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Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum:Citation

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Helpful articles

Most important rules summarized

  • Precise and detailed citations are required for all text passages, images and media used in Lexicanum articles.
  • Only accepted sources are permitted.
  • Users who fail to comply with Lexicanum Citation rules will be banned and their work deleted.


Citations and footnotes (often also referred to simply as sources or sourcing) are essential elements of well-sourced Lexicanum articles. This page covers the rules and formats applied to properly reference sources on the Lexicanum.

On the importance of sourcing

The correct use of the sources and the possibility for readers and editors to verify what was used as the basis for an article is what distinguishes the Lexicanum from many other wiki-based encyclopaedia projects. Only proper sourcing allows to weed out false or fan-made information and to maintain a high level of reliability and quality of content. Therefore the correct use of sources is vital. From a practical point of view citations help anyone editing the article after you, and prevent unnecessary reverts or long discussions about the authenticity of sources. In addition detailed referencing assists other users in their research for these or other related articles. Also generally referring to official sources only means details won't be misremembered or entered vaguely or false information based on hearsay or "urban legends" finds its way into the Lexicanum.

The Lexicanum applies a very strict policy in this regard: Any article created without proper sourcing will be deleted. Any changes to existing articles without proper sourcing will be reverted. This includes not only the addition of text but also of images or other media. Repeat offenders will be banned. So source your articles properly, and help add references to articles without proper citations!

What are acceptable sources?

All sources used must be part of the Warhammer 40,000 acceptable sources. While it is impossible to cover all eventualities this includes all official print or online material. If you are unsure if a source can be legitimately used, ask your fellow users, a Lexicanum Administrator or a Bureaucrat.

We are aware that accepted sources might contradict each other, but there is no "hierarchy of sources" - i.e. no official source is considered more valid than another official source. More recent sources do however take precedence over older sources. This does however not mean that the old information is considered "wrong" and has to be deleted altogether. It is an explicit goal of the Lexicanum to also reflect outdated information - with appropriate disclaimers and explanations.

Citation format

General requirements

In general sources must contains the exact title of the publication as it appears on the Lexicanum (pay attention to not link to redirects but to the correct target article) and the exact location of the information within the source. For print publications the latter means pagenumber(s), for e-book formats pagenumbers are not "fixed", therefore in this case chapter numbers are acceptable. Do note that the names of authors are not included in the citations. For video and audio publications it also has to be mentioned where exactly in the file the information is to be found.

If an information "stretches" over several pages (or in extreme cases even chapters in for example a novel) the range of pages (or chapters) must be given in the citation. An example for this would be events that stretch over a period of time and can not be pinpointed to an exact paragraph or sentence in a source. Note however that on no account this practice is allowed to be abused to avoid the need for citations for details that can be pinpointed to an exact part of the source.

Do also note that for images the exactly corresponding source must be given, i.e. from which official source an image was taken as it appears or from which it was modified for use in the Lexicanum (the nature of the modification must also be mentioned in the corresponding image file). It is not allowed to merely use a source that only shows a similar image (for example to cite a novel cover as the source for the image if the original artwork used for the Lexicanum is clearly larger than the one used for the novel cover). Also do note that an explicit source for the actual subject of the image is required. This means you cannot simply assume/ interprete/ extrapolate that for example a person on a novel cover actually is the title character of said novel unless it is specifically stated in an official source or undisputable elements of the picture show this (e.g. the character's name on a banner or an inscription on the armour etc.) or there is really, really, really no doubt whatsoever. The latter case can normally only be argued for extremely well-known and depicted characters, such as the Emperor or the Primarchs.

In the case of websites the precise sub-link for the source is required. For details and practical considerations see below.

There is one exception where footnotes should not be used: For the Trivia sections sources that are not officially recognized game or lore ressources the relevant sources should be formatted as direct external links to the source of the "Trivia" item (see also here).

How often and where do I need to add citations?

Citations must at least be added at the end of each paragraph (including the introductory one!) - even if there is only one source to an article. In other words: It is is compulsory to include a citation in any and all paragraphs. This also explicitly applies to the introductory sentence or paragraph at the beginning of an article. Any and all images used in an article must also be sourced with a citation at the end of the corresponding caption. The reason behind this is that when information from another source is edited or added at a later date it will still be clear where which information is from.

