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Cite: Suppress backlink for a huge number of named references
Open, MediumPublicFeature


Lists often use the same source a multitude of times. Named references allow reuse of a single reference and there are templates that allow insertion of page numbers. When a reference is used more than a handful of times, then the backlinks become ugly, unwieldy and useless.


you may have to log out to get this one to load; it was fixed by updating MediaWiki:Cite references link many format backlink labels to handle 1065 backlinks

Such a reference can be added as a single general reference, but this does not allow the insertion of page numbers per cite. There are templates that simulate the cite.php reference system without backlinks, but these use HTML ids; the resulting duplication of ids invalidates the HTML.

I propose adding an optional parameter to the cite.php system that disables the backlink, leaving the inline link to jump to the cite. We can then lower the number of backlinks to a reasonable number after community discussion and change the error message to direct use of backlink suppression.

Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement



Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Medium.Nov 21 2014, 11:09 PM
bzimport added a project: Cite.
bzimport set Reference to bz23455.
bzimport added a subscriber: Unknown Object (MLST).

wolfram.schmied wrote:

*** Bug 63501 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

wolfram.schmied wrote:

(In reply to Gadget850 from comment #1)


wolfram.schmied wrote:

Increased priority to normal, as opposed to 31910, this solves a real problem.

Aklapper changed the subtype of this task from "Task" to "Feature Request".Feb 4 2022, 12:24 PM
Aklapper removed a subscriber: wikibugs-l-list.

One solution to this could be:

  1. Putting the backlinks next to the page number; while
  2. Aggregating references to the same work on different pages under the same citation.


  • Melton, J. Gordon (2003) [1978]. Encyclopedia of American Religions (7th ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. ISBN 978-0-7876-6384-1. p. 123^, pp. 423–428^¹², pp. 528–531^¹²³

(Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to superscript letters instead of numbers here.)

This would:

  1. Substantially reduce the number of citations, when the same work is cited many times in the same list or article, in reference to multiple of its pages;
  2. Allow editors to spread out the backlinks in the citations by citing specific pages (and further incentivising them to do so); and
  3. Put the backlinks at the end of the citations, thus removing the clutter from the beginning, where it misaligns the citations.