Template talk:Citation needed/Archive 7

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Wording in articles

I'd like to suggest that wording as shown in articles, [citation needed], be changed to something shorter so as to not break up the flow of the text quite so much. [need citation] would probably be just as clear and would shorten the interruption by two character. Whereas [need cite] would be even shorter, but perhaps not quite as clear. (Previous discussion) --Atomes (talk) 17:34, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

I'd suggest checking the archived discussion. This has been argued over before. I'm not saying it shouldn't be done (or that that it should), just that reaching any kind of agreement on the issue seems difficult. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 01:10, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
"Needs cite" would be more grammatically correct. Rich Farmbrough, 20:24 22 November 2008 (UTC).

Overuse, Inappropriate Use and Drive by Tagging

I see the [citation needed] template used in every manner of situation even ones that are highly inappropriate where the statements made are entirely uncontroversial and purely factual or descriptive in nature. These tend to be along the lines of: "The allies won the second world war[citation needed]" and are just annoyances to the editors of wikipedia who actually do the useful work of adding new material.

The presence of a fact template suggests that there is something wrong with a statement or that it is doubtful or controversial.

I think that fact templates should only be added when the factuality of a statement is seriously in doubt or of controversial nature. In order to deal with incidences of drive by tagging I think there should be a reqiurement of anyone who makes a [citation needed] tag must write in the talk section exactly what they think is wrong with a statement.

There is also the issue of things which may not be documented, though they might be generally held as being true. If I wrote that "Alice Springs in Australia is not inhabited by four legged martians[citation needed]" I doubt I'd be able to find a source anywhere on earth that will specifically agree with that fact. In a more practical sense, if in a mathematical context one were to write 2 + 2 = 4[citation needed], there is no mathematical proof for the truth of such a statement (a point made by Roger Penrose) but the statement is almost universally held as true and certainly not controversial or doubtful in any way. Some statements are really difficult or impossible to find references for, not because they are wrong or 'original research' but because of their nature. Although there are statements where references can be found (sometimes only in print) wiki editors are not paid and many useful contributors don't want to waste their own time looking up references and writing them in when the statements themselves are completely sound.

I don't understand the motivations of people who add fact tags in inappropriate places (although I sometimes question their intelligence or character in my own mind) but anyone who adds a fact tag should be required to make a note on the discussion page of the article saying why they thought it was necessary to have the tag in the first place. I think it's important to use common sense when tagging the fact tag because it can do more harm than good in some cases. The potential harm includes: discouraging editors, wasting editor's time and fostering unfounded doubts in the minds of readers. Sometimes the [citation needed] tag seems to be the wikipedia analog of vexatious litigation.

I hope that the policies can be changed to retain the advantages of this tag without all the downsides which I have just outlined --I (talk) 08:53, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

You probably want to take this up at WT:V or WP:VPP, but first check the archives of both to make sure the same argument hasn't already been had. Also, see WP:POINT for the guideline relating to people adding {{fact}} purely to be disruptive. Anomie 11:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a mathematical proof, however on the substantive point the tag can also be used for many non-controversial items. For example "Joe Bloggs was born in Dunbartonshire in 1932" - well no-one is disputing this but if it is sourced the source can be checked. Doesn't mean the source is right, but at least we know that it's not (or is) based on a newspaper article stating his age. It is surprising how much basic information is simply replicated from unreliable source to unreliable source, WP aims not to be part of this more than avoidable. Rich Farmbrough, 02:19 22 October 2008 (UTC).
Would it help to move the tag itself to {{citation needed}} or {{cn}} and make {{fact}} the redirect? If we made clear that this is the inline equivalent of {{unsourced}}, rather than of {{accuracy}}, there might be fewer feathers ruffled. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:08, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes it would ALWAYS be helpful to have a citation to check for any fact, but the problem is that 1) It can be tiresome to spend time digging up citations that are considered acceptable for every fact 2) There is a threat of removal of information that hasn't been citationed once the tag goes up and more casual contributors are put off by the thought of someone else coming along and removing their contributions (which may be perfectly accurate and useful) simply because it isn't supported by a citation. 2) is the most important point because this is bad for wikipedia. The problem is casual contributors often tend to provide the most useful and knowledgable contributions to wikipedia which is then 'wikified' by edit count kings who don't actually make substantive additions to wikipedia. I don't begrudge the work of these 'edit count kings' (hey, formatting and punctuation matters!) but there needs to be people who go around and try to find sources for material using google. This is probably not much fun for most people (auditors and historians tend to love it however) but it needs to be done. The fact template would be harmless (and positive) if it weren't for the inherent threat it carries. --I (talk) 14:05, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
A common objection to the fact tag is that it's a lot of work to find sources. Well, sorry, but Wikipedia is supposed to be a verifiable encyclopedia. Sources are fundamental and required. Nobody said this was going to be easy. Will that mean that unsourced contributions will sometimes be removed because they cannot be verified? Yes. That's the price we pay for requiring verifiability. And verifiability is essential to an encyclopedia that "anyone can edit"; otherwise, there's no way to separate the good from the bad. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 20:48, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

