Help:Datatype "Reference"

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Holds a value that associates it to individual defined provenance metadata record
Further Information
Provided by: Semantic MediaWiki
Added in version: 2.5.0
Removed in version: still in use
Datatype ID:
In this wiki: Reference
Table of Contents
Semantic MediaWiki statement containing a factual claim
Example definition of a property using the Reference type
Example value assignment with tooltip

The datatype Reference is meant to associate a value with an individual defined provenance metadata record. It was introduced in Semantic MediaWiki

This page is mainly concerned with the [[Has type::Reference]] datatype declaration but you may want to read information referenced statement to find some background on the reasoning for this datatype.

For an exhaustive description on how to use the reference and provenance data feature which is made available by this datatype, please see the Semantic MediaWiki GitHub issue #18082 as well as the Semantic MediaWiki Sandbox example page for the corresponding pull request #1812.3


  • To create a property of datatype "Reference" [[Has type::Reference]] has to be added to the property page
  • To define the actual reference the respective fields to hold the provenance data
    [[Has fields::Property for the reference value;Property for the reference date;Property for the reference source]] has to be added to the property page
  • The datatypes and position of the provenance data fields are fixed by the position used in the [[Has fields::...;...;...]] declaration
  • By convention the first field of the "Has fields" declaration must describe the property holding the value to be referenced. This is equivalent to just declaring [[Has type::...]] without adding provenance data
  • An annotation to a property of datatype "Reference" requires the reference to be added as a concatenated string separated by ";", e.g.
    [[Property of datatype Reference::Population number;Retrieved on date;Retrieved from URL]]
  • In case a value itself contains "; "as part of its declaration then "\;" is to be used to distinguish it from the separator
  • Annotations of datatype "Reference" work in the same way other datatypes do and can be combined with the #set parser function or the #subobject parser function
  • Queries which operate the same way as with those of the "Record" datatype and can specify the level of granularity with which an entity is expected to match ([[Has population::?;>2000]] vs. [[Has population::>30000000]])


  • Values with a reference will show a marker to indicate additional information being available which when hovered over to display a tooltip with those additional value statements
  • A reference to a value will in most cases (when displayed as in-text or as result of a #ask query) be displayed as a tooltip



The property is called "Has population" and the following declarations are added to it's page: [[Has type::Reference]] [[Has fields::Population;Retrieved on;Retrieved from]] with property "Population" being of datatype "Number", "Retrieved on" being of datatype "Date" and "Retrieved from" being of datatype "URL".


See also

Related query syntax elements


Help pageSyntax elementDescription
#ask: annotation query marker
Marks an inline query as part of an annotation4
#ask: control query marker
Allows to dynamically alter a result display without the need to reload a page5
#ask: deferred query marker
Marks an inline query as deferred from regular parsing5
#ask: hierarchy depth restriction
Restricts the hierarchy depth of a query6
#ask: printout column alignment
Defines an alignment for the content of a printout column
#ask: printout column width
Defines a width for a printout column7
#ask: printout sorting order
Defines the sorting order for printout statements (dot chain syntax)8


  1. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub pull request gh:smw:1812
  2. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub issue gh:smw:1808
  3. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: Sandbox example for pull request #1812
  4. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub pull request gh:smw:2572
  5. a b  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub pull request gh:smw:2398 (Add support for @deferred mode)
  6. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub issue gh:smw:2662
  7. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub pull request gh:smw:2677
  8. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub pull request gh:smw:2073