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Memory Beta: Style

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This page describes one of Memory Beta's policies and guidelines
Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules. If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.
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Memory Beta does not exist in a vacuum. There are a great deal of other sources of information out there, many of which are used in writing articles for Memory Beta. It's always important to cite your sources when you use external works. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and may be a copyright violation.

All work on in-universe and real world articles should be cited. For the sake of consistency, please adhere to the system described through the examples below for any citations you add.

In-universe articlesEdit

All in-universe articles should be cited to at least one of our accepted sources; these are licensed Star Trek publications and productions (see Memory Beta:Inclusion policy for full details). Memory Beta uses a system of in-line citation with templates to make citations simple; citations should be placed in parentheses at the end of each paragraph or group of paragraphs they apply to, so as not to break up the text of the article, yet still providing information for each reference at the relevant points in the document. Each reference includes the series, type of media and title, which are built into the reference templates:

Type of media Syntax example Text displayed
Audiobook ({{au|TOS|Cacophony}}) (TOS audiobook: Cacophony)
Comic ({{c|EV|Flesh of My Flesh}}) (EV comic: "Flesh of My Flesh")
eBook ({{eb|CoE|Turn the Page}}) (CoE eBook: Turn the Page)
Episode ({{e|DS9|Tears of the Prophets}}) (DS9 episode: "Tears of the Prophets")
Episode and novelization ({{en|VOY|Endgame}}) (VOY episode & novelization: Endgame)
Movie ({{m|TOS|The Wrath of Khan}}) (TOS movie: The Wrath of Khan)
Movie and novelization ({{mn|TNG|Insurrection}}) (TNG movie & novelization: Insurrection)
Novel ({{n|TNG|A Time to Be Born}}) (TNG novel: A Time to Be Born)
Novelization ({{n1|TNG|All Good Things...}}) (TNG novelization: All Good Things...)
Novella ({{n2|TOS|The First Artifact}}) (TOS novella: The First Artifact)
Reference work ({{r|ST|The Worlds of the Federation}}) (ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation)
RPG ({{rpg|Last Unicorn RPG|The Andorians: Among the Clans}}) (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Andorians: Among the Clans)
Short story ({{ss|VOY|The Difficulties of Being Evil}}) (VOY short story: "The Difficulties of Being Evil")
Star Trek Online mission ({{STO|Diplomatic Orders}}) (STO mission: "Diplomatic Orders")
Video game ({{g|TNG|Armada II}}) (TNG video game: Armada II)
Website ({{web|TOS|Starfleet Shipyard}}) (TOS website: Starfleet Shipyard)

Most of the above templates feature an additional optional field to input a miniseries or anthology title:

Type of media Syntax example Text displayed
Comic in a miniseries ({{c|TNG|sub=The Space Between|History Lesson}}) (TNG - The Space Between comic: "History Lesson")
Short story in an anthology ({{ss|TOS|sub=Constellations|Fracture}}) (TOS - Constellations short story: "Fracture")

For magazine articles, the format is altered slightly:

Type of media Syntax example Text displayed
Magazine ({{mag|Star Trek Magazine|140|Rewriting History}}) (Star Trek Magazine Issue 140: "Rewriting History")

Dealing with multiple referencesEdit

Each template is capable of displaying multiple titles in same media and series by adding additional titles divided by the line "|" character. However if one section requires citations from multiple varying sources the different citations/templates should be separated by semi-colons within the same parentheses. The list of sources should be in the order they are citing information in the section referenced.

Type of media Syntax example Text displayed
Three TOS comics ({{c|TOS|Deadly Reflection!|The Tantalus Trap!|Masquerade!}}) (TOS comics: "Deadly Reflection!", "The Tantalus Trap!", "Masquerade!")
One reference work and one episode ({{r|ST|The Worlds of the Federation}}; {{e|ENT|Bound}}) (ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation; ENT episode: "Bound")

It is recommended that a single phrase or section has no more than three or four story references relevant to it. However sometimes for the sake of writing a concise, informative and readable article it is necessary for some paragraphs to have a multitude of sources (this is often the case in opening paragraphs on popular subjects). In these instances it may be necessary to provide and additional background note (indented and italicized following the paragraph in question), giving further detail on what sources provided what information. See Venture-class for example.