So dates?

So (reading above), there's a bot which will date any fact tag I place? Because I really like knowing how long something has been tagged as unsourced - and I don't find easy documentation telling me how to get that behavior.
~ender 2008-10-28 01:42:AM MST —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

You are correct. All you have to do is put {{fact}} in the page, and a bot (currently SmackBot) will add the date tag for you. (If, for some reason, {{fact}} is not dated automatically, the only way to find out when it was added is by checking the page history.) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 21:55, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
So it's not a for-sure thing, is what I'm getting. If it's not a for sure thing, than anal-rentitive types who don't want to attempt digging thru the history (do it right the first time, save work!), should do it this way:
{{Fact|date=Month 2008}}
~ender 2008-11-14
Nothing in this world is a "for-sure thing". Automatic insertion of the data is not done by the MediaWiki software. There are many bots on Wikipedia. Several of them are considered quite vital to practical functioning of the project. So bot-automated tasks are not necessarily less likely to be maintained. I have seen such tags used hundreds of times at least, and never yet noticed SmackBot fail to update them, sometimes within seconds. · That all said, it won't hurt anything to put the date tags in manually. Whatever floats your boat.  :) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 22:47, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Signing tags in articles

Resolved: No objections to revert.

I have removed this suggestion. Peoples sigs can be complicated an break stuff, including User:SmackBot. Any significant discussion should be on the talk page. Rich Farmbrough, 23:23 21 November 2008 (UTC).

ISBN needed

I have lost count of the times I have added '{{fact}}<!-- please add [[ISBN]]s -->' to articles, could we create a new tag that looks something like this: [ISBN needed] to ask for the ISBN or ISSN on book and periodicals mentioned. --Nate1481 09:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Request to allow more flexibility on date parameter

For better or worse, some people manually input the date parameter rather than letting the bot do it. If someone manually inputs december 2008 rather than December 2008 the template does not recognise the date as valid, would it be possible to change the template so it recognised small deviations such as non-capitals?, thanks Tom B (talk) 18:58, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Hey, whatever happened to...

...the date specified in the tag being displayed on the link's tooltip? That was incredibly handy, and I'm 99% sure I'm not imagining such a feature. Why did it get removed? EVula // talk // // 04:07, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Let's also do like the French template does.

Instead of having Text requiring a reference.{{fact}} produce Text requiring a reference.[citation needed], let's also (as in on top of the current behaviour) have it so {{fact|Text requiring a reference.}} produces Text requiring a reference.[citation needed].

The French wiki produces a more eye-pleasing gray underline (rather than the black one) through the need_ref span class, but it doesn't seem to work here.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 08:54, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Updated look per Michael's tip.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 03:12, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
That's really a nice solution, but is there a problem which requires it? I don't recall any situation where it was unclear what needed the reference. It requires more previewing and fiddling for editors, and increases the visual blight in the article text for readers. If anything, the visual footprint should be reduced, not increased.
I'm opposed, but if you must do this, keep the underscore invisible until I mouse over the note (this requires CSS in the style sheet).
FYI, here's how the format could be done. The tag belongs outside the punctuation.
Text requiring a reference.[citation needed]
 Michael Z. 2009-01-27 16:57 z

Between "visual blight" and unreferenced statements, visual blight is by far the lesser evil. If you don't want to use the new way, then don't. Just write the good old "Text requiring a reference.{{fact}}. and things won't be any different. I, amongst many others, would rather use the new way. Consider a section like this (from the current version of Economy of Angola:

The U.S. exports industrial goods and services, primarily oilfield equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food, to Angola, while principally importing petroleum.[citation needed]

Now what exactly is the reference needed for? The entire sentence or just petrolum as the principal import from Angola? Now consider a section like this (from the current version of Ayn Rand:

