Template talk:Refimprove

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Edit request[edit]

{{editprotected}}

old → Question book-3.svg Question book-4.svg ← new


Description: Please replace Image:Question book-3.svg with Image:Question book-4.svg. I believe this is an uncontroversial edit because the images are fairly similar. I think that this new image reflects the colour scheme of the template a little better, and the image looks cleaner (note the visibility around the top of the question mark), and is smaller in filesize. If consensus believes this new image is inferior then please discard the request. Oh, and if you fulfil this request, feel free to upload another version to Wikipedia and perm-protect it to reduce the risk of vandalism. Thanks in advance! TIM KLOSKE|TALK 21:46, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Support - Much improved, thanks for doing this! As you say the question mark is much more identifiable. (Frankly I'm not sure I even realized it was supposed to be a question mark prior to this!) (sdsds - talk) 22:49, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done An excellent image, thanks. PeterSymonds (talk) 10:51, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, just so you know (because I forgot to change the filename when I was uploading it) the image is titled Image:Question book-new.svg. I hope that doesn't matter too much. Best, PeterSymonds (talk) 11:02, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo quote[edit]

Jimmy Wales is often quoted as saying: "I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced."[1] (sdsds - talk) 08:09, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

So what is the difference between random, speculative, I heard it somewhere info, and a page typed in from memory by a history professor? Interpreted aggressively, we should immediately go out and delete 99.9% of wiki. Is that what we are supposed to do? Sandpiper (talk) 20:03, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
If there is anything that we are "supposed" to do, it would be to familiarize ourselves with Wikipedia policies and guidelines. To the extent we agree with them, we should make our behavior conform. To the extent that we disagree, we should engage our fellow Wikipedians in constructive dialog with the intent of improving the policies and guidelines. No one editor has the responsibility to "delete 99.9% of wiki." Each of us may, though, on a case-by-case basis, delete material the inclusion of which does not conform with policy.
Understanding Wikipedia policy is not easy. Luckily, it's quite rare that an edit made without complete understanding of policy will truly harm Wikipedia! So by all means, be WP:BOLD (but not reckless) with your edits. We shouldn't fear to undo the changes of others, and shouldn't fear to make changes others might undo. Instead, we should be eager to engage constructively with other editors with whom we seem to disagree. From some of them we can learn about the subject of the articles we edit. From some of them we can learn about the practical application of Wikipedia policy.
(Also, of course there are times when a disagreement gives us a soapbox from atop which we can preach! ;-) (sdsds - talk) 23:31, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I am glad to see someone added a ref for that quote. I looked at the source. The inference is that Wales is particularly referring to biographies of living people. This does not come across from the quote, which arguably misrepresents Wales statement. Rather makes the point that having a rule permitting this quote to stand as is, might be verified but not accurate. Or was that the point of quoting it? Perhaps this is what people distrust in wikipedia? Sandpiper (talk) 00:21, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Inappropriate for use on stub or start articles[edit]

In the course of the disussion above it was commented that it is inappropriate to place this tag on any 'stub' article. However, this is not mentioned on the page. I therefore propose that this should be added to the instructions on the page. I also suggest that this should apply to 'start' class articles. Sandpiper (talk) 20:48, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I am not convinced there is a consensus for prohibiting the use of this template on stub articles. Like most cleanup tags, its use should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Specifying a huge class of article upon which it cannot be used is an improper limit on our editorial discretion and smacks of needless instruction creep, IMHO. — Satori Son 13:45, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Not on stubs has been the consensus on Template:Unreferenced since May 2006 (Template talk:Unreferenced/Archive 1#This template should not be used with stubs.). The current wording on unreferenced is "Consider not adding this template to extremely short articles." I think that should be added to this template. --PBS (talk) 14:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Respectfully, I remain unconvinced. I do not believe that discussion from over two years ago reflects current editorial practice: the {{Unreferenced}} tag and similar templates can be found on a very great number of stub articles.
That being said, I am not opposed to adding similar wording to this template, since it is not an outright prohibition and still allows editorial discretion. — Satori Son 14:43, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Satori Son has it just right: there's no need for iron-clad policy; there's plenty of need for editorial discretion! So if you can improve wikipedia by removing this template from clearly marked stub articles, that's making a fine contribution. If someone reinserts the template on an article from which you have removed it, that's a great opportunity to interact with another editor in the slow but steady process of building consensus! (sdsds - talk) 21:02, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I use it on stubs. It is useful when there is no talk page activity and the stub is heading for AfD. This template gives editors an early warning that someone has noticed the stub is unrefferenced, hence possibly non-notable/made-up/deletable.YobMod 11:33, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
If the only reason for deleting a stub is because it is not sourced then there is something wrong with the AfD. Why not place your early warning on the talk page? After all we have talk pages for these types of editorial information exchanges. This particular template is useful on articles because it serves a dual function, it asks editors to add citations but it also alerts readers that the article may not be completely accurate. But on a stub it does not give any additional information to the reader and so as a messages between editors should be on the talk page. --PBS (talk) 11:43, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Reference density[edit]

I think there should be a formal number set for something like reference density. Lets say x refs would be needed for y characters (or z words) of an article. Later, automated tagging could make use of this.--Kozuch (talk) 13:37, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

It would be great if there were a formal measure for this. Since the measure does not exist (at least there is no general agreement about one), it seems moot to begin the process of establishing a measurement value which would trigger automated tagging. The WP:BRD essay describes a process which is a fine approach to reaching some sort of agreement about which articles need higher levels of referencing. (sdsds - talk) 21:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, I will have to see someone use WP:BRD. I didn't quite "get" it. Sorry. And I recognize sdsds as an experienced editor, so I am sure there is a lot of sense behind the recommendation BUT, I didn't quite see any broad discussion of referencing. I probably looked too quickly.
Oops, sorry I didn't do a better job expressing that! All I meant was that a fine way to decide whether a particular article "should" have a refimprove template is for one editor to Boldly add one, for another editor to Revert the addition, and then for the two editors (and others) to Discuss it on the article's talk page. (sdsds - talk) 02:47, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
When I see 3/printed page, I figure the editors have been at least trying, if they are fairly evenly dispersed. (Admittedly, the same reference can be used many different times. If done properly, there should be a lot of single references, multiply-used early in the articles development). I have been scolded as pedantic for using "three" but it's held up for me pretty well, despite the caviling.Student7 (talk) 00:43, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

What I actually meant was introducing a value, that would HELP in some ways of deciding over referencing, but would not be binding. Maybe I put it wrong with formality - it might pretty much be an informal tool for watching articles refs status and suggesting decisions to be made (for semi-automated tagging maybe?).--Kozuch (talk) 11:31, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

One more try: it would be a suggestive measure, just for helping editors. Lets say editors could somehow check articles (javascript?) against this value and get a quick reference density overview.--Kozuch (talk) 11:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Mmmm I am a bit hesitant, as number of references/text will be very hard to quantify in any meaningful way. The only objectively useful measure would be the Zero (ie not a single source for the whole article). Note that several reference styles are acceptable, that do not necessarily use templates, or even a references section, so a bot needs to be very advanced for such a task. Arnoutf (talk) 19:40, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. An interesting idea, but I don't really think that this is something that you can really quantify. There are just too many specrtums at hand, too many variables. Speaking on the page here alone, some statements require more evidence than others. Sometimes, you can write a substantial amount of an article based on a single reference (for example, a music group's discography). On the other hand, an article full of extraordinary claims (Giovanni di Stefano comes to mind) is going to require a reference for practically every single statement. Considering the reference, it could be a trivial mention in some backwater local paper from a village in Alabama with a population of 28 or it could be a full-fledged article by the BBC. There are lots of things to consider that can't be examined by numbers. Celarnor Talk to me 19:52, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, it might seem rather complex idea at first sight, but I do think there can be few simple workarounds. Various reference densities could be required for various article importances. One can also for sure count exact average reference density of featured articles - that value might help somehow too. I am thinking also rather of counting <ref> tags only, believing they carry useful reference - maybe that would be the only result - just counting ref tag density actually.
As was said above, due to the widespread use of other reference styles, counting ref tags would be very misleading. Furthermore, I strongly question whether there would be any meaningful relationship between this statistic and article quality; there are lots of measurable quantities that are meaningless (for instance the ratio of vowels to consonants in an article's text) and this may be one. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't really take into account any of the things I mentioned above; "The number of words in this article divided by the number of references is x", while seemingly useful at first, is really actually quite useless; like I said, there are varying degrees of "This statement needs a reference," varying degrees of "this statement needs more neutral references", "this statement needs higher-profile, more respectable references", "this particular reference is coatracky"...there are just too many things to consider to make this useful practical, practically speaking. Anything using it as a rationalizing for doing anything is going to get shot down because of the dynamic way in which references are treated. "This article cites 8 references and has 82 words" could be a bad sign in a BLP about a Parliament member, but it could be a good sign in an article about a town or location. It's just too useless. Celarnor Talk to me 03:39, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
It also depends on what the sentences and facts are. A sentence can describe a single or multiple facts, and one reference can encompass a whole paragraph's information, reworded sufficiently to not be plagiarism. Particularly disputed facts are likely to have or need more references to cement its verifiability, which may account for bunches of refs clustered around a few facts. MeekSaffron (talk) 02:36, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

An interesting idea, but bear in mind that sheer number of references is a pretty arbitrary measure. A single definitive published source will outweigh many dozens of fan pages/blog posts etc. A calculated measure could do more harm than good, in that it might detract from editors' own common sense judgments. – Spudtater (talkcontribs) 22:33, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Should this tag also be included in sections?[edit]

{{editprotected}}

I was viewing the Let It Be (song) article, and there are some covers listed, but with no sources. And since this template is fully protected, I thought there could be a template like this, but replacing 'article' with 'section'. Any thoughts? SchfiftyThree 19:29, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

You can just do {{refimprove|section}}. Happymelon 21:23, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, forgot about that. SchfiftyThree 06:04, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Citations missing[edit]

Template:Citations missing has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. (This template is a potential merge-to or redir-to.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 06:03, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Style edits[edit]

{{editprotected}}

I've made some edits to the new sandbox to bring it into line with modern ambox defaults. Just needs synced. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 22:57, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Cirt (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Category[edit]

This should also place articles in Category:All articles needing additional references But I am afraid to mess with the template code.--BirgitteSB 19:52, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

You requested the same thing for {{notability}}, and it raises the same question: what good would a category containing tens of thousands of disparate articles do? Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:26, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
That would have the beneficial effect of making it much easier to update the backlog lists at Category:Wikipedia backlog, so that you don't need to go through all of the by-month cats, adding the totals together, to find out how many total are backlogged. I'd find this quite helpful both for that and just to see how progress is coming along. It's already done by some templates (e.g. {{copyedit}}), so why not have all of them use it? -Drilnoth (talk) 14:34, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Say "Thank you" at the end of it[edit]

Really, i think this would improve it, and all similar templates, by leaps and bounds... to say 'thank you' at the end of it... imho. thanks. what do you think? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Decora (talkcontribs) 00:35, 8 February 2009

I don't think that's necessary. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:18, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Template on top or in the reference section[edit]

This template is often placed on top of a article, while it could just as well be placed in the reference section. Particularly in a relatively good written articles, for example the House of Orange-Nassau, I think there is no need to keep this article on top for months/years. Every body knows Wikipedia articles can always be inmproved, and adding sources is one way of improving the article.

