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  • CzechOut
    CzechOut closed this thread
    17:11, May 19, 2013

    I'm copying over a bit of conversation that started on Thread:130977 but was really getting that thread off track.

    The issue at hand is the use of reference tags for in-universe citations.

    "I started doing [refs] in-line the way other in-universe articles do, but when you include a citation in the middle of a paragraph it gets very difficult to read. And when you have multiple citations in each paragraph and occasionally even citations in the middle of sentences, it gets really confusing really fast.

    And yeah, you can just stick all the citations at the end of the paragraph but it gets hard to tell which citation is for what, which makes fact checking something you think is off very hard.

    Also, citations inline made it so that the emphasis of italicising a word within a sentence was completely lost, because there the sentence was surrounded by italics on all sides. There's an example in coffee I think.

    I considered doing a mix of in-line and ref tags and only using in-line for cases in the middle of paras and the like but just went ahead and did the whole page that way. Is this a problem? Because I've noticed that I often rewrite things to place in-line tags at the end of paragraphs, often splitting up information and phrasing sentences in ways I otherwise wouldn't."

    You can see articles tea, wine and coffee for examples.

      Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Here are two examples of paras written both ways.

      From coffee: in-line format

      Coffee was often served with milk and sugar. The Ninth Doctor took his coffee with milk but no sugar. (TV: Rose) Coffee was often served with breakfast. (TV: The Sea Devils) Amy Pond once drank coffee for breakfast. (PROSE: The Coming of the Terraphiles)

      From coffee: ref format

      Coffee was often served with milk and sugar. The Ninth Doctor took his coffee with milk but no sugar.[1] Coffee was often served with breakfast.[2]Amy Pond once drank coffee for breakfast.[3]

      From tea, in-line format: this paragraph can be done two ways. One with specific in-line references (clearer refs but harder to read):

      Tea was prominent in British culture and often drank for comfort. (TV: The Christmas Invasion, The Time Warrior, The Invasion) Rose Tyler considered tea "the solution to everything" and said that her mum would not go to bed until she had a cup of tea, with two sugars. (TV: The Christmas Invasion, Rise of the Cybermen) According to Mickey Smith, drinking tea while the world was coming to an end was "very British".(TV: The Christmas Invasion)

      and one with references dumped at the end of the paragraph (easier to read but murkier refs):

      Tea was prominent in British culture and often drank for comfort. Rose Tyler considered tea "the solution to everything" and said that her mum would not go to bed until she had a cup of tea, with two sugars. According to Mickey Smith, drinking tea while the world was coming to an end was "very British".(TV: The Christmas Invasion, The Time Warrior, The Invasion, Rise of the Cybermen)

      From tea, reference format:

      Tea was prominent in British culture and often drank for comfort.[4][5][6]Rose Tyler considered tea "the solution to everything"[4] and said that her mum would not go to bed until she had a cup of tea, with two sugars.[7] According to Mickey Smith, drinking tea while the world was coming to an end was "very British".[4]


        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • No. Having the citations within the sentence/in the body of the article means the reader can know and follow the source immediately from that point without having to go through the article to find the source.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • What if we do both?

      Here's a section from my coffee article:

      Coffee was often served with milk and sugar. The Ninth Doctor took his coffee with milk but no sugar.[1] Coffee was often served with breakfast.[2]Amy Pond once drank coffee for breakfast.[3]

      What if we both have the references in-line, and at the end of the paragraph:

      Coffee was often served with milk and sugar. The Ninth Doctor took his coffee with milk but no sugar.[1] Coffee was often served with breakfast.[2]Amy Pond once drank coffee for breakfast.[3] (TV: Rose, 'The Sea Devils; PROSE: The Coming of the Terraphiles)

      I don't think that ref tags are too hard for readers to handle, but this way gives us the best of both. The references are in-line there at the end of the paragraph, but the way they would be. But, the references are also in the middle, where they belong. This means that we don't have to break up article text by having references in the middle of paragraphs or sentences. And we can keep with our current format of organising multiple references by media and not by the order they appeared in. (we do TV: title, title2; PROSE, title3 even if within the paragraph they references are title1, title3, title3)

      So we have the precision that references should have while having the easy availibility of in-line citations. And remember, being able to precisely reference things isn't just a benefit to editors trying to fact check something but to readers trying to find something. This bugged me a lot as a reader because I'd see something in an article that I didn't remember or didn't know and click through to the reference and find that it wasn't what I was looking for. So I'd go back to the article and try to figure out what in-line citation was the one I was looking for. This both makes the references super-easy for the user to see and grab, though, I do think that ref tags aren't too hard for users to handle.

      While I've slowly gotten used to the TARDIS in-line citations, it's still a bit weird to me. And it was very strange when I first came here. I don't know if I'd seen citations done like that before, at least on the scale we're using here. And while I like that we bother to use citations, the format has always bothered me. If I'm reading an article about a part of Doctor Who I know nothing about, these citations are not really helpful. And I've spent a fair amount of time going and looking up things that were not the things I wanted to look up, because of the way citations are done.

      And yes, we want readers to click through to other articles, but we don't want to mislead them. And I've been misled a lot because of the way that citations are done here. I want things to be easy for our editors and readers but not at the expense of accuracy and readability. And I think that the in-line citation method often affects at least one of these, if not both.

      And, as this proposal shows, this doesn't have to be all one or the other.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • This proposal has already come before the Panopticon in the past. It was voted down. If we were just starting our wiki, I might well be compelled to agree. But it's effectively too late now.

      Closing as simply not practicable, because it would requite tedious hand-editing of every single in-universe page to enforce.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
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