She recognized an intellectual kinship with John Locke in political philosophy[citation needed], agreeing with Locke's ideas that individuals have a right to the products of their own labor and have natural rights to life, liberty, and property[citation needed]. Unlike Locke, she found the basis for individual rights in man's nature as a being whose survival depends upon his independent exercise of reason[citation needed]. She agreed in a general way with the philosophies of the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Reason and reported her approval of specific philosophical positions, including some of Baruch Spinoza and St. Thomas Aquinas.[citation needed]

This is part of a larger, well referenced section, to the unreferenced section tag is innapropriate. However in the current version, four {{fact}} tags carries no greater information than the following:

She recognized an intellectual kinship with John Locke in political philosophy, agreeing with Locke's ideas that individuals have a right to the products of their own labor and have natural rights to life, liberty, and property. Unlike Locke, she found the basis for individual rights in man's nature as a being whose survival depends upon his independent exercise of reason. She agreed in a general way with the philosophies of the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Reason and reported her approval of specific philosophical positions, including some of Baruch Spinoza and St. Thomas Aquinas.[citation needed]

but introduces a lot of unnecessary clutter. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 03:12, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

That looks like hell.
“Between "visual blight" and unreferenced statements, visual blight is by far the lesser evil.”—Who made those the only choices? Article problems are to be fixed, removed from the text, or discussed on the talk page. This template is a lazy editor's substitute for discussion, and shouldn't exist in the first place. There's a whole namespace for talk, so please stop trying to add more proofreader's markup to articles. Michael Z. 2009-01-28 03:59 z
The French wikipedia hasn't imploded over this and I don't see why we should. If you don't like the {{fact}}template, don't use it. They had a good idea, and we should follow it too. You can try to submit this for deletion like someone did in the past and get the discussion closed in 5 seconds per WP:SNOWBALL. The fact is that this template is used all accross wikipedia and allowing to point out what specific statement is under dispute is an improvement, not a downgrade. And anything that raises reader awareness of the various problems of article is progress, not downgrade. If you don't like seing them, then reference the statement, and remove the {{fact}}. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 06:13, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm opposed to adding more decoration to this template. “The French wikipedia hasn't imploded” is not justification enough for adding it, and your sole opinion doesn't constitute consensus, so please don't assume that it's a done deal. If you propose a change, it's up to you to justify it. Michael Z. 2009-01-28 14:59 z
How about "it allows for more surgical use of the template"? I never claim my sole opinion consisted of consensus, so far only you and I weighed it. You invoke WP:IDONTLIKEIT, I invoke greater flexibility and enhanced awareness of the problems of an article. We'll see who wins in a while.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 00:17, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't like it. Because it introduces editorial markup not only at the top of articles and sections, and in between sentences and phrases, but to permeate every line of text. I can't just not use it the new way, because phrases, sentence, and, to go by your example, whole paragraphs will be surrounded by the components of this template which I will have to tiptoe around. This and other reasons I've mentioned are good reasons not to introduce this. All you offer is WP:ILIKEITMichael Z. 2009-01-29 01:09 z
There's already editorial markup and consensus for its use everywhere on wikipedia. Click "What links here" on {{fact}} and {{clarifyme}} for examples. My argument is not WP:ILIKEIT, my argument is that this allows editors to pinpoint exactly what needs to be referenced, to reduce clutter such as 4 [citation needed] one after the other in the same paragraph, and to raise reader awareness that there's a problem with some of what's writing in the article amongst others. Your argument however, is exclusively WP:IDONTLIKEIT.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 02:35, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
No. What you're proposing is not consensus anywhere. And my argument is the things I said, but yours is WP:ILIKEITMichael Z. 2009-01-29 06:45 z

(got here via a note at WT:MOSNUM) Yes, the example above with the four [citation needed] tags looks horribly cluttered, and the alternate version with the underline is much easier on the eyes. On the other hand, after the references are put in, the paragraph will STILL look horribly cluttered… only now it will be in-line[34] cites[35] doing[36] the cluttering[37] instead of the [citation needed] tags. On top of which are the Wikilinks, which some editors like to put in with mad abandon… and some will even put in in-line links to external sites, so that the end result will look like this:

