Help:Links

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There are four different kinds of links you might want to insert in an article you're creating or editing:

  • Internal links, also known as wiki-links. These are links to other articles on Ballotpedia. When you read a BP article and see words in it that are blue, that's an internal, or wiki-link.
  • External links. These are links to other websites, or pages on other websites. These links also appear in blue, and can be distinguished from an internal link by the presence of an arrow. Here's an example.
  • Reference or citation links. These are links to other websites, formatted in a particular way.[1]
  • Interwiki links. These are links to other wikis that are a hybrid of an internal and an external link. These links have the appearance of an internal link--they are blue with no arrow--but if you click on them, you are taken to a different website--a website that Ballotpedia is set up to "interwiki" link to.

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Internal links (wiki-links)

You can link to other pages within Ballotpedia (for example, the Main Page) by placing double brackets around the name of the article on Ballotpedia you want to link to from the page you're currently editing, in this fashion: ([[ ]]). Be sure to put the exact title of the other Ballotpedia article you're linking to, including the exact capitalization of that article; otherwise, your link won't work.

Putting a link on one Ballotpedia page to another BP page is known as "wiki-linking". If I put a link here to the Ballotpedia Wikiteer article--like I just did--you would say that I had "wiki-linked to the Wikiteer article".

The "pipe"

If you want to use text to describe the name of the other BP article you're directing people to other than its title, the way to do that is to add a pipe symbol ( | ) after the title of the BP article you're linking to and then type however you want to describe that article.

(Note: The pipe, or "|" symbol, is usually located on your computer keyboard on the key under your backspace key.)

  • For example:[[Indiana State Senate|Indiana Senate]]
  • Which will appear as this on the finished article: Indiana Senate

Linking to categories

There may be times when you want to refer to, or link to, a Ballotpedia category in an article, but not in such a way as to assign the article to that category. For example, you may be writing an article about a Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment and you want to link, in that article, to all the Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment's concerning taxes in Indiana.

The way to do this is by inserting ":" as in this example:

You can insert any wiki-link you wish, as in this example:

Links to subsections

You can link directly to a subsection of an article rather than just to the article.

For example, consider the article on the Alaska Supreme Court. It has a section called "The court's justices". While writing another article on BP, you might want to send your readers directly to that particular section of the article on the Alaska Supreme Court.

Here's how to do that:

  • [[Rand Paul#Career|Rand Paul's career]].
  • Here's how that looks: Rand Paul's career.
  • Note that I could have put any words after the pipe ( | ) in this example. The key thing is to include the hash tag ( # ) after the name of the article, and before the name of the specific subsection you wish to link to.

External links

External links are links that take the reader from Ballotpedia to a different website. They come in four different forms:

  • As links to other websites in a section of the article that is also called "External links".
  • As reference citations in a section of the article called "References" or "Notes"
  • As interwiki links within the main text of the article that, when clicked, take the reader to a different website.
  • As in-line links within the main text of the article that, when clicked, take the reader to a different website.

Stylistically, it is preferred if that you attach a URL to a word or phrase that describes the website you are linking to. To do that, surround the URL with single brackets ([ ]), insert a space, and then type the word(s) you want to show as the link: Google Search

When you insert such an external link, a little arrow pops up after your external link. That little arrow is how you (and readers) can tell the difference between an internal link and an external link.

The "external links" section

Note: See Help:Footnotes for help with Ballotpedia's standards on how to describe footnotes.

To add a link in the "external links" section of an article, include the address with just a single set of [ ] brackets, like this:

* [http://www.fjc.gov/ Website of the Federal Judicial Center]

That will look like this on the page:

Style notes on external links:

  • The "External links" section should be called "External links", not "External Links".
  • The exact style preferred for the external links section can be found on the help page concerning footnotes.

The "references" section

Note: See Help:Footnotes for help with Ballotpedia's standards on how to describe footnotes.

At the point in the text of the article where you want the reader to see a footnote, type:

<ref>YOUR SOURCE</ref>

This will cause a small digit (such as [1]) to appear at that point in the text. When the reader clicks on that digit, he or she is taken to the corresponding link in the "references" section toward the end of the page.

Note that if you add a reference to a sentence in the body of the article, and there is no references section in the article, the reader won't be able to see or access the link. You have to add a references section in the article if there isn't one already. You do that by typing:

==References==
{{reflist}}

Interwiki links

Interwiki links allow you to insert a link in the main body of a Ballotpedia article to articles on:

These links have the overall appearance of a standard wiki-link that goes to another article on Ballotpedia, except that they are a lighter shade of blue.

