Citation templates are used to format citations in a consistent way, as an alternative to formatting the citations by hand. The use of citation templates is neither encouraged nor discouraged. Templates may be used or removed at the discretion of individual editors, subject to agreement with other editors on the article. Because templates can be contentious, editors should not add citation templates, or change an article with a consistent citation format to another, without gaining consensus; see WP:CITECONSENSUS and WP:CITEVAR. The various citation templates below may be freely mixed, since they all produce a similar format. WP:DUPLINK and WP:OVERLINK do not apply to citations. It is expected that a reference citation includes wikilinks to the relevant article for the source, such as The New York Times, rather than The New York Times.
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