Template talk:Citation needed/Archive 8

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Some redirects (requested move aftermath)

In the move discussion a number of redirects were mentioned. I've seen three types

Already redirecting here

Pointing somewhere else/other templates

Unused redirects

  • {{refplease}} Wasn't used yet. Sounded good to me so I added it.

--ospalh (talk) 07:57, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

R from other template

I wonder, shouldn't some admin add {{R from other template}} to the new redirect Template:Fact?--ospalh (talk) 21:14, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

That applies to most of the Templates mentioned above.--ospalh (talk) 08:01, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

New Mechanism Suggested

As a possible extension to the MediaWiki template system: Those adding the fact template to Wikipedia should be required to review citations submitted and correctly format them in-text. Failure to do so should be grounds for removal of the template in each case. The MediaWiki enhancement might take the following form:

  • Addition of template causes new section to be created on article's talk page.
  • "citation needed" text links to this new talk section
  • Contributors place sources in the new section, along with brief rationales.
  • Editor who placed template tag gets a notification of this contribution, either by having the new talk section automatically added to their watchlist, or preferably via a specialized landing page to monitor these 'new source' edits.

Discussion: A lack of citations is perceived as a problem, but fact templates deface articles and encourage lazy editing -- why bother locating a source when you can simply tag? Further, the fact template creates pressure for contributors to furnish sources without balancing this with pressure that the sources be appropriate. Finally, creating citations in MediaWiki markup is a task that may discourage new editors from making contributions. The suggested change corrects these imbalances and naturally divides work between experienced and inexperienced editors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Beefman (talkcontribs) 01:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Amount of time to be given to find sources

How much time should be given to an unreferenced content until it can be removed if it stayed unreferenced? -- (talk) 12:15, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

It's really up to the single editors... I'd say it mostly depends on whether you believe the tagged content to be true or not. If you strongly suspect it's simply not true, then that means no citation is likely to ever be found, and it's probably time to remove it. Personally, I'd never remove something that's unreferenced but plausible enough as far as my knowledge of the topic goes. --LjL (talk) 13:02, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree with previous user. But if it's something that you want to remove unless it can be sourced, it is customary to allow for anything from a few days to a week (possibly more if it is a lot of work). Debresser (talk) 21:13, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
The time span should be long enough to make sure that someone interested has a chance to see it and do something. On Barack Obama, a few days ought to be plenty (as of 2010). On Lookout Pass, several months might be appropriate. Paradoctor (talk) 15:30, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Fact and date!

Currently, there is no possibility to add a date to the fact template. That could improve the template, because after half a year without any reference anyone could delete a sentence with fact template. The timestamp could help to judge whether authors had enought time to add a missing reference. Without the timestamp I usually would have a bad conscience to delete a sentence. (talk) 16:16, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Err, what? This tag often does take a date, and there is even a bot (User:SmackBot) periodically adding dates to newly added fact tags automatically. --LjL (talk) 17:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Reform or Policy Needed with this Template

This tag has all too often become shorthand for 'actually I rather doubt it'. It's too easy to tag articles while making no contribution. I understand it's needed by editors, but some sort of policy about tagging should be required.

Even a brief wander around Wikipedia will reveal huge differences in the degree of referencing in articles. Certain articles are well referenced but still poor overall and others have barely any references but are (otherwise) fine.

Naturally, references are good and necessary in any academic article, however some way needs to be found to prevent people from simply putting authors they object to through the hoops by scattering these tags around while not otherwise contributing to the articles in question. The context of its employment often amounts to a tacit violation of WP:NPOV.Dduff442 (talk) 05:00, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