She recognized an intellectual kinship with John Locke in political philosophy[citation needed], agreeing with Locke's ideas that individuals have a right to the products of their own labor[38] and have natural rights to life, liberty, and property[38]. Unlike Locke, she found the basis for individual rights in man's nature as a being whose survival depends upon his independent exercise of reason[39]. She agreed in a general way with the philosophies of the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Reason and reported her approval of specific philosophical positions, including some of Baruch Spinoza and St. Thomas Aquinas.[citation needed]

For readability Wikipedia ranks at the bottom of the pile, and one of the biggest problems is the many ugly splotches of blue in the form of in-line cites, in-line tags, Wikilinks, and in-line external links. Putting underline on a paragraph instead of several [citation needed] tags is easier on the eyes but does not solve the most pressing problems. Also, it makes it more difficult to identify exactly which facts, factoids, assertions or opinions should receive citations. For those who are interested, see my proposal to turn off display of in-line cites by default (buried somewhere in the Village Pump archives).--Goodmorningworld (talk) 17:48, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, you can't blame Wikipedia when you add 9 more links to a paragraph which had 6 :-)
Incidentally, inline references look just fine if they're formatted the traditional way. The blue colour and brackets are added purportedly to make them an easier mouse target, but just like reference citations in print, they are of relatively low importance and should stay inconspicuous. Try the following in your user CSS. mine also has other goodies to improve the look. Michael Z. 2009-01-29 18:02 z
/* inconspicuous inline reference citations */
sup.reference {
  white-space: nowrap;
sup.reference a {
  font-size: 0.85em;
  font-weight: 600; /* semibold; currently doesn't work for Minion Pro */
  font-weight: bold;
   sup.reference:after {
    content: ' '; /* non-break space after cites */
    text-decoration: none;
 sup.reference a span {
    display: none; /* hide the brackets */
  p sup.reference a, 
  tr sup.reference a, 
  ol sup.reference a, 
  ul sup.reference a, 
  dl sup.reference a {
    color: black; 
    p:hover sup.reference a, 
    tr:hover sup.reference a, 
    ol:hover sup.reference a, 
    ul:hover sup.reference a, 
    dl:hover sup.reference a {
      text-decoration: underline;
    p:hover sup.reference a:visited, 
    tr:hover sup.reference a:visited, 
    ol:hover sup.reference a:visited, 
    ul:hover sup.reference a:visited, 
    dl:hover sup.reference a:visited {
      color: #5A3696;
    p:hover sup.reference a:hover, 
    tr:hover sup.reference a:hover, 
    ol:hover sup.reference a:hover, 
    ul:hover sup.reference a:hover, 
    dl:hover sup.reference a:hover {
      color: #002BB8;
    p:hover sup.reference a:active, 
    tr:hover sup.reference a:active, 
    ol:hover sup.reference a:active, 
    ul:hover sup.reference a:active, 
    dl:hover sup.reference a:active {
      color: #FAA700;
That's all very well. However, it's not me that I'm concerned about so much but the readers of the articles that I write or edit, that's why I'm hoping for a revamp of the appearance for all readers, not just those lucky enough to run into Michael Z.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 11:55, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

On it.wiki, it shows gray text with pink background. -- (talk) 18:09, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

This is a smart idea that has the potential to end ambiguity to precisely what needs citing (was it the preceding sentence, paragraph, or even section?). It would act as a tremendous motivator for people to verify material in articles. I say go for it. — Hex (❝?!❞) 18:49, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

I really dislike this proposal to underline statements that need citations. This will lead to incredibly ugly pages that are difficult to read. This is also an accessibility issue. I have vision problems (largely corrected by bifocals), but underlined statements are still hard for me to read, especially if they cross multiple lines. Do we really want to potentially turn away readers - or future editors - because the page is unnecessarily difficult to read? If there is ambiguity over which statement the tags are for, use the article talk page or hidden comments in the text. Karanacs (talk) 22:02, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

