Saturday, January 20, 2007

Wikipedia bluebook cite

Hopefully if someone does a search for bluebooking wikipedia or how to cite wikipedia, they will no longer come up short since I have done the work for you.

Citing an article from Wikipedia, based on how the majority of the top law journals are doing it, generally appears to follow the rules of 18.2.3(e) of the Bluebook:

Wikipedia, Article Name (italicized), website address (last visited date). [regular roman font, no small caps]

The majority of journals in the last year have used this cite format, including NYU, Vanderbilt, Southern Cal, Loyola LA, University of Florida, Loyola Chicago, Harvard, California, Michigan, and BU to name a few. A few other journals use an alteration which appears to follow 18.2.3(b)'s example of putting the article first and changing the typeface, but I disagree and rather than pay that incorrect method any more lip service, I submit that the above way is the correct way to cite to a Wikipedia entry. If I find I am wrong, I will gladly correct my entry.

On a side note, it would not be cited "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" as a couple journals have done, nor is the date the date that appears on the Wikipedia site rather than the last date visited. See Rule 18.2.3(e).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I realize this post is a year old, but it's near the top of google searches so I thought I'd help out anyone else who's trying to bluebook wiki (hopefully it'll be more accepted especially for tech and pop references).

Wikipedia has a specific cite link: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Cite

Currently your cite is a compromise between what Wiki is calling the Bluebook style, and the Bluebook: Harvard JOLT style.

Hopefully Bluebook will publish something definitive soon.

As a note I dislike the JOLT style of during access stamps, because it makes it so much harder to find compared to a direct link to version.

4L said...

Thank you for your comment. The link you posted comes to a blank page, so I'm not sure whether Wikipedia actually addresses it or not.

My cite is just based on my survey of the so-called "top" journals that had cites to Wikipedia in my relevant jlr search on Westlaw and my educated guess on how the Bluebook would recommend citing it.

As far as whether Wikipedia will become more accepted, that's hard to say. I think for law reviews it's fine, but for court cases, I'd be less inclined to give it much weight absent certain issues of first impression (which, if it's citing to Wikipedia, would still probably not be that novel).

Anonymous said...

you need to type in the name of the article into the blank page that comes up when you use the link in the February 13, 2008 6:07 post