Template talk:Citation needed/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Wrapping problems

The {{Template:Fact}} appears to cause wrapping problems in some cases. Using a Firefox 1.5 window set to 800x600 on my PC, the George Harrison article will have a horizontal scroll bar. The only content off screen is the end of the [citation needed] text produced by Fact. it happens to occur at the end of the last sentence in a paragraph, and the last line of text in the sentence ends near the right-edge of the window.

(I'll upload a screenshot if someone wants it.)

This may be an issue with Firefox; the problem occurs with both Firefox and Firefox I could not make it happen with IE6 or IE7. On the other hand, it may be an issue of non-compliance in IE6/7 that manifests itself as unwanted—but correct—behavior in Firefox. Reading the white-space parameter spec in CSS, it's not clear to me what should happen when an anonynous inline block such as created by SPAN has "white-space: nowrap" and the block doesn't fit.

It might take some fiddling for you to see the issue on your PC because of browser settings, fonts, etc. Adjust the window size until [citation needed] starts near the right-edge of the window, and see if a horizontal scrollbar appears. John Cardinal 20:01, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a FF CSS bug to me. If the block won't fit and is set with white-space to not break, the entire block should be moved to the next line. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 00:06, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I suggest avoid the issue by using   and getting rid of the style.--Kevinkor2 13:47, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Previous comments indicate that using only  , the browser may split the opening bracket from the text like this: [
citation needed], which is not good. If it is a browser bug, it should be fixed. I'll investigate. (The previous comment was added by John Cardinal)
FYI, I have set up a testbed at User:Kevinkor2/FactTest. It references the template, {{User:Kevinkor2/Fact}}. --Kevinkor2 20:37, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Has this gone anywhere? I came here because I had the [(newline)citation issue just now... I think the "nowrap" span needs to cover the entire thing... — RevRagnarok Talk Contrib 19:04, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
(copying comment from above) At least on Mozilla, was able to fix the wrapping problem by putting the brackets inside the span tag. I think this edit tried to address this by moving the no-wrap to the sup tag, but that doesn't work. Going through the history, I didn't see a version which tried the following for the superscript:

<sup class="noprint">[[Wikipedia:Citing sources|<span title="This claim needs references to reliable sources" style="white-space: nowrap;">[''citation needed'']</span>]]</sup>

There is probably some popular browser that will still break the span block between the bracket and text. Could someone verify how this version of the span tag works? In any event I agree with SMcCandlish here that all the related templates should be coded similarly. Gimmetrow 20:59, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi John,
Because we made a change to the {{fact}} code, please take a look at the George Harrison article in Firefox. Does the problem persist? --Kevinkor2 19:27, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Inter-language links

Why I cannot see the inter-language links? I want to get a copy of them and add another one. please add [[ar:قالب:حقيقة]].--Alnokta 21:28, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

They are at Template:Fact/doc. I've added ar: for you. Jkelly 21:31, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
My bad ;) thanks!--Alnokta 02:16, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Is there really no german version of this template? --Spitzl 11:56, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject Inline templates proposed

Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Inline templates. I've been meaning to do this for a while. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 16:31, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Templates aren't a form of discussion

I'd like to point out that I am disturbed by the fact that some editors seem to believe that it's okay to use these kinds of templates in articles before bringing the issue up on talkpages. In articles that do have references no less. For example, there have been people inserting fact-tags in medieval cuisine because they simply didn't have the patience to bring up their query on the talkpage first. Two of them were even inserted right into paragraphs that were cited, just not in the normal hyper-pedantic fashion of one-or-ore-note-per-sentence, and both of those were actually due to editors reading things into the text that just weren't there (or were only vaguely hinted at). I know that there are plenty of other editors who like to sprinkle fact-tags after a multitude of more or less random fact statements (anything containing a digit is particularly popular). And then there's this type of attitude towards verifying print sources; i.e. "I'm not going to actually take the time to do it, but I want you to cite an extra page for me anyway."

I'd just like to point out that I find this type of behavior problematic and not in the least diplomatic. If there are problems with an article and the only reason for doubt is plain ignorance or lack of patience (as exemplified in the link above), then people need to stop asserting their guesstimates and personal opinions in article space. Use talkpages first, have a modicum of patience, and then insert the fact tag. Or simply put your money where your mouth is and remove the statement altogether.

