Tardis:Citation

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Cite often, cite accurately, and format your citations correctly. We always use in-line citations for in-universe articles. For real world pages, you can use either in-line citations or more formalised referencing, which puts a list of citations at the end of the article.

Telling readers where a statement can be verified is important. It helps to focus articles and keeps the details in an article to only that which actually appeared in the various Doctor Who narratives. Don't assume that your readers have the same level of knowledge about the DWU as you do.

In-universe statements

When citing an episode, novel, book, audio drama, webcast, comic or any other story, put in parentheses

  • the proper prefix for the medium
followed by
  • the name of the story
inside italics and linked to the full name of the article, as close to the factoid as possible

Here are some examples:

Good Bad Why
The Doctor's first [[human]] female companion was [[Barbara Wright]]. ([[TV]]: ''[[An Unearthly Child (TV story)|]]'') 
The Doctor's first [[human]] female companion was [[Barbara Wright]]. ([[TV]]: ''[[An Unearthly Child]]'') 
It's always best to link to full page name — in this case, the name ending in (TV story) and then pipe trick the (TV story) bit away.
The [[Fifth Doctor]] played [[cricket]], ([[TV]]: ''[[Black Orchid (TV story)|Black Orchid]]'') but he also occasionally handed out [[jelly babies]] ([[AUDIO]]: ''[[The Roof of the World (audio story)|The Roof of the World]]'') and wore [[glasses]] for which he had no medical need. ([[TV]]: ''[[Time Crash (TV story)|Time Crash]]'')
The [[Fifth Doctor]] played [[cricket]], but he also occasionally handed out  [[jelly babies]] and wore [[glasses]] for which he had no medical need. ([[TV]]: ''[[Black Orchid (TV story)|Black Orchid]]'', ''[[Time Crash (TV story)|Time Crash]]''; [[AUDIO]]: ''[[The Roof of the World (audio story)|The Roof of the World]]'')
In the bad example, readers won't know which thing happened in which story. The good example makes that clear by putting each citation closer to the relevant factoid.

Other information

How to deal with unsourced statements

If you encounter a statement that obviously needs a citation, but you don't have the time or knowledge to correct it, type {{fact}}, which produces: [source needed]

Should you come across a sentence that seems to need more citations, but you don't have the time or the knowledge to correct it, type {{facts}}, which produces: [additional sources needed]

In both cases, this is preferable to deleting the information outright, unless it seems likely that the information is not only unsourced, but erroneous — or comes from a source not considered valid, such as an {{invalid}} work of fiction or a behind-the-scenes interview. If you think unsourced information is probably incorrect, remove it from the page but copypaste it onto the talk page of the article, explaining that it previously appeared in the main namespace but was unsourced and is of dubious veracity.

Weasel words, "etc." and multiple sources

On this wiki, it is difficult to avoid using "weasel words" like "many", "often" and "sometimes". The nature of an internally inconsistent universe like Doctor Who's usually makes concise, absolute statements untrue. For instance, there are many occasions when the Doctor appears have a binary vascular system, but there are a few where he does not.

Weasel words can be made more accurate by remembering to balance them with an appropriate number of citations. In general, if a sentence implies that something occurred multiple times, then there should multiple citations given. For instance, if you write, "The Doctor often thwarted the plans of the Master", then you should give several story names to give a sense that "often" is an accurate term. Some other words which trigger the need for multiple citations are "frequently", "various", and "regularly" — as well as the simple use of numerals ("the Doctor was known to have gone there three times").

Of course, in such cases, it is usually impossible to cite all the stories that could be used as sources for a particular statement: how many stories could back up the claim that "the Doctor's TARDIS was blue"? In such cases, use three or four sources, preferably from different mediums if available, followed by "etc.". It is preferable not to use "et al.", as the phrase refers, strictly speaking, to animate rather than inanimate subjects.

Sources with identical names

Comparatively few valid sources on this Wiki have exactly the same name, and among those namesakes, fewer still have reasons to be cited on the same page. Often, the stories will have the same title but be in different mediums, so they can be distinguished using prefixes. For example, to distinguish information from the TV story The Three Doctors and its novelisation of the same name on an in-universe page like Omega's Champion, you can write:

According to one account, Omega's Champion had yellowish skin, (TV: The Three Doctors) while according to another, he had smooth pitch-black skin that looked like granite. (PROSE: The Three Doctors)

In other cases, unrelated stories from different ranges do share a name, but are unlikely to be cited on the same page. If you're writing about the events of the Torchwood One audio story 9 to 5 on Ianto Jones's page, you don't need to worry about the P.R.O.B.E. audiobook story of the same name, so you can just cite it as "(AUDIO: 9 to 5)" without worrying about disambiguation. In the unlikely case that you need to cite both on the same page, it is acceptable to have both citations appear identical, and require of readers that they click through on each of the links to find out the difference.

In the cases of long-running Doctor Who Magazine series, whose individual installments never had individual titles, and which are therefore disambiguated by giving the issue number (e.g. Dr. Who's Time Tales (DWM 30 comic story)), if numerous installments need to be cited separately on the same page, a method exists to clarify which specific story is meant. It consists of pipe-switching manually not to the undabbed title, but to a version also bearing the issue number used in the dab term.

For example, you can write:

The Fourth Doctor told time tales that concerned living time travellers (COMIC: Dr. Who's Time Tales 30) as well as ones featuring other kinds of alterations to history. (COMIC: Dr. Who's Time Tales 31)