Where To Find References For Wikipedia

Are you using these six resources?
, James Gaunt.

You can watch a video version of this article as part of our Wikipedia For Beginners series here.

References, or citations, are an important part of Wikipedia. We need to back up what is written on Wikipedia articles so that they are accurate, and they reinforce why an article is important or notable, by showing the subject has been mentioned elsewhere.

You can use all sorts of things as references, from books, newspapers, magazines, radio programs, and websites.

Not every source will be good or accurate though, and for articles that are biographies of living people, there are even stricter guidelines. Thankfully, Wikipedia has guides to help you find reliable sources. See:

Below, we've highlighted six useful resources for finding good Australia references.

1. Google

If you’re writing about a person or event then a quick Google search can help find relevant information.

Using Google News is a great way to find recent media coverage, and Google Books can be good for searching older books, magazines, and newspapers. Unfortunately, Google Books doesn’t always give a full preview of the book, but there is usually a link to help find a copy in your local library or to buy a copy from a bookstore.

2. Trove

Trove is a fantastic resource for Australian content. You can search for books in libraries around Australia, search through archived websites, and also many newspapers or magazines. Some of the newspaper archives end at 1955 due to Australian copyright restrictions, but for older content it is incredibly valuable.

3. State Libraries

Each State Library around Australia has their own archive of books, newspapers, magazines, maps, and more. You might need a membership to access some of their resources, but they are usually free. Check on the library website for details:

If you can visit in person you can browse many of their collections, but most also have e-resources available too which you can access from home. These might include out of copyright photos or access to international newspaper archives.

4. The Media

I mentioned Google News before, but nothing beats going to the source. In Australia, searching the websites for ABC or The Age are a great way to find news articles on a subject. The ABC often archive their radio interviews too, and these can be used as references on Wikipedia as well.

Unfortunately, some media companies put all of their content behind a paywall so you may have to pay to access it. But some public libraries have their own subscriptions, and it’s worth checking with your local library if they can help you gain access.

5. The Australian Dictionary of Biography

The Australian Dictionary of Biography or ADB publishes biographies on Australian people. Entries are currently being written for people who died between 1991-2000, so this isn’t really useful if you’re writing about living people. But the best thing about the ADB is how they list their references at the bottom of each entry. So not only can you use the ADB as a reference on Wikipedia, you can also find further references which could be useful to you.

6. The Wikipedia Library

There are lots of other resources online that are useful. There are paid digital archives of many newspapers, subscriptions to magazines with archives, and more. And some of these can even be accessed for free with The Wikipedia Library. Any Wikipedia editor can use the library if they meet a few basic requirements which are: You have an account that is a minimum of 6 months old. You have made a minimum of 500 edits to Wikimedia projects. You have made at least 10 edits to Wikimedia projects in the last month. You are not currently blocked from editing a Wikimedia project.

Hopefully, this has given you an idea of some of the different resources available to you, and now you can start editing and improving Wikipedia.

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