If multiple sources are used within the same paragraph the correct footnotes must be added at the end of the corresponding sentence - not in a "collective" citation at the end of the paragraph. If a specific information is found in different sources, multiple footnotes are to be inserted accordingly at the end of the sentence or paragraph. It does however not make a lot of sense to add a huge number of different sources saying exactly the same - common sense and a policy of "not overdoing it" should be applied in these cases. If one sentence contains information from different sources it is best to place the citation directly behind the information it is the source for.

Citations in tables

Entries into tables (for example about details of a unit) also require citations.

Citations in lists

Entries into lists (for example about members of an organization) also require citations. However due to space restrictions and because each item in a list also has its own article one source only is permitted per entry - the complete list of sources can be found in the article proper.

How to add citations

In the Lexicanum the footnote template is used to link the in-line citation number with the matching footnote (click the number to see this in action).[0] We use {{Fn|#}} for the in-line citation number, and {{Endn|#}} to link to the footnote at the bottom of the page (# is replaced with the footnote number, starting at 1 and running 'til you run out of references). For example:

Paragraph of new text, or statement.[1]


Paragraph of new text, or statement.{{Fn|1}}

This footnote is then referenced as an internal (most cases) or external link (for web sites) under the level two "Sources" heading (i.e. ==Sources==) at the end of the article:


*{{Endn|1}}: [[Codex: Blood Angels (3rd Edition)]], pg. 71

In practice, it should look like this:

This new text has something to prove. It was founded on the ice-world of Hubbleron in late M29[2] and will have citations at the end of each and every paragraph.[3]


  • 0: This footnote hasn't been researched at all. Click the footnote number to see the in-line citation (it works both ways!).

Different formats

The above example covers most print materials permitted as sources on Lexicanum. Some formats, however, have varying page numbers (for example digital publications depending on the font size used on e-readers or for paper versions different print runs, or different editions like hardback or softback issues) or irregular formats. Therefore we cannot rely on using pagenumbers for sourcing in these cases. Instead information should be cited as detailed below:

In the case of novels, chapter numbers are compulsory. These chapter numbers should retain the format as given in the original source, e.g. do not write "Chapter 9" if in the book it is written as "Chapter IX" etc. If the chapters are not numbered chapter names or other divisions (e.g. "Part III") are to be used. Page numbers can be given for print sources (but since they may vary between print runs or format they should be accompanied by additonal information, for example "printed in the US 2010" or "2011 Special Collector's edition" etc.). Also do note that when specific information (e.g. image material) is only included in specific editions of a publication this must obviously be listed in the source section. Do note that the Lexicanum does not reference the authors, ISBN numbers or similar information in its citations. This information can be found in the corresponding articles about the source itself.

So for a typical novel the footnote should look like this:

Short stories are to be referenced with their full title (as used in the corresponding Lexicanum article), the anthology in which it was published (if applicable). Like novels, page numbers differ between print runs. Unlike novels, short stories often don't have chapters to quote.

Audiobooks are referenced in a similar manner to novels, but using track numbers instead of chapter numbers.

Citing multiple references from the same source

If the article you are editing or creating requires sourcing from more than one page of the source (e.g. different pages of the same book), then the main source must be listed under the main footnote number as a normal (i.e. non-footnote template) number (e.g. "16"), and the individual pages or chapters listed under the same number with consecutive letters added with the proper footnote template (e.g. {{Endn|16a}}, {{Endn|16b}}, {{Endn|16c}}...).


Statement sourced from one section of source material [16a] ... end of paragraph with citation for a different section of the same source material.[16b]

The footnotes for these citations are placed below the main source as an indented column by adding two asterisks (**) at the start of each footnote line. The source material is listed at the top, with a single asterisk (and without usinf the footnote template) (*).


Web site sourcing

Only official Games Workshop (and subsidiaries or license holders) websites or official channels used by Games Workshop (and subsidiaries or license holders) on media portals or social media sites etc. can be used as a source. Do not link to third party websites illegally hosting copyrighted material. Also note that only archive links are allowed to be listed as sources for files or in articles. The reason for this is quite simple: websites (and thereby the cited sources) constantly disappear. The only way to try to keep those sources accessible despite a potential removal is by using archive links from the Wayback Machine.