it seems like you're asking for a reform of the WP:Verifiability policy, so you might try the Village pump. meanwhile, if something in an article lacks a reliable source, then it needs one, and it doesn't matter who tags it. Sssoul (talk) 14:40, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand how you concluded I have something against verifiability. I don't dispute the necessity of the tag, merely draw attention to the need for some policy or restriction on its use. What if my account had 20 edits total, and each was [citation needed]? What if I had 50? 500?
What if every one of them implicitly drew into question the historicity of the holocaust or, say, 9/11 or the moon landings? Someone could easily put those contributing to these articles to pointless work and derail their useful efforts. Looking at the list of topics, I'm certain people already have in those cases.
Wikipedia is gigantic - many, many times larger than any other encyclopedia. It's easy to get the impression it's all well sourced because our reading reflects out knowledge and interests and we forget that were only viewing a tiny fraction of the whole that may not be representative. The passage below is taken from the article History of the Hittites, an empire of immense historical importance. None of the tags below are in the real article - I added them for effect. Have I improved the passage?
Result of Hittites migration sometime around 1900 BCE
'It is generally assumed [who?] that the Hittites came into Anatolia some time before 2000 B.C[citation needed]. While their earlier location is disputed, there has been strong evidence[citation needed] for more than a century[citation needed] that the home of the Indo-Europeans in the fourth and third millennia was in what is now Bulgaria and Ukraine. The Hittites and other members of the Anatolian family[citation needed] then came from the north, possibly along the Caspian Sea[citation needed]. Their movement into the region set off a Near East mass migration sometime around 1900 BCE The dominant inhabitants in central Anatolia at the time were Hattians[citation needed]. There were also Assyrian colonies in the country[citation needed]; it was from these that the Hittites adopted the cuneiform script[citation needed].
Dduff442 (talk) 10:18, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
"Have I improved the passage?": You have improved the encyclopedia by pointing out a spot needing work. BTW, the use of {{who}} here is inappropriate, "generallly" requires a citation (to a review, for example) rather than a listing of authors. {{who}} should be used for weasel words like "some", "it is said", "there are those" ... And for consecutive contentious statements, you should use {{reference necessary}}, which gives
It is generally assumed that the Hittites came into Anatolia some time before 2000 B.C. While their earlier location is disputed, there has been strong evidence for more than a century that the home of the Indo-Europeans in the fourth and third millennia was in what is now Bulgaria and Ukraine. The Hittites and other members of the Anatolian family then came from the north, possibly along the Caspian Sea. Their movement into the region set off a Near East mass migration sometime around 1900 BCE The dominant inhabitants in central Anatolia at the time were Hattians. There were also Assyrian colonies in the country; it was from these that the Hittites adopted the cuneiform script.[citation needed]
Paradoctor (talk) 15:16, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

wikipedia:cite template:citation_needed template:cite

{{ cite }} {{ cite | date=october 2009 }}

Someone, please, help to create a template redirect.

Thank You,

hopiakuta Please do sign your communiqué .~~Thank You, DonFphrnqTaub Persina. 20:45, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Refer citations to main page?

I have a question on how to handle citation requests in overview pages. In general I feel that citations are mostly required at the lowest level and that they may actually be harmful on higher levels.

For example; in the Alphabet article I noticed the following CN:

Understanding of the phonetic alphabet of Mongolian [[Phagspa script]] 
aided the creation of a phonetic script suited to the spoken Korean language.
{{Citation needed|date=March 2009}}

While it is a fully legitimate request for citation - especially since the fact is debated - I feel that this is better cited at the Hangul main page. Perhaps even better at the Origin of Hangul page that has a specific subsection on Ledyard's theory.

I doubt that most users who look up "alphabet" on Wikipedia would have any use for a reference to a thesis on such a specific topic. In this case a citation would establish the Phagspa-Hangul connection as the only theory - not the dominant theory.