What about shading text like this, as it's done on it.wiki (it:Template:Citazione necessaria)? It would make clear what the scope of the citation-needed tag is, but does not create as much visual clutter as underlining does. --A. di M. (talk) 22:45, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
How about the “citation needed” tag is just a dark grey question mark, but when you hover over the line, then the text is highlighted and the question mark becomes a blue link—a tooltip tells you that a citation is needed. This would meet both goals of reducing the disruption and making the target more clear. Michael Z. 2009-01-29 23:08 z
Please look at this example, from Ayn Rand, using Firefox or Safari. (I used current CSS, so it may need some workarounds to operate in MSIE—let me know.)
The fact tag is just an inconspicuous question mark. Mouse over the paragraph (this would work in tables and lists, too), and the question mark becomes more prominent. Mouse over the question mark or the statement, and it is identified with a highlight and explained with a title (tooltip). Michael Z. 2009-01-29 23:47 z
I much prefer this to some of the other examples; it's inconspicuous, yet instantly informative. EVula // talk // // 05:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I think I remember Michael Z.… Your example looks great and please let me explain why I think so. What readers want is text that "flows" on the page, rather than being riddled like Swiss cheese after an AK-47 targeting session with bluelinks, fact tags, inline cites, redlinks, inline links to external sites, wiktionary, other-language wikis… At the same time due to the peculiar nature of Wikipedia many of these intrusions can be necessary. What Michael Z. programmed deftly strikes a compromise between these two conflicting requirements, and I would right now support an initiative that made Michael Z. Wikipedia's Czar in Charge of Typography and Layout, any insurgents and dissidents to be shot on sight or sent on a looong vacation to Lower Ruritania.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 11:49, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

I quite like this idea - I can see that for <ahem>academic</ahem> purposes, or for others wanting to know serious information about a topic, it would immediately flag up which bits needed referencing, especially if it is in a small point of a long sentence/line (as in one of the above examples). Whether it is through underlining, or shaded text is open to options, but if it causes accessability issues (as Karanacs suggestions, then it should be used very cautiously indeed. It is also less useful if the majority of an article gets {{|fact}} splashed all over it (although they could all be exchanged for a blanked 'unreferenced' template.—MDCollins 23:54, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Please don't let's change the text (and adding the emphasis of underlining is changing the text) when marking a content dispute.
  • The color doesn't have that problem, but it violates WP:ACCESS (and that pink is hideous). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:57, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Pink is ugly as hell. While I'm not a fan of not having a "permanent" visual clue that a statement needs referencing, one that shows up when you hover on the [citation needed] seems acceptable if it gets people on board. I would still argue for the gray underlines over any background color however. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 05:10, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

(outdent)to readers uninformed about the nuances of wikipedia markup - ie the vast majority - the question mark in Mzajac's proposal/sample would imply that the assertions it follows are dubious, rather than that a source needs to be cited for them. i object to that. i don't see any advantage to the shading/underlining proposals: i don't perceive them as pinpointing where refs are needed any better than well-placed "citation needed" tags (oh and by the way, to a few folks in the discussion above: "well-placed" means after the end punctuation of the clause or sentence it refers to); and to me the underlining/shading ideas look like an increase in visual clutter, which isn't what wikipedia needs.
i gather that the "problem" these proposals are supposed to solve is that the "citation needed" tag is overly bulky and doesn't look good when it's used often enough for precision - what about changing it to generate a shorter tag, like (for example) this source? or ref? (while we're at it, "fact" is not a very adequate name for this template, is it.) Sssoul (talk) 09:02, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, while maybe this template was intended to mean "I don't believe that", as its name suggests and as I have seen it used sometimes, that's not what it says (nor what the page the link points to says). It means "this statement should be referenced". For statements which are not only unsourced but also implausible, Template:Dubious is more appropriate (and for biografies of living people, removing the statement altogether is even more so). So [source?] (looking identical to a footnote reference except for the text replacing the number) might be more appropriate than just a question mark. --A. di M. (talk) 13:30, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Example: The U.S. exports industrial goods and services, primarily oilfield equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food, to Angola, while principally importing petroleum.[source?] --A. di M. (talk) 13:48, 30 January 2009 (UTC) Maybe if we make it look like this when hovered (can't do this with style attributes, requires adding a class to the sheet): The U.S. exports industrial goods and services, primarily oilfield equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food, to Angola, while principally importing petroleum.[source?] --A. di M. (talk) 14:04, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

When you think about it, it's kind of depressing that while we're knocking ourselves out thinking of improvements, 99.99% of which will never see the light of day, the Wikimedia foundation has hired several full-time employees for the "Usability Initiative" supported by a million-bucks grant. In other words, we're allowed to play pattycakes but when something important needs to get done, the Wiki model flies out of the window. And when I think about the implications for the writing side of the Wiki…--Goodmorningworld (talk) 11:21, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't know what you're complaining about, or why you're doing it here. Volunteers can't conduct usability studies, or do real usability design. I don't see anyone whining that they hire a lawyer instead of letting us handle the lawsuits. Show a bit of respect for professional design and development. Michael Z. 2009-02-02 16:08 z
I agree with Goodmorningworld, this wiki seems to be functioning just fine using the work for volunteers and direct user input. I consider it to be one of the best constructed and well-thought out websites on the net. starting from templates and their appliance by the community to mediawiki software developers. We may not have a degree in usability, but we don't need it as long as careful and watchful volunteers contribute to them. --Nezek (talk) 17:11, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Trimming down the code

