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Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Smith College: Editing Basics

Spring 2020

Editing Strategies

  • Research and contribute to the content of Wikipedia articles
  • Improve citations, link to open-source journals and databases
  • Cite Smith's archival and museum collections as references or external links
  • Add links to finding aids or catalog records for Smith's archival and museum collections.
  • Embed or link to digitized content

Adding a reference to your text

When editing or creating text, you can include citations that will appear as footnotes at the bottom of your text.  Here's how:

  1. Check that the bottom of the page has a References Section. If not, type: ==References==
  2. Check that the references section either has the text {{reflist}}.  If not, type: {{reflist}}. This determines where your references will appear on the page.
  3. Click after the text you would like to create a reference for, and either put the following tags around it:  <ref></ref>, *OR* you can use the "Cite" feature in your toolbar to insert a reference.  The Wiki software will automatically add your inline reference number.

Screenshot Example:

Here's how it will look in your editor:

According to a source I just made up, Florence Sabin was very important<ref>{{cite journal|last=Meiman|first=Meg|title=Florence Sabin is the Bomb|journal=Journal of Women's History|date=2011|volume=4|issue=2|page=24}}</ref>.

Here's how it'll look when you preview or save it:

According to a source I just made up, Florence Sabin was very important[5].


5. ^ Meiman, Meg (2011). "Florence Sabin is the Bomb". Journal of Women's History 4 (2): 24.

Basic Training

Editing Wikipedia: A Guide to Improving Content on the Online Encyclopedia
Excellent starting point to all things Wikipedia.

Wikipedia Tutorial
A self-paced orientation tutorial for students editing Wikipedia as a class assignment takes about an hour to complete. It consists of four main modules:

Help Editing