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Error messages


If short-cite template error messages are enabled, editors can see these messages:

  • Stampa:Error-small – short-cite template cannot find Stampa:Error-small so cannot link to a full-cite target. Causes for this can be:
    the article does not have full-cite target with Stampa:Error-small
    the matching full-cite target is a cs1 or cs2 template that:
    has Stampa:Para
    uses a redirect name when that redirect does not begin with cite or cita – these two forms cover most of the cs1|2 redirects
    the full-cite target does not use exactly the same author or editor surnames and/or date as listed in Stampa:Error-small
    the short-cite template links to a full-cite target that is a wrapper-template; see false-positive errors below
  • Stampa:Error-small – short-cite template found more than one full-cite target with a matching Stampa:Error-small. Causes for this can be:
    authors' writings from different sources produced in the same year cited without disambiguation Stampa:Para, Stampa:Para
    redundant use of the full cite where one full-cite target might be in a References section and a duplicate might be in a Further reading section

Similar (although not identical) messages are emitted by the user scripts. See the script documentation.

Resolving errors


Ways of resolving legitimate Stampa:Error-small errors include:

  • adding a missing full citation. When short citations are copied from one article to another without a full citation, you can sometimes find the full citation in a related article using Wikipedia's search feature.
  • correcting the author and/or editor names in either the short or full citation so that they match each other
  • correcting or adding dates in either the short or full citation so that they match each other; remember that date ranges are separated with an ndash character (–)
  • converting a plain-text full citation into a templated citation using one of the cs1|2 families of templates (e.g. Stampa:Tl) or one of the Vcite family of templates (e.g. Stampa:Tl)
  • wrapping a plain-text citation inside Stampa:Tl and setting Stampa:Para or Stampa:Para as appropriate to match the value expected by the short-cite template
  • placing Stampa:Tl adjacent to the plain-text citation; set the Stampa:Tlc parameter value to the value expected by the short-cite template
  • set the short-cite parameter Stampa:Para to suppress anchor ID link creation

Ways of resolving Stampa:Error-small errors include:

  • adding Stampa:Para to cs1|2 templates
  • adding disambiguation letters to Stampa:Para and to the Stampa:Tl template when there are multiple full citations to works in the same year by identical authors or editors
  • converting redundant full citations into short citations using Stampa:Tl, leaving only one full citation to the referenced work in the article
  • entirely removing a redundant full citation, e.g. identical full citations in a "Bibliography" section and in "Further reading"

No advice is given for resolving false-positive errors.

Current limitations and false-positive errors


The short-cite templates employ an article reader to read the article's raw wikitext (the same text that you see in the source editor's edit window). While reading the wikitext, the article reader looks for a variety of templates that can create anchor IDs. For each such template found, the article reader attempts to extract the necessary information to create an image of the template's anchor ID, if it would produce one. For cs1|2, the most common long-form citation templates, depending on the state of Stampa:Para the article reader looks for:

The article reader extracts similar information from other templates as appropriate for those templates.

Each image of a long-form citation anchor ID is saved in a list along with a tally indicating how many of that image the article reader found. When the short-cite template renders its output, it looks for its target anchor ID in the anchor-ID list:

  • anchor ID found and the tally is 1: short-cite template is rendered without error message
  • anchor ID found and the tally is 2 or more: short-cite template is rendered with a Stampa:Error-small error message and the article is added to Category:Harv and Sfn template errors
  • anchor ID not found: short-cite template is rendered with a Stampa:Error-small error message and the article is added to Category:Harv and Sfn template errors

The Stampa:Error-small errors may be true errors or may be false-positive errors. For true errors, there is no anchor ID in the article to match the anchor ID expected by the short-cite template. A false-positive error occurs because the article reader can only read the article's raw wikitext, it cannot burrow into wrapper templates. Wrapper templates enclose the template that creates the anchor ID. This enclosure hides the necessary details so the article reader cannot create an image of that wrapper template's anchor ID. For example, Stampa:Tlx is a wrapper template that encloses Stampa:Tlx. The values assigned to the Stampa:Tld parameters Stampa:Para and Stampa:Para tell Stampa:Tld how to set editor names and date in its call to the enclosed Stampa:Tld which uses them to create the wrapper template's anchor ID. When a wrapped template creates a matching anchor ID that the article reader cannot see; the link from short-cite to long-form citation works but is marked with a Stampa:Error-small false-positive error message.