<sup class="noprint Template-Fact"><span title="This claim needs references to reliable sources" style="white-space: nowrap;">[<i><a href="/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed" title="Wikipedia:Citation needed">citation needed</a></i>]</span></sup>

Is there any reason for the span? The title attribute could be placed on the sup element, but since it only shows up when mousing over the bracket characters, let's remove it). Since there's a class, the style can be moved to the style sheet. The i element can also be removed, by adding font-style: italic to the CSS. As long as we're making changes, let's change the class to a shorter one, like tl-fact. The resulting code in each transclusion would be shorter and cleaner:

<sup class="noprint tl-fact">[<a href="/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed" title="Wikipedia:Citation needed">citation needed</a>]</sup>

The style sheet MediaWiki:Common.css would have:

.tl-fact {
  white-space: nowrap;
.tl-fact a {
  font-style: italic;

Any comments or objections? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mzajac (talkcontribs)

"Any comments or objections?" um ... i think so - what are you talking about, exactly? "fact" isn't a good "name" for a template used to indicate that a reference is needed. Sssoul (talk) 18:00, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Um... What are you talking about? I'm talking about improvements to the code in the template. If you'd like to talk about renaming it, let's start a new section. Michael Z. 2009-01-30 22:39 z
I dropped by here to suggest an enhachment for the title attribute, I don't think it should be removed. It makes the information (the date) much more acessiable, even if it does only show up in the browser when hovering over the brackets. It can also be useful from a microformats embracement view point. I suggest the dummy parameter "reason" be put to use and by adding its text into the title attribute as well.
The rest of it looks good to me --Nezek (talk) 17:36, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

InterWiki problem

I could not find an appropiate template in the German Wikipedia... perhaps maybe someone could help me? Thank you! --Lazer erazer (talk) 22:55, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

A bot will date your entry with the month and year

So the documentation currently reads. Why not simply show how to do this, as is done on most other maintenance and cleanup templates, i.e. {{fact|date=March 2009}}? __meco (talk) 09:46, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

it's a heavily used tag, which means that the inevitable mistakes mount up over time. bot's don't goof up anywhere near as often. --Ludwigs2 01:47, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

A thought

I have been doing some work to bring a more diverse array of tags and boilerplates to Wikiquote. After the Obama administration took over, all archived news and presidential radio addresses on whitehouse.gov were wiped out, leaving many dead links on the WQ page for George W. Bush. I created a tag for labeling deadlinks in the article, exactly duplicating the tag on this project, but noticed it was difficult to make out the tags in the flow of text. I altered the WQ version by simply reddening the flanking brackets, and now the tag sticks out far better.[deadlink] I thought this would be something to consider for the various in-text tags on Wikipedia. Thoughts? »S0CO(talk|contribs) 01:12, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Another thought

Following on from User:Jc-S0CO's thought above, which I agree with by the way, I noticed the Italian wikipedia equivalent for this template has two modes of use (I have modified the wikitext to show the effect):

l'uso è duplice:

  1. può essere messa in questo modo [citation needed], scrivendo semplicemente {{citation needed}} dopo l'affermazione
  2. in quest'altro modo[citation needed], dove evidenzia anche l'affermazione specifica, scrivendo {{citazione necessaria|testo dell'affermazione}}, includendo invece la frase incriminata nel template.

Is it possible to add this second mode to the English template? Or provide a second template that does this? See it:Algoritmo for an example of its use. 84user (talk) 05:16, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I made an example at Template:Fact-span. It could be used[citation needed] like this. 84user (talk) 05:47, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

We already have a spanning cn template. It's called {{refnec}}. But merging all three templates into one is something that could be done indeed. Just one thing: the confusing name "fact" is overused enough already.... -- Smjg (talk) 10:45, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

What the heck?

