How to Fix a Cite Error on a wikiHow Article

Four Methods: tags exist, but no tag was foundClosing missing for tagInvalid tag; no text was provided for refs named (x name)Invalid tag; refs with no name must have content

Cite errors look annoying in a wikiHow article. Though they may look annoying, there's good reason why they exist on an article. This article can tell you how to fix one, so they don't become the same distraction to any of your other readers.

Method 1
<ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found

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    Open the article up in Advanced editing mode . Only open it up into Advanced editor mode. Though the Guided editor can create it if theres no other links there already, it has some problems if you continue and the best editor to use would be Advanced editor.
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    Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the document and look for a "Sources and Citations" section. It should be at the very bottom. It could contain other hyperlinks. Create a new Sources and Citations section, if the article doesn't contain one already. Type the section line == Sources and Citations == on the one line.
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    Type the {{reflist}} template on the article, below the section and any of it's other research sources (if any exist). This template is the crucial fixing point for this error.
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    Leave an edit summary of something like "fixed cite error" in the edit summary box and click the Publish button to publish the edit.

Method 2
Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

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    Open up the article to the section containing this cite error in Advanced editing mode.
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    Look for the <ref>URL tag on the article (the one that doesn't contain an ending </ref> template.
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    Add the </ref> template directly after the URL. With this type of citation error, all it will need is it's closing HTML tag.
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    Leave an edit summary of something like "fixed cite error" in the edit summary box and click the Publish button to publish the edit.

Method 3
Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named (x name)

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    Open the article. See if you can spot ref name of the article link.
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    Open the article in Advanced editing mode.
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    Look through the article to try to find the ref tag that matches the ref name that was given to you. Run a Find command to find the exact name.
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    Scroll through (or do a Ctrl+F (find/search)) to see if you can locate another source of this reference. Sometimes, another source of the link will be above in another reference tag.
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    Select the entire reference URL and copy the information to your computer's clipboard.
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    Open up another search for the same reference name. See if you can relocate the reference that doesn't have the link attached to it. Run a search for <ref>
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    Paste the URL that was copied to your computer's clipboard into this slot, along with the closing </ref> HTML tag, if the tag is missing one.
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    Leave an edit summary of something like "fixed cite error" in the edit summary box and click the Publish button to publish the edit.

Method 4
Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no name must have content

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    Find the empty <ref> tag that only contains the opening and closing tag and nothing else in the article that isn't in Edit mode just yet. Look for it to not contain a name attribute.
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    Search the web for the passage or pages hosting this information of text, but not a direct copy of the quote.
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    Look through the remainder of the article's other links to see if any of the other links will be able to give you clues to the same source of information.
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    Open the article in Advanced editor mode and remove both the opening and closing ref tags, if no link in the search engine can be found.
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    Add a working URL link between the <ref> tags that can be added to the article, if you know where this information is able to be cited at.
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    Leave an edit summary of something like "fixed cite error" in the edit summary box and click the Publish button to publish the edit.

Tips

  • You can find a list of articles you can practice on, on the Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting page.
  • If you are still uncertain what you need to do with a certain Cite error, ask an Admin or New Article Booster, and they'll try to explain this process to you.
  • By far, the method that mentions that there is no references HTML tag being present when there are <ref> tags present, is actually the most-commonly needed to fix cite error. However, there are times when the others are also needed.
  • Look through the article to see which types of errors have been triggered. Try to decipher what types of errors you need to fix. There are a bunch of different errors that you must fix for it not to display these error messages.

Warnings

  • Sometimes you'll see the cite error in the Related wikiHows section, while other times it may be inside the article itself.
  • Always open the article up in Advanced editing mode. Guided editor makes the reflist do some crazy things. Guided editor tends to duplicate the {{reflist}} template as a second copy inside it's bulleted list.
  • Always remember to bring down all Interwiki links, which are those links to alternate forms of the wikiHow article in question. They will look something like . Add one line in between them and the references and reflist tag.
  • Keep the magic word for parts or methods at the very bottom of the document. Doing so, could trick the system and set up a massive problem with the text, leading to the readers inability to properly open and read the document with the correct designated subsection heading types.
  • If, after adding a reflist template, the article displays that a link caused the spam filter, don't worry. Some links that are listed inside the article, have recently been added (since the link was added to the article) to the spam blacklist. Look for the name of the link this page as only the link website name, thereby omitting the www and .com's. If you don't know how to read this page, skip these references for someone who does. Users who don't have Admin rights, aren't able to add items to or from this list.

Article Info

Categories: What You Can Do to Help