It seems to me the template often get placed on top of the article by users, who only wants to boost the number of edits as fast and simple as possible.

The template is put on top, so called to stimulate other users to add sources, but I question that this works. It seems to me putting the template on top, is giving a warning that "the article could be unreliable", or even that "the article is unreliable". Now I think giving such warning should be a last restort. First some fact-tags should be used, to actually establish that an article might be unreliable. Now I haven't read all previous discussion here, and maybe there are rules allready. Could somebody please explain, or give their opinion. Thanks. -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 16:07, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

P.S. I just experienced the opposite. In the article Methodology I just moved the tag on top of the article after adding three fact tags. I really think this article is unreliable and people should be warned.

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking here. People don't put tags on an article to just boost their edits, they do it when there are way too few sources for facts claimed in the article. This tag is placed at the top because that's where more people see it and where most others are placed. We don't work on a "warning" system for articles. Either it's up to snuff or it's not.--Flash176 (talk) 16:41, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Ok, thanks. I will try to rephrase. I think:

  • This template shouldn't be add on top of the article, unless there is reason to believe the article is unreliable
  • If the article is ok, the tag should be add on the ending of the article in the reference section.

For the following reason:

  • The template on top is a burden for every reader.
  • The template seems like a warning that the article is not ok.
  • The argument to reach as many people is not a good reason to put the template on top.

Two examples:

  1. The House of Orange-Nassau seems generally quite good, and the template should be on the end
  2. The methodology article is in need of reliable sources because the content is highly questionable. Here this template should be on top.

-- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 20:37, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

This question initially came up in the project management article.
Ghaag (talk) 09:46, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I understanding the problem to be about the position of the {{Primarysource}} tag in an article. We are arguing whether:
  • the tag should ALWAYS be at the top of the article
  • the tag can be placed in the "reference" section
Ghaag (talk) 11:47, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
My personnal position on this is that:
  1. {{Primarysources}} banner is an article warning not a section warning. Since it is an assessment of the article as a whole, it should therefore not be placed in a particular section.
  2. I also dispute the fact that, by moving the banner effectively towards the end of the page, readers are not warned about the article shortcomings before reading it. This is purely misleading.
In answer to Marcel Douwe Dekker:
  • I do not see evidence of "burden for every reader" when the warning is at the top. In fact this position is "fairly common" for warning tags.
  • I agree with him that it acts as a warning because the article DOES have shortcomings. If it was "ok" I would advise to to simply remove the tag rather than move it.
  • his third point is more a subjective objection to a previous counter-argument stating: "high visibility would also help to speed up the process of providing references"
Ghaag (talk) 12:26, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

As to your first statement the template documentation here on the Template:Refimprove page states otherwise. It clearly states:

This template indicates that the article needs additional references. There is currently no consensus on where to place this template. Many editors understand this template to be redundant when it is used on articles clearly marked as stubs. The first unnamed parameter will replace the words "section or article" in the template, and is not required. The most common usage of this is to use one word or the other, e.g. {{Refimprove|section}} to indicate that only the section is affected by the tagged problem.

As to your second statement, there is no need warn the reader when the article itself is written in a reliable way and none of it statements are questioned. Warning the reader when the article is all right is misleading. -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 12:46, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

  • My initial argument (1) is not at odd with even this template guideline which merely state no concensus.
  • Regarding my second argument (2), I am making the foolish assumption that the tag is legitimate (ie useful, relevant and accepted) and therefore indicates a genuine flaw in the article. If there is an identified and recognised shortcoming in the article I can not see how it could qualify as "all right". Now I can see your point if the tag is not legitimate but this is not the topic of the discussion.
Ghaag (talk) 15:22, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
To put a bit of perspective this question was raised a while ago on this very page. I believe that both Marcel Douwe Dekker and I are bringing new arguments and variations of previous arguments
To me there is a major pitfall in this discussion which is the confusion between the legitimacy of the tag and it position.
  • The former is about whether the tag should be present at all
  • The later is about where to place the tag in the article
Ghaag (talk) 15:22, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me your a mistaken from your first comment here. I didn't start this discussion at the project management, but with the example the House of Orange-Nassau. This only question I have is:

Should the template be placed on top or in the reference section?

The question about the Primary sources tag, I have asked at the Template talk:Primary sources#When should this article be used. -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 00:13, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Removing the template[edit]

Hi all, is there any particular action that you should take when you remove this template from a page — i.e. after you've just added what you consider to be an adequate set of references? I've just left a note in the edit summary, but am wondering if I should add anything to the discussion page, etc. Thanks. – Spudtater (talkcontribs) 22:24, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I have the same question. What is the policy for removing the template? (talk) user:Al83tito 10:08pm, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Use your best judgement. You should always leave an edit summary. If the talk page has any conversation related to the references, you might want to leave a note there about what you did and why, but if there is not a related conversation there is probably not a reason to start one. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 10:29, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit requested[edit]

{{editprotected}}

Could someone add ({{Findsources}}) before the closing </small>. Kevin (talk) 00:43, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to see some opinions on that first. We don't want to litter our articles with google links. I can accept that on {{BLP unsourced}}, but I'm not sure if we want that on all unsourced articles. --Amalthea 18:31, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Probably makes sense to consolidate this discussion at Template talk:Unreferenced#Edit requested. --Amalthea 18:32, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Highly misleading, template needs change[edit]

This template is highly misleading in that the link "inline citations" it includes does not lead to Wikipedia:Citing sources#How to present citations but to an article on footnotes, which are only one of the types of inline citations accepted on Wikipedia. This gives the false impression that footnotes are the only kind of inline citations, whereas many articles use parenthetical referencing, which is actually the norm in many academic fields and is explicitly accepted in Wikipedia:Citing sources#How to present citations. Please change the link to "inline citations" in this template so it points somewhere more appropriate, as it does in other similar templates, such as this one (click the link under "inline citations"):

I am constantly battling people who think footnotes are the only kind of inline citations and, with the best of intentions, are messing up articles accordingly. VikSol (talk) 19:45, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I can understand where the above editor is coming from and I thoroughly disagree with him! I hate parenthetical references. They seems sloppy and disrupt the flow of reading IMO. I guess we have to tolerate them. But do we have to promote them? Student7 (talk) 12:58, 23 April 2009

There are two questions here: (1) Which is better, footnotes or author-date references? (2) Are both methods acceptable on Wikipedia?

With regard to which is better, opinions vary. See Parenthetical referencing#Pros and cons of the author-date method. My personal opinion is: It's true parenthentical references interrupt the flow of reading more. However, they interrupt the process of understanding the text less, since you ordinarily see all useful information immediately, whereas with a footnote number you have to perform a whole series of operations: (1) decide whether it's worth interrupting your reading to click on the note number; (2) click on the note number; (3) read the note; (4) move the cursor to the caret "^"; (5) click the caret to go back to the point you left off reading. In contrast, parenthetical references require only one action, reading the note.

With regard to Wikipedia guidelines, they are clear that both methods are acceptable. From Wikipedia:Citing sources#How to format citations:

The following are methods of inline citation used in Wikipedia: Footnote system (...) Parenthetical referencing. (...) Once a style is selected for an article it is inappropriate to change an article to another unless there is a reason that goes beyond mere choice of style.

VikSol (talk) 01:47, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

I have altered the link to Wikipedia:Citing sources#Inline citations which lists all four types of in-line citation methods we currently use. --PBS (talk) 12:53, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Style tweaks[edit]

