, Kenneth. 2005. Corporate Scandals: The Many Faces of Greed. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House. ISBN 1557788383

Multiple works by one author

Typically in author-date style, multiple works by the same author are listed chronologically, with three emdashes in place of the repeated name:

Author. 1979. My Journey to the North Pole. Anytown, ST: Hometown Books. ISBN XXXXXXXXXX
———. 2003. My Journey to the Antarctic. Metropolis: Conglomerate Publisher. ISBN XXXXXXXXXX

The listing for each work is preceded by a bullet point in reference lists for this project, so the three-emdash style does not lend itself well to our purposes. It is better, in this case, to simply repeat the author's name to make it more readable.

Multiple dates of publication

In the Author-Date style, when a reference contains multiple dates of publication—such as an original date and a current date—it is our style to place the original date in brackets which precede the current date:

  • George, Henry. [1871] 2006. Progress and Poverty. Cosimo Classics. ISBN 1596059516

The reference list would then be arranged according to the original date, so a different reference by Henry George that was dated 1888 would come after the reference above.

No date

If no date of publication is given, date can be omitted unless there are multiple works for one author. In this case, use the "n.d." abbreviation as above.

No author

Organizations can be listed as both the author and the publisher in author-date style.

Multiple authors

  • Ryan, W., and C. Radford. 1987. Whitewares: Production, Testing and Quality Control. Pergamon Press. ISBN 0080349277

Edition other than the first

  • Hamer, Frank, and Janet Hamer. 1991. The Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Techniques, 3rd ed. London: A & C Black Publishers. ISBN 0812231120

Journals and other periodicals

  • Sorensen, Sorena, George E. Harlow, and Douglas Rumble. 2006. The origin of jadeitite-forming subduction-zone fluids: CL-guided SIMS oxygen-isotope and trace-element evidence. American Mineralogist 91: 979-996.

Note that article titles are not placed in quotation marks and that all words are lower-case except the first word in a title, the first word after a colon, a proper noun, or an abbreviation.


In wiki code the above looks like this:

* McNeill, William H. 2006. [ "Secrets of the Cave Paintings."] ''The New York Review of Books''. Retrieved March 20, 2007.

In cases where the author name is not known, omit the name and alphabetize by publisher:

When the date of publication is not given, it can be omitted.

External links

External links is a reference section in some articles that is less formal than a citation. This section points the reader to other websites that contain information relevant to the article.

When preparing an article for submission, a check of external links to evaluate their validity, relevance and reliability is recommended. Websites with questionable credibility or too narrow of a scope should be deleted. Only established, reliable websites should be linked—collections of essays written by students at a middle school, for example, should not be included in this project.

Please include the general page title, the author and the publisher. Use the following format from this sample "external links" section (with wiki code visible):

==External Links==
All links retrieved September 10, 2007.

* [ Secrets of the Cave Paintings] – ''New York Review of Books''
* [ Jadeite] –
* [ What is the Culture of Building?] by Howard Davis, ''Agriculture Week''
* [ Kurt Vonnegut Judges Modern Society] – Interview on NPR (January 23, 2006)
* [] – Official website
* [ “Kyrgyzstan: The Bridal 'Grab and Run'”] by Craig S. Smith, ''[[International Herald Tribune]]''
* [ “Child Abduction: Etan Patz”] by Mark Gado, CourtTV Crime Library
* [ Biography of Samuel Adams] – Colonial Hall
* [ Samuel Adams] – Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

In an article, the above would be displayed like this:

External Links

All links retrieved September 10, 2007.


This page does not list every possible kind of source you may encounter. Therefore, it is highly recommended that authors and editors have a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style at their side when documenting sources for this project to assure accuracy. A renewed effort to be more thorough in documenting sources will ultimately speed up the process of completing articles.