Challenge of the week: Correct simple, common errors with reference tags [closed]

+16 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

Will you join our "Data Doctors" Challenge of the week?

This is an easy one to participate in, once you know how reference tags work. A footnote needs to start with <ref> and end with </ref>. For the footnotes to display properly beneath the == Sources == headline there needs to be a <references /> tag down there.

Using these tags is naturally confusing for Newts. It's very frustrating for new members when a tag is missing or misplaced and they can't figure out why footnotes aren't appearing.

Once again, Aleš has come up with something incredibly helpful. He's prepared a report of profiles from around the tree where a reference tag appears to be misplaced. Click here for the list.

Can you help fix them?

The member with the most points at 11:59pm EDT on Sunday night will get the Winner badge this week and the bragging rights. But we'll all benefit from a neater, cleaner shared tree.

If you're participating, please post here to let us know. It's nice to cheer each other on. Or post if you have any questions about how to participate.

Thanks for helping!

Real-time tracking results: See your stats 
alongside other participants here.

Top 10

For more results see:

closed with the note: Challenge finished
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
closed by Eowyn Walker
Robin, here is the help page on how to set  the status once you clear an error:

And to check your progress, click on the real time tracker link above just under the picture of the people.  It will tell you how many you have cleared based on setting the status.
Hi, I work on the Australian Data Report.  I've just completed all the OPEN Australian  profiles that have  missing<references />, Data Suggestion 863: Missing <references /> tag

however there are many more missing from profiles that are not OPEN.

is there any way we can do anything about these profiles apart from leaving a message on the profile or contacting the profile manager?

I'll start on Australian 861 & 862 next
Diane, that is all we can do.  If you wish to, it is best to leave a short note on the profile itself so others coming along will know the PM has already been notified.  Thanks!

We need to examine the reference tags carefully for the real problem. Don't expect the computer diagnosis to always be definitive. (Sorry, Aleš.) Under the diagnosis "861 Inline citation doesn't start with <ref>", I have noticed several profiles that were supposedly cleaned up yesterday. However, what yesterday's contributor did was simply add the <ref> tag at the beginning of the citation. In reality, what had happened was that the original contributor had added a brief explanation, then began the Reference with </ref>, cited the source, and ended properly with </ref>. Yesterday's contributor simply needed to remove the misplaced slash, but instead created a further mess. Please examine rather than simply "paste." The goal is for greater accuracy, not the most "contributions."

Toward that goal, I suggest that we need to eliminate how we compare to others in this task. Rather we could see how many we as individuals have fixed, but not a list comparing us to others. It's not a competition.

--- Beverly

I went to the first profile on my suggestions page (my mom's - Sternbergh-1) and added the <ref/> closing tag at the end of the bio statement like this:

<ref> First-hand information as remembered by [[Erdoes-1 | Jaki Erdoes]], Thursday, September 25, 2014. <ref/>

When I go to save it, I get a warning message that the bio "has unmatched reference tags."

What did I do wrong?  I am not a "newt" to wikitree, but I have little patience (or time) for these kinds of details.  I thought I was following the format exactly.  What gives?
No problem, Jaki. It only needs a slight adjustment. To end the reference tag, the slash goes in front of the tag, like this </ref>, not <ref/>.
Beverly, I honestly think  a lot of the mistakes we are seeing are not a matter of high speed, but people who do not know what they are looking for when correcting tags. Unfortunately, the only way for them to learn from their mistakes, is for diligent PMs sending messages to those who edit and kindly pointing out the mistakes.
Probably two-thirds of the errors I encountered for 861 and 862 seem to be people that do not understand the syntax.The rest seem to be typos or inadvertent mistakes.
Why do unlocked profiles not have an Edit tab?
Be sure you're on the private profile; not the public one.

24 Answers

+9 votes
I'm game -- ready to rectify the reference tags.
by Edie Kohutek G2G6 Mach 8 (82.9k points)
Thank you for using chat. :D
The chat was useful and fun.  I hope more people start using it.  I'm still working on Error 863 in the 1700-1799 time slot..
+6 votes
I'm in - working on New York.
by Susan McNamee G2G6 Mach 5 (50.8k points)
Hello Susan.  Go Roses! :-)
+7 votes
Working on error 862 starting with 1500-1699 years
by Darren Kellett G2G6 Pilot (165k points)
Thanks for stopping by the spreadsheet/ chat.