To create an interwiki link, follow these steps:

  • Type [[
  • Depending on which other website your link is going to go to, type either:
    • wikipedia
    • judgepedia
  • Type a colon :
  • Type the exact title of the article on that other wiki
  • Type a |
  • Type whatever words you want your reader to see in light blue type
  • Type ]]

Example:

A full list of sites that may be linked to with interwiki links can be seen at: Special:Interwiki.

In-line links

At times, you may want the reader to be able to directly access an external website by simply clicking on a link in a sentence in the body of your article. Here's an example of what that would look like:

There are other ways you can direct the reader to that information:

  • The Federal Judicial Center was created in 1967. (This sentence links to Judgepedia's article about the FJC.)
  • The Federal Judicial Center was created in 1967.[2] (This sentence incorporates a link to a footnote. If the reader clicks on the digit in the footnote, he or she will be taken to the footnote and, from there, can navigate to the FJC's website.)
  • The Federal Judicial Center was created in 1967. (This sentence links to Wikipedia's article about the FJC.)

Interwiki linking

You can also place links on a Ballotpedia article to articles on Wikipedia and to articles on Ballotpedia's sister project, Judgepedia. This is known as "interwiki linking".

The way to insert a link on a BP article to an article on Wikipedia or Judgepedia is as in these examples:

  • [[Wikipedia:Georgia|Georgia]], which looks on the saved page as Georgia.
  • [[Judgepedia:Indiana Supreme Court|Indiana Supreme Court]], which looks on the saved page as Indiana Supreme Court.

References

Also known as Citation links

Your article will generally include links to outside resources, done as footnotes. This section explains how to create footnotes and citations on an article using
the <ref> ... </ref> and {{reflist}} format. Adding footnotes and citations to your article allows readers to understand what the basis or source is for content in the article.

Single citation

At the point in the main text where you want your footnote to be inserted, type this:

<ref>Sacramento Bee, March 24, 2008</ref>

That lets the reader know that the fact you just asserted is based on something published in the Sacramento Bee (a California newspaper) on March 24, 2008. However, you'll usually want to be more specific, and include a link in your footnote to the specific article in the Sacramento Bee upon which you are relying.

Link to specific URL

In order to include a link in your footnote to a specific URL, type this:

<ref>[http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/806578.html ''Sacramento Bee'': "Low turnout expected in California's June primary," March 24, 2008]</ref>

Here's what that looks like as an actual footnote.[3]

Multiple citations

To cite the same reference or footnote several times in the same article, identify it the first time you type it with a short name, using the <ref> tag.

Enter the name of the reference like this:

<ref name="Sacramento Bee">[http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/806578.html ''Sacramento Bee'': "Low turnout expected in California's June primary," March 24, 2008]</ref>

Then, at all the other places in the article where you wish to cite that particular reference again, just enter:

<ref name="Sacramento Bee"/>

How does that look in practice?[3]

The reference list

At the place in the article where you wish the footnotes themselves to appear (usually at the end of the article in a section labelled "References", insert the tag:

{{reflist}}

If you don't insert this tag, none of the references you have so carefully included in your article will be visible to the article's readers.

Citation conventions

See Help:Footnotes for discussion of the preferred citation format on Ballotpedia.

Hyperlinks

A hyperlink is a word or phrase in a Ballotpedia article that appears on your screen in red or blue.

Blue Hyperlinks

If a word or phrase in a Ballotpedia article appears on your screen in blue, that means that Ballotpedia contains an article about that word or phrase. By clicking on the blue word or phrase, you will be taken to the Ballotpedia article about it.

Light blue hyperlinks

If a word or phrase in a Ballotpedia article appears on your screen in light blue, that means that the link is an external link or an interwiki link. By clicking on the light blue word or phrase, you will be taken to a website outside Ballotpedia.

Red Hyperlinks

If a word or phrase in a Ballotpedia article appears on your screen in red, that means that:

  • There currently is no article on Ballotpedia with the same name
  • Some other user on Ballotpedia has "flagged" that word or phrase in such a way as to suggest that it should have an article on Ballotpedia.

The way the other user "flagged" the word/phrase so that it appears in red on your screen is by inserting double-square brackets around the word/phrase while editing the article in which the word/phrase appears.

  • Inserting double-square brackets around a word or phrase is sometimes called "wikifying" the word or phrase.
  • This is how it looks: [[States]] (which yields States).

The "wikify" template

Ballotpedia has a template that can be used to indicate that an article would benefit from additional "wikification"--that is, the article would be improved if it had more hyperlinks in the article to pages outside the article.

  • The template is called: Template:Wikify.
  • To insert the template in an article, type {{wikify}} at the top of the page.

References