Active sites

When citing a active web site, use the same process as citing any other allowed publication. This means that you must include an archive version of an External link containing the name of the webpage and of the specific sub-page used as a source and as found (or saved by oneself) in the Wayback Machine. This also applies for media portals or social media networks. If for example a date of posting was included you also have to include that in the exact form as given on the page. In the case of video or audio publications the precise position of the relevant part of the file must also be mentioned. Apart from the date of the archiving of the site you must also include a notation of when you viewed the site to use it as a source. Note: It is mandatory to work with archived links as active web sites can disappear from the Internet without warning or trace. For more details on how to use archived links see further down.

Example 1:


*{{Endn|12}}: [https://web.archive.org/web/20201126092400/https://www.games-workshop.com/en-EU/Titandeath-sb-2019 Games Workshop: Adeptus Titanicus: The Horus Heresy – Titandeath Campaign Book] ''(saved archive page, dated 26 November 2020, last accessed 14 March 2021)''

Example 2:


*{{Endn|15}}: [[https://web.archive.org/web/20200106121459/https://www.warhammer-community.com/2019/08/12/successor-chapter-showcase-paul-nortons-iron-ravensgw-homepage-post-1/ Warhammer Community: Successor Chapter Showcase: Paul Norton’s Iron Ravens (Posted 12/08/2019)] ''(saved archive page, dated 06 January 2020, last accessed 14 March 2021)


Note that since the Wayback Machine has trouble with archiving videos it is - at least currently - not compulsory to use archive links here. All other citation requirements do however apply.



*{{Endn|19}}: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjSu0HwM9xU Warhammer TV: Deathwatch - Building a Kill Team (published 22.08.2016)] ''(last accessed 27 January 2020)'': 00h:04m:27s

Embedded videos

All Embedded videos must be sourced in their description. Note that only videos from Accepted sources are allowed. Also note that since the Wayback Machine has trouble with archiving videos it is - at least currently - not compulsory to use archive links here. All other citation requirements do however apply.



*{{Endn|1}}: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYNwYo9GA7w Warhammer TV: The Daemonifuge Returns (published 04.04.2020)] ''(last accessed 30 May 2020)''

Inactive, non-archived sites

A website that has been removed from the internet should if possible not be used as a source. Sometimes it is however impossible to avoid it, specifically when the removed website was the only source in existence. In this case the citation has to be changed as follows:

  1. Remove the link brackets [ ]
  2. Place <nowiki></nowiki> tags around the URL. This will keep it from becoming a link.
  3. Add notation that the site is no longer active and not archived, including the last access date.


  • 14: http://www.badabwar.com (site no longer online, no archived version found, last accessed 12 July 2006)


*{{Endn|14}}: <nowiki>http://www.badabwar.com</nowiki> ''(site no longer online, no archived version found, last accessed 12 July 2006)''

Note: Mark inactive sources with the Replace citation template.

Inactive, archived sites

If a website has been removed from the internet there is a chance that an archived version of the site still exists, for example in the Internet Archive (also known simply as the Wayback Machine). In this case the formatting of the footnote should look look like this:



:*{{Endn|11}}: [http://web.archive.org/web/20110211195348/http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m70041a_Strategy_cards_4 Games Workshop: Strategy Cards] for [[Planetary Empires]] expansion game, card ''"Hatred - Minor Stratagem"'' ''(saved archive page, dated 11 February 2011, last accessed 06 October 2015)''

Tagging missing citations

If you stumble upon an article or a sentence that needs a verifiable source, you should use one of the following templates. Place the template at the bottom of the page, directly above the citations section.


For articles that do not have sources at all, or have very few.

{{Add'l cite}}

For articles that already have some sources, but need further work.

{{Cite This}}

For sentences that are not explicitly linked to a source, and whose offcial status is disputed. This template is also used on footnotes that lack page numbers (or novel chapters).

Old styles of citation

Older forms of citation included the manual use of superscript (<sup> </sup>) and comment tags. When encountered these outdated and outlawed citation styles should be replaced by the current citation method.

Non-officially recognized Trivia sources

For the Trivia sections sources that are not officially recognized game or lore ressources the relevant sources should be formatted as direct external links to the source of the "Trivia" item (see also here).


"At the First Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD Constantine the Great — the first openly Christian Emperor of Rome - invited 1800 bishops to meet together for the first to time establish Christianity as a single consistent faith."


At the [[Wikipedia:First Council of Nicaea|First Council of Nicaea]], in 325 AD [[Wikipedia:Constantine the Great|Constantine the Great]] — the first openly Christian Emperor of Rome - invited 1800 bishops to meet together for the first to time establish Christianity as a single consistent faith.

Examples of good sourcing

  • to be found