referencing a book

+5 votes
How can you put a reference to a book on Google without it going all the way across the profile...Stinson-736
asked in WikiTree Tech by Donna Thompson G2G4 (5k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

3 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
I came across that problem, too. here's that I did:


[http:// google book link here Book title and author]

You put the brackets around everything and after the url, put in the info you want. Make sure you close the bracket. :) Make sure the address is all together and that there is a space after it before you type in what you want to put.
answered by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (195k points)
selected by Marian Sharp
+9 votes

To work effectively with Google Books URLs, it's helpful to know that:

  • Most of the URL is unnecessary. The only part that's needed to identify a specific book is the beginning of the string that looks like and all we need to identify a specific page in the book is that string plus the next bit that identifies the page: 
  • As Chris described, we can generate a pretty-looking hyperlinked version of a citation by using brackets to enclose the URL and the text that we want to display. 

The code ''[ History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Townships]'' will create a hyperlinked and italicized version of the book title and [ page 1333] will create a hyperlinked reference to page 1333.

And <ref>''History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Townships''. Chas. C. Chapman & Company, 1881. [ page 1333]</ref> creates a hyperlinked footnote citing page 1333.

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (891k points)
I never knew this. Thanks, Ellen.
Its also far more useful to include the full title and author instead of just a disguised link.

1) because the link to google books may not be stable

2) Google books doesn't always let those of us outside the US see the text. The reason  given is that copyright extends for longer; though sometimes it happens when the  book is much older than that. Quite often though it is possible to see the same book on or Hathi

eg  for the book in Ellens post, I just get a picture of a book, its title and

Aucun livre numérique disponible

I can see it on both the other 2 sites.

Thanks for pointing that out, Helen. In my experience, Google's links to a public-domain Google Book are stable (unlike links on certain other websites).

In this instance, I wonder if the problem is that Google wants you to use the Google domain for the country where you are currently located (this drove me crazy was I was in France). I see that book at and I also see the book at What do you see at those URLs?

+8 votes

There is a tool to automate the process that Ellen so clearly described, Wikipedia citation tool for Google Books.  Get the URL from the Google Books page you are on by clicking on the link symbol near the top of the page, then Copy it.  Paste this URL into the Google Books URL on the citation tool page and select Load.  It should then populate the Title, Author, Publisher, etc. fields.  Correct any of these that are wrong or not included if necessary.  Select the "plain wikicode" radio button and then the 'Make citation' button.  This will create a fully formed reference that you can copy & paste into Wikitree.

One thing I don't like is that it puts the link to the specific page as a hyperlink from the title rather than the page number as Ellen described.  I usually change this.

answered by Kerry Larson G2G6 Mach 7 (79.1k points)

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