Peter Isotalo 12:02, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

As side comment to Peter that isn't relevant really to what DragonHawk says below: The citation style you label "hyper-pedantic" happens for a reason: No one can guarantee that a paragraph that was entirely covered by a single citation will stay that way forever. Any editor can insert additional asserted facts into the middle of the paragraph that are not covered by the original citation. When that happens, this needs to happen:
Doodle doodle dee, wubba wubba wubba, yadda yadda yadda.[1]
Doodle doodle dee.[1] Blah blah blah.[2] Wubba wubba wubba, yadda yadda yadda.[1]
I'd agree that when first writing an article one doesn't need to add redundant citations to every cited fact, but editors do need to be vigilant about additions of material in situ that render existing citations false.
Your other point, about editors lazily abusing the tag to avoid having to go to the talk page is an issue to address with those users, not a problem with the template. There isn't a template on WP that can't be abused in one way or another. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:36, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm quite aware that Wikipedia is open to everyone, but it's not a good excuse for making sloppy reviews by smearing "I dunno about this..."-tags that automatically place the entire article in Category:All articles with unsourced statements. We have edit histories and other ways of finding out who inserted certain statements. Editors should either show that they're committed to their task and remove the statement altogether or, if they're just acting on a vague hunch or a lack of understanding, bring it up on the talkpage first. Article space is not a place to conduct any type of meta-conversations. At least not before constructive talkpage discussion have been exhausted. And I'll very much stress that it's wholly unnecessary to use the template as a general "hey, fix this for me"-tag. Especially when that editors receives very good and valid factual arguments that the concern isn't a problem.
Peter Isotalo 08:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I do think I know where you're coming from, here, but to play devil's advocate, I do sometimes come across articles with dubious statements or assertions in them, but am not in a position to do anything more than question it. Typically, these are in topics I know little to nothing about (that's often what brings me to them, I'm using WP as a reader). I don't have unlimited time or resources, so I cannot research every one of these. I'd rather use my time to contribute to WP more effectively. In such cases, I tend to add {{fact}}, in the hopes that someone who is familiar with the subject can do something constructive. I always check for any citations or sources first, though. If I'm not in a position to verify against any given sources, I generally won't add anything, unless it seems like the statement isn't associated with any give source. Do you consider this usage of {{fact}} problematic? —DragonHawk (talk) 21:15, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Adding a fact-tag to blatantly obvious POV-statements in articles that clearly don't have reliable sources is not what I'm complaining about. That's a pretty valid form of verifiability patrolling (used in moderation) but this is just unbelievable frustrating and uncalled for. Fact-tagging an article that does have sources, but doesn't have a citation per sentence or that doesn't rely on online sources is just not kosher. Quite frankly, I think it qualifies as a mild form of point-making.
Peter Isotalo 09:40, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
It could, if it is done in bad faith, but please note that WP:POINT accusations are in fact assumptions of bad faith. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:36, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
There is such a thing as arrogance, you know. Most of us engage in it from time to time, even with the best of intentions. But it's pretty important not to mindlessly defend such behavior merely because it involves a treasured policy. Thoughtless application of rules and guidelines is not excusable. What's relevant is to try to actually discuss the factual matters at hand, not to bonk heads about different interpretations of deliberately vague policies. Both parties can be equally right in how they think policy is applicable, and in those cases wikilawyering and overt ignorance should not prevail.
Peter Isotalo 08:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Fact tags are very important to improve an article. There are claims in that article that are not cited, I only stopped because you seemed so frustrated. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 19:30, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm rather flattered that my frustration alone is enough to get such nonsensical requests of my back, but it needs to be pointed out that five other editors tried to point out to you that the fact was neither obscure, controversial or indeed counter-intuitive enough to require a separate footnote. I won't debate the details of this incident further, other than pointing out that the quibble about food consumption and class imitation was preceded by this pointless blunder, which was a very obvious misuse of the template.
Again, the point here is not to discourage editors from questioning obviously false, misleading or skewed statements in articles with few or no sources, but to discourage adding them in articles that are otherwise jam-packed with both separate references and plenty of footnotes. Again, they're not a form of discussion and adding them to article that do have sources should be done carefully. If the fact can be found in any of the sources, or even several of them, it's clearly the reviewer that has failed, not the article author. When a source has been provided the onus is in fact moved from those trying to keep the statement to those seeking to remove it. We do not have policies ordaining any one style or density of citations and I have little or no respect for those who constantly try to force their own preferred style on other editors by sprinkling these templates all over articles instead of taking the time of checking out the existing source for themselves.
Peter Isotalo 10:54, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
And thank you for not debating the details of that incident any further, since that belongs on that food article's talk page, not this one. :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:36, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

