|This page describes one of Xenopedia's policies and guidelines.|
All users are expected to follow policy, except where it would damage the wiki.
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Referencing or citing is the act of tagging information on Xenopedia with a note that reveals the source of that information. With such a wide-ranging and diverse franchise to draw from, as well as wealth of behind the scenes information on the development of its media, referencing is a very important process on this wiki. It helps to confirm information is accurate and also informs readers of where a certain fact has originated.
Unsupported material can potentially be removed, and unsubstantiated articles may end up getting deleted; so when something is added to an article, it's highly advisable to cite a reference to say where the information came from. It can also be a good idea to update or improve existing references. Referencing may look daunting, but it's easy enough to do.
When to Reference
Generally speaking, it is not especially necessary to cite information taken from the feature films of the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchises, unless it is something particularly obscure that would not be obvious to a casual viewer. This does not mean the films should never be referenced — if you think it would be appropriate to clarify that a certain piece of information comes from a particular movie, add a reference. A common time to cite the films is when dealing with the death of a character — if an individual is shown to die, add a reference to the film that shows it next to "deceased" in the infobox on their page.
Referencing becomes more important (even vital) when moving away from the films. Casual fans may be totally unaware of the expanded universe games, books, comics and toys and the information they contain, yet some of this information is considered key to the series. As such, any details taken from expanded universe sources should be properly cited, especially if it is not also seen in the films. However, it is important to remember some facts from the expended universe contradict what is considered canon. While such information should still be provided and properly referenced, its contradictory nature should be made clear.
Another common use of referencing is when dealing with behind the scenes information. Making-of documentaries that chart the creation of the franchise's media often contain a wealth of details that would be appropriate for Xenopedia, and it is important that this information is accurately referenced. Likewise, there are many websites dedicated to exploring the development of the franchise and the production of its films, and any information gleaned from internet articles should be referenced.
However, extra care should be taken when citing the internet as not all sources are reliable. Fan forums, for example, are rarely a good place to find reliable information. If there is any doubt over whether a source is accurate or appropriate, it would be best to discuss it with an Administrator or other Xenopedia users.
How to Reference
Xenopedia has several reference templates that will properly format references and provide the required information. A list of them can be found on the templates page. Instructions on how to use each template can be found on the template page itself.
When adding references to a page for the first time, you must also add a "References" section at the bottom of the page that will display any references used in the article. In this section, simply type <references/> and any references you have entered will be arranged and displayed automatically.
If you have any trouble with referencing at all, please contact an Administrator; they would much rather help you with the referencing process than have information go uncited!