{{editprotected}} Per the same request six months ago, requesting re-sync with the sandbox to undo the undiscussed change to layout made on May 2. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 14:13, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm declining this for now. If there was prior consensus about the style of this template, then I would happily revert pending a discussion. However, you did not discuss the changes you requested in December, so why are you unhappy that PBS has done likewise? Please discuss the style here, and if consensus emerges, replace the request. Thanks, — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:40, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
The style changes were posted at WT:TC#Standardisation of template styling, and barring some ongoing dialogue between me and David over some points there have been broadly accepted over most of the project's amboxen by now. The point is that these changes have been in place here for nearly six months, and so the onus is on PBS to discuss changes to it prior to making them. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 15:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Changes to pages should be discussed on the talk page of the article where the changes are to be made. This was a battle fought and won some years ago over guidelines where people were discussing changes to guidelines in other places and then arguing that the other place showed there was a consensus for a change. I do not see changing template to be any different from that.
What are the changes that you think would improve this template and why? -- PBS (talk) 07:36, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Consistency with other contemporary cleanup templates, legibility (the small line is painful to read on my display; small text is completely unnecessary here) and more balanced appearance on wider displays (on 1280x1024 and above, the current version leaves all of the message on the left half of the message box with the right half empty). Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 08:57, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The first part is of use to readers and editors of an article, the second half is only of interest to editors as a maintenance comment. In my opinion maintenance comments are better placed on a the talk page not in the article. As the second sentence is only of interest to editors, I think it is better if it understated by using a small font (which is the format that has been used in this template for a number of years -- since it was created ). There is also a question of where this template should be placed and as a general rule I think it should go directly above the {{reflist}} template and not at the top of a page (in which case the argument for consistency with other templates is not really an issue. BTW what do you mean by "contemporary cleanup templates". This is not asking for a clean up but for additional citations to be added to the article, which at the same time informs a a reader that not all of the text carries citations, and QED it can not be trusted to be totally accurate. -PBS (talk) 13:13, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Whether the second part is of use to a general audience or not, it should not be artificially less legible. Your opinion on where ambox templates should go is not relevant to this discussion, but I should note that your position remains a minority one. By "contemporary cleanup templates" I mean its peer templates, which mostly use the new format at this stage. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 13:41, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
How do you know that what is the opinion of the majority of editors on whether maintenance should be discussed on the talk page or on article page? More specifically when discussed in detail on the talk page of {{Unreferenced}} there was no clear opinion on where to place that template and this on is similar. "it should not be artificially less legible" does that mean you think that a smaller font should not be used in the template {{reflist}}? -- PBS (talk) 16:42, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The general issue of tag placement is occasionally brought up on the various village pumps and project pages; there has certainly not been any recent change to the consensus that their placement on articlespace is inappropriate. The font size of the {{refs}} tag is also irrelevant to this discussion. Again, deliberately reducing the legibility of this template by reducing the font size of the resolution text is unproductive, and should be undone; it should not have been re-changed by janitorial fiat in the first place. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 08:47, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Bringing this back up[edit]

So it's been nearly six months, and this is the only widely used cleanup template which uses the two-line, small format. It does so for no unique reason. The layout should be changed to match the other templates, as this has been a settled improvement for a long time now. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 17:04, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

The second sentence should remain small for all the reasons given before. -- PBS (talk) 13:25, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Link fix[edit]

Can an admin please fix the link in the template from [[WP:BURDEN|Removed]] to [[Wikipedia:Verifiability#Burden of Evidence|Removed]]? This is a minor issue, but it is a little annoying and it also causes problems for stuff like Wikipedia Cleaner. TJ Spyke 00:30, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Done. Although as the policy page is already linked I see no point in having this link as well, (or the link to the template {{fact}}). --PBS (talk) 07:42, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Why is this annoying or a problem? By default, I'd always prefer linking to sections through a shortcut, for easier maintainability. Section names change. Amalthea 14:15, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Search links in the style of BLP unsourced[edit]

{{editrequested}} I'm a big fan of the search functionality built in to {{BLP unsourced}}, so I'd like to see whether there's support for adding the same functions to this template. If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, the sandbox version has a proposed mockup of what I'd like to see in this template. Anyone who's interested, please take a look and see whether you like it or hate it (or want to do better), and give me some feedback regardless. Thanks. Gavia immer (talk) 01:23, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

This is a positive change. I'd like for the current sandbox code to be deployed. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 17:05, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
This is exactly why I came here, it will inspire newbies to find and use sources whether they get the cites right or not at least we'll push them in a positive direction to see what sourcing may be available. Please add:

<br>(''Find sources:'' <span class="plainlinks">[http://www.google.com/search?&as_eq=wikipedia&as_epq={{urlencode:{{SUBPAGENAME}}}} {{SUBPAGENAME}}]</span> – <span class="plainlinks">[http://news.google.com/archivesearch?&as_src=-newswire+-wire+-presswire+-PR+-press+-release&as_epq={{urlencode:{{SUBPAGENAME}}}} news], [http://books.google.com/books?&as_brr=0&as_epq={{urlencode:{{SUBPAGENAME}}}} books], [http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q={{urlencode:{{SUBPAGENAME}}}} scholar]</span>)

Before the last "</small>". -- Banjeboi 12:26, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Why use a commercial search engine?
I am not fussed whether it is added or not, if it is the second sentence should remain in a smaller font that the first sentence. -- PBS (talk) 13:21, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Whoa, only an eight month delay in getting this noticed. For the record, we use Google searches here because they're the best tool for the job, not in attempt to promote them. Even most commercial search engines don't have the breadth of coverage represented by the above searches. Gavia immer (talk) 14:14, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
It would be in a small font similar to {{BLPrefimprove}}. -- Banjeboi 15:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
I think that before this goes a head there should be an RFC and a notice at village pump and on the talk page of WP:LAYOUT to see if links to a commercial search engine should be placed outside external links, particularly if this template is placed at the top of an article and not in the ==References== section. I am suggesting this because Gavia immer has raised the point that it could be seen (by other commercial search engine vendors and even more so if it is in a highlighted box at the very start of many articles) as promotion of Google by Wikipedia.-- PBS (talk) 15:17, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
That discussion should not interfere with this template however, we presently use {{find}} or a variation of it on hundreds of articles in this exact way - a clean-up template like {{BLPrefimprove}} and {{BLPunreferenced}}. A discussion would rightly be asking if there is a good reason to removed from everywhere we are presently using it rather than can this template use it as well.
And Gavia immer did not raise the commercial links issue, apparently you did, and whatever concerns may have existed seem to be outweighed by the need for quality sourcing and the empowering of all readers to constructively contribute. -- Banjeboi 15:45, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
I also think that based on the precedent of other templates we should implement first and discuss later. Debresser (talk) 16:10, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
BTW, isn't WP:CENT supposed to be the central place for discussion? (Not that I ever visit it...) Debresser (talk) 16:12, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Yeah, I don't know where PBS gets the notion that I have any such objection. let alone in those very specific terms. If anyone could point me to a noncommercial search engine with Google's breadth of coverage, I'd be all for it - but it fact, I am aware of exactly one noncommercial search engine since 1995 that was worth a damn in practice, and it was a federated search over commercial search engine results, and it no longer exists. A request to use only noncommercial searches is a request to use no search at all, and I obviously don't think that's right. Gavia immer (talk) 16:21, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually WP:Cent and {{Cent}} facilitate that discussions that should not be localized that likely have wide impact. Thus an RfC can take place on a central-ish WP-space and are advertised and linked to rather than multiple and fragmented discussions. -- Banjeboi 16:59, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Benjiboi I asked why use a commercial search engine, to which the answer could have been "It is the best tool for the job" Gavia immer raised the question of promotion when Gavia immer wrote "use Google searches here because they're the best tool for the job, not in attempt to promote them." Gavia immer may be right but the question is will others perceive it that way? As there is not fire on this issue (100s of pages are not broken because of the current code), there can be a delay in implementation until after an RFC. As to where it is discussed here is as good as anywhere, providing it is advertised widely enough. I think this is particularly pertinent as the decision on whether to link to Google in the body of articles does not seem to have been raised with the wider community and the Guidelines Layout and Wikipedia:External links give different advise. -- PBS (talk) 17:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Outdent, "I am not fussed whether it is added or not" was the only comment even suggesting there was an issue here. Given that I think we should go ahead and add it. As for the RfC, I'm not sure an RfC on template page is better than one in a more appropriate policy page or even a specially created page. Suggest that be moved. -- Banjeboi 17:42, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I am disinterested, but such an external link has clear policy implications, and this is the best place to discuss changes to this page. It is a useful test case which when the RfC is finished can be used to justify the usage the inclusion or exclusion in other similar templates. -- PBS (talk) 17:55, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
So seeing no opposition it makes sense to add it here just as we have to other templates that do exactly the same clean-up work, no precedent is being set here at all. Seems a bit much to presume that something on high-profile templates for 6-7 months wouldn't have been addressed if such an issue but that discussion shouldn't delay this change for yet another month. -- Banjeboi 18:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
The AfD is less than a day old, I suggest we wait a few days to allow more editors to look at the conversation and then make a judgement on whether there is a wider consensus for such a change. BTW you say no precedent but that is precisely how you are presenting the change made to the previous templates when you write "Seems a bit much to presume that something on high-profile templates for 6-7 months wouldn't have been addressed ..." -- PBS (talk) 19:02, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

RFC: Should a link to a commercial search engine be included in the template Refimprove[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was that during the RFC most of those who expressed an opinion were opposed to including links to commercial search engines. -- PBS (talk) 10:55, 28 January 2010 (UTC)


Should the embedding of links to a commercial search engine in templates used to warn of lack of references in articles be encouraged or discouraged? Such a link was added to {{BLP unsourced}} in April, should that be used as a precedent for inclusion in similar templates such as {{refimprove}} or should the use be curtailed? PBS (talk) 17:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

See the previous section Search links in the style of BLP unsourced where there is some initial discussion on this subject. -- PBS (talk) 17:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I have advertised this RFC at Wikipedia talk:Layout, Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) and Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). (17:51, 30 November 2009 (UTC)) Also Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard --PBS (talk) 10:03, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Notification also added to Template talk:Findsources, Template talk:BLP unsourced and Wikipedia talk:External links --PBS (talk) 10:27, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