Why are so many articles with {{fact}} tags showing up in categories such as Category:Articles with unsourced statements from May 2009 (from instead of since)? That's a huge but, I'm finding tons of "from" categories all over the place. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Many ottersOne batOne hammer) 01:45, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Maybe because those tags were made in May 2009? I dunno, just a thought. BrenMan 94 (talk) 14:22, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

More heck: Keynote is "truly 3D" -- this is an exaggeration -- to be truly 3D there has to be a separate view for each eye and the view has to change with the position of the viewer's head. Keynote is bundled with several 3D-like transitions which are mapped onto a 2D screen. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Needed on commons. (Template whiz needed.)

Someone please reproduce this at commons:Template:Fact and make it work. Many (50+) pages already use this template even though it's never existed on that wiki. More than simple copy is needed.--Elvey (talk) 19:13, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

This is now a redirect to commons:Template:Fact disputed Paradoctor (talk) 15:39, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Wiki markup?

[citation needed] really should be included in the list of Wiki markups viewed when editing a page, it'd save people from having to open up a new window/tab to find the code for it.
BrenMan 94 (talk) 14:27, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Encouraging excessive use of this tag would be bad. I don't know if you remember what it was like a few years ago, but it got pretty ridiculous. This tag should only be used in the limited situation where you believe something is contentious, but at the same time you believe it is verifiable. If you think something is just utter bullshit, then nuke it, no need to tag. Likewise if a source is easily found, then add it. If the statement isn't contentious yet lacks a source, then there's no need to do anything. Gigs (talk) 19:57, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Agree that a "citation needed" tag (not Fact) "should be included in the list of Wiki markups viewed when editing a page". Disagree with "This tag should only be used in the limited situation where you believe something is contentious" -- if a general source reference is listed, I'll assume that unreferenced "facts" came from that source. Otherwise, I want a citation. Disagree with "If you think something is just utter bullshit, then nuke it, no need to tag." -- what you or I think is not a legitimate basis for deleting someone's work. If I can prove that it's bs, I'll delete it or (preferably) correct it, along with an explanation on the talk page -- and, of course, a citation. WCCasey (talk) 22:31, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Usage Question

Suppose you want to add this tag to a statement that is in parenthesis, for example:"...the Swiss (the foremost experts of Sambucus cultivation and culinary applications)" is it best to put the tag within the parenthesis or right after the closing one? Colincbn (talk) 04:23, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

It makes no difference. In either case, use the talk page to leave a more detailed explanation of your concern. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:27, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I did, and I have been attempting to find sources to back up the statement on my own as well. Please feel free to help out Here if you have the time. I was just wondering if there was a decided upon style for this particular type of tag usage and figured this was most likely the place to ask if there was. Thanks for the quick answer, Colincbn (talk) 05:33, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Inside the parens it could apply just to the culinary applications,outside to the whole parenthesis. The tag should bind as tightly as possible and no tighter. However it's not that critical. Rich Farmbrough, 11:19, 4 July 2009 (UTC).

Requested move

Template:FactTemplate:Citation needed — As already noted on the documentation page, the word "fact" is vague and confusing to new editors. Instead of

