Do we or don't we need quotation marks in a named ref?

+6 votes

I recently heard that if a named reference isn't included in quotation marks then it will generate a db_error.

  1. Is this true?
  2. named references seem to work with or without quotation marks, so if it is true, why is there such an error?
I've got project volunteers using both approaches and I need to know how to advise them. 
in WikiTree Tech by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (757k points)

Jillaine, I think if there are spaces in the ref name then quote marks are needed. If there are no spaces then the quote marks are optional. For example, "Find A Grave" would need quote marks but FindAGrave would not. That has been my experience.

That's been my experience as well.
If quotes are used, make sure they are not the curly 'smart' quotes from Word documents, or you will get DBE 871 Use of angled double quotes in name of citation.

3 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer

Technically, quotation marks are not needed as long as you don't use spaces or special characters like " ' ` = < or >.

Practically, using quotes increases readability. Using them consistently can head off the accidental error that will occur if you use those special characters.

by Tim Varney G2G4 (4.1k points)
selected ago by William Foster
+5 votes

I've used them without for awhile now with no errors generated

the only named inline citation error is when the original named citation is missing. In other words someone put <ref name=citation /> without having <ref name=citation>this is the example original citation</ref> somewhere in the text

by Azure Robinson G2G6 Pilot (168k points)

Also, DBE 869 Duplicated named inline citations when the same ref name is defined multiple times.  

Profile is defining the inline citation by "<ref name="SomeName">"..."</ref>" multiple times instead of using  "<ref name="SomeName" />" on the subsequent usages.

+4 votes
I've used them without for a while - my typical <ref name=xxxx> is short, usually no more than 5 characters..

by Roy Lamberton G2G6 Mach 4 (40k points)

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