  • I see no EL- or non-free-based problem with linking to Google (so much easier if you said which one you meant). See WP:GOOGLE for pros and cons of using it (and others). OrangeDog (τε) 19:46, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
    There is an External Links (EL) guideline prohibition on this see point 9 at WP:ELNO. -- PBS (talk) 10:50, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I really don't see the need for it. Pop {{find sources}} on the talk page if desired and it would actually be useful is one thing, but shoving it in the template really doesn't add value to the article, IMHO, nor is it always applicable. Many topics have almost no results to be found in a commercial search engine. Further, just popping off to Google web search (presumed) rarely yields actual reliable sources while it may give newer editor the false impression that anything they find in those results is good enough to pop in the article (already a big enough issue as it is). -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 19:58, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
    In the previous section Banjeboi (12:26, 30 November 2009 (UTC)) suggests "it will inspire newbies to find and use sources whether they get the cites right or not at least we'll push them in a positive direction to see what sourcing may be available." For anyone who has been editing here for a long time, (when I started there were next to no citations on any article), it is difficult to judge, but I think that Wikipdia is more difficult environment to start editing in now than it was--because there is a large learning curve of dos and donts--and this might help new editors. But I take your point about a general google search being less than helpful unless one knows how to separate out the wheat from the chaff (IE had read WP:SOURCES). The question is, if "rv no source", "rv unreliable source, discuss on the talk page", is more helpful than "rv no source, discuss on the talk page" --PBS (talk) 08:45, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I oppose this because what's sometimes meant and needed with this tag is for someone to not simply Ask Mr Google for the low-hanging fruit. I'd be open to adding {{findsources}} to {{Unref}}, but {{Refimprove}} does get used as a request for higher-quality sources, not mere "more" sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:06, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't really think adding a search engine link adds any value and it does have the slight downside of unofficially endorsing one particular commercial product over another. As noted, a {{find sources}} on the talk page is both more appropriate and more useful. --ThaddeusB (talk) 22:14, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Also opposed to it in the BLP unreferenced template. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 07:52, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Pointless. The amount of competent editors who can't find a search engine on their own is zero. 2005 (talk) 08:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We ahouldn't help an external search site improve its PageRank by sticking links to it all over the place. --NE2 08:56, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per 2005: people know how to find search engines; and per NE2: adding to a search engine's "status" by proliferating links to it seems antithetical to Wikipedia's principles. Sssoul (talk) 10:22, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
    • I think you missed the joke :) --NE2 10:31, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose most people know of google's existance and don't have to be pointed there. Furthermore, the appearance of hits on google isn't a direct indicator of notability nor does it hint at the existance of reliable sources and the absense of google hits isn't a direct indicator of nonnotability or an absense of reliable sources. Perhaps we can write an article in the Wikipedia space for tips on finding reliable sources. That would be appropriate to link to. ThemFromSpace 05:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
    There are essays called citing sources and search engine test, perhaps by adding a section to "citing sources" with a summary and a main article header to "search engine test", that would allow "citing sources" to cover it. --PBS (talk) 10:50, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Google is not the only search engine available - Wikipedia should not pick one commercial search provider over others Ottawahitech (talk) 05:32, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
  • support with a little rewording. The naïve use of any search engine does not necessarily give good results, but it is a starting point. It's good to give people such a start. Is there a suitable non-commercial engine with equivalent reach to the combination G/GS/GBooks/GNews Archive? I don;t think there is. I don;t think there's a wider-ranging commercial one either. GNews Archive/Gs/GB are particularly valuable tools to suggest, because most (not all) of what will be found there will be to at least some degree of a RS. The purpose is to help people write an encyclopedia, not to be purists. DGG ( talk ) 04:54, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • reluctantly Oppose. Google is great IMO, but we can't be seen as "promoting" it. Talk about WP:POV, WP:SPAM, and WP:PR! Holey Moley! Jimbo would block all of us for the next decade!  :) Student7 13:55, 3 December 2009 (UTC) (note five tildes - I was never here!  :)
    • Comment - it could include, I suppose, a link to a site with a menu of all search engines. 3/4 of the users would realize what was happening and substitute their own. The other 1/4 wouldn't understand what a search engine was and its function. Just a thought. We would be guilty of promoting the super-selects site, but rather better than one of the major search engines. We might only be blocked for one year!  :) Student7 (talk) 14:01, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Adding the Google link has a very small marginal utility. Knowledge of the existence of search engines is highly likely in new editors. That is probably how Wikipedia was found by them in the first instance. New editors might be apt to learn more from pages like "How to Use Web Resources". --Bejnar (talk) 16:25, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I proposed adding {{findsources}} to {{Unreferenced}}, which was denied based on this RfC (which I didn't know was running). It's a really straightforward and effective set of links which simply saves a step in the process of starting a search. Besides, we already include this information on AFD's, so this would hardly be unprecedented. The criticism regarding the reliance on Google is somewhat valid, but that seems to be an issue to be discussed at Template Talk:Findsources, in my view.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 00:23, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
    I am sorry that you had not seen the advertisements to this RfC as I had already advertised this RfC in several places (see the start of the section), I have added notification to a few more talk pages including Template talk:Findsources. If you think of any other obvious place please advertise it there. -- PBS (talk) 10:27, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
    Well, my missing this probably has much more to do with the simple fact that I essentially quit paying attention right around the time that this was started. Still, getting people to notice that a conversation has started is a problem in general, but... well, that's a conversation that is way beyond the scope of this discussion.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 13:57, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
    One of the problems with many of maintenance templates that are placed on the top of articles is that they blur the difference between articles space and talk page space. But a template on an article is not the same as a comment on a talk page. There is a difference between including such links on a talk page (or an administrative page such as an AfD) and in an article. The former are for Wikipedia editors and an internal matter (and where links such as these are tools of the trade), the latter for the general reading public and such links could be seen as endorsing a particular search engine not by Wikipedi editors (who will assume good faith and that the motives for placing them there are utilitarian), but by others, for example suppose a journalist was to publish that "It is well known that Google favour Wikiepdia as their articles about a subject are usually returned in the first few links of a Google search, and now Wikipedia is returning the favour by exclusively promoting links to Google's site on tens of thousands of articles. What exactly is their relationship? I asked ..." and as so often happens the reading public of a newspaper are likely to assume bad faith: "no smoke without fire". --PBS (talk) 10:03, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
    If one makes one's own life difficult because one is afraid of bad journalists and anti-Google cranks, I'm pretty sure the terrorists win. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:14, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
    And not to assess how the general public may react to actions taken by an organisation before those actions are taken is politically and culturally naive. --PBS (talk)
    My sense is that there are several issues being conflated here, which is making the !votes somewhat difficult to decipher. Personally I completely agree with the points that you've brought up regarding the manner in which cleanup templates blur the distinction between reader and editorial space. I actually feel that all of these cleanup templates should be on the talk pages, for exactly those reasons, and I wonder how much that issue is bleeding into this discussion (if even just subconsciously). The other issue here is the specific use of Google which, as I said above, is certainly worth discussing (and there are some fairly obvious solutions to that). I don't think that either of those major issues is directly addressable here, and yet both of them are fairly inseparable to the presentation of this RfC, which makes a constructive and collegial conversation here nearly impossible. It sort of bothers me that this is hanging over {{unreferenced}} as well, not least of which because it caught me by surprise, but it's also worth noting that at least one editor has expressed above that their opinion would change based on the specific template (they would add it to unref, but not to refimprove). There's too much going on with this RfC to easily draw any good conclusions from, I think.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 14:07, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The main rationale behind the opposition (basically, that we shouldn't be linking to a "commercial" search engine, as if it costs our readers money or something) is beyond weak. So is the argument that giving preference to Google over alternatives (which was done on the merits of its search results rather to the complete exclusion of any other factor) is somehow unfair or suboptimal. The WP:EL#9 argument is also pretty weak IMO, as the rationale behind it was to stop people from using search engines as sources rather than to try and draw improvements to articles. I'm actually not overly fond of including stuff like this in cleanup templates, but the grounds being given to remove really don't hold much weight IMO. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:19, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose strongly; people or companies. There should not be any open text fields to outside websites anywhere on Wikipedia (past the add-on, being with user consent and 100% optional). We're not here to assist in anyone's research. It'd also be encouraging the fallacy of WP:GOOGLE to see how much information was available in the event of later PRODs, AfDs, etc. (no matter what search engine was used) and the "lots of search results" bit is already used in far too many comments and opinions by editors of all experience levels. If a new user doesn't know how to find a search engine or how they work, they can even go to the Wikipedia article Search engine. Plenty more problems under all that, too from a technical and ethical standpoint...... daTheisen(talk) 00:23, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose — (I have not read the preceding thread, only the RFC statement) The addition of references should be something done by someone who is familiar with the topic area or who is interested in learning enough about the topic area to understand a bit about the quality of different sources with respect to the topic area. The goal of increasing references is a good one, but a link to a "commercial search engine", would eliminate any need for someone to be even marginally committed to the topic area. Which is better, to have the proliferation of marginally appropriate web citations or the slow accretion of fully appropriate publication-based (print or web, but with some editorial input) citations? In principle, you can't say which is better because our guidelines and policy are not (happily) strict enough to dictate which is preferred across all article types and topics. Either can achieve an end; I personally favor the latter, which is the basis of my opposition. If this RfC leads to a community-wide increase in the templates like the example, I would strongly suggest that a link to Google not be made, but rather to a meta-engine like DogPile. We seem to forget that before Google got the halo for being all encompassing, meta-engines or visits to multiple search engines was the standard if you were serious about looking something up on the internet. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:53, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose: References do not equal google results. A page must be reliable to be used as reference, and books are prefered over web sites. This, of course, means some work; but linking to a search engine would encourage people (in special newies) to do this the "easy way" and link the first blog or forum post that they find. MBelgrano (talk) 14:54, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
of course they do not; but the GS/GB/GN results are at least a first start to finding them, and for many topics, so is G. As a librarian, I've been teaching the use of G for years, & before that, of whatever was available. Librarians in general found we could do much better than the first attempts of the users. Clever use of even G can do quite a lot. In fact, when I teach searching to library school students, the first system I introduce them to is the Googles. At Wikipedia, I needed to figure out more specifically how to use it for the sort of purposes needed here. The more I used it the better I get at it--and the more I got frustrated by its limitations--but the system is enormously more powerful now for both academic and popular topics than it was 3 years ago when I started at Wikipedia. The key things searchers need to learn, which apply to any search engine on any database, and cannot be corrected by any template, are 1. to look beyond the first page of results 2. to use appropriate search terms, , not just the naïve rendering of the article title 3. to experiment with other search terms if there are no results . DGG ( talk ) 03:31, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I followed from the template trying to find out where the links I always found so useful went to and find the dumbest decision I have seen here for a while. Surely making it easier for people to find sources overrides other concerns? Kevin (talk) 01:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