John Smith was born January 1, 1801.{{fact}}

we should encourage

John Smith was born January 1, 1801.{{citation needed}}

Spelling out the "citation needed" helps make the wikicode more readable, less ambiguous, and easier to learn. —Remember the dot (talk) 01:39, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Comment. No one reads the wikicode. There are about a thousand pages views per edit. Or even many more. Telling editors what to do is like herding cats, it annoys them and has no effect on what they do. If you moved the template to another name, editors would still put in cn, fact, or whatever, and a bot may or may not change it to something else. (talk) 02:21, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
    • There are tens of thousands of active editors, all reading wikicode. Some editors may still put in {{cn}} or {{fact}}, but we should be encouraging the syntax that is easiest for all editors to read and understand. —Remember the dot (talk) 02:30, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
      • And tens of millions of "active Wikipedia readers". Only a very few (about a tenth of a percent) look at the code, and many find it inscrutable anyway. (talk) 04:08, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
        • What reason is there that those tens of millions should care about a template rename? If they don't, we are free to suit ourselves. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:44, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support move. I see no reason to have an often-used template like that named confusingly. Furthermore, people are welcome to continue putting {{cn}}, {{fact}}, {{proveit}}, {{citeneeded}} etc. in articles. That doesn't mean that the template shouldn't have a name that best describes it. Jafeluv (talk) 05:57, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Vague support. Basically giving a "Meh". It certainly couldn't hurt to have the main name a better description of itself (to me "fact" implies someone thought it was wrong instead of merely uncited), but in practice it won't actually do anything. I guess the date bot could correct the name as well as applying the date, so sure, move the template main name ... I guess. -- KelleyCook (talk) 17:33, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - calling this template "fact" confused a lot me when i was new, and has always bothered me. Sssoul (talk) 20:12, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per above   M   21:58, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Don't bite the newbies; this is why it reads "Citation needed". Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:42, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
    Does anybody think we can move to {{cn}}, which is what most people actually use, and save server load? It should not confuse anybody who also looks at article space. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:42, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
    Don't worry about server load, and {{citation needed}} is still easier to read and understand than {{cn}}. Maybe the cleanup bots could automatically change the shorthand {{cn}} to {{citation needed}}. —Remember the dot (talk) 01:16, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
    By the way, {{cn}} has about 645 transclusions from article space, and {{fact}} has, well, a lot more (I stopped scrolling at about 6500), so it's not "what most people actually use" either. Did you mean that it's what most people would actually use after the template was moved? Jafeluv (talk) 06:15, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
    I meant "actually use in preference to {{Citation needed}}", not comparing with {{fact}}, which I would expect to be common, since it is also short. IIRC, some silly bot also went through "correcting" both {{cn}} and {{citation needed}} to {{fact}}; I'm not sure why, but I think it was some good soul getting rid of redirects. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
indeed: "Smackbot" just changed some of my newly-added cn's to "fact": [1] i've alerted the bot owner to this discussion and change in the template name, so i trust the bot will be duly retrained. Sssoul (talk) 05:50, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Pity, most of what Smackbot does is quite useful. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:45, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

This rename is a Good Thing and one that has crossed my mind. It is the work of a moment (for me) and about 40 minutes (for my PC) to rebuild the SB rulebase. And yes people do us {{cn}} a lot and why not? Short to type, easy to remember and gets clarified within a day. Rich Farmbrough, 11:15, 4 July 2009 (UTC).

  • Oppose, too long. I'd much rather have for instance "unsourced" (although it's currently taken by an article-wide template, but I think this should take precedence), which is clear and short. LjL (talk) 13:57, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Templating with {{fact}} and {{cn}} will still work. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:14, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I know, but it doesn't matter, as bots will still change it to whatever the main name is. I'm worried about source code clutter, not the amount of typing I have to do (I can have macros). --LjL (talk) 21:37, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
The solution is to block any bot which edits to get rid of redirects. If Smackbot is not fixed, I will support such a request. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:23, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Smackbot has already been fixed, according to User:Rich Farmbrough, who operates it. see his comment above Sssoul (talk) 05:49, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Well uhm no, personally I actually appreciate bots going around to make this kind of template usage uniform (confusing people less). I merely object to "citation needed" being the best choice. I recognize "fact" is also not ideal, and that's why I'd propose "unsourced". --LjL (talk) 23:28, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
{{Unsourced}} is a redirect to {{Unreferenced}} and is used, well, a lot. Also, I think it's too similar to "unreferenced" for the two to be used in different situations. That would be even more confusing than having the template at {{fact}}. The fact that it has been used as a synonym for {{unreferenced}} since at least 2005 would make it even more confusing if it was changed now. Jafeluv (talk) 23:39, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
That's a very valid point, I just believe that "getting it right" in the long term is more important than some temporary confusion, but you're right it would be quite some confusion. I just don't like the lengthy "citation needed" (after all, it's the "big" top-of-the-article templates that should logically have longer names, not vice versa), other things I came up with, like "nosource", are also already taken by something else... --LjL (talk) 23:44, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
How about {{uncited}}, which already redirects here? I see that the template has already been moved, though. Jafeluv (talk) 23:54, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I think it sounds a tiny bit more obscure than the other (taken) possibilities, but it should work well enough. --LjL (talk) 00:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) but the template has already been renamed. it's now called "citation needed", but you can still type just {{cn}}. i don't think a further renaming is warranted, but if that's what you're proposing ... is {{refplease}} taken? Sssoul (talk) 06:01, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Err, sorry if I became aware of the discussion, apparently, after someone had already made a decision and moved the template... but I don't believe that should stop me from partecipating :-| --LjL (talk) 12:54, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
No one's saying you shouldn't participate. We're saying that spelling out {{citation needed}} makes it easiest to understand what this template does, especially to new users. If you find that this is too much to type, you're welcome to use shorthand like {{uncited}}, and a bot may expand it to {{citation needed}} later. —Remember the dot (talk) 01:55, 7 July 2009 (UTC)