Battlestar Wiki:Citation Jihad

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This page is one of Battlestar Wiki's many projects.
This page serves to coordinate discussion on a particular aspect of this Wiki. The formal recommendations of a project may be treated as policies.

Jihad is an arabic word meaning "to exert utmost effort, to strive, to struggle." Battlestar Wiki strives to be a comprehensive and accurate source of canonical information for a fictional work. Because of the nature of a wiki where anyone may contribute as well as the subjective interpretations implicit in a work of fiction, it is vital that sources be cited and facts checked. This project page devotes itself in defining what is considered officially sourced or verifiable information regarding characters, events and situations in the Battlestar Galactica saga.

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Battlestar Wiki's primary goals do not include discerning which unofficial sources have valid information. Our primary goal is to report valid information in an encyclopedic medium. Due to this, we will not be citing rumors from any sources other than official channels, such as the Sci Fi Channel, Ronald D. Moore, and other cast and crew of the Original Series or Re-imagined Series. Any information from sources other than those in the list will be immediately removed from the wiki.

Actions which lead to the repeated reintroduction of said unofficial and unverifiable material will be dealt with by an administrator.

Acceptable Sources

In roughly descending order of reliability:

  1. Content from an aired episode. This includes "bonus scenes" from season 3 of the Re-imagined Series.
    • TWIZ TV is a good source for episode transcripts for Re-imagined seasons 1 and 2
    • The SadGeezers Guide offers comprehensive transcripts for Re-imagined season 3
    • DVDs (subtitles, visual evidence, and behind-the-scenes material)
  2. Official comments from the producers:
  3. Other statements from producers, cast, and crew
  4. The Sci Fi Channel and Sky One websites

This list is an important guideline, but its order is not to be slavishly obeyed. If David Eick mentions offhand that Galactica is four inches long, but a reliable source from Zoic gives scaling information used in the visual effects sequences, deference should be given to Zoic's field of expertise. (This would also fall under the guideline of placing on-screen evidence before producer's commentary). Obvious gaffes and bloopers should also be ignored.

Where later comments contradict earlier ones, defer to the most recent statement and make a note at Continuity errors (RDM). An example of this is the size of the fleet, increased from 40 ships in the miniseries to 75 in the series. If the issue is not decisively settled, make a note at the bottom of the page (see Olympic Carrier#Notes for an example).

List of sites that are not good sources

  • Battlestar Wiki itself. This is important. If you read information here that you have not verified yourself, do not trust it.
    • The only exceptions lie with content provided in the Sources: namespace and comments from any cast or crew member via the Official Communiques section of the Battlestar Wiki.
  • Wikipedia. Where Wikipedia cites its own sources, it can be a useful guide. However, uncited assertions should not be trusted. Recently, other wikis have used Battlestar Wiki-derived information.
  • IMDB. IMDB has not demonstrated a rigorous standard of fact-checking.
  • Scifipedia. This is a new wiki operated by the Sci Fi Channel. However, as have other wikis, Scifipedia contributors have often used Battlestar Wiki itself as a source.
  • Fan sites such as Battlestar Galactica Tech Manual, Colonial History, Galactica Station, where they do not themselves cite sources.
  • Anonymous sources, including those that cite an anonymous source. The validity of these sources cannot be verified without bias.

Our Weapons

Derived Content

Battlestar Wiki is an encyclopedia on works of fiction. As with all fiction, the characters, technology, events and other items in Battlestar Galactica are never fully explained or defined. Because of this, contributors are allowed to add material that helps in adding intriguing interpretation and explanation into an article's content, provided that the addition is based on logical or actual events, characters, and objects from official sources. We call this derived content. There are two forms contributors can use as appropriate: plausible speculation and logical deduction.

Plausible speculation

The plausible speculation method best works in filling the gaps of data on character motivation or plot direction based on the behaviors or motives expressed by any and all characters as appropriate. When done correctly, plausible speculations add "color" and insight to the article, as well as defining the article's content for readers who may not have realized a significance to the subject matter presented in the article.

Plausible speculation occurs when official sources on the subject are sparse, but substantially important events and results occur in the official sources that logical possibilities can be generated. Plausible speculations are highly fluid and subject to extreme editing as new official information occurs. Again, plausible explanations lend themselves best to character behaviors and motivations.

One significant example of an article that uses a great deal of plausible speculation is the article "Case Orange." For contributors of Original Series content, plausible speculation is all that can be drawn upon on since the Original Series and its spinoff have long ceased production, and there are very few official resources available to consult or research.

Logical deduction

The second method is logical deduction. The logical deduction approach differs from plausible speculation in that much more information is available from official content and sources to derive strongly supported article content, despite the fact that the subject matter per se may not be discussed in any one source, but over a series of sources. Logical deductions usually lend themselves best to explanations of technology, terminology or procedure, with technology that has been illustrated, although not fully explained.

The subarticles in the Science in the Re-imagined Series parent article are good examples where logical deduction from sources gives greater insight and detail on a topic from the analysis of screenshots of displays, dialogue, scientific principles, and the like.

Special considerations in using derived content

Using either plausible speculation or logical deduction methods require all contributors to cite credible official sources that support their speculation or deduction. Be sure to use footnote templates or the Sources namespace (see later sections) to add in the references that support your hypotheses. Derived content without footnotes or similar sources are subject to immediate removal to the article's talk page for review and sourcing.

It is also very important to note the subtle differences between logical or plausible interpretation of observed concepts and events of the show, and generating ideas of what you or other fans of the show believe has happened. Don't attempt to explain away a plot hole, circumstance, mistake or other event in the show with your own created idea that hasn't an official source. This mistake is known as fanwanking. As a wiki that encyclopedically chronicles a work of fiction, Battlestar Wiki policy on derived content treads all too closely to the problems created in using original research, which is why official sources are critical for any derived content.