It was suggested that if such a link was useful then {{find sources}} can be placed on the talk page. {{find sources}} has a test to make sure that it is not placed in article space, and that test was added in July 2008, nearly a year and a half before this poll, see Template talk:Findsources#Use in stubs. -- PBS (talk) 10:55, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I suggest that this RfC came to the wrong conclusion and needs to be revisited with a wider audience participating. We should be doing everything we can to make it easy to find and add high quality sources to articles. If there is objection to inclusion of particular search engines, I suggest that an approach similar to how the {{ISBN}} template works... link to a comprehensive list of engines and let the user choose their preferred one. However, it's headinthesand-ism to reject Google merely because it's commercial... it works well, and in particular there are resources such as books that are not easily searchable other ways. ++Lar: t/c 11:57, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I would think that Lar is correct here. Many new editors are for the first time starting to work on cleaning up their unreferenced BLPs. Making it easier for them to do so (and possibly also teaching them about things like Google Scholar, Google Books, which many people don't know about) is beneficial for the project, as it helps reduce our backlogs. NW (Talk) 12:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Given that this many editors disagree with the conclusion here (so do I, in case you haven't read above), it might be worthwhile to revisit this. In my opinion, on any article where the current sources are a potentially fatal problem, an idea starter to help find sources is a benefit - so it makes sense to have this on the unreferenced/refimprove family of templates. Adding more places to look is fine too, if it can be done; as repeatedly mentioned above, we use Google links because of the breadth of sources that they cover, and I'm not aware of any other search website with the equivalent breadth. Gavia immer (talk) 02:35, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I think the consensus of the RfC was pretty clear, and there were no procedural errors with it. Just because you disagree with it doesn't mean you can get to start up another one. I believe this was also mentioned on WP:CENT, although I could be wrong about that. ThemFromSpace 03:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't remember the source (perhaps it was the village pump), but I remember that I arrived here because of a warning at some other public place. So, the "wider audience" point was already taken into account. --MBelgrano (talk) 03:49, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Consensus can change. Is there any harm in starting up a further discussion, not just here but on a centralized so that this can be applied to all of the tags ({{unreferenced}}, {{unreferencedBLP}}, etc.)? NW (Talk) 03:51, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Did you read the start of the RFC? As well as the RFC itself I did advertise it widely:
I have advertised this RFC at Wikipedia talk:Layout, Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) and Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). (17:51, 30 November 2009 (UTC)) Also Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard --PBS (talk) 10:03, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Notification also added to Template talk:Findsources, Template talk:BLP unsourced and Wikipedia talk:External links --PBS (talk) 10:27, 5 December 2009 (UTC)


Notification was placed on both the pages you have suggested informing: the talk page of {{unreferencedBLP}} (which is a redirect). {{unreferenced}} was covered by Template talk:Unreferenced#Findsources. There is harm in restarting a debate on one that was so widely advertised. People do not want to debate things endlessly and attempts to restart a debate which was very widely advertised when there was a clear consensus is usually seen as disruptive. For many processes there is a rule that no further debate should take place until a reasonable length of time has passed and a new quorum may have formed. One month is no where near long enough. -- PBS (talk) 05:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Edit request (3)[edit]

I request editing [[Template:Fact|challenged]] to [[Template:Citation needed|challenged]] because {{fact}} just redirects to {{citation needed}}. I know that we're not supposed to fix redirects that aren't broken out of misguided concerns for system performance. However, I just figured that on a high-vis template like this, fixing a redirect might actually significantly improve system performance. -Lilac Soul (TalkContribs) 16:47, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

We shouldn't be linking to a template at all here. Unless there is a relevant policy or guideline which can be linked, I suggest that "challeneged" be delinked. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:33, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} I'm just putting up this template to formally request what Lilac Soul requested at the top of this section, as I was going to make the request myself if someone else hadn't. The relevant policy Martin/MSGJ requests is the third paragraph of WP:UNSOURCED, which says "If you want to request a source for an unsourced statement, consider tagging a sentence by adding the {{citation needed}} template...". Ks0stm (TCG) 19:58, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

The word "removed" is already linked to Wikipedia:Verifiability#Burden of evidence. It doesn't make sense to link to the same place twice. Should this be delinked or should we link the whole "challenged and removed" to there? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:24, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
No, no...not what I meant. I was requesting what Lilac Soul was requesting:
So basically, change [[Template:Fact|challenged]] to [[Template:Citation needed|challenged]] is what I'm requesting. I'm not requesting delinking or merging any links at all, just the change in which template that "challenged" points to. Ks0stm (TCG) 15:16, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
As mentioned above I oppose this change because we should not be linking to a template in this situation. A template contains (often) technical details about using the template, not editing guidelines. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:47, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Fine, in that event, how about linking to Wikipedia:Citation needed, which has less technical instructions on how to use the template? Ks0stm (TCG) 16:59, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
That's just an essay. Here's my idea, change at will. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 20:19, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

After consideration, I think the line is better with the links it currently has. My reasoning is that the second line is small because it is for editors and not for readers (The first line explains to readers (and editors) why the template is there) and the second line contains the mechanics on what to do. Linking to the appropriate template and to PROVEIT (as is done now) is more useful than just to PROVEIT because most editors who use "FactCitation needed" infrequently just need an aide-memoire to the correct template, as they usually know the contents of PROVIT even if they have not reviewed it recently for the minor changes that may have occurred. So while I agree with updating "Fact" to "Citation needed" I do not think the link should be removed. PBS (talk) 20:44, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

I request inserting before {{#if:{{{date|}}}|<small>'' ({{{date}}})''</small>}} in text column because the sentence is not closed by small tag. 8maki (talk) 6:53, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Better handling of the first unnamed parameter[edit]

{{sudo}} Please change the code "This {{{1|article}}}..." to "This {{#if:{{{1|}}}|{{{1}}}|article}}...", so that an empty parameter is properly handled. --Waldir talk 13:43, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:49, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Visually impaired[edit]

As per Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(icons)#Remember_accessibility_for_the_visually_impaired.Add |link=|alt= . Thanks Gnevin (talk) 17:53, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

 Done -- Magioladitis (talk) 21:32, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Kde crystalsvg eraser.png Undone per [2]. –xenotalk 17:04, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Missing tag[edit]

{{editprotected}} A closing tag for the small tag needs to be added at the very end of the text parameter, after the bit with the date (which also confusingly uses small). This appears to be tidied up automatically on Wikipedia but should still be fixed, like this:

...[[Wikipedia:Verifiability#Burden of evidence|removed]].{{#if:{{{date|}}}|<small>'' ({{{date}}})''</small>}}</small>

GreenReaper (talk) 20:19, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Indeed, but I don't think it is intentional that the date uses double-small text ... — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:19, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I believe I fixed it. If the nested small tags was intentional, we can always add them back. Thanks, and please revert if I screwed it up! Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 21:41, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Re-word text?[edit]

The template currently incorporates this text...

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

Wouldn't "Unsourced or inadequately sourced" better reflect the intent of the tag and its stated consequence? JakeInJoisey (talk) 17:08, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I think that the wording is adequate as it links to the policy page Wikipedia:Verifiability#Burden of evidence. It might be worth changing the link under challenged to challenged as the previous sentence has link to the citations guideline and Template:Citation needed is the usual way we challenge text. -- PBS (talk) 22:46, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Even the current wording is seen by some as a threat. Rich Farmbrough, 12:16, 13 February 2011 (UTC).

A (mostly) user's perspective[edit]

I've rarely edited Wikipedia, but I use it all the time, and I see this template at the top of a huge number of articles. Including articles that appear to me to be adequately referenced as well as matching with my own knowledge of their subject matter.

The template is, in fact, so pervasive, and so poorly correlated with the actual quality of the references, that it gives me no useful information about an article's correctness, its reliability, or even the quality of its references. I still have to read the article for that. The template is really just annoying. So it doesn't serve the reader. And it doesn't serve an editor who's looking for articles to improve, either.

As for serving as an incentive to edit, the template also doesn't call my attention to any particular missing references. I often read parts of articles about subjects I know well enough to fill in a reference here and there. As an occasional, casual editor, I might be prepared to do that... but I'm not going to review the entire article to decide where references are needed, or indeed spend any of my time guessing where somebody might have thought that a reference was needed. Still less am I going to feel entitled to remove the template even if I do add a reference (or 10).

It's a pretty basic principle in managing anything that you have to understand what your goal is and be able to decide when it's been achieved. And I suspect that one reason this template is on so many articles is that nobody is willing to decide that a problem has been "fixed".

Furthermore, frankly seeing this template everywhere tends to give me a pretty low opinion of the Wikipedia community... the message it sends to me is that there are a lot of people who are willing to gripe in general terms, but few who are willing to even do the work to identify the specific claims they'd like to see referenced, let alone to actually fix the references (which is what I'd really expect in many cases).

Maybe I'm a whiner, too, but at least I'm willing to suggest a fix. I suggest that y'all form a norm or "policy" or whatever you like to call it around the use of this template: that the template itself must, in every case, be explicitly supported. If you use the template, you should have to either mark the specific references needed in the article text, or take some time to explain in the talk page exactly what's lacking.

If an article doesn't have any inline requests for references, and if there's no unaddressed problem clearly described in detail on the talk page, and if a very cursory glance over the page itself doesn't reveal any glaring omissions on important points that are likely to be questioned, then the automatic response should be to simply remove the template from the page as unsupported.

