Template:Citation needed

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[citation needed]

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{{Citation needed}} (also known by the redirects {{Cn}} and {{Fact}}) is a template used to identify claims in articles, particularly if questionable, that need a citation to a reliable source. The template produces a superscripted [citation needed].

Usage

{{citation needed|reason=Your explanation here|date=August 2014}}

Notes:

  • The date-substitution template may be used to automatically generate the date, e.g., {{Citation needed|{{subst:DATE}}}}. See Help:Substitution for more information.
  • The |date= parameter need not be added by the editor: if not entered, a bot will soon add it. The date parameter consists of the full English name of the current month with initial capital, a space, and the year, not full dates; e.g., "January 2013", but not "jan13". Any deviation from these two rules will result in an "invalid date parameter" error.
  • The |reason= parameter is optional but often helpful. It is displayed as a tooltip. For example, the following usage might be appropriate to the claim that "Humphrey Bogart has won several snooker world championships":
    {{citation needed|reason=This claim needs a reliable source; Bogart was a famous actor, and his major biographies don't mention snooker.|date=August 2014}}
    • If double quotation marks are used within the |reason= parameter, the reason will not be displayed as a tooltip; use single quotes instead.
    • Use only plain text for the |reason= parameter. It does not support wiki markup like wikilinks which can "mess up" the tooltip.
  • Use of this template places the article into Category:Articles with unsourced statements and Category:Articles with unsourced statements from August 2014 (example).
  • Remove the template when you add a citation for a statement.

Examples

Example 1

This sentence shows the template used at the end.{{Citation needed|reason=Reliable source needed for the whole sentence|date=August 2014}}

This wikitext will be rendered as follows:

This sentence shows the template used at the end.[citation needed]

Example 2

The template indicates that it may be that Humphrey Bogart played snooker at some point and it may be that he won some tournaments at some point but no reliable, published sources were given to verify it and the information is not considered common knowledge.

Humphrey Bogart has won several snooker world championships.[citation needed]

Example 3

If it is considered that he might have won just one tournament, the template may be placed accordingly; and a reason for the need of a citation may be given, displayed when the mouse hovers on "citation needed":

Humphrey Bogart has won several[citation needed] snooker world championships.

When not to use this template

Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced should be removed immediately. Do not tag it; immediately remove it. This includes material that is doubtful, harmful, or possibly libelous. For some policy about this, see the sections "Remove contentious material that is unsourced or poorly sourced" at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons and "Burden of evidence" at Wikipedia:Verifiability.

The {{Citation needed}} template is intended for use when there is a general question of the verifiability of a statement, or when an editor believes that a reference verifying the statement should be provided. Other templates are available for other or more specific issues; see the list of inline templates. For example, claims that you think are incorrect should be tagged with {{Dubious}}, and those which represent a non-neutral view should be tagged with {{POV-statement}}. Being specific about the nature of the problem will help other editors correct it.

If you have the time and ability to find an authoritative reference, please do so. Then add the citation yourself, or correct the article text. After all, the ultimate goal is not to merely identify problems, but to fix them.

While an editor may add this template to any uncited passage for any reason, many editors object to what they perceive as overuse of this tag, particularly in what is known as "drive-by" tagging, which is applying the tag without attempting to address the issues at all (hit-and-run). Consider whether adding this tag in an article is the best approach before using it, and use it judiciously. Wikipedia's verifiability policy does not require reliable sources for common well-known facts (e.g., "the Moon orbits the Earth"), neither that citations be repeated through every sentence in a paragraph. All direct quotations and facts whose accuracy might be challenged (e.g., statistics) require citations. See WP:MINREF for the list of material that is absolutely required to be followed by an inline citation, rather than a general reference or no citation at all. Also note that the burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material.

This template is intended for specific passages that need citation. For entire articles or sections that contain significant material lacking sources (rather than just specific short passages), there are other, more appropriate templates, such as {{Unreferenced}} or {{Refimprove}}.

Do not use this template to tag policies or guidelines.

How to respond to this tag

The addition of this tag is a request for an inline citation to support the tagged statement. If you are able to provide a citation to support the claim, then please do so.

Except for certain kinds of claims about living people, which require immediate production of inline citations, there is no specific deadline for providing citations. Please do not delete information that you believe is correct simply because no-one has provided a citation within an arbitrary time limit. Where there is some uncertainty about its accuracy, most editors are willing to wait about a month to see whether a citation can be provided.

Template data

This is the TemplateData documentation for this template used by VisualEditor and other tools.

Citation needed

The template is used to identify claims in articles, particularly if questionable, that need a citation to a reliable source.

Template parameters
Parameter Description Type Default Status
Month and year date Provides the month and year of the citation request; e.g., 'January 2013', but not 'jan13' string empty required
Reason for citation reason A reason as to why, or for what content, the citation is needed; use single quotes, if any string empty optional

Redirects

See also


Inline templates

Highlighting some text that needs a citation

  • {{Citation needed span}}: similar, except that the text needing the citation is changed to a dark slate-gray color while being encapsulated in an off-white box with a pale pink outline. For example:
Beetles constitute by far[citation needed] the largest order of insects, with 350,000–400,000 species in four suborders[citation needed].

Incomplete citations

Verification

Content

Timeliness

Article message box templates

  • {{Cite check}}, article / section may have inappropriate or misinterpreted citations.
  • {{Refimprove}}, article / section has weak or incomplete sources / references / citations.
  • {{Unreferenced}}, article / section has no sources / references / citations given at all.
  • Citation method and style