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Many Wikipedia articles have inline citations like this one:

Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has about the same relative sweetness as granulated sugar.[1][2] It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it to sugar and other sweeteners.[1]

I am using articles from Wikipedia in my book and I have already provided credit to the authors by including URLs of the articles. Can I remove these numbers that refer to footnotes? They already exist in the Wikipedia pages and a reader can see the reference on the site itself if he wants. Wikipedia attribution policy (Reusing Wikipedia content) says that some external notations should generally be preserved by the re-user. "Should be" doesn't mean "must be", does it?

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If you follow the CC BY-SA 3.0 license under which Wikipedia articles are licensed:

You are allowed to make modifications, because Wikipedia doesn’t use a "no derivatives (ND)" CC license.

The license requires (in section 3. b.) to denote that changes were made:

[…] clearly label, demarcate or otherwise identify that changes were made to the original Work

So follow all the attribution requirements, make clear that your adaptation is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, and state something like "The original work has been modified.", or if you want to provide more details, something like "Footnote references from the original work have been removed."

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