206.248.144.221 (talk) 18:18, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

  • from ceyockey: A big chunk of (though not a majority) the refimprove instances are legacy edits and apply to an older version of an article than the current one. Another chunk apply to a section or a handful of key passages rather than the entire article; in some of these cases, a handful of citation-needed templates and/or a section-level notice would allow removal of the top-of-article notice and refine the maintenance categorization. The fact of the matter is that a) the template is easy to affix and b) is not as targeted by maintenance-oriented editors as it much as it could be. Further, it is often quite difficult to find appropriate references for some items . . . which suggests that perhaps either the article or chunks of it should be removed pending enhanced ability (or wherewithal) to support the content with proper citations. I am normally an inclusionist, rather than a deletionist, but the content of Wikipedia is sufficiently vast and varied that I am leaning these days toward being more aggressive in migrating unsourced content to talk page with request to support, my preferred method of removal. --00:22, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the criticism. It is warranted.
In addition to what Ceyockey has written, we originally wanted this very reaction on your part - that is, we wanted editors to realize that readers were being warned away from that article because it had insufficient references, usually a sure sign of "inspired" editing off the top of someone's head. We discourage that sort of writing. And readers should probably go on to another article or use the material "with caution."
As editor Ceyockey has mentioned, we need to erase/replace these after a year or so, one way or another. We need to tag individual material so other editors understand what we are talking about. And, as he has said, erase stuff that is unsupported or maybe even unsupportable.
We are talking here about several hundred thousand editors! It is not easy getting everyone to change at once!  :) Student7 (talk) 23:00, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

I have put it up for deletion[edit]

I have put it up for deletion. See Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2011_April_9#Template:Refimprove. Plase add the deletion notice. Cheers. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 18:10, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Template deletion notice added. SchuminWeb (Talk) 05:15, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
As the results of the TFD discussion was Keep, can someone remove the deletion notice from the template.Nigel Ish (talk) 16:09, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
The template was removed in this edit. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 16:19, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Documenting reference improvement spectrum from nomination[edit]

Key question: are there spaces in the spectrum which are not addressed by these three templates and which are or are not addressed by Template:Refimprove. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 21:03, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't think so. We could actually use Template:Citation needed for a completely unreferenced article. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 00:02, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Why would you do that instead of using Template:Unreferenced? Are you arguing for getting rid of more than Template:Refimprove? --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:05, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
No. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 01:46, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Let me re-phrase the key question as I obviously did not state it well . . . Given the three templates listed, are there pieces of the spectrum which are not covered by one of the three templates but rather need an additional template or a modification of one of the templates listed? --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:09, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

No. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 01:46, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

stray text[edit]

There's some stray text at the bottom of the template, left after the AFD closed. Adpete (talk) 07:05, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

fixed... Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:05, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I seem to have over-typed the widget and not noticed that; thanks for the cleanup. Jclemens (talk) 07:07, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Additional documentation needed related to ref improve section[edit]

I just found out that the template {{Refimprove section}} that I found on Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup and have been using since I started editing (October 2011) is deprecated (and has been since 2009 if I understand the talk page correctly) due to another editor updating one of my edits. After going to the {{Refimprove section}} page I found the following The template {{Ref improve section}} is deprecated. Please use {{Refimprove|section}} instead. When I went to the {{Refimprove}} (this) page the documentation shows no such parameter to use. In fact there is a line There is also a {{refimprove section}} and the normal variations. that may need to be changed. Also I suggest that a note be installed telling of the deprecation of {{Refimprove section}} and a direction to the {{Refimprove}} page in any guide, policy, etc. like Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup that the template is located. Or am I off base with my understanding of being deprecated (do not use anymore - being phased out) ?
--RifeIdeas Talk 14:11, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

  • I think the merger proposal at Template talk:Ref improve section (section "#Merge to {{refimprove}}") makes sense and I agree with it. However, there was not significant discussion and it is not clear that there is really a consensus on the matter. For instance, the recent Deletion action on this template suggested the de-deprecation of the section template (not in the original deletion request, but discussion made it clear that this was one of the nominator's intents). Personally, I would suggest the removal of the deprecation notice pending a more thorough discussion leading to consensus; I think there is a consensus, it's just a matter of documenting it. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 14:54, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  • p.s. I would encourage people to comment on the proposal at talk ref improve section. I've just added a 'conditional support' with a categorization proposal which would make sense to couple with a de-deprecation of the template. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 15:05, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Which template?[edit]

Help! There are so many templates about improving references. I don't know which, if any, to use on this article: Steamboats of the Yukon River.

This is an article that has six inline references (one of which is used eight times, another twice). All are text references (really footnotes). There is an extensive General References section. There are no online references that readers can access to verify information. Isn't their use part of policy? (I can't find that, either).

It's a great article that needs to be reassessed by some of the projects it belongs to (it definitely is no longer "Stub" class), but I'd like to be able to look up reference information for myself.

Also, there may be copyright violations as far as the lists go. I think using lists from other publications is a copyright violation, but the author could have compiled the lists themselves (although, to me, this is unlikely - again, online references would be helpful here).

What, if anything should I do? Does {{refimprove}} belong on the page? Is some other template more appropriate? How about a copyright violation template? If so, which one?

Lastly, is there a better place to address these concerns? Does this whole discussion belong on the article's talk page? (I'm afraid it wouldn't be read or responded to there. I'm not too hopeful of a response here, quite frankly; I'm hoping this page is more closely monitored.)

Thanks for any help you can give.—D'Ranged 1 talk 17:39, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Answered on your talk, regards, ascidian | talk-to-me 00:06, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Such templates are inappropriate for List of ... entries linked to articles.[edit]

Citations are in the linked articles, not in the list entries.

See, for example List of IBM products#Computers based on vacuum tubes, the ASCC and the SSEC (1940s, 1950s). That sub entries , such as IBM 323, have no link tells the user that whatever is to be found will be found in the main article IBM 305. Coding the IBM 323 sub entry as [[IBM 305|IBM 323]] would only hide from the user which sub entries have their own articles.

In other parts of List of IBM Products main entries that do not have a link do have citations. It is linked main entries in a List of ... that do not need citations. 69.106.237.145 (talk) 01:09, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Style tweaks to referencing templates[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:template messages/Cleanup#Style tweaks to referencing templates for a discussion relating to the styling of {{unreferenced}}, {{refimprove}}, {{no footnotes}} and {{more footnotes}}. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 15:07, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Add 'Section' to template?[edit]

This was a thought I had when adding this template to a specific section of an article, and not the article itself... When using for a larger article, it may make sense to have the verbiage: "This article/section needs additional citations for verification," would it not? ----FESmitty77 (talk) 18:34, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

{{refimprove|section}} has worked for years. I have no idea why it's currently undocumented. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 12:12, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Also, {{Ref improve section}} exists.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 14:12, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Change request[edit]

{{editprotected}} The current text "adding reliable references", should actually be "adding reliable sources", in order to match the long-standing text in WP:RS and WP:V. I would also add "independent", unless that function is reserved for {{Primarysources}}. (I suppose, to be completely correct, it should be "adding references to independent reliable sources", but tomayto tomahto. --Lexein (talk) 19:34, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I used the same formulation as is used in {{unreferenced}}. Good catch.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:16, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Clarifying difference between uncited and unreferenced[edit]

I think the first three sentences In the documentation text need to be amended, to reflect fhe fact that uncited does not necessarily mean unreferenced. An article may have a general reference at the end, or may have an External link which is effectively acting as a reference, but it may not be cited. Therefore refimprove should not only be used for adding further inline citations, but also some occasions when no citations are present. Eldumpo (talk) 08:11, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

In such cases I use {{no footnotes}}, or if there are a very few inline refs but mainly general refs, I use {{more footnotes}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:04, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
It used to be that many editors considered entries in a general reference section to be acceptable as a form of citation. See for example this version of WP:CITE from the last edit of 2008. More recently the consensus has been that entries in a general reference section no longer meet the requirements of WP:V specifically the WP:CHALLENGE section, that requires in-line citations. Therefore citation in this template means in-line citations. Given this change in meaning this template does not need changing as it is agreed that general references are not citations within them meaning of the policy page and pertinent guideline. The simple answer is that if there are relevant citable materiel in the References or external links sections then that information needs including in in-line citations (as shown in the "Inline citations" section of the guideline). So no I do not think that the first three sentences in the documentation need changing as they are a fair summary of the current consensus. -- PBS (talk) 21:04, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds about right. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:31, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

When Unreferenced template is replaced with Refimprove, should old or current date be used?[edit]

I don't see where this has been addressed before and consensus reached--if it has, could someone point me there?

If it has not, then I will open an RFC. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 13:33, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Personally, if changing the template I will also change the date, because the date indicates when the problem was first noticed. It goes something like this: the article has a ref, so {{unreferenced}} is no longer warranted, so I remove it. I then consider whether the refs that are present are sufficient: if not, I add either {{refimprove}} or {{no footnotes}}, and as this is a fresh template, it gets the current date. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:07, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Definitely current. Any time you update a tag you should update the datestamp with it. Even if the same problem still persists, you are letting readers know that someone has looked at the article and confirmed that the problem still exists. However, if an article has had its tag removed by someone, but there has been no changes to the article in relation to the tag, then you can replace it keeping the original date, or leave the date off and let the bot add it, it's optional. -- œ 11:16, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I feel exactly the reverse. Keeping the old date lets editors know how long ago the basic problem of lack of citation/reference was noted, regardless of the exact current state of the lack of citation/reference. An editor wishing to know the history of the article can look at it. --04:54, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
If the "basic problem" remains with no substantial changes to the article then yes, keep the original date if you want. But there could have been many changes to the article since the original tag was placed, especially if the tag is several years stale. Many users neglect to update or remove a tag when they make changes to an article, whether their intention was to address the tag's issues or not. Updating the datestamp on a tag tells the reader that this problem has been viewed with a fresh set of eyes, taking into account all changes since the tag was first placed. This also helps to reduce the maintenance backlog. -- œ 12:16, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually it doesn't reduce the maintenance backlog at all, it just gives the appearance of doing so. --Bejnar (talk) 19:48, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Right :) What I meant was, with the older backlogs having higher priority, updating the tags at least clears out those maintenance categories from years ago. But yes since we're only 'moving' them to another category it's not actually reducing the amount of tagged articles. -- œ 04:31, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
If editors are changing the "need for citation" template, obviously they have reevaluated the status of citation in the article, and because they are not eliminating the tag, but just changing it, they have found that the article requires more than has been provided, so arguments based on many changes to the article since the original tag was placed are not really applicable to this discussion. The key seems to be whether it is more important that a specific article has generally been deficient or whether it is more important that it has been specifically deficient with respect to the new tag. Myself, I think that it is more important to document chronic deficiency, because that gives us a better overall view of this citation problem in the Wikipedia. A bot could give us a more complete view of our efforts, by calculating changes in "need for citation" templates and their eventual removal. Anyone know who might write such a bot? --Bejnar (talk) 16:03, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Template placement[edit]

Should the statement in the documentation that reads "There is currently no consensus on where to place this template." be modified to say "There is currently no consensus on where in the article to place this template." I recently found an editor moving this template from the article page to the talk page as editorial material. Since this appears to defeat the indexing at Category:Articles needing additional references, I thought this modification to the documentation might help other editors. Other suggestions? --Bejnar (talk) 16:14, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

