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The shortened footnote template {{sfn}} creates a short author-date citation in a footnote.

This template allows you to link inline citation using Harvard citations (a form of short citations using parenthetical references) to their corresponding full bibliographic citations.

How to use[edit source]

In the body of the article:

{{{{{1}}} | last name(s) of author(s) | year | p=page number or pp=page range or loc=other location }}

If more than four authors, truncate the list to the first four.

In the references section (or in an earlier footnote):

{{cite book or cite journal, etc | ref=harv | ... other appropriate parameters ... }}

Parameters[edit source]

Up to four authors can be given as parameters. (If there are more than 4 authors only the first 4 should be listed.) The last required parameter is the year of publication.

(All these examples have links which operate. Click on highlighted text.)

Markup Renders as
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|Jones|2005| p=25}}}
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|Jones|2005| p=25}}
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|Jones|Brown|2005| p=25}}}
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|Jones|Brown|2005| p=25}}
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|Jones|Brown|Black|2005| p=25}}}
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|Jones|Brown|Black|2005| p=25}}

The optional parameters |p=, |pp= and |loc= can be used to indicate the location in the source. All of the Harvard citation templates use the same parameters to indicate page numbers or other locations in the text.

Markup Renders as
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|2005|loc=chpt. 3}}
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|2005|loc=chpt. 3}}
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|2005|loc=section 7}}
{{{{{1}}}|Smith|2005|loc=section 7}}

The optional parameter |ref= is used to specify the reference value that links the short citation to the full citation. If you specify |ref=none no hyperlink is created. Note that, if one does not want the link, it is always possible to simply not use the template. (Not available in {{sfn}} and similar templates.)

Aliases[edit source]

The parameters |page= |pages= and |Ref= exist as aliases for |p= |pp= and |ref= respectively.

Reference section[edit source]

The links in the Harvard citation templates can find anchors in Citation Style 1 and similar templates. To make the anchor, parameter |ref=harv must be set.

Markup Renders as
* {{cite web
 | title = Smith & Jones website
 | ...
 | ref = harv }}
* {{cite news
 | title = Article by Smith, Jones and Brown
 | ...
 | ref = harv }}
* {{cite journal
 | title= Smith, Jones, Brown and Black's Paper
 | ...
 | ref = harv }}
  • Smith, John; Jones, Sam (2005). "Smith & Jones website".CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Smith, John; Jones, Sam; Brown, Tom (2005). "Article by Smith, Jones and Brown". Big Urban Newspaper.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Smith; Jones; Brown; Black (2005). "Smith, Jones, Brown and Black's Paper". Important Journal.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

Author-date citation templates[edit source]

There are several templates used to create in-text citations; they differ in the use and placement of parenthesis, in the separator before the page or location and in whether a terminal full stop (period) is present:

In-text templates
Templates Aliases Example
{{sfn}} Article text.[1]
  1. ^ Smith 2006, p. 25.

Full citations can be created manually or by templates:

  • Citation Style 1 templates

All of these templates have the same parameters and basic functionality. This page describes all of them. Editors editing one of these templates are requested to make parallel changes to the other versions.

Variations[edit source]

Additional comments or quotes: |ps=[edit source]

Paramater |ps= can be used to add quotes or additional comments. The postscript is only effective the first time {{sfn}} is used for a particular author, year and location.

Markup Renders as
Some information.{{sfn|Smith|2011|p=2|ps=: "A quote verifying the information."}}
Some information.[1]
  1. ^ Smith 2011, p. 2: "A quote verifying the information."

No closing period: |ps=none[edit source]

Using |ps=none in {{sfn}} removes the final period. Compare the two examples. Suppressing the default period (full stop) ensures consistency with Citation style 2 which does not use a trailing period (full stop) in notes. The postscript is only effective the first time {{sfn}} is used for a particular author, year and location. |ps= will also suppress terminal punctuation. Follow-on editors who encounter 'empty' parameters can't know if a previous editor intended to leave that parameter blank. Using the keyword none is a positive indication of the previous editor's intent.

Markup Renders as
Article text.{{sfn|Smith|2011|ps=none}}
Article text.[1]
Article text.{{sfn|Smith|2011}}
Article text.[1]

Adding a URL for the page or location[edit source]

If a specific link to the page or section is available, a URL can be added to the location or page number.

Implementation notes[edit source]

These templates use two elements: a wikilink in the body of the article, and an anchor in the reference section of the article. Clicking on the wikilink repositions the page at the anchor.

Citation template anchor[edit source]

The most common citation template is Citation Style 1. If |ref=harv is set, then Module:Citation/CS1 and {{Citation/core}} create an anchor <a name="CITEREF"> followed by the concatenation of the following parameters:

  • last or last1 or surname or surname1 or author or author1 or authors,
  • last2 or surname2 or author2,
  • last3 or surname3 or author3,
  • last4 or surname4 or author4,
  • editor-last or editor-surname or editor1-last or editor1-surname or editor or editors,
  • editor2-last or editor2-surname,
  • editor3-last or editor3-surname,
  • editor4-last or editor4-surname,
  • year.

This covers the most common templates.

Please note that the above list does not include the coauthor parameter, which is ignored in generating the citation's CITEREF anchor. It is recommended that, when used with the harv family templates, citation templates always use the numbered last parameters instead of coauthor so that a more accurate CITEREF anchor may be generated. If coauthor is used, it will not be possible to generate a Harvard citation that displays the authors' names correctly and that generates a link to the correct CITEREF anchor.

Use of the date parameter in place of the year parameter in citation templates is preferred when full dates are known. For {{citation/core}}-based CS1 templates only: the date parameter should not be used to simply encode a year, as this can fail to generate a viable #CITEREF link.

Using CITEREF directly[edit source]

A few articles create a custom ID using CITEREF, either in place of the Harvard citation template (e.g. [[#CITEREFSmith2006|(2006)]]) or as a value for |ref= in the citation template. A custom ID must follow these rules:

  • Names are case-sensitive
  • Names may not be purely numeric
  • Names must be unique—you cannot use the same name to define different groups or footnotes
  • Quotes are optional if the only characters used are letters A–Z, a–z, digits 0–9, and the symbols !$%&()*,-.:;<@[]^_`{|}~
  • Inclusion of any other characters, including spaces, requires that the name be enclosed in quotes (")
  • The quote marks must be the standard straight keyboard marks ("); curly or other quotes will be parsed as part of the reference name.
  • Quote-enclosed names may not include a less-than sign (<) or a double straight quote symbol (")
  • If CITEREF is used, then spaces in the |ref= field must be replaced with underscores
  • Please consider keeping names simple and restricted to the standard English alphabet and numerals.
  • (You may optionally provide names even when the name is not required.)


  • {{sfn|cite name|year}}
  • {{cite book|ref=CITEREFcite_nameyear}}

Where cite_name is a name such as the publisher.

{{sfn}}'s ref name[edit source]

Template {{sfn}} creates a named footnote, so that identical footnotes are combined automatically. The footnote name begins with FOOTNOTE followed by a concatenation of the arguments to {{sfn}}. E.g.: this template call {{sfn|Smith|2006|p=26}} should have exactly the same functionality as <ref name="FOOTNOTESmith200626">[[#CITEREFSmith2006|Smith (2006)]], p. 26</ref>

Notes[edit source]