Articles without obvious official sourcing will be marked for deletion, where contributors have a period of time to improve the article. Articles without any internal links to episode information, characters and events (common to fanwanked articles or fanon) may be marked for speedy deletion.

Citing Episodes

Episodes are typically cited at the end of the paragraph or sentence stating a fact seen or mentioned in said episode(s). For instance, from the article on the Re-imagined Series's Galactica:

Four months after their escape, Galactica's staff is still in the process of developing a rescue strategy with 16 training exercises having been completed and a 17th underway when an accident causes its early cessation (TRS: "Occupation"). This forces both a change in strategy and the reformulation of a rescue plan to deal with personnel who have not seen conflict in 16 months. While Galactica fights to liberate the Colonials on-planet, Pegasus is assigned to protect the remaining civilian Fleet and continue its search for Earth (TRS: "Precipice"; "Exodus, Part I").

All episode citations have the following format: (SERIES ACRONYM: "Episode Name").

The following acronyms are used (typically in alpha-order):

  • 1980: Galactica 1980
  • CAP: Caprica
  • TOS: The Original Series
  • TRS: The Re-imagined Series

Multiple episodes inside the cite parentheses typically use the comma outside of the ending quotation mark. The only exception to the comma use is when the episode title already contains a comma within it, such as "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down." In that event, the semi-colon is used to separate said episode titles.

Footnote Templates

Battlestar Wiki supports the Cite.php script for the purpose of making footnotes where in-text citations become too cumbersome. This is the preferred way of citing sources. If you use this method, please make sure the {{reflist}}. In addition to using the Cite.php script, all citations are to be in proper format. Citation templates have been imported from Wikipedia to help. Please review the template pages to understand how they are used. These templates should be placed within the <ref> tags.

In the past, we have used {{ref}} and {{note}} (imported from Wikipedia) for this purpose. They have been removed from the system. Please see Cite.php script for examples on how to use the new tags.

We also have taken the liberty of adding {{citation needed}}, a template which does double duty by adding articles needing citations to the Articles requiring citations category as well as indicating which paragraph or sentence requires the citation.

Footnotes are most useful to keep the voice of an article from oscillating between describing a viewer perspective or behind-the-scenes notation as opposed to the "in-universe" description of the character or event. Here is an example of where a footnote would aid in keeping the focus of the article on the subject matter and not related matter:

"Ragnar Anchorage resides inside the gas giant, Ragnar. Filmed in a sugar mill near Vancouver, the Anchorage is a Colonial storage depot. The main depot area is later used as the Temple of Five in the episode, "The Eye of Jupiter."

Here, the out-of-universe comments (shown in bold, above) on the real-world scenery take away the article's attempt to describe Ragnar Anchorage as if it were a real place. By moving these comments to a footnote, the "flavor" of the article and its subject matter is retained.

For more on using footnotes to keep an appropriate voice to an article, see Battlestar Wiki:Real Point of View.

Sources namespace

The Sources: namespace exists to host primary source content. See Sources:Correspondence with Jose Perez for an example. All primary source pages can be seen at Category:Sources.

How to cite print sources

Print sources, such as Battlestar Galactica: The Official Magazine, should be cited with a full MLA style citation in the footnote and, where possible, a brief and pertinent quote. See Saul Tigh#References for an example.

Our Missions

Articles needing sources

Category:Articles requiring citations provides a list of articles already tagged with {{citation needed}}.

  • Any of the alleged Zoic battlestars not authenticated in episodes or elsewhere: Prometheus; Pacifica; Rycon (of which a battlestar does exist in TOS); Poseidon; Argo; Acropolis.
  • Need source on director Ahmer Lateaf from TOS episode "Greetings From Earth"; does not appear in IMDB.

Widespread misconceptions (aka "Fanon")

  • The RDM Galactica is not equipped with railguns (see the article, Weapons in the Re-imagined Series, for more information).
  • No official sources back up the assertion that the battlestars named Columbia in the re-imagined series were named for the Original Series battlestar Columbia.
  • In addition, while Glen Larson himself has claimed that there were likely more than twelve battlestars, it is believed by fans that there were only twelve, one for each colony. This is not the case, as no exact number has ever been established, other than those battlestars seen or mentioned in the Original Series' run.
  • No official source implies that there are specifically twelve Lords of Kobol.
  • The Re-imagined Series of Battlestar Galactica does not necessarily take place in the "future" relative to our present on Earth. Executive producer Ron Moore, as well as many of the cast and crew, consistently point out that the timeframe of the series is deliberately ambiguous, and could be set in the past, present, or future relative to Earth today.


Show your commitment to accuracy. Join up!

  • April Arcus 01:19, 29 September 2005 (EDT)
  • Spencerian 10:20, 29 September 2005 (EDT) (self-dubbed Lord of "It's Galactica not the Galactica" Corrections)
  • Day 21:49, 30 September 2005 (EDT)
    "Your episode citations go inside the period."
  • BMS 17:45, 30 January 2006 (EST) I need to start citing my contribs, and I'll get right on that from here on
  • Fearpi 15:50, 11 February 2006 (EST)
  • CalculatinAvatar 11:21, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
  • Shane (T - C - E) 09:43, 27 July 2006 (CDT) - Template Updating Only
  • BklynBruzer 12:21, 3 October 2006 (CDT)
  • Madbrood 14:28, 29 November 2006 (CST)
  • Catrope 11:47, 8 February 2007 (CST) I hardly ever write anything that needs citing, but this is a good project.
  • JubalHarshaw 08:40, 10 April 2007 (CDT) - A worthy project.