Citoid/Enabling Citoid on your wiki

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Citoid is an auto-filled citation generator which automatically creates a citation template from online sources based on a URL or some academic reference identifiers like DOIs, PMIDs, PMCIDs and ISBNs. It is currently available as a VisualEditor feature, but it will be available in the wikitext editor in the future. Citoid uses Zotero translators to convert a page link into detailed information.

VisualEditor - demonstration of auto-cite creation, flat.png
View as animated GIF

Step 1: Enable the citation template tool[edit]

The Citoid service uses VisualEditor's Citation Tool. This is already enabled on most large Wikipedias and many smaller projects. If the citation tool is enabled, then the "Cite" menu will list one or more local citation templates, in addition to "Basic" and "Re-use". If the citation tool is not enabled, then you need to enable it before proceeding. Each citation template will require normal TemplateData to work.

Step 2: Configure Citoid[edit]

The Citoid extension must be configured using special TemplateData maps and a special Citoid-specific message. It is important to do these two steps in order!

Step 2.a: Create a 'citoid' maps value for each Cite template [edit]

The fields ISSN, ISBN, author, editor and some others are special fields which can also be Arrays [] or 2D Arrays [[]] in the citoid map. More details

Since Citoid has its own set of fields for each document type (for instance, the journal name is called 'publicationTitle' in Citoid, but 'journal' in Template:Cite_journal), you need to add special TemplateData for Citoid. This special TemplateData creates a map between Citoid's fields and the template's fields. Calling the map 'citoid' lets the Citoid extension know which map to look for. An unlimited number of maps with unique keys are allowed in the maps object. Note that you can only see TemplateData maps in edit mode; they are not visible in the TemplateData table. Also note that if you recently created TemplateData for your wiki by copying it from another wiki, it probably already includes the Citoid maps, so you can just skip this step after verifying.

The most up-to-date maps objects that are compatible with the Citoid extension are on the beta version of Wikipedia:


Step 2.b: Configuring a special MediaWiki message[edit]

You'll need to configure a special MediaWiki: namespace message, MediaWiki:Citoid-template-type-map.json. This message maps the native Citoid types (website, book, journalArticle) to the appropriate template (Cite web, Cite book, Cite journal).  

You should match a local citation template to every single Citoid type. If no template is matched, then Citoid will not work. It's better to have a bad match than none at all. For example, your wiki may not have a special template for citing the liner notes in the packaging for a DVD, so consider using a template designed for a book or a video in that case. You may consider using a generic template, such as en.wiki's Template:Citation, as a catch-all for types if there is no good match for the type of source you are mapping.

A sample namespace message is found here: Citoid/MediaWiki:Citoid-template-type-map.json.

Troubleshooting [edit]

Citoid has disappeared from my wiki[edit]

Please report any outage on Phabricator, and see that task for a temporary workaround.

The new cite button does not appear in the toolbar [edit]

Citoid's toolbar button

When you create the MediaWiki message in step 2.b, the previous cite drop-down menu (File:VisualEditor_-_Cite_Pulldown.png) should be replaced by a new button for the citoid service in the toolbar menu. If the new button does not appear in the toolbar, then there may be a problem with MediaWiki:Citoid-template-type-map.json.If this page does not exist locally, or if the JSON on that page is invalid, then citoid will not work. Alternatively, you may need to refresh your JavaScript cache.

Empty references appear [edit]

Empty references most commonly appear when you are trying to insert a citation template that has no maps data. This problem also appears if the template has maps data, but that data is not reaching the MediaWiki API. If the maps object is present in TemplateData block in the template's documentation, then try making a "null edit" on the template. If that doesn't work, then there may be an issue with the map itself.

My favorite site isn't recognized by Citoid and only gets basic information [edit]

The Citoid service relies on the brilliant Zotero community for much of the "magic", as Zotero translators need to be written for each site. You can see a list of all Zotero translators at https://github.com/zotero/translators. Right now, Zotero best supports English-language sources. We need your help to improve coverage of other sites. You can write your own Zotero translator. Start by looking at an existing translator of a similar website, and by reading the general development framework instructions at https://www.zotero.org/support/dev/translators/framework.

Access date is formatted differently on my wiki[edit]

The dates are in ISO format, which is an international standard. On the back-end, we're sticking to ISO and in the future all dates will all be in ISO, not just access date. This is because it is an unambiguous way to present the date in any language. If the community doesn't like the way this looks to the user, it is possible to edit the citation template to format the ISO dates to something that is standard in your language. For instance, you can add logic to the template such that if the date is detected to be in ISO yyyy/mm/dd format, the date is reformatted *to appear* to be dd/mm/yyyy on the page. However, if you do this, the underlying data (i.e. when you edit the wikitext, or the form in VisualEditor) will still remain the same.

Many language wiki templates (pl, it, en) don't accept xx-XX style language codes[edit]

See T115326 for the related task. See the thread at T97256 to learn how different wikis decided to workaround this limitation.

See also [edit]