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This page is considered a guideline on WoWWiki.

It illustrates standards of conduct, which many editors agree with in principle. However, it is not policy.

The citation of sources provides a way to ensure that the information contained in this wiki is correct, and defuses the common criticism that information in a wiki is unreliable. Providing citations is especially helpful where different sources describe two conflicting versions of lore.

What is canon?

WoWWiki isn't in the position to determine what is canon lore in the Warcraft universe, but we can give some guidelines. If the source is from in-game, the lore is most likely canon — with the newer the game, the more likely the lore is canon. Although you may use the RPG in citations be aware that Blizzard has officially stated that it is not canon,[1] so other sources would be better.

Some other good canon sources are, of course, blog entries from Blizzard employees at official sites, blue posts, game manuals, and interviews with known lore makers like Chris Metzen.

Citation templates


The {{cite}} template is deprecated. It should no longer be used. Please use the Ref format below instead.

Ref and related

{{Ref}}, {{Ref web}} and the other <ref> related templates found in Category:Citation templates should be the template of choice when dealing with citations, especially for more experienced WoWWikians. Said templates are used within the <ref></ref> tags to create a standard look for citing sources. One must also remember to add <references/> or {{Reflist}} (which adds the list in a smaller font, and allows for multiple columns) to the end of the article under a References section (== References ==) to display the references. Instead of a References section, some people prefer to use a Notes section (== Notes ==) or a Sources section (== Sources ==), but the result is the same. Please use tier 2 (==) sections. Be sure to keep the references section, regardless of name, separate from other trivia and note sections.

Often, many facts on a page will come from the same source. To avoid clutter, use <ref name="refname"></ref> the first time and <ref name="refname"/> for subsequent links. This causes all cites to link to the same reference. The former template must be used if the latter is present, for if the latter template does not match up with a main one, the link will not work and the page will be added to Category:Pages with citation errors. The actual ref name is unimportant as long as it remains consistent, but should be related to what is being cited to avoid confusion.

Ref also allows for footnotes, annotations and reasoning. Anything (within reason) can be put between the <ref></ref> tags, not just the below templates (though they are preferred). Ref is also used to link talk page discussions to articles. An external link to an internal page is tacky. Due to the small size the link to the reference creates, multiple cites can be placed in the same sentence. When mixing in references, be sure to make clear what information came from where (through the use of clean placement, quotation marks, parentheses, or separate sentences for each cite). Lengthy reasoning should be in the article itself, as citation notes should remain source-related at all times.

To keep references separate from footnotes, you can assign "groups" to refs. Add <ref group="groupname"></ref> and call it in the Notes section with <references group="groupname" />. For more complete documentation, see here and here.

In the absence of a references section, do not add a little '1' in superscript (<sup>[[Link|1]]</sup>), add the section. Please do not add any notes in superscript in place of ref.

Below is a general overview of when to use each template. For further documentation, see the templates' respective talk pages.

Offsite citations

Citations to other websites can easily be added by enclosing the hyperlink in single square brackets; however, it is preferable that such citations use the ref tags with the respective template {{ref web}}. Hyperlinks can also just be linked within <ref></ref> without single square brackets (showing the entire link), but this method is not as tasteful as the template.

Requests for citations

If an individual fact is quoted in an article which might be under dispute or can not be verified, the {{Fact}} template (or {{fact-compact}} or {{fc}} for tight spaces) can be added where a citation would go. An explanation of why a source is needed should also be placed on the article's discussion page. Articles with this template will appear in Category:Statements needing citations. Note that {{fact}} should not be used within reference tags.

If an entire article or section of an article is of unclear source, add the {{Source needed}} template at the top for an article or {{Source needed-section}} template just below the section header. Articles with this template will appear in Category:Articles needing citations. If an article has citations that may be wrong, {{Accuracy}} (or {{Accuracy-section}} for sections) can also be added to similar effect. Articles with this template will appear in Category:Accuracy disputed.

Please note that {{fact}} is not the same as asking "Where did this come from?" and should not be added to a name on a list of internal links. The answer to that is likely on the link's respective page. The exception to this is if the justification for it being on the list is controversial.

Simpler citations

While the above templates are preferred, newer users may have trouble with template usage. Not to discourage citation additions, a degree of tolerance will be given and lesser methods may be used. To add a simpler citation, add <ref></ref> with a quest, NPC, or the like within with an optional quote. A slightly more advanced method is to do the above, but link the subject with , {{mob}}, {{NPC}} ({{Npc}} also works), or {{quest}}. Citations like these should at some point be cleaned to one of the templates.

Images as citation

While a picture is worth a thousand words, images should not be used as citation. An image can be linked using <ref></ref>, but the image will be marked as unused, as there is currently no {{templateimage}} equivalent for images being used as citation. Sometimes this can be solved by also putting the image on an article, though this can cause problems if the image is later removed. It is better to just use one of the above templates and describe the content of the picture. The picture can also be put on a talk page for use as proof.