Is there a way to delegate citations to the appropriate main page? What is the Wikipedia policy on this? moliate (talk) 01:52, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

I concur. I don't see this come up terribly often, but when it does it is annoying for both the editorship and the readership to have some editors demanding redundant source citations that would clutter up summaries and overviews. WP:SUMMARY style would be hampered by such a requirement. If the summary/overview says something not supported and sourced in the main article it is summarizing, then the summary should be changed or flagged as disputed, of course. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 02:20, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Citations should be provided where they are requested. We don't have a situation where we have unsourced subpages with the sources on some other page. That's a complete myth, and if there is a guideline out there somewhere that implies it, it needs to be fixed. The sources need to be in situ where the statements needing those sources are. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 13:30, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
For WP:BLP material, I'd agree, and for anything controversial. But it would defeat the purpose of WP:SUMMARY, {{Main}}, etc., to take that any further. The problem is that some people will fact tag everything. I've seen literally more than a dozen {{fact}} tags added to one paragraph in article by a single editor in one session, in a section that a) was a summary of a {{main}} article, b) contained no controversial facts at all, and c) was fully sourced at the main article linked to prominently right in front of where the {{fact}} pile began. The idea that such tag-slinging is anything but unproductive in any way]] is the myth. We might as well start piling on {{fact}} all over the place in leads, infoboxes, navboxes, DYKs/ITNs, teaser sentences in portals, etc., etc. Or we can assume that our readers aren't retarded and know how to follow a link (if they are and don't, then source citations being in situ in every possible instance won't help them anyway). — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 07:21, 30 January 2010 (UTC)


This article and several others are in this Category:Articles with unsourced statements from December 2,009 category, which is redlinked for obvious reasons. And it is showing up as a regular category instead of hidden. But I can't figure out where the error is being generated from. Aboutmovies (talk) 09:49, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Sort of nevermind, figured out the error and fixed it on all three articles. Basically the {{Infobox Settlement}} cannot have a fact tag in the population numbers, as it creates the problem. Which, it looks like there are more of these for other months and I would suspect years. Aboutmovies (talk) 09:58, 11 January 2010 (UTC)


{{Editprotected}} Needs the noprint class removed, as this is already provided by the {{Fix}} meta-template that this template uses. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 16:45, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 18:24, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

The above seems to be in error. The default value of the class parameter of {{fix}} is "noprint Inline-Template", but this gets overridden by the class=Template-Fact in the current template. The documentation over at {{fix}} says that the default classes shouldn't be removed, but additional ones added. Thus the correct value of the class parameter for {{citation needed}} should be

class="noprint Inline-Template Template-Fact"

Dr pda (talk) 11:24, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

That is a very unusual implementation then. We should perhaps consider repairing {{fix}} instead. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:39, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
For future reference: I just fixed the {{fix}} template's implementation of the class parameter. --Waldir talk 01:10, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Merge from Template:Reference necessary

This has been re-proposed in a subtopic just below. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 23:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Completely trivial merge, code-wise, for a very useful increase in functionality. Short version: Make it so that {{fact|1=statement(s) to be sourced}} works. Even the docs will be an easy merge. The versions in question: template and /doc.

There's no reason at all that

Sourced material. {{fact|1=Several sentences with a total of 4 unsourced claims}}. Lots more sourced material. Unsourced claim.{{fact}} More sourced material.

shouldn't work. Cf. {{sic}} for very similar multi-functionality.

Pending the outcome of discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#An issue returns: Underlining/highlighting as a cleanup signal the custom CSS styling (which faintly underlines the "offending" text) should probably be left out of the merge. (The highlighting at issue was the #1 problem raised at the TfD from which {{Reference necessary}} barely emerged with a "no consensus").

