[Portal] The Wikipedia Library/Citoid

This page is for collaborative testing, to make sure that Wikipedia Library resources function well in VisualEditor

Citoid is a citation tool integrated in VisualEditor's visual and wikitext modes. The newest version supports URLs, DOIs, ISBNs and PMC/PMIDs, and can search by title or full citation for books and journal articles in the Crossref and WorldCat databases. It will attempt to generate a full, template-supported citation after an editor pastes either of these identifiers into the VisualEditor citation tool. The Editing Team would like feedback on this iteration of Citoid, especially from experienced editors familiar with Wikipedia's citation standards.

A different citation-filling service, called Wikipedia:RefToolbar, is available in the mw:2010 wikitext editor. In that light-blue toolbar, bring up the template wizard by clicking on the Cite dropdown and the Templates dropdown. Choose a template, then paste the URL into the URL field and click on the magnifying glass ("Autofill").

Optional: You can also install citoid to use directly from the 2010 wikitext editor. To do so, add the User:Salix alba/Citoid.js script to your Special:MyPage/skin.js page, and "Citoid" will be added to the "Tools" section of the sidebar. Just add:

importScript('User:Salix alba/Citoid.js'); // Linkback: [[User:Salix alba/Citoid.js]]


Paste in the URL, and click on "Lookup".
Look at the results, and click on "Insert".


  1. Find a journal article you would like to use from your resource
  2. Copy the URL of the description page, or the DOI listed for the article
  3. In your Sandbox, open VisualEditor (you will need to enable VE in your "Beta" preferences)
  4. Place the cursor where the footnote number should appear
  5. Click on the citation icon on the top toolbar (it looks like a bookmark), and paste in the URL or DOI for the source when prompted
  6. Click "Lookup"
  7. Click "Insert", then select the "Save page" button at the far right of the toolbar
  8. Look at the results, and share any feedback below (diffs and screenshots are appreciated!)

We are looking at Wikipedia Library resources because they are often used, but please feel free to try out any other resources you can think of. The more bugs we catch now the better the system will be. You can report them below.

Other language testing


  • Well, the first (Jewish Culture and History) and the perhaps the last (repertoriumpomponianum) of my tests worked somewhat, the rest not so much. I am currently not logged in at any library, just reusing some of the DOIs or links stored in my reference management software. --HHill (talk) 19:27, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Thanks for this, HHill. I heard last week that if you include a colon (":") before the doi, that it fails completely (although some of our templates don't mind?), but I don't think that would have affected any of the ones you tested. Would you mind testing #3 and #4 again for me, after signing in? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:28, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Republic of China website

I tried citing http://law.moj.gov.tw/Eng/LawClass/LawHistory.aspx?PCode=B0000001. I noticed one clear error, and one result that is annoying enough to prevent me from using the tool (or the Visual Editor). The website parameter was specified in the wikitext, and was rendered as law.moj.gov.tw. But {{Cite web}} documentation states the website parameter is "[The] title of website; may be wikilinked. Displays in italics. Aliases: work". In this case, the only available title is the overall title of the website; there is no separate title for the web page about the civil code. Unfortunately the Citation Style 1 family of templates is deficient in that it does not allow a description of a part of a work when the publisher didn't assign a title to that part. So there is no correct way to cite this page. This page appears in the "Leap Year" article, and I am in the process of making the citations in that article consistent. I suppose I will just have to format the citation for this website by hand, without a template. If I see many other citations in the article that can't be properly formatted by templates, I may have to rip out all the citation templates and format all the citations in the article by hand.

An annoying flaw of the tool is it insists on using the format YYYY-MM-DD for the retrieval date rather than letting the editor set the format that is appropriate for the article. Jc3s5h (talk) 19:34, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