Citing speculation

While seemingly an oxymoron, speculation can be more or less cited. Cited speculation is still speculation, and saying something is speculation does not make it exempt from citation. If it has strong evidence, but no "citation" in that it is never explicitly said, cite the evidence using one of the above templates. Baseless rumors are not needed. Citation can be more than a page number. Be careful not to let false info multiply.

Manual sources section

While Ref is better, if a large section from one source (or a repeated section from a few similar sources) is paraphrased into one article (Aqir, Velinde Starsong, etc.), it is easier to manually list the sources in the References section than to make several cluttered and repeating ref links. Note that citing every paragraph with <ref></ref> is acceptable and not to be discouraged, but annoyingly repetitive. Note that if a small factoid is added to the article not found in one of the major sources, this increases the need for each paragraph to be cited.

When to cite

In a perfect world on Wikipedia the answer is always, but because WoWWiki is primarily about World of Warcraft (and is not Wikipedia), not everything needs to be cited. A description of things, services, and details that can be found by just looking at a subzone does not need to be cited, unless a detail is debatable or obscure. Obscure in this context means 'rarely mentioned' not 'hard to find by looking'. A guide for finding or obtaining something can be included, but actual citation is not needed. Most information on the wiki is original research anyway. This does not mean that these things are impossible to cite, just that is not necessary. Most other things on the wiki need citation!


  • The Howling Fjord in Northrend has snow. (No citation needed, though a screenshot should be added.)
  • The town of Southshore in Hillsbrad Foothills has a mailbox. (No citation needed, though {{Coords}} can be added.)
  • The Moon of Azeroth is made of Cheese. (Citation is needed, as this can not be proven by looking at it.) NOTE: this is a completely hypothetical statement.


Saying "In [quest name], something happens" and "something happens<ref>[quest name]</ref>" are essentially the same thing. If you specifically want to say when something happened the former is better, but the latter is 'cleaner'. It really depends on specific case-by-case intent.

The little superscript [1] created through the use of <ref> should be placed outside a set of parentheses if the citation is for the entire contents of the set. If the citation is for only a part of the contents, the cite should be placed inside the set of parentheses after what is being cited.



Just by source name (not recommended)

Many [[cleric]]s were killed during the [[First War]].<ref>''Warcraft II manual'', 44</ref>

Many clerics were killed during the First War.[2]
Simple page link and page # of source on WoWWiki

Many [[cleric]]s were killed during the [[First War]].<ref>''[[Warcraft II manual]]'', 44</ref>

Many clerics were killed during the First War.[3]
With author

Garona's full name is [[Garona Halforcen]].<ref>{{ref book |author=Grubb, Jeff | authorlink=Jeff Grubb | title=[[The Last Guardian]] | pages=256}}</ref>

Garona's full name is Garona Halforcen.[4]

Offsite citations

The lazy way (not recommended)

According to [[Caydiem]], [[Garona]] is half [[draenei]].[]

According to Caydiem, Garona is half draenei.[1]

According to [[Caydiem]], [[Garona]] is half [[draenei]].<ref></ref>

According to Caydiem, Garona is half draenei.[5]

If you're going to use the lazy way, please, please, please give the title of the article, so it can be searched for later if the URL goes bad.

Slightly less lazy

According to [[Caydiem]], [[Garona]] is half [[draenei]].[ Racial Class choices...]

According to Caydiem, Garona is half draenei.Racial Class choices...

According to [[Caydiem]], [[Garona]] is half [[draenei]].<ref>[ Racial Class choices...]</ref>

According to Caydiem, Garona is half draenei.[6]
The latter

According to [[Caydiem]], [[Garona]] is half [[draenei]].<ref>{{ref web |title = Racial Class choices... |accessdate = 2007-07-19 |author = Falariel |coauthors = Caydiem |url = |date = 2005-09-25 |archiveurl = |archivedate = 2005-09-25}}</ref>

According to Caydiem, Garona is half draenei.[7]

NOTE: If you're going to give a blue post link or a link to the old official sites, it is actually better to use the link from an archive web site (like,,, or rather than the official forums sites, especially if it is an old link to or Since the forum merger, all the old official site links are mostly broken.


  1. ^ Slorkuz 2011-06-23. Ask CDev 2 - Answers. “Q: Are the Warcraft and World of Warcraft RPG books considered canon?

    A: No. The RPG books were created to provide an engaging table-top role-playing experience, which sometimes required diverging from the established video game canon. Blizzard helped generate a great deal of the content within the RPG books, so there will be times when ideas from the RPG will make their way into the game and official lore, but you are much better off considering the RPG books non-canonical unless otherwise stated.
  2. ^ Warcraft II manual, 44
  3. ^ Warcraft II manual, 44
  4. ^ Grubb, Jeff. The Last Guardian, 256. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Racial Class choices...
  7. ^ Falariel; Caydiem 2005-09-25. Racial Class choices.... Archived from the original on 2005-09-25. Retrieved on 2007-07-19.