PS: The template also had code in it that allowed anyone to repurpose the template to say anything and to link to anything (e.g. [complete bollocks]). I removed this. Someone is already objecting, and may revert. [not anymore 08:19, 30 January 2010 (UTC)] I am not proposing that this "functionality" be merged into this template, since that's not what this template (or that one) is for, and we already have legitimate customization of an inline cleanup/dispute template in the form of the very {{fix}} that all of these templates are based on, making it redundant functionality to add here. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 07:03, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Strongly Oppose. I think that the TfD has been slightly mischaracterized. At that time, the {{Reference necessary}} template highlighted the text wrapped as if someone had gone over it with a highlighter. It really was ghastly. When it emerged from TfD, it was then changed such that it made the wrapped text fainter, which was also not workable as it made the wikiarticles in which it was used more difficult to read. However, for a little over a month now, it has been placing a very subtle line under wrapped text. If we leave that out of the merge, then the gap that {{Reference necessary}}/{{cfact}} fills between {{Citation needed}}/{{fact}} and {{Refimprove section}} will have been eliminated. And, a merger discussion will have been used to achieve what the TfD did not, even though the current {{Reference necessary}} template has been so dramatically and beautifully improved by SMcCandlish.SpikeToronto 08:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Comment. The someone to whom SMcCandlish was referring that might have reverted was me. I misunderstood what he had done to the {{Reference necessary}} template but now think that the changes he made eliminating its optional parameters, i.e., the ability of someone to essentially re-purpose the {{Reference necessary}} template, are good ones. He greatly simplified its usage, reducing {{Reference necessary}} to its primary function: a multiple-sentence wrapper. And by the way, I would never have reverted all of his work without finishing the discussion we had entered into elsewhere regarding this template. I just wish that that had run its course before starting a merge discussion. — SpikeToronto 08:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Noted. I'm not trying to jump the gun on you in particular; the merge proposal was my goal the entire time, and I might well have posted that before modifying the template. I will strike from the merge proposal above my suggestion that the underlining be removed before the merge; I would rather see the functionality merged (and spread to other {{fix}}-based templates) and the style issue be hashed out later. NB: My rationale against the underlining isn't that it is now still garish and that nothing has changed; rather it is that the more important objection - user browbeating, not the exact stylistic output - hasn't changed. Without the underlining, the wrapping function is still exceptionally useful to editors, without bugging the readers in any way beyond there being an inline template in the middle of the prose to begin with. But I will save this issue for some other time.SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 15:20, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Modified SUPPORT. As I said elsewhere, I have no problem with the wrapper functionality being added to {{fact}} and then {{Reference necessary}} deleted. It is infinitely logical and makes maintenance of inline templates easier since it reduces the number that have to be maintained. (Something tautological about that last phrase!) But, if the wrapper version of {{fact}} does not use the subtle underlining, we all know what will happen in practical, everyday usage: If there are three sentences/phrases that need flagging, then three {{fact}} tags will be added, one after each sentence/phrase, which is practically just as eye-jarring to the reader as the subtle underlining. An editor is a reader until he presses the edit button. He needs to know what needs fixing before he presses it. Removing the subtle underlining is like those invisible statements that use <!-- -->, only serving less purpose.

I can support merging the two for now, waiting to see how the wrapper version of {{fact}} is accepted by the community, and then deal with its appearance later. Again, I must reiterate, the work that SMcCandlish has done to the {{Reference necessary}} template is marvellous! And the enhancement to {{Citation needed}} that would arise from the merger, and the concomitant reduction in templates to be maintained, is equally marvellous. I imagine with his great coding skill that he could probably make the subtle underlining even more subtle and less intrusive to the reader or the reader cum editor. Thanks! — SpikeToronto 20:45, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

If the underline effect were any more subtle, it wouldn't even be visible on my monitor. I imagine that if it raises any more hackles it will be because of its purpose (to get the reader's attention) not its exact appearance. Anyway, I'd really like to see the wrapper functionality added to {{fact}} and the rest, with or without the underlining, a style matter that is perhaps better settled at WT:MOS, since it isn't really about either of these two templates, but about how we address our readers, generally speaking. Given WP:BOLD, WP:IAR and WP:BRD, the implication is that if editors who cared enough to create the wrapper version of this template, at {{Reference necessary}}, put in underlining and it survived TfD then it's good to go unless consensus changes it. As I see it, anyway. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 23:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)


The "wrapper" functionality of Template:Reference necessary should be merged to Template:Citation needed.