This seems like a quite an uncontroversial clarification so I went ahead.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:18, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Poor layout[edit]

Please fix the layout of the various templates: {{Unreferenced}}, {{Unreferenced section}}, {{Refimprove}}, {{Refimprove section}} and {{Article issues}}. The problems to be fixed are: 1. they all use a space wasting icon on the left - the placing editor should decide this, not the template; 2. all except {{Unreferenced section}} use normal size font, ideally use small text or give the placer a choice 3. {{Refimprove section}} uses centre alignment while {{Unreferenced section}} uses left alignment - make them consistent, ideally make them all left aligned to avoid problems inside {{Article issues}}. Here are examples of what the templates do at the moment:

-84user (talk) 14:00, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

I have only just noticed there was related discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 89#Section tags where options were provided - my preferences would be any of the small left aligned variants listed by User:Penyulap at the end, wrapped or not, with year at least but of lesser importance. -84user (talk) 14:21, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
The use of the recently-revamped {{Article issues}} template is currently under discussion at Template talk:Multiple issues#Suggestion. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:34, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

84user: the appearance of this template is governed by the meta-template {{ambox}} which produces all article message boxes. If you want changes made, the correct place to propose them would be Template talk:Ambox. However I would say there are no errors here (except with {{Article issues}} which has not been deployed yet, and I have commented this out) - they are all displaying as they are designed to do so ... — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:38, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I did look at Ambox but I did not see any need to change it because it appears to provide all the parameters needed. If the main templates call Ambox with the small parameter (optional, provided by the invoking editor, default can remain large), won't the result be a small left aligned version? I am not asking to force my layout on everyone, only to provide editors a choice they can exercise per-article. -84user (talk) 15:13, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be a good idea to revert the removal of <small> made in this edit as the second sentence is not of use to readers but is an editor to editor message and really ought to be placed on the talk page, but failing that it should be in small text so that the warning (which is pertinent) to readers is clear and not lost in the editor to editor chatter. -- PBS (talk) 15:24, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Reverting that again without discussion would probably be unwise. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:40, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
We are discussing it here. -- PBS (talk) 13:29, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I actually like that version with the smaller text for how to fix the issue. But I think consistency is more important, so I wouldn't support the change on this template alone. Would you be interested in starting a proposal to adopt this style for all ambox templates? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:50, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
This template along with template:unreferenced are unusual as they are both warnings (for users) and maintenance templates for editors. Most maintenance templates do not fall into that category. They ought to be residing on the talk pages as they are of no benefit to the reader. Would the text placed outside a box be acceptable in the article or would it be deleted as a breach of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Self-references to avoid. A sentence in an empty reference section that said "This article needs additional citations for verification." would probably be OK as is {{Expand list}} would not be acceptable eg you recent addition of: "More details and relevant discussion can be found on the talk page" has nothing to do with the subject of an article and is of no direct benefit to the reader. As it is not an agreed change so I am removing it. -- PBS (talk) 13:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if it was agreed at the time, but there has been the facility to add a link to the talk page since 2007 (see [3]) and it is descibed on the documentation page. My edit on 20 June only used the functionality of ambox to achieve the same outcome, so that edit should probably be restored as it has broken all the instances that are using this parameter. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 13:29, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
As the parameter has never been in this template I do not see how it could have broken anything. If you want it in then set it to no display by default not to display. -- PBS (talk) 15:20, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The parameter has been in the template since 2007 - did you check the diff I linked above? And the sentence would not display on articles unless the parameter was defined, i.e. it does not display by default (did you check this before reverting?) — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:31, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I've re-added this parameter. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 20:02, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Bold edit, revert, discuss. So why the revert before the discussion and consensus to add? If the parameter has been in this template since 2007 where was it in this version from 1 May 2012? -- PBS (talk) 00:54, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
I do not need consensus to add because it has been in the template since 2007! It is you who needs consensus to remove it. (Although I did wait 5 hours for you to respond yesterday.) Check the code in the version you linked to and you will see the talk parameter. It's the bit that starts with {{{talk|}}} — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 07:01, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── OK I see what the problem is. {{{talk|}}} was not passed in to {{ambox}} instead it was expanded locally in this template (I had not noticed it). By using this construct:

| talk = {{{talk|}}}

talk is now being set to empty (or a value) and passed on into {{ambox}} -- something that was not done before. So to avoid this we need to alter the code to:

| {{#if:{{{talk|}}} |talk |HIDE_PARAMETER}}={{{talk|}}}

or something similar, so that talk parameter is only passed into {{ambox}} if the talk parameter is passed into this template. -- PBS (talk) 14:34, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

This is overcomplicated; given that as far as {{ambox}} is concerned, a blank |talk= is not the same as a |talk= that is absent, but |talk=¬ is treated exactly the same as the absent parameter, we merely need:
|talk={{#if:{{{talk|}}}|{{talk}}}|¬}}
--Redrose64 (talk) 16:07, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
No, it is really not this complicated. The current code is correct. As stated above the talk link will only appear on articles if the talk parameter is used. (Check any of the uses to confirm this.) The reason it displays on the template page is merely to display all the functionality that the template has. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:58, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Setting empty parameters in a template relies on certain assumptions in the underlying code, which even if true now may not be true if alterations to the underlying code is made. Setting it to "¬" relies even more on a knowledge of the underlying code. Using the format I am suggesting using does not. -- PBS (talk) 07:29, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
It would be silly to use the left aligned version since it is inconsistent with virtually every other template that Wikipedia uses. Nothing against the left aligned version on its own, but either make every template small and left aligned, or make refimprove section centered and large like everything else. I'm not sure why the option of making it different than every other template would even be a topic of discussion. --JAC4 (talk) 20:52, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Break for a other question[edit]

Would there be support for converting {{Refimprove section}} to use the small form of ambox like {{Unreferenced section}}? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:45, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

the answer to these two

I would support that change because it makes both section templates consistent and that it reduces the area occupied. -84user (talk) 15:13, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Code is on Template:Refimprove section/sandbox, it would look like this: — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:46, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Any other comments on this? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:51, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg deployed The small version may be overridden by specifying |small=no — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Now that this change has been made, the documentation that says that “{{Refimprove|section}}” is the same as “{{Ref improve section}}” is no longer correct; the former produces a full-sized banner, but the latter produces the small version. Not only that, but I would argue that {{unreferenced|section}} should produce a full-sized banner by default, while {{Refimprove|section}} should produce a small one, but right now, it does just the opposite! 69.243.26.39 (talk) 16:54, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Request return to previous version[edit]

I just found this conversation from "unreferenced" template. I think the small box is horrible--it adds tons of whitespace to articles, and it's not immediately obvious how to fix it--nothing, for example, in the "unreferenced" template even indicates that adding the "section" parameter will push the size to small, and doesn't mention how to make it larger. To be honest, for both layout purposes and for making the tag clearly visible to both readers and editors, the default should be large, not small. Qwyrxian (talk) 10:40, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. I have been waiting for the "small" version to grow on me, but it hasn't. The "small" version simply takes up the same amount of vertical space, and lacks the detailed instruction needed. If we want to reduce impact, then reducing the vertical space used by having a smaller (or no) icon in section templates might be a nicer solution. Rich Farmbrough, 21:47, 18 August 2012 (UTC).
Apologies to those involved, but this really needs to be rolled back. The change was made to other templates without discussion, and it is a worse implementation than the previous one. I would follow BRD and revert, but I simply don't understand template syntax well enough to make the revert. Qwyrxian (talk) 03:03, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

@Qwyrxian, small or large it is very prominent and only the first half of the message in {{refimprove}} is relevant to the reader. The second sentence is an editor to editor maintenance message and is the sort of thing that should appear on the talk page. The link to citation in {{refimprove section}} links to Citing sources#Inline citations which informs anyone who in interested in how to add inline citations, so I do not think that the template {{refimprove section}} should be changed to include an editor to editor message, instead it shoudl be removed from {{refimprove}} or at the very least go back to being in small which it was for several years until altered last year. -- PBS (talk) 08:52, 20 August 2012‎ (UTC)

Bot-type addition of the tag to a large number of articles[edit]

I’ve noticed that one person has been manually adding the tag in a bot-type manner to thousands of pages. The tag will no doubt remain on the pages indefinitely as no one else will add the requested citations and I would therefore question whether this is desirable. Any thoughts? (Ukgeofan) 23:08, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Who? -- PBS (talk) 23:35, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Most likely Klemen Kocjancic. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:11, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

The identity of the editor is not really relevant as the tags are added in good faith. The issue is that they are appearing on a large number of pages and I don't understand how this improves Wikipedia. (Ukgeofan) 08:49, 2 March 2013(UTC)

Mass drive-by tagging is an ongoing nasty problem. I tag sometimes, other times I add citations, and still other times I do both. Mass addition of banner warnings to articles unambiguously does not improve Wikipedia, and is generally unhelpful. Other editors have received wide community disapproval and sanctions for doing this automatically or manually. {{Citation needed}} tags are more helpful, as the specific area needing sourcing is made obvious. Note that both {{refimprove}} and {{citation needed}} templates place the article in the same maintenance category, so IMHO the least intrusive template is the better choice. I personally think editors should be allowed to place only a couple dozen such warnings, or 5 per day, then should be automatically warned on their Talk pages to start contributing citations, and to stop drive-by tagging. --Lexein (talk) 13:06, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Lexein. Unspecific tagging is not helpful. I would prefer if such tags were eliminated altogether where more specific tags are available. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:43, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

May be a need for "Refimprove|paragraph", etc.[edit]

I've been cleaning Category:Pages containing citation needed template with deprecated parameters and I've noticed that it's not uncommon for editors to tag the last sentence in a paragraph with {{citation needed}} and then put as the "reason" parameter that "the whole paragraph needs citation", or something similar. And by "paragraph", they mean just that... the rest of the section may be sourced adequately. There does seem to be a gap in the granualarity of our "ref needed" templates: we have them for whole article, for sections, and for sentences, but not for paragraphs. The inline tags do not really work well for paragraphs but the banner style tags do, so handling paragraphs would be best done by them. An alternative would be to use the "span" style tags like {{citation needed span}} but that's perhaps too ugly for whole paragraphs. Jason Quinn (talk) 13:20, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

