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[] Reference list is emptied when adding a new reference on a wiki that uses template generated references (not <ref> tags)
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  1. Go to (or any other article using template-generated references, which is almost any article on the Hebrew Wikipedia)
  2. Open the visual editor
  3. Observe the references (generated by the הערות שוליים template) are there as you'd expect
  4. Click the "Cite" button


  • References are still shown


  • References disappear from the list of references, but the page looks correct after saving

What it looks like after you click cite, with all the references having disappeared:

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 14.24.32.png (204×2 px, 28 KB)

What it looks like after saving, with everything correct:

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 14.24.16.png (470×2 px, 203 KB)

Event Timeline

The correct fix for this is to convert to not use templates to generate ref tags, but that is blocked on support for allowing localised tag names (T30980).

I'm not sure it's worth trying to come up with another hack in the meantime.

It took exactly ten years to add css class to ref tag for rtl support. :-)

Esanders renamed this task from References in template-generated reference list disappear after a change is made (but the edits save correctly) to [] Reference list is emptied when adding a new reference on a wiki that uses template generated references (not <ref> tags).Aug 7 2018, 3:10 PM

From the parser side, i think I'd prefer supporting template-generated tags properly, rather than making tag parsing locale-specific. Using templates for localization works both for localizing "global templates" as well as localizing tags, so it seems worth making our template system work better rather than invent new parser features. More at

You do aware that reference templates are not used for localization only? Even enwiki has them, as far as I remember.

It worth to fix the issue independently of T30980
Sometimes templates adds references for other reasons - see example in enwiki:

This comment was removed by Esanders.
Deskana lowered the priority of this task from Medium to Low.Oct 17 2018, 4:49 PM

Given the size and difficulty of this task, I'm afraid this isn't something that can be prioritised by the team right now.