This will make it so that {{fact|1=statement(s) to be sourced}} works - the template can easily very specifically identify exactly what fact(s) need to be sourced this way, and should reduce template clutter by obviating the need for multiple {{fact}} (or {{cn}}, as you prefer) tags in one block of text in a large number of cases in which this is presently being done.

There's no reason at all that

Sourced material. {{cn|1=Several sentences with a total of 4 unsourced claims}}. More sourced material. More sourced material. One unsourced claim.{{cn}} More sourced material.

shouldn't work. In this example, we'd have 2 {{cn}} tags instead of either 5 of them or a big {{Unreferenced section}} banner. Cf. {{sic}} for very similar multi-functionality, where it can be used after something or as a wrapper for something.

Trivial change

This will be a completely trivial merge, code-wise, for a very useful increase in functionality. Even the docs will be an easy merge. The versions in question. All that has to be done is to enable the template to display |1= (whether explicitly named or not).

It adds zero overhead of any kind to actual template usage - no such parameter existed before so nothing has to change, and the template's heretofore only operating mode, as a template placed after the "offending" content, is unaffected in any way.

Support: Yes, please. Same principal function, easier to use this way. And {{cn}} is much quicker to type. I'm lazy, sue me. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 14:41, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
See also the proposal for a deadline parameter below. Paradoctor (talk) 15:01, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Known issue: CSS class cleanup

The styling code needs to move to a site-wide CSS class, with a more generic name, so that it can also be used by {{dubious}}, {{attribution needed}}, {[tl|clarify}}, etc., etc. I will attempt to address this either today or tomorrow (so, I wouldn't do the merge right now :-). Whether the styling in question is satisfactory to everyone who cares is probably a matter for WT:MOS, as it would affect all such templates, not this one in particular. I.e., I would not want to hinder the merge with any back-and-forth about the CSS here.

SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 23:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea to me. Do you want to replace the 200 or so instances of {{Reference necessary}} (including redirects) by {{Citation needed}} afterwards, and so completely merge them? Debresser (talk) 10:58, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I could, but I'm not sure it's important enough to fire up AWB for. Some inline template have literally a dozen alternative names (many as a result of merges), and no one seems to care. This one in particular has a few more, such as {{refnec}} and {{cfact}} and so on; I did some editing to consolidate that a bit, when I was adding |1= to its deployments as a template breakage preventative measure, but didn't entirely finish that. I think there are 30 or so left to add the parameter name to. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 19:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I think I understand that last bit: You do not want the style to be

span class="referencenecessary"

as that is template specific and you want these templates to be more universal and thus easier to maintain across the board. I agree that we should merge first and deal with style later. But, is there not some rule that says that a merger discussion should run for x days before determining consensus, akin to XfDs? You only posted your merger proposition 16 hours ago. Would it be to soon to implement it? What is the recommended timeframe for a merger discussion? Thanks! — SpikeToronto 23:10, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
That, and the actual styles given immediately after the class name need to be moved into the class in the site-wide CSS file, so that nothing appears in the template's own code there but the class. Maybe, like, class="inlinetagged" or something? While we're at it, {{Citation needed}} has its own class. Need to see what is in that, if anything. I have a suspicion that it only exist so that people can hide the div in their own user CSS. If that is the case, it also needs to be renamed, as it is too template-specific, it is being copied to other inline templates anwyay despite referring specifically to this one, many do not have it though (despite the fact that anyone trying to hide {{fact}} surely also wants to hid {{weasel-inline}}, etc., etc.), and so on. It's just messy. Short version: Need two classes, both generically named: 1) Class for the underlining effect ("inlinetagged"?). 2) Class to show/hide any inline cleanup/dispute templates ("inlinetag"?). — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 19:42, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Timeframe: I have no problem letting it run for as long as anyone wants. If no one chimes in after several more days with major reasons not to merge, I don't see a reason not proceed, since this is a major and well-watched template that people don't ignore. But if someone wants a long period, that's fine too. WP:RM and most XfDs last for a week by default. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 20:02, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
It's OK if ya do, but it's OK if you don't either... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:09, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Proposal for deadline parameter

Motivated by current debate at WP:V, I propose an optional |deadline= parameter that allows the tagging editor to specify a time frame after which the statement should be deleted if no source is provided. I see mainly two benefits:

  • Discussion about when to delete can focus on specific time frames, rather than an indeterminate "appropriate" time.
  • In conjunction with the integrated functionality from {{reference necessary}}, deletion can be automated.

