asterisks in Sources, use of [closed]

+4 votes
181 views

I was informed, advised, that the suggested style of having each citation adorned with an * was to improve the overall appearance of Wikitree Profiles -- to provide a 'more professional' appearance ...  I WOULD like a firm statement on whether I should continue to apply the asterisks 

 "Texas Births and Christenings, 1840-1981", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VR3M-K3Z : 13 December 2019), Samuel Tate Lacy in entry for Maggie Gaynelle Lacy, 1892.

Then along came someone and removed the asterisk. Which is why I'm asking. SHOULD I continue to put asterisks on citations?

"Texas Births and Christenings, 1840-1981", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VR3M-K3Z : 13 December 2019), Samuel Tate Lacy in entry for Maggie Gaynelle Lacy, 1892.

WikiTree profile: Maggie Ray
closed with the note: Sufficient to answer that * is preferred style, does enhance appearance, and use of is encouraged by WT
in WikiTree Help by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (432k points)
closed by Susan Smith
Since WikiTree adds an asterisk, to the first source added, while creating a new profile, I would take that as the preferred  format. I always use them and would replace if someone removed them.
This is not an authoritative answer, but my understanding is that the asterisk is intended to be used in conjunction with sources you want to cite that do not have in-line citations in the Bio section using the <ref > and </ ref > tags.  If you use the in-line citations, the sources you cite with the tags will appear in the Sources section with a number corresponding to the order in which they appear.  If you then want to include additional sources that aren't referenced to any specific thing in the Bio, you can add those in the Sources section, preceded by an asterisk.  They will then appear after the numbered sources, but preceded by a bullet.  It appears you're not using in-line citations, and I don't recall ever seeing any policy that either encourages or prohibits use of asterisks with the citations as you have them.  As far as I can tell, it seems unnecessary, but wouldn't cause any harm.
I use both asterisk and colon.  Using asterisks creates and indent and double and tripling them makes a nice, easy to read, look.

I started using them because I tend to create the profile in a text file on my computer and then copy it over.  Inevitably, wikitree will not recognize the new line from the text but will if I put one in front of it.  It got too frustrating having to go back and push enter for every new line.

4 Answers

+8 votes
 
Best answer

See the Sources Style Guide (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Sources_Style_Guide).  Under the "Formatting Example" heading is "an example of a properly-formatted sources section".  The properly-formatted example includes an asterisk prior to the citation.

by Bill Feidt G2G6 Mach 2 (23.5k points)
selected by Steve Harris
Bill, our comments crossed in the mail!  I think the example you point to is the same case I am describing above -- the "See also:"  lead-in is used when the source to be cited doesn't refer back to anything specific in the Bio.

What Bill said. Two other helpful links: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Sources (quoting: "The asterisk (*) creates a bibliography-style bulleted list item.") and https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Biographies (which provides a link to "a perfectly-formatted text section": https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Example-2&action=edit#text). The asterisks--to format items as bulleted, indented paragraphs--are used throughout.

Inline <ref></ref> citations automatically create their own formatted paragraphs as numbered footnotes, but I always use the bulleted formatting for citations added manually under the <references /> area.

Selecting as BA since the answer and subsequent comments all align with the WikiTree Help pages on standard usage.
+1 vote
Good question.  As a somewhat more than casual user of Wikitree, the  asterisk means nothing to me.
by Joseph Fox G2G5 (5.2k points)
I am supposing that the explanation for its use is that it helps present a more professional appearance -- bling it might be, but the bullet style (result of the asterisk use) IS eye-catching
+5 votes
maybe you could get an answer as to why, from the person who removed it. They are active and have a lot of contributions, so I'd have thought they would have a specific reason.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (235k points)
Oh, I have communicated my confusion and concern, asking him "Why?" did he do that ...

I myself figured to add it to / employ it in sources since it IS eye-catching
+5 votes
Using an asterisk before each source and deleting the line of space between each source allows for clear separation of the sources in a more condensed (preferable) format than using lines of space between them.

Asterisks in general are good for creating an unnumbered list. And a list of sources is a type of list.
by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (205k points)
I prefer a line of separation between them and the asterisk. If I just see a wall of text I can't see the wood for the trees.

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