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Automatic import and formatting of literature references from selected database sources
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Proposed in Community-Wishlist-Survey-2016. Received 41 support votes, and ranked #32 out of 265 proposals. View full proposal with discussion and votes here.


Literature references have to be formatted manually, even if they are accessible through unique identifiers (e.g. PubMed ID, DOI). This is time-consuming, leads to errors and a diversity of styles that is sometimes not helpful.

Who would benefit

Editors (and readers)

Proposed solution

Add support in such a way that the contributor simply has to supply the literature identifier for the article to be cited (e.g. the PubMed ID or DOI) and the software (not only VE but also the source editor) autocompletes and formats properly the literature reference.
Example: typing the PMID number "27765289" should insert a reference like this:
<ref>Masukume G, Kipersztok L, Das D, Shafee TM, Laurent MR, Heilman JM: Medical journals and Wikipedia: a global health matter. Lancet Glob Health. 2016 Nov;4(11):e791. DOI:10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30254-6. PMID: 27765289. </ref>

Technical details

Time, expertise and skills required

  • e.g. 2-3 weeks, advanced contributor, javascript, css, etc

Suitable for

  • e.g. Hackathon, GSOC, Outreachy, etc.



Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald Transcript

This was discussed on the thread, but this feature is already available in VE across languages where the community has installed it, and also in Wikitext in en wiki, with support coming to wikitext across languages once Surface comes to the wikitext editor.

See: T130400

Maybe we just need to publicise it better?

This task was proposed in the Community-Wishlist-Survey-2016 and in its current state needs owner. Wikimedia is participating in Google Summer of Code 2017 and Outreachy Round 14. To the subscribers -- would this task or a portion of it be a good fit for either of these programs? If so, would you be willing to help mentor this project? Remember, each outreach project requires a minimum of one primary mentor, and co-mentor.

@Mvolz this should be closed right?

It worked in VE before this was proposed, and on reftoolbar in en wiki again pre-dating this (T114156), and it works in the 2017 wikitext editor now. But I suspect that users on non-English wikis that use the old wikitext editor would still be unsatisfied. But yes, realistically this is either resolved or declined.