Paradoctor (talk) 14:59, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

I would suggest instead a |date= parameter, indicating the date the tag was added. Reasons:
  1. Several other templates use that parameter already. This would be consistent.
    1. Consistency is good.
    2. Existing bots which add the date= parameter to tags could easy add it this template as well.
  2. It keeps this template out of any potential "deadline vs there-is-no-deadline" controversy.
  3. It avoids any edit warring in tag placements, over what the deadline should be.
  4. It lets deadlines be set by general policy/guidelines/etc., if that's what consensus is for.
  5. If deadline periods change, there is no need to touch every tag to update the field, we just change a calculation.
  6. Still useful to know when the tag was added, even if consensus is/changes to "there is no deadline".
I have no opinion for or against formal deadlines for unsourced material, but I prefer to have templates stick to technical matters, and leave the controversy for other pages.  :) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 19:58, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Believe me, I'm a friend of WP:TIND. But this misses the point of WP:PROVEIT. Contentious unsourced statements do not belong in an encyclopedia. The idea of {{cn}} is to give time in the hope that someone feels motivated to add the missing source.
The |deadline= (or |expiry=) parameter is a means for the tagger to state an intention. There is no policy determining what an appropriate time to wait is. IMHO, depending on the context, it could be anything from days to several months. This is a gap, and providing the opportunity to specify affords us the opportunity gather experience on what works and what doesn't.
"avoids any edit warring": Hippie! ;) Seriously, avoiding controversy is not possible on Wikipedia, except by not editing.
"prefer to have templates stick to technical matters": Difficult when the template is part of WP:V. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 20:22, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Don't misunderstand -- I'm not arguing against the deadline concept. Indeed, having had a bit of time to think on it, I think a standard deadline for at least a response on the talk page is a good idea. But I still think the parameter should be the date the tag was added, for all the reasons stated above. I just don't want to build the problem into this template. Even if I thought the deadline concept was the greatest thing ever, I'd *still* argue for a "date added" parameter instead of a deadline parameter. I think it's more useful and more flexible.
As far as "stating an intention" goes, I think adding {{cn}} already makes that clear. There's already an explicit challenge here. It's "citation needed", not "citation would be nice".  :) If nobody can cough up a citation (or provide a valid challenge to the tag itself), then the material should be removed. I think adding a deadline parameter would thus actually dilute the value of the tag, by making cn's without a deadline seem less strong.
I know we can't eliminate controversy from Wikipedia; I just think the argument discussion over deadline vs no-deadline, or deadline periods, is better had at WP:V or WP:CITE, and not on this template page or in individual tags everywhere.
All that said, I think you have valid points with (1) lack of consensus and experience on what a good deadline would be and (2) deadline period may well be context-sensitive. I'm not sure I would consider them overriding, but they're worth pondering. Anyone else watching have thoughts on this?
Cheers. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 01:44, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
This is so embarassing. I really, seriously don't know why I didn't notice this yesterday: The template already has a |date= parameter! ^_^
"stating an intention": I'm talking about the intended waiting period, not the challenge to the statement. For the latter, a deadline would of course not be necessary.
"making cn's without a deadline seem less strong": IMHO, that is because they are less "strong". The additional information clarifies and strengthens the process of challenging unsourced material.
"not on this template page": I'm asking for an option, not a mandatory parameter. I could of course create a clone and add the parameter there. But I think this will only lead to a merge and redirect later on, and as stated elsewhere on this page, I'm lazy. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 09:44, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) what would be the criteria for establishing a "deadline", other than the opinion of the editor adding the tag? since they (or anyone else) are already free to go back and delete dubious unsourced stuff whenever they feel like enough time has passed, it doesn't seem like a "deadline parameter" would add anything of value. Sssoul (talk) 10:43, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