Finishing this one now. If someone wants to continue then start at 



+6 votes
Starting on any Australia with 862 and then follow up on anything
by Roger Davey G2G6 Mach 2 (29.2k points)
+6 votes
I am in for Team Tennessee.
by Anonymous Barnett G2G6 Pilot (465k points)
+7 votes
I'll have a go, starting with Australian 861s.
by Kathleen Cobcroft G2G6 Mach 7 (72.3k points)
edited by Kathleen Cobcroft
+7 votes
I'll give it a go... my first challenge.
by Peter Cebull G2G3 (3.9k points)
+6 votes
I should be able to do some this week.
by Cindi Clark G2G6 Mach 1 (19.1k points)
+5 votes
I'm in starting with pre-1500 863s
by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (804k points)
Awesome. That is tough for many of us to get access to. Should I mark it on the sheet? what color? ;)
Steven, I plan to wipe out all 966 of these babies this week so I won't have time to chat.  Sorry.  I'm under some serious stress and concentrated error cleaning helps me a lot.  Cheap therapy :-)
+6 votes
I'll try to do a few but the holiday weekend will keep me away quite a bit!
by Joyce Rivette G2G6 Pilot (117k points)
+6 votes
Working on SA Roots Project

Will try and clear all the <ref > errors
by Ronel Olivier G2G6 Mach 7 (77.5k points)
+4 votes
Came across this one while doing 631 errors

Can someone have a look at

The PM is no longer with us and some of the code and layout is ????

I had a look on Family Search but there is more than one Nathan born in Russia/Romania 1877 and ended up in the US

Thanks Roger
by Roger Davey G2G6 Mach 2 (29.2k points)

That looks like he was listing the places he needed to research and then left it. It needs someone who knows New York Sources and then someone who can build the biographyfrom the sources.  

Cheers Darren - unless someone comes up with something definite I will follow on with the multiple options from Family Search and add them under a Research Note
+5 votes
Virginia - 1800's
by Elizabeth Coltrane G2G6 Mach 2 (20.2k points)
+4 votes

I'll have a go at Adding <references /> tag in the 1700-1799 era.

by Steven Nimocks G2G4 (4.2k points)
Steven, this is the area that I am working.  Check the first answer and my pink color block.  I will start on the M's so that I don't keep opening yours.  I took a little time off for Thanksgiving.
+4 votes
Will work on a few as time allows.
by Kim Williams G2G6 Mach 3 (39.8k points)
+4 votes
I am in this week
by Joe Patterson G2G6 Mach 1 (12.0k points)
+2 votes
Personally, I have four main sub-divisions in my profiles:
== Biography ==
== Citations ==
<references />
==Acknowledgments ==
== Sources ==

I like the above arrangement a lot.

When I was new to Wikitree, I didn't understand what the <references /> under Sources was all about -- it was a long time before I understood what was going on.

The above format is similar to that of a book and I think -- and hope -- more readily understood than putting <references /> and acknowledgments under Sources.

by Patricia Hickin G2G6 Mach 8 (87.3k points)
I'm a little confused. A citation is a combination of usage in the main text (biography) and a source where this info is found. This is done by using references. So if we already have references, why do you need citations which are designed to be in the biography and sources?






makes perfect sense to me. What does NOT make sense is I used ==Notes== below references and then was told that was wrong, it should be ==Research Notes==. Then when I started using those I was told they belong above ==Sources==.

Personally, I like some type of note all the way near the bottom not cluttering anything up that might remind me or signal someone else that the 1880 census source contains info on this person's wife and 3 kids that have no profile. Sticking it above sources just seems weird.
Steven, you write, "A citation is a combination of usage in the main text (biography) and a source where this info is found. This is done by using references. So if we already have references"

Well, I don't put a "<references />" under "== Sources =="; just under "== Citations ==".

So I'm guessing you try to keep the citations which are sources above the category for sources? And then there are the random screwball ones that actually put reference tags IN the sources.

I put straight sources above the <references/> tag and let the citations appear below the references BECAUSE OF the tag.
+3 votes
Hi!  will work on error 861 in the 1500-1699 category
by Bonnie Saunders G2G6 Mach 1 (14.2k points)
+3 votes
I'm doing some German <ref/> tags
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (803k points)
+3 votes
Count me in too. Today is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, so the whole family is coming, and I'm cooking a feast. But, I'll be in helping over the weekend.

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