References should be concise but complete. For instance, a section should not be cited to every comic or book in a miniseries if only the first issue, or one or two issues out of said series provide all the information in the section being cited. Similarly information should always be cited the earliest possible source, for instance, one story describes the events of an earlier story the earlier story is the original source of the information and should be cited; while later in the article when information from the newer story provides new facts both sources, or just the newer one should be cited (whichever is accurate for the information being described in that particular section). Remember the citation is there to provide the point of origin for each piece of information, not as a listing of every reference to that piece of information.

Also try remember to only cite as often as you need to; if three consecutive paragraphs are cited to a single source, then they only need one citation. However if an edit is made adding a new paragraph midway through then the citation will have to be placed at the end of both sections of the original material to identify where it came from. For example:

Paragraph 1
Paragraph 2
Paragraph 3 (citation 1)

Following the inclusion of new information:

Original paragraph 1 (citation 1)
New paragraph (citation 2)
Original paragraph 2
Original paragraph 3 (citation 1)

Tagging systemsEdit

For a minority of articles, or for certain article sections, it is not always practical to use in-line citations. There are three exceptions where use of tagging reference system is permitted: to cite source of information in sidebars, lists (of members of a starship class, or lists of personnel for example), and on year pages.

To use the reference tag system you place the following code after each listed item: <ref name="Title">reference template</ref>. The title should be the title of the reference listed, and the usual templates should be used within this system. Once one example for each title is established the code can be reduced to only the title section: <ref name="Title" />. So for example

*Item one <ref name="Flesh of my Flesh">{{c|EV|Flesh of My Flesh}}</ref>
*Item one <ref name="The Cage">{{e|TOS|The Cage}}</ref>
*Item one <ref name="Flesh of my Flesh" />
*Item one <ref name="The Cage" />
*Item one <ref name="Flesh of my Flesh" />

Year pages have the reference deposit built in already, other pages using this system will need to include the code - <references /> - within the "Appendices" section for the list of references to display. See Galaxy-class for example.

Reference listsEdit

In addition to the in-line references an article may, as part of the "Appendices" section, including a complete listing of "Appearances and references" (under that sub-heading). Such a list uses the same reference templates, but as a bulleted list and no longer in parentheses. "Appearances and references" sections should list references in order of publication, allowing a reader to examine how a subject has developed over time in the real world; while the main body of the article describes the subject in the in-universe chronology. Listed references that only reference the subject in question, rather than it making an appearance, should make note in parentheses after the reference. For example:

Real world articleEdit

For real world articles, or real world sections in the appendices of in-universe articles, all information must also be cited. This is typically achieved using descriptions within the text identifying the source and context of the information provided.

When information comes from an online source this should also be cited and linked to. Links may be generated as part of the descriptive text, or as a citation at the end of the section.

These sections may also use the standard citations templates where appropriate. When not using the templates but referring to stories you should use the correct formatting: italicization for stand-alone publications such as movies, novels, video games, websites and miniseries titles, but in quotations for works published in an anthology or series, such as short stories, comics and episodes.

ExamplesEdit

Describing sources in the text
  • The software for the game Star Trek: Legacy lists the USS Farrier, USS Hollis and USS Mullen as members of the class. However these additional names are blocked from use by the software, so do not appear at any point during game-play.
  • The appearances of the ship in the DC Comics series are somewhat inconsistent: It appears throughout the New Frontiers storyline, often tractored by the USS Excelsior, and shown to be wider than the Excelsior's engineering hull. However when the ship returns in the The Doomsday Bug story it is shown to have been small enough to have been kept inside the Excelsior's hangar bay.
  • Star Trek Magazine #140 included an excerpt from this story, including an introduction by the author and accompanying illustrations featuring the USS Titan.
Linking to websites
  • The novel Sword of Damocles makes the claim that the S'ti'ach are hyperdense, another feature of Stitch; however, in Over a Torrent Sea this is retconned as a rumour spread by Huilan. In his annotations, Christopher L. Bennett explains this choice to establish a more scientifically feasible S'ti'ach biology.
  • Shortly after the Aventine was first unveiled online Rademaker made a blog post giving details of his model. In the post he also provided the Vesta-class' dimensions: 672 meters long, 182 meters wide, and 87 meters tall.[1]
Using standard citation templates
  • Delta Vega was initially conceived as a desert world. There Kirk and Spock would have encountered Scotty not at a Starfleet outpost but at an exotic alien-filled bazaar. (TOS reference: Star Trek: The Art of the Film)
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