  1. It helps motivating interested editors to actually do something about unsourced statements. If there is a date, an editor knows that if s/he intends to add a source, missing the deadline might incur a minute of extra work.
  2. Having a deadline might save us a few discussions of the type "hey, why did you delete, I wanted to source that one".
  3. With an explicit deadline and a bot, there is no need to "go back" to perform the delete, saving work.
  4. I want to use it. Others might, too. Might even become popular, who knows. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 11:44, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
if you're proposing having a bot do the cuts, i'm even more emphatically opposed to the idea. removing stuff really often entails copy editing the surrounding material, and a bot wouldn't be able to handle that. you can put a notice on the talk page that you intend to delete something if it remains unsourced. Sssoul (talk) 13:34, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Last I looked, bots had to be approved. This is just a possibility, inspired by the impending merger from {{reference necessary}}. If it turns out infeasible, well, then there is no reason to implement it.
What about the other points raised? Paradoctor (talk) 15:11, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Use |date=. Standard way to date cleanup/dispute tag issues. If someone wants to enforce some kind of deadline by which they will delete something they should do that on the talk page. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 00:17, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid this doesn't address any of the points raised. Paradoctor (talk) 05:12, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Text highlighted on mouse click

Would it be possible to change this template so that when the template is clicked rather than linking to Wikipedia:Citation needed the enclosed text was highlighted as happens with {{Harvnb}}. If that could be done I would be in favour of merging this template Template:Reference necessary into the {{citation needed}}, because "citation" could link to the guideline and "needed" could highlight the text. -- PBS (talk) 02:19, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

This is the {{Citation needed}} template, so there is not anything to merge here. Aboutmovies (talk) 03:57, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
My mistake Thought I was on the other talk page for the proposed merge "It has been suggested that Reference required be merged into this page or section." -- PBS (talk) 21:03, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Hovertext the reason?

At present the reason parameter is documented but not used by the template. A thought for this that if the reason is present to make this the title and alt text for either the spanned text (if {{Citation needed}} is used like {{Reference required}}) and/or for the "citation needed" link. Both alt and title are needed as the browsers are not consistent.

If this is done then for IE, FireFox, and likely other browsers, will show the reason as hover text. Hover your mouse cursor over this paragraph to see what I mean. --Marc Kupper|talk 20:14, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

If I remember correctly, this doesn't work quite the way you would expect. The problem is that the main body of the template is a link, and the wiki software automatically provides the link with a tooltip that supersedes any other tooltip the template could provide - CSS standards currently have no provision for inheritance with tooltips. technically, you could see the 'reason' tooltip by hovering the mouse directly over one on the square brackets (which aren't included in the link), but that's about it. until the wiki software or the CSS standards change, we're a bit stuck (unless you suggest that we rewrite the foundational {{fix}} template to get rid of the link). --Ludwigs2 21:04, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
And if you actually move your mouse over the brackets, then you will see that most of the citation template already have a description/reason provided in exactly that way. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 22:48, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Use in a template

I am thinking about using the Citation needed template in Infobox weather, which already requires a source as a parameter. But dating it using the #time function would cause them all to have the current date, which is incorrect, it should be dated when the weather infobox got added to the article. I would have to keep the date parameter empty, my concern is that when the bot is alerted to an article using Citation needed without a date, but then can't find the Citation needed template, what will happen? 117Avenue (talk) 00:35, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Good question. I'd suggest asking it on the talk page for the bot (or the bot's maintainer). I can't remember off the top of my head which bot adds dates to tags. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 21:12, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
It's SmackBot, and I did when I didn't get a response here. Rich Farmbrough said add a date parameter, but I want to tag articles that haven't filled in the parameters properly. 117Avenue (talk) 23:32, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Now I must
scream and I don't
know where else to do it but HERE!