You can change the format manually. However, it does not check the article to find out what you want, and there are some concerns about it trying to guess whether 1-2-2015 is in January or February, so it might be better to leave that change to human intervention.
I wonder if the now-deleted {{cite database}} would have addressed the deficiency you identify. What do you think about using plain {{Citation}} instead? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:18, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
One problem I have with citoid is I cannot find a statement of the goals of the project. If the goal is to only support writing new articles that only use citoid, it might have a chance of being mostly successful. But if the goal is to edit existing articles, it should detect the citation style choices that have already been made for that article and act accordingly. I know that's hard, but that's what it takes to succeed.
I prefer Citation over Cite xxx because I think that when only endnotes are being used, without a bibliography, the Citation style is closer to what other publications use than Cite xxx. Also, it would have the benefit of citoid having to decide if cite book, cite journal, cite web, etc. is most appropriate. But there are some situations that Citation doesn't work right and cite xxx will work. Jc3s5h (talk) 17:54, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I think that it is fair to say that the initial goals are to prevent linkrot and encourage the addition of citations in any form at all, rather than inexperienced people giving up because they can't figure out how to format it. I can suggest auto detection of the pre-existing format (if any), but I doubt that it will be accepted (too much complexity and too much site-specificity for too little gain). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:02, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

National library of Norway

I tried to cite a book from the National library of Norway using citoid (http://www.nb.no/nbsok/nb/e6e4804e7451c95fb2e2a16b9e392e8a?index=2#0) didn't work, didn't even produce anything. I would be more than happy to help them with our APIs (I work there). Profoss (talk) 23:08, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

The National Library of Norway is a true treasure. Let me check with User:Mvolz (WMF) about how that one ought to be handled. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:24, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF), User:Mvolz (WMF). I've had a meeting with the developers regarding citoid not working optimally for nb.no. Apparently there are some problem with cookies and they had run into the same problems with facebook servers and this was resolved by making a dummy redirect for certain IPs. They believe the same can be done with the citoid servers. Profoss (talk) 18:20, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll make sure that the team sees this. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:38, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Profoss, can you arrange for someone with technical knowledge to send an e-mail message to User:Mobrovac-WMF? I think that it might be good to get the tech people talking directly to each other. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:50, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Oxford Art Online

Attempted to cite http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T077016pg11 and got the message "We couldn't make a citation for you."- PKM (talk) 03:30, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

I imagine this is because Citoid can't look behind the paywall. However, you could use Zotero to save the citation and export it to Wikipedia yourself czar 10:26, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Using a DOI

I've just been looking at the output from Citoid with a doi.


{{Cite journal|title = Curvature formulas for implicit curves and surfaces|url = http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0167839605000737|journal = linkinghub.elsevier.com|access-date = 2015-04-21}}

Using {{cite doi|10.1016/j.cagd.2005.06.005}}:

{{Cite journal | doi = 10.1016/j.cagd.2005.06.005 | title = Curvature formulas for implicit curves and surfaces | journal = Computer Aided Geometric Design | volume = 22 | issue = 7 | pages = 632 | year = 2005 | last1 = Goldman | first1 = R. }}

We can see it misses a lot of details, author name, volume, issue, pages. It got the journal wrong as well. While the link does take you to the right place its not actually the doi link. In its current state it would be better to use a {{cite doi}} template.--Salix alba (talk): 06:16, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

This has also been posted at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback#Citoid with DOI.27s (thanks!). Has anyone here had success with an Elsevier doi? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:14, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
I just ran Citoid on this DOI [1] and it is returning the volume, pages, etc. (Might have choked on the title, though.) Were you looking for a different outcome, @Salix alba? czar 10:25, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Pipes in article's name

[...] Here's the bug I found: pipes in article's names or url links seem to break the generated template: [2] --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:06, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi there, Piotrus. [...] The same reference is handled much more graciously at the beta cluster: "MoMA | The Collection | Zbigniew Makowski (Polish, born 1930)". MoMA.org. Retrieved 2015-05-12., so I think this issue has been solved and the fix just has to land on Wikipedia (I'll let you know if this isn't the case). Best. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Unable to distinguish journal articles from other dois

I tried using citoid for doi:10.1145/509907.510017 (a paper in a conference proceedings). The result was a {{cite journal}} template. This is incorrect — the citoid software is making up false metadata for its citations. I know that it is possible to find out what type of publication the doi represents because when I use the command line curl -LH "Accept: application/x-bibtex" http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/509907.510017 I get back a bibtex entry using "@inproceedings" rather than "@article". But if the citoid software can't get this right it would be better for it to use {{citation}} (which is valid for all kinds of citations) than {{cite journal}} (which is only valid for scientific journal articles, a subset of all dois). —David Eppstein (talk) 19:29, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

@Jdforrester (WMF):, maybe this kind of sub-coding can be incorporated for DOIs? Cheers, Jake Ocaasi (WMF) (talk) 19:35, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Citoid js script results in "Status:errorError:"

