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Footnotes in Wikispaces

September 27, 2011

I am a big fan of Wikispaces, a very educator-friendly wiki system, and have recommended it here a number of times. My only knock on Wikispaces – and it’s a small one – is that once in a while I find it hard to locate the help I need. To make up for this, the company is really great about updating their support pages.

The other day I was consulting with a faculty member who was starting a wiki project and she asked if it was possible to use footnotes in Wikispaces. I had never used them, but we quickly learned that they are indeed available. In fact, they are pretty cool. They work very much like what you have probably seen in Wikipedia.

It was not easy to tell right away how footnotes worked, but after locating a couple of support pages I figured it out. Essentially, at the point where you want the footnote number to appear, you type in <ref> The footnote or citation </ref>. After you save the page a number appears at the point where your <ref> tags were entered, and it links to a note at the bottom of the page. There’s a little more to it; see the “cheat sheet” at the bottom.

Of course you can use footnotes to list article and book sources, but you can also use them to provide source credits for an image, include an in-depth deeper explanation, or add a supporting anecdote.

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