Challenge of the week: Correct simple errors in reference tags [closed]

+12 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, i.e.:

  1. A footnote needs to start with <ref> and end with </ref>.
  2. There needs to be a <references /> tag directly below the == Sources == headline for the footnotes to display.

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

closed with the note: Challenge is finished
asked in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
closed by Eowyn Langholf
Challenge is opened.
Hello, I'll do a few, Marjorie  spreadsheet link 

All updated and ready to go. Below is a link on the G2G post explaining how to do Data Doctor Challenges with screenshots. 

Challenge Tracker

Aleš fixed it. Thanks.

Wow!  This community is awesome! Thanks to those who have participated and contributed their time for this weeks Data Doctor Weekly Challenge.  


Paula Ann

Can someone look at this profile?  I've tried to fix the PRDH reference that is too short with an actual PRDH citation.  I put it in and named it, then used the name for the other two locations that needed it.

I've followed the format Ales gave me EXACTLY even with caps, spaces, and quotes.  It continues to say there are unmatched ref tags when I save it no matter what I do.  Where am I going wrong?  I didn't touch the other inline references at all and they look as expected.
I'd like to help.  What do you mean by PRDH?  Please and thank you.

PRDH is a resource that we use for Quebecois profiles.  I know the resource very well and know how to make a regular inline citation.  Where I'm having trouble is the named citation and repeated references.  Something is going wrong with my syntax.

Programme de Recherche en Démographie Historique= PRDH   

Cindy, I tried taking the space out from between the = and the "PRDH", and that seems to have saved without that error message. It all still looks the same I think! That may be the issue, i looked at one I'd done on one of mine, and I didn't have a space there. could be that simple. smiley

Thank you!  I tried it all ways and never got past that message.  Another set of eyes is much appreciated.  I'll try it without the space from now on.

It was nice of you to take time to figure that out.

A pleasure Cindy, I love the collaboration here, I've been helped many times, so nice to be able to help out in return. yes

24 Answers

+8 votes
I’ll work on some of these this week
answered by Emily Holmberg G2G6 Mach 2 (22.2k points)
+8 votes
Click here for the list isn't working.
answered by Stephanie Ward G2G6 Mach 3 (39.8k points)
Like Stephanie says, the link to the report isn't working.

Click here for the list

or use the wikitree profile link at the bottom OR the spreadsheet. They are all the same.

+6 votes

The error 869 Duplicated named Inline citations has been giving me some heartburn. I am in the habit of deliberately duplicating inline citations. That is, I'll create a footnote with a name -- something like <ref name=deathrecord1846> with the full footnote text. And when I use that named footnote later in the same profile, instead of inserting the abbreviated footnote tag <ref name=deathrecord1846/>, I will insert the entire named footnote again. This way, (1) the footnote callouts get consolidated (what the ref name function is intended to do) and (2) if another member decides to replace the first instance of a footnote with a different citation, or if I copy a chunk of the profile to the profile of another family member, the citation information doesn't get lost.

I appreciate that the "Duplicated named inline citation" error is supposed to alert people to check to make sure that the same name hasn't been used for two different footnotes. Unfortunately, however, I've been seeing other members delete valid footnotes in order to make this error go away. I don't think it's good idea for data doctors to work unless and until they are very familiar with the intricacies of "ref" tags.

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (876k points)
edited by Ellen Smith
Ellen, You should decide if it is the same named citation or not.

If it is the same, it should be defined only once. Imagine someone in the future correcting text of second citation and after save there would be no change in citation.

If it is not referring to the same source, it shouldn't be named the same.

This definitely isn't the intended usage of named inline citations and you should rethink on how to use them.
Ellen, with great respect for the intelligence, wisdom, and generosity you so often show here, I have to agree with Aleš.  I believe a general principle of data management is that any piece of information has only one primary instance, and all other instances of it are secondary - as references to the primary or backups of it.  It has to be done that way to avoid the problems Aleš mentioned, that any change to one instance creates a conflict as to which is correct, especially in a multi-user environment.

The only other case I can think of is when data or databases have to be widely replicated, and are of equal importance.  Then, every piece of data has to have a timestamp or version, so that reconciliation can occur when change and conflict happens.  I doubt you will want to add versioning to every ref.

Personally, for me, this adds one more reason why I believe that in a multi-user wiki world, separating sources from biography text makes more sense, putting them in a separate 'catalog' with only embedded references in the text.  Embedded citations come from the traditional single-author document world, one author control.  For me, they are too error prone for our wiki world, of many authors of varying experience and opinions.  Certainly, wiki change notifications are helpful for quality control, but a simpler model would make quality control measures less necessary.
Ellen, I agree with you this error can be difficult to spot and to correct, especially if you did not create the original bio.

I have started working on my own list for this error first, just to get the feel of it. Not sure I will attempt any others on the 869's
+4 votes
I'll do some this week
answered by Pat Credit G2G6 Mach 5 (54.7k points)
+5 votes
I'll do some this week, also.
answered by Jim Angelo G2G6 Mach 1 (19k points)
+5 votes
I'm in for a few this week.
answered by Cory Fulmer G2G6 (6.4k points)
+5 votes

Hi everyone, thanks to those who contribute their time and effort in helping the health of our WikiTree.  

answered by Paula Reinke G2G6 Mach 3 (33.9k points)
+3 votes
I'll do a few this week, as I can.
answered by Robin Shaules G2G6 Pilot (100k points)
+5 votes
Will do some this week.
answered by Jennifer Robins G2G6 (8.4k points)
+5 votes
I'll be doing some, working on Australian profiles.
answered by Margaret Haining G2G6 (9.8k points)
+4 votes
I'll help with some.
answered by Michelle Spalding G2G3 (3.1k points)
+4 votes
Count me in.
answered by
+4 votes
will get some done
answered by Roger Davey G2G6 Mach 1 (15.8k points)
+3 votes
I'll do some.
answered by Traci Thiessen G2G6 Mach 3 (31.2k points)
+4 votes
How do I know which items still need to be corrected. I have looked at several already which have been corrected and am now disheartened and giving up!
answered by David Anderson G2G1 (1.4k points)
That was the original idea behind the spreadsheet so that people could track what they are working on. But since it is constantly being mentioned you don't have to use it, many don't bother. Sadly, a solution only works if people use it. That being said, another option is to start from the bottom and work up. This may have you working in an area that hasn't been done yet.
You can also select the 'Error lists by State/Country' at the top and select the state(s), countries, etc that you want to work on to see errors identified for that area.  You will see ALL the errors, not just the Biography 861-870 errors, but you can scroll down and select one of those areas and work on those.    There are large amounts to still be done
+4 votes
I'll work on some in my suggestions list, Acadie and Quebec regions too.
answered by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Mach 3 (31.9k points)
+4 votes
I'll work on a few.
answered by Beverly Benfer G2G6 (8.3k points)
+4 votes
I am going to try a few
answered by Louise Halpin G2G6 Mach 2 (21.7k points)
+4 votes
I'll have a go at some.
answered by Kathleen Cobcroft G2G6 Mach 3 (37k points)
+3 votes
I can do a few of these over the next few days.
answered by Peggy Watkins G2G3 (3.3k points)
I am trying to find some that still need correcting. Looks like a lot has been done. Any suggestions on where to go next to find the ones that still need work?

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