Resolved: Fluff.

Proposed new templates:

  • And therefore we["we" who??] can see[only a fool can] the parallel between Matthew 13:47–50 and the Teletubby Tinky-Winky[where the heck did you get that from?][from where come all the fool street preachers imagining Wikipedia is their private preaching forum?]

Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 14:28, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Do you feel better now that you've gotten that out of your system?  ;-) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 21:13, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Now, I feel much better, but I still need that [where the heck did you get that from?]. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:00, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
F.ex. observe the last para in Marcion of Sinope#Legacy! Some f**l is trying to insinuate a connection Marcion --> Bogomils by some similarity implies heritage; yes all sentences true, no WP:OR, but by proximity an association and heritage something UFOnian connection is implicitly alleged. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:14, 15 May 2010 (UTC)


Could we please add a parameter to switch the text from “citation needed” to “CN” to less mess up table display? — Christoph Päper 21:57, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

We could change |text=citation needed to |text={{#ifeq:{{{small}}}|yes|cn|citation needed}}. That should do the trick, if |small=yes is used. Tested and functional code can be copied from Template:Citation needed/sandbox. Debresser (talk) 07:12, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Might I suggest that instead of testing for an explicit "yes", it be made more like other templates where "Yes", "YES", "y", "Y" and "1" are permitted alternatives? {{yesno}} is used for this, as in |text={{#ifeq:{{yesno|{{{small}}} }}|yes|cn|citation needed}} --Redrose64 (talk) 11:38, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Off course. I was just trying to reinvent the wheel. Debresser (talk) 19:28, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
As long as the /doc makes it clear that this should only be used when the full tag would mess up table display. WP:ILT has gone to some lengths to ensure that all of these inline cleanup/dispute templates produced output that is meaningful even to new readers/editors, and this would obviously violate that principle, since "cn" doesn't mean anything even to most longer term editors (most of whom use {{fact}}, not {{cn}}), much less random readers. I can see the need for it, but only in the one circumstance cited in its support. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 17:34, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Can keep it simpler using {{#if{{{small|}}}|cn|citation needed}}. Rich Farmbrough, 05:43, 26 October 2010 (UTC).

Line break

It seems impossible to maintain a line break after a "Citation needed"-tag, even if it's followed by a new paragraph. Would someone know how to fix that, so you wouldn't need to resort to the <BR> tag. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 09:10, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

I noticed that a week or two back, and also found that it wasn't consistent: I took a section that exhibited this problem, sandboxed it, and the problem didn't show. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:24, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Seems that {{fix}} is the culprit, see here. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:44, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


{{Fact-span}} is a fork of this template that highlights the text in question. If this is a useful feature, then it should be added to this template; if not then {{fact-span}} should be deleted. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:00, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Please see #Revival of Merge Discussion above which covers similar ground; it's really only the highlight method (pink background vs dotted underline) that differs. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:34, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Zero-Width Joiner?

I've been seeing quite a few cases where [Citation needed] shows up disconnected at the beginning of a line, causing some cognitive dissonance while I mentally connect it back to the previous line. It looks like putting a &zwj; (zero-width joiner) at the beginning of the template might prevent this without side effects, except that the preceding word will wrap with the note (which I consider a benefit, especially on a wide screen). Has this issue/solution been considered before? Maghnus (talk) 01:11, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean that the [citation needed] occurs at the beginning of a line merely because the line that the {{cn}} happens to be on occupied the full width of the screen, or are you describing a bug where a line which has the {{cn}} at the end of it is displaying somewhat less than full-width, with a mysterious newline inserted before the [citation needed]? --Redrose64 (talk) 11:50, 15 August 2010 (UTC)