Add References to Your Wiki

Wikispaces now has a references feature that will make citing your sources easier. Whether you use your wiki for research or just want to keep track of the details around a project, references can help you better organize your work.

Where you would like your citation to go, put the content of your footnote in between our reference tags, <ref> and </ref>:


When you save, we’ll do the heavy lifting, move your references down to the bottom of the page for you, and link them to the spot they came from.


To learn more about this feature, visit our help space or just begin playing around with it yourself!

This entry was posted in Features. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted July 9, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    This is a great idea. Thank you so much. As a teacher who has used wikispaces for broad, collaborative projects ( this will be great. The only additional request is to add an icon to the toolbar, so that there is a visual reminder.

  2. Posted July 9, 2008 at 3:26 pm | Permalink


    Glad to hear you like it. We have plans to add references to our visual editor in the future so that adding them can be even easier.


  3. Posted July 10, 2008 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    TOOLBAR ICON! This is an amazing feature, wikispaces beats all other wikis out because of its visual editor, it’s so user friendly. As soon as you add a footnote icon it will be nearly perfect.

  4. Debra
    Posted July 13, 2008 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Can it be set up to create references in harvard style?

  5. Posted July 16, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    No, it doesn’t currently support Harvard-style references. Ref tags’ main advantage (auto-numbering) solves a problem that Harvard-style references completely avoid.

  6. victoria
    Posted July 20, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I still do not understand how to use this reference option on my wiki spaces. I need the wikispaces for dummies edition pronto. I am treading water at exhausting speed trying to figure out all these features. Any one have a life saver to throw?

  7. Posted July 21, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink


    To add references to your page, you will put some wikitext, or wiki code, on your page:


    When you save the page, this code will show up as a citation number for your reference.

    The words you will place between the and the tags will be the text that appears in the footnote section of your page.

    So let’s say you are writing a research paper and want to reference a website you found this information on, your text could look something like this:

    Queen Elizabeth I was born in 1533, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.This information was found at

    Try copying the above paragraph to your page if you’d like to get an idea of how the reference will show up when you save the page.

    If you need more help with this or anything else, feel free to e-mail us at .


  8. Posted July 22, 2008 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Sarah, I hate to point this out but your ‘ref’ wikicode example above didn’t turn out, looks like the comment editor parses them out.

    Victoria, anything you put between <ref> and </ref> will show up as a reference at the bottom. Sorry if this one doesn’t turn out right either.

  9. Posted July 23, 2008 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Victoria, to be more explicit, in Sarah’s example, if you insert the text: immediately before the words “This information….. and then inserted immediately following the end of the string /eliza.htm then the entire phrase “This information was at” would no longer appear in the main document, but in a footnote. Instead of that text, a number would appear in the main document and it would be in agreement with the number in the footnote.

  10. Posted July 27, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    This is great.

    One request, however. Other wikis have the ability to name your references, so that if you use the same references more than once, you just cite the name, rather than type out the entire reference again. The main advantage is that the references list at the bottom of the page doesn’t contain five listings of the same reference, but only one with a reference number or letter to take you to each spot.

  11. Leah Share
    Posted July 29, 2008 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    All I want to be able to do is add a hanging indent to references I have already made in APA style. Any advice?

  12. Posted July 29, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I know about that feature, it would be nice to add, but we don’t currently have plans to in the near future.

    The list of references has class=”references”, so if you can use CSS on your wiki, you can style them any way you want, here’s a site that explains how to do hanging indents in CSS:

  13. Posted August 28, 2008 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    This is phenomenal! Great! Thank you! Now, if we can just require students to comment every edit they make it would make life easier in some ways. Great job!

  14. Posted August 29, 2008 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot! I had tried to make footnotes using anchors before and kept bungling. This way it is much easier. Sure, an icon in the visual editor would be great too, but it’s already great to be able to add a footnote with 2 tags.

  15. Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Great idea – now we just need two more things, the first of which is probably already available even though you didn’t mention it:-

    1. Ability to include hyperlinks between tags and have them moved to the bottom along with the text.

    2. A button on the menu bar to automatically insert tags and let you type between them.

    I suspect I shall be using this a lot!

  16. Posted August 29, 2008 at 7:05 am | Permalink


    1. Yep. You can add hyperlinks, bullet points, images, etc. to your references.

    2. Definitely. We are planning on adding references to the visual editor in a future update.


  17. Posted September 1, 2008 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    This is a great addition of capability. However, I have two requests/suggestions:

    1) that we can reference the same source multiple times with only one citation at the bottom of the page.

    2) That we can change the font size of the footnotes to compress the listing.

    I expect to have many sources listed and would like to limit the size/length of the list.


  18. Posted September 2, 2008 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    i don’t get it, do you have to just type in on your page somewhere??????

  19. Ethan
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    If you want to add a reference to your wiki, can it be a word document or even a picture that you took your self?

  20. Posted September 17, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink


    Yes. You can add anything between the two references tags and and it will appear in the footnote portion of the reference.


  21. Jwoo
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I can’t get any css to work on my page at all! I just need to make hanging indents but I can’t seem to make any code work. The visual editor and toolbar annoy me as they get in the way of those of us who know how to use code using it.

  22. Posted October 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink


    Wikispaces uses wikitext code to format the page. You can find out more about wikitext by going to “Help” and “Wikitext.”

    To add a hanging index to your page, place “> ” before the sentence you want to index:

    This is a left-justified sentence.
    > This is an indented sentence.


One Trackback

  • Wikispaces Private Label

    Our flexible, scalable wiki environments deliver unlimited wikis, simple editing tools, and powerful central administration for organizations of all sizes.
    Find out more.
    Start your free, 30-day trial.

  • About Us

    Welcome to our blog! This is where we share updates about events and new releases, tips and tricks for using wikis, profiles of a few of our favorite wikis, and more. We're proud to serve a large community of educators, as well as individuals, groups, and organizations of all stripes and sizes.

    Contact us.
    Call us: 415-863-8919
    Site status · We're hiring!

  • Join Us for a Webinar

    Our monthly webinars are a great way to check out examples, learn from experts, and get real-time answers to your questions. Our webinars are always fun, and always free.
    Sign up today.

  • Wikispaces for Educators

    If your wiki is used exclusively for education, you might be eligible for a free upgrade to one of our K–12 plan or Higher Education plan wikis.
    Learn more about our K–12 plan.
    Learn more about our Higher Education plan.