Are there any tools that can automatically generate properly formatted citations (from bare URLs?) Bare links on Wikipedia are supposed to be replaced with properly citations. Are there any tools or software to make this easier?

  • I have read (from other Wikipedia editors) that there is some software that can do this, but I haven't found this software yet. Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 21:50

5 Answers 5


I made such a tool. It's a bookmarklet that generates the references in a single click.

You can find it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ark25/RefScript

It works with the following newspapers: BBC, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, Huffington Post, Huffington Post Canada, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Times of India, Financial Times, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Ars Technica, TG Daily

The problem (for me) is that I have to teach the script how to handle each website. Another problem the newspapers change their formatting of their pages sometimes, and then I have to update the script. If there would be a W3C standard for presenting the four required fields: title, date of publication, names of the authors and name of the publication, then the script would be much shorter, won't require updates and it would work with any publication that implements the standard.

You can support my request for implementing such a standard here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Engagement_%28Product%29/Process_ideas#Make_life_easier_for_the_editors_-_generate_references_in_one_click

Also check this question: https://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/59231/unified-standard-for-publication-date-and-author-name-in-newspaper-articles

  • I have added this script to Wikipedia's list of reference processing tools, which also contains several other scripts. Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 22:47
  • Also, I have refactored one of the functions in RefScript in order to make it more readable: jsfiddle.net/skst25zd Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 22:59
  • The script still needs more refactoring. To improve readability, the other functions in this script should be modified in the same way. Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 19:01
  • please feel free to improve it yourself whenever you please to do so.
    – BearCode
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 4:53
  • Have you tried using mediawiki.org/wiki/Citoid in your script?
    – Nemo
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 13:35

Wikipedia itself has a limited number of citation helpers. On your Preferences page, Gadgets tab, set "Citation expander", which is described here. Then when you are editing a page, there will be a "Cite" toggle which will show a toolbar where you can choose a template, such as "cite web" for a basic url reference. There is also support for automatically filling in info given a DOI or some other IDs.


Here, you can find an online tool that can automatically generate references for Google Books articles: https://reftag.appspot.com/ You can also generate references for DOI and the New York Times.


Reflinks (click the "interactive" tab) is an external took that completes bare references already present in the article. It attempts to automatically fill in fields such as title and publisher by taking them from the webpage. However, the tool is not perfect, and you should inspect each reference and fix any inaccurate or missing fields.


The list of tools to generate properly formatted citations can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_sources#Citation_generation_tools

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