We decided many years ago to prefer in-line citation over a more formalised footnote style. In most cases — particularly with in-universe articles — we cite a statement by giving a prefix followed by the name of a story or publication. This page identifies what prefixes to use.

As a rule of thumb, stories are identified by a prefix related to the medium of the story, like TV, COMIC or AUDIO.

Non-narrative source prefixes are more about type, like DOC and ICOM.

Prefixes are used to preface a story name, given as the source for a statement of fact in an article. In the example,

The Tenth Doctor once ate a part of a chocolate Easter egg. (TV: Planet of the Dead)

the prefix is TV.

Note that prefixes are a different and, in some ways, simpler system than dab terms (the parentheticals you find in page titles). Most prefixes cover several dab terms.

In-universe sources

Prefixes that are used on this site for the citation of stories are:

Prefix When used Covers dab terms
TV stories originally broadcast on television (or in cinemas) "(TV story)", "(theatrical film)"
PROSE short stories, novels, novellas, and novelisations "(novel)", "(short story)"
AUDIO stories original to the aural media. Useful to distinguish between different versions of what only appears to be the same thing. For instance, AUDIO: The Stones of Blood is not just an audiobook of Doctor Who and the Stones of Blood, but a wholly different telling of it. "(audio story)"
COMIC stories told via sequential art, regardless of length "(comic story)"
HOMEVID all stories told via direct-to-video releases "(home video)"
GAME narratives contained within games that are valid sources, such as The Adventure Games "(game)", "(video game)"
WC video narratives released over the Internet "(webcast)"

Invalid sources

Although invalid fiction can belong to various media, we find it easiest to use one catch-all prefix when citing invalid sources.

This helps make sure that no invalid sources are accidentally used by editors when writing an in-universe page in the main namespace: as their name implies, invalid sources can only be used as citations for in-universe pages that also bear the {{invalid}} tag, or, alternatively, in the "Behind the scenes" section of a normal in-universe page.

Consequently, while some dab terms like "(stage play)" and "(feature)" will always be linked to the NOTVALID prefix, it is possible to see a comic story or even a TV story cited with NOTVALID.

Prefix When used Covers dab terms
NOTVALID Use when citing an officially released story that is not considered a valid source. "(feature)", "(stage play)"

Out-of-universe sources

Confined mostly to reference sources, the following prefixes may be used in any "real world" article, or in the "behind the scenes" section of an in-universe article. While the in-universe prefixes are strictly by medium, the out-of-universe ones emphasise type of material.

Prefix When used Covers dab terms
REF reference books seen as valid under T:OOU SRC "(reference book)"
DOC Any sort of documentary, regardless of medium. Doctor Who Confidential and Torchwood Declassified episodes, DVD documentaries, Big Finish extras, Myth Makers' releases — they're all DOC "(documentary)", "(DWE episode)", "(CON episode)"


Commentaries are especially tricky, thanks in large measure to the Tenth Doctor's era, where some episodes have multiple commentaries. It's important to use the correct prefix, because, for example, PCOM: Doomsday is a wholly different thing to ICOM: Doomsday.

There is n associated dab term for commentary prefixes, because we do not give audio commentaries their own page; instead, we cover them in the "Behind the scenes" sections of the stories themselves.

Prefix When used
DCOM Short for "DVD commentary", this is for the vast majority of audio commentaries found on DVD/Blu-ray.
PCOM Short for "podcast commentary", this is for commentaries that were part of the official BBC podcasts during the RTD era
ICOM Short for "in-vision commentary".