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About this template

Template:Citation/core can be thought of as an engine producing consistent output for Wikipedia's citations. Templates such as {{Citation}} provide this core template with a list of parameters, which it uses to produce a formatted text (HTML) output, which contains embedded COinS metadata. This metadata allows many readers to find cited references more easily, or to extract their details to a reference manager.

The presence of a central template makes individual citation templates simpler to code and amend, and produces a consistent look throughout the encyclopaedia.

Templates using this 'engine'

Changes to this central template can affect the output of several 'upstream' templates. A list of templates directly using citation/core is provided below for testing purposes. There are hundreds of templates that use these templates as meta-templates.

Parameter details

Note that the examples below are common uses of each parameter, intended to help editors understand the functioning of this template. In the most part, there is nothing wrong with passing different data to any of the parameters below if it produces the output that is desired. The exception is in parameters which are associated with a COinS field— these parameters are indicated by ⊗.

Supporting CSS

Rules are defined in MediaWiki:Common.css to control the appearance of citations.

The raw URL is rendered at the end of the citation, but is hidden except when printed. <source lang="css"> /* For linked citation numbers and document IDs, where

  the number need not be shown on a screen or a handheld,
  but should be included in the printed version */

@media screen, handheld {

   .citation *.printonly {
       display: none;



  1. HTML class Attribute.