The first positional parameter doesn't need to be |section| - you can use {{unreferenced|paragraph|date=April 2013}} or {{refimprove|paragraph|date=April 2013}} --Redrose64 (talk) 16:45, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Excellent tip. Thanks. Jason Quinn (talk) 16:49, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that a banner template for a paragraph is a horrible solution. {{Citation needed}} is perfectly adequate for a paragraph. It is very common for one inline citation to cover a whole paragraph so {{citation needed}} reflects that usage and is more than adequate, unless one wishes to argue that a single citation on a paragraph is not adequate. One could also add "{{refimprove|sentence|date=April 2013}}", but again I think that is a horrible solution. -- PBS (talk) 16:59, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Suggest to rename[edit]

Two years ago we had catimprove and refimprove. It turns nowadays we like more full names instead of shortcuts. Catimprove renamed to "Improve categories" in 2011. I think we should rename this template too to "Improve references". I don't have strong feeling about it but if it is to do something we should do it completely to reduce confusion. -- 04:50, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Happy to support this proposal, and it would make the wikicode easier to decipher for newcomers. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:52, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
  • As Template:Improve-references already exists; is there a reason not to use it? The only rational I see offered for this this change is to follow a current trend, that is likely to be completely reversed in another 2 years. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 10:34, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Needs wikilink always[edit]

When enclosed in {{multiple}}, {{refimprove}} with only a date parameter does not wikilink verification. Example: [4]: "This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)". The word "verification" is not wikilinked. IMHO it should always be. --Lexein (talk) 16:40, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. This is a bold edit and not yet backed by consensus, so may be reverted on request. I also removed a couple of links:
  • Another link to WP:V;
  • A link to {{citation needed}} - I'm not sure it makes sense to link to a template, a policy of guideline would be better.
— Martin (MSGJ · talk) 19:23, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
The "other" link to WP:V was actually a link to WP:BURDEN. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:34, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, which is a section in WP:V. If you think it was useful, add it back in, but I can't see the logic in linking "removed" to this anyway - something of an WP:EGG I think ... — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 22:08, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the fix. Though I agree with linking to BURDEN sometimes, I slightly prefer V in most cases, especially for new readers and new editors. --Lexein (talk) 04:32, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Edit request to remove |link=[edit]

Edit request to remove the |link= from the image to link the image to file page to provide attribution, as required by the copyright license. And to avoid redundancy, the same for all the templates in the "Differences from related templates" section in the documentation that use the same image in addition to {{Refimprove section}}. Thank you. Ramaksoud2000 (Talk to me) 07:57, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Done The only other one I saw that used this image (that wasn't already linked) was Template:One source. Let me know if I missed any. Jackmcbarn (talk) 17:26, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

A |talk= parameter is allowed; setting this to any value will result in the message "See talk page for details."[edit]

This statement appears in the template page:
"A |talk= parameter is allowed; setting this to any value will result in the message "See talk page for details."
It appears to be incorrect. For example see article: ID3. The tag there appears to be formed as the template page describes and yet does not display as described.
LookingGlass (talk) 09:06, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

@LookingGlass: The template documentation shows that it's |talk=, but the article ID3 was using |Talk=. When templates use named parameters, the parameter names are always case-sensitive (unless the template has been specially coded to recognise more than one form); I've fixed it.
Please also note that </BR> is invalid; I fixed your uses above to <BR> which is one of the two valid forms. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:08, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, for both :) Much appreciated. (I could never spot Wally either!) LookingGlass (talk) 19:02, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Repeated removals of this refimprove tag[edit]

Duplicate discussion; I refer editors who wish to comment to WP:V, where there is more participation. The two editors participating here have either copied or mostly copied the same comments to the other discussion. Sunrise (talk) 21:38, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I tagged a largely uncited mall article with this standard article refimprove tag.

But the tag has been deleted three times, without any refs being provided, by tag-team edits here.

I explained both in my edit summaries and on the article talk page, as well as on the main removing editor's talk page here, that this refimprove tag is appropriate, of long-standing use, and how unreferenced material should be referenced if the editor wishes to remove the tag.

The main removing editor, and his fellow editor, have still however continued to delete the tag. Without addressing the focus of the tag.

Though unconnected otherwise, it did catch my attention that this follows immediately the main removing editor disagreeing with my AfD nomination of a different mall, here.

Thoughts? Epeefleche (talk) 23:14, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

  • This looks to be a near-identical post to that at WT:V, posted there at 20:53.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:26, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Characterizing this case as a removal is a mischaracterization.  There has never been consensus at this article to emplace a banner refimprove tag.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:26, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't agree that it was a largely uncited mall article.  Even if from your viewpoint that is the case, nothing has stopped you from adding inline cn and refimprovesection tags.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:26, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • After I mentioned Harlequin at the AfD, you followed me to the article and added the refimprove tag, not that that has anything to do with anything, but since you are casting aspersions, it bears clarification.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:26, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Since the article has a number of references, it was not clear what material you thought needed citations, and I suggested that you use inline cn tags so as to be clear.  This was not good enough for you, and you went into edit-warring mode.  Another editor stopped you from successfully edit warring and forced you to the talk page, which seems to be what this is all about, that the community is not empowering you to post tags against consensus, and is requiring you to discuss.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:26, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I have responded in detail at Talk:Harlequin Shopping Centre, and you've been unable to refute the force of my reason.  The footnote you found at WP:V supports what I've said.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:26, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The refimprove tag is pointed to, as a tag to use, by our policy wp:v. It is also used in over 10,000 articles.
I also explained in multiple edit summaries and talk page comments why it was being applied in the instant article. And that to address it you could add RS refs to the unreferenced sentences. Your assertion that it was "it was not clear what material you thought needed citations" is baseless. As I said many times, the material that needs citations is the material not cited to RSs ... which is the same as what this template refers to in 10,000 other articles.
The "other editor" gave zero reason for deleting the tag.
Your reason -- which would indict all 10,000 uses of the refimprove tag -- is not an appropriate one.
BTW, I've been editing mall articles generally, and many Canadian mall articles specifically, well before the edit in question -- I didn't follow you to the article at all. :::And the issue I am raising is indeed your removal of the tag -- that's not at all a mischaracterization of the point I am raising.
And of course it was a largely uncited article, when I applied the tag here, as anyone can see. Your approach would allow any editor to willy nilly remove the refimprove tag in the 10,000 articles across the project where it is used, claiming that, even when they are told multiple times that it applies to the text not supported by RSs, that they simply still don't understand what that means. Epeefleche (talk) 07:23, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Here is how I've responded to your similar post at WT:V.  Unscintillating (talk) 12:49, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The statement from policy to which the footnote is attached states, "...consider adding a citation needed tag as an interim step."  Your preferred tag, the policy's footnote considers a next-to-last resort.  Unscintillating (talk) 12:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Of the three edits that upset you, one was to convince you to use citation needed tags in preference to the refimprove tag, and two were to require you to use the talk page to explain your preferred version of the article.  IMO, your third insertion of the tag, diff, was edit warring.  Unscintillating (talk) 12:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • There are not 10,000 pages at Talk:Harlequin Shopping CentreUnscintillating (talk) 12:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Your last post has decided that "of course" it was largely uncited, but dismisses the fact that an editor, myself, had said that the tag was unclear.  At that point, whether or not you thought it was clear, there was no consensus that the tag was clear.  The place to discuss remains at Talk:Harlequin Shopping Centre, which has an ongoing discussion about specifics to the article.  Unscintillating (talk) 12:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

I have requested closure of this discussion, diffUnscintillating (talk) 14:07, 1 June 2014 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Should this template be used more sparingly?[edit]

Since only B Class articles and higher are suitably referenced, this template is technically applicable to all others. But if we apply it that slavishly (e.g. using a bot) it would probably means about 90% of Wikipedia being tagged. I suspect that is neither desirable, nor would it enhance Wikipedia's credibility. In my view, it's used far too often anyway - e.g. even when there are reputable sources in the biography. So can we define some boundaries that would see it used more sparingly and surgically? Failing that, maybe we could use a smaller, far less obtrusive symbol or keyword near the top of the 90%-ish of articles (like the padlocks) that haven't yet achieved B status or above, and replace this tag entirely. Bermicourt (talk) 16:03, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

No. It is incorrect to say that "only B Class articles and higher are suitably referenced". Referencing is just the first criterion at WP:BCLASS, but there are five other criteria on this checklist, all six of which must be met: if the article fails any one of them, it can't be better than C-class. This means that a C-class article may be fully refd, like Reading Southern railway station. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:36, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
So is this template to be used on every article that fails the B Class standard for referencing? (I take your point that there may be articles that pass the referencing test for B Class, but fail elsewhere - not common in my experience) Or are there any other criteria? --Bermicourt (talk) 18:31, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
The main problem with {{refimprove}} is that it's a subjective judgment, unlike {{unreferenced}} which is objective - either there are refs, or there aren't. One person's "suitably referenced" is another's "not suitably refd". When I see somebody do this, I often respond with this. If we move along that railway line, the next stop is Blackwater railway station which has a justifiable {{unreferenced}}; but speaking personally (others may disagree), I wouldn't slap a {{refimprove}} on Farnborough North railway station even though it's well short of B-class. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:34, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that's helpful. I suppose a key criterion is the requirement for "inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations" at WP:RS. But in practice, some editors seem to see any sentence as "likely to be challenged" and that's where the subjectivity comes in. Personally I think we overdo the inline references in articles, especially c.f. the literature. IMHO inliners should be used only on claims "likely to the challenged", but there should be more emphasis on one or more authoritative sources in the bibliography that cover the subject in depth and back up the article. But hey, that's another debate on another talk page. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:18, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
There is some advise on WP:V see (footnote 3) and the paragraph it supports. -- PBS (talk) 23:09, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks PBS, that's useful. I had forgotten there was a section tag as well. Bermicourt (talk) 15:44, 10 September 2014 (UTC)