I installed the citoid.js script in my vector.js and opened my sandbox to edit. I typed a sentence and then clicked on the Citoid link in my left-hand toolbar. I pasted a URL into the box and clicked Generate Citation. In the upper right corner of the Citoid pop-up window, an error message bubble appeared, saying "Status:errorError:". I'm guessing that's not how it's supposed to work. – Jonesey95 (talk) 03:59, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Pinging Salix alba in case there is a quick fix to the script. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:00, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Citoid generates an incorrect ISSN value for Time magazine

How to reproduce: Open Citoid in Visual Editor and paste in the following URL:


Click Generate. You will see a citation template rendered with an incorrect ISSN for Time magazine. The ISSN identifier Citoid provides, 0040-718X, is invalid (the real value is 0040-781X, and you can see the red error message in Citoid's rendering of the template), but I see editors enter it on Wikipedia regularly. Where does Citoid get this invalid ISSN? – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:05, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

It looks like this problem is not a Citoid bug. The same erroneous ISSN is listed in Zotero when I use the Zotero Firefox plug-in with that Time URL. Does anyone here have a way to report bugs to Zotero? – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:25, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I reported this bug in the Zotero forums today, and they say that they have just fixed it. Citoid needs to be updated in order to get the fix, apparently. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:44, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Pinging User:Mvolz :) --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 06:26, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Track this issue at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T126005 czar 10:18, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

BioMed Central URL failure

Input URL https://substanceabusepolicy.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13011-016-0072-3 results in https://citoid.wikimedia.org/api?format=mediawiki&search=https://substanceabusepolicy.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13011-016-0072-3, URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13011-016-0072-3. Same paper hosted on Springer Link (https://citoid.wikimedia.org/api?format=mediawiki&search=http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13011-016-0072-3) however results in http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13011-016-0072-3 as URL. Technically both are wrong, as PMCs don't require an URL due to cite journal magic. Aethyta (talk) 11:40, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

The Guardian

First, thank you for this tool, it has transformed my Wikipedia editing. Now, writing refs isn't the most time consuming aspect of writing articles, so I am much more productive in adding content. This makes me very happy.

Issues I have when citing The Guardian:

  1. 'website=the Guardian' without the capitalisation of 'website=The Guardian'
  2. 'cite web' where I expect 'cite newspaper'

-Lopifalko (talk) 09:43, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Can you share a few links where this happens consistently? The nitty gritty is that there is a Zotero "translator" (the core of Citoid) written for The Guardian which will use the proper capitalisation and classify as newspaper (not web) on links like [3] but if that translator does not work, Zotero will fallback to the Embedded Metadata, which uses the improper capitalisation and "web" condition that you mentioned. czar 11:29, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
Try this -Lopifalko (talk) 12:15, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
Works with the latest update. Requesting update at phab:T174992#4203017 czar 13:49, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Good Housekeeping

Citiod with This link gives website=technology:printers and not website=Good Housekeeping. -Lopifalko (talk) 19:08, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

The New York Times

This URL does not give "newspaper=The New York Times" in the ref. -Lopifalko (talk) 11:21, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

Metropolitan Museum

Citiod with this link gives "title=https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search#!?q=Janelle%2520Lynch%2520&perPage=20&sortBy=Relevance&sortOrder=asc&offset=0&pageSize=0" and "url=https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search#!?q=Janelle%2520Lynch%2520&perPage=20&sortBy=Relevance&sortOrder=asc&offset=0&pageSize=0". Title should not be the URL and the URL has "%2520" not "%20", which gives slightly different results from www.metmuseum.org. Thanks. -Lopifalko (talk) 12:07, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

The Washington Post

Citoid with this link gives "last1=https://www.facebook.com/olivlaurent". -Lopifalko (talk) 09:34, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

JSTOR failure

Citoid is failing for every single JSTOR source. I tried atleast 6 since this evening. To no avail. One for an example.WBGconverse 17:50, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

Sage failure

Same for SAGE stuff as at this one.WBGconverse 17:50, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

The Times of India and related

Citoid generates a mess of authors for many pages as can be seen in my sandbox. Trialpears (talk) 11:57, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

See also

m:Research:Citoid support for Wikimedia references has links to testing being done at different projects. It includes links to the most common URLs for some languages of Wikipedia. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:42, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

This page was last updated at 2021-04-09 19:17, update this pageView original page

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