The look of the template is annoying me

It should be capitalised. Jc iindyysgvxc 09:24, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Which part of the template should be capitalized?
{{fact}} vs. {{Fact}}
[citation needed] vs. [Citation needed]
"This claim requires references to reliable sources"
--Kevinkor2 09:48, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
The body. Jc iindyysgvxc 10:05, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
No other templates of this sort are capitalized, and it's not a sentence, just a two word note. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:46, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Why is it written in small writing? Why is it italicised? And what about putting it in a different font?
1) Because it's a note (it shouldn't be too in-yo'-face). 2) Because it's a note (it shouldn't be confusable with the regular text, even for users of screen-reading software for the blind). 3) Why? If you like, it could probably be done in Quenya, but futzing with the font is unlikely to be particularly helpful for anyone. It might be fun to use Copperplate Gothic or otherwise make it look like a cheesy movie logo, but doing something like that won't be useful. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 09:22, 8 April 2007 (UTC)


Please add the class "Template_Fact" (or something) to the sup tag (so, it would be like <sup class="noprint Template_Fact">) so that these can be styled with css or javascript. I have a javascript that looks for these that broke when the appearance recently changed. --Random832 13:08, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this (although the class should probably be "template-fact" in my opinion, as this is closer to the punctuation used in class names in the skins). However, before I send the job queue sky-high, I'd like to ask whether any other changes to this template need to be made too, and if anyone objects to this change. --ais523 14:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I also think it is a worthwhile change. The job queue is at 1600k, it was at 1400k earlier today. Does it ever reach 0? CMummert · talk 22:59, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Just clicked "save" which above change implemented. Hope it is all correct! SGGH 13:14, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
CMummert: I have known it to reach 0, but it's over 2 million at the time of writing. --ais523 11:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Apparently it is not being serviced right now to facilitate a database schema change (see the technical village pump). That's why it's so high. Anyway, the change has been made. CMummert · talk 11:24, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Good idea, good change. I think everything should be classed, you never know when a machine is going to read the article. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 23:54, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Spelling Error

Resolved: Typo fixed.

{{editprotected}} In the third paragraph, the second sentence begins with the word "The ese". I do believe that this is supposed to be "These". This really should be corrected. 19:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

You can edit Template:Fact/doc; it's not protected. CMummert · talk 19:10, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Blue/black brackets

I noticed that the template now has the brackets in blue. I don't think this looks very good, and I liked it better with black brackets and blue words. Does this have to do with the many formatting discussions above? If possible, could it be changed back to black/blue/black instead of blue? I never really minded the occasional line break, but now it looks strange. Thanks! Reywas92Talk 19:30, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Cat. fix

{{Editprotected}} Need to add: [[Category:Inline templates|{{PAGENAME}}]] (without the nowiki of course). — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 03:12, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Would that not go on the documentation page, which is not protected? Gimmetrow 03:17, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I guess that works, as long as the template itself not the documentation shows up in category. I didn't notice that the cats were in the docs.— SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 03:32, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Request that the brackets don't link

I simply request that the brackets don't link, only the citation needed part needs to link. --98E 01:24, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

To: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Inline Templates
Cc: Template talk:Fact
We have our first customer!
I suggest we discuss this at WikiProject Inline Templates instead of Template talk:Fact so that we can have a format that applies across all inline templates.
--Kevinkor2 07:02, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Nowikiing edit request for now until consensus is reached at the WikiProject. Sandstein 09:27, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Re: self-deletion edit summary of 98E: Don't get frustrated; your request wasn't "stupid" at all; it's an issue that does in fact need to be dealt with one way or the other. All that's happened is that the discussion has moved to the WikiProject, since its resolution likely affects all templates of this kind. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:24, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Request that line breaks be handled properly

{{editprotected}} Can an admin please modify the code so as to allow a line wrap between citation and needed when it overflows? It makes lots of pages have horizontal scroll bars unnecessarily because the 'needed]' part sticks out too far to the right. Fullmetal2887 00:57, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Discussion started at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Inline Templates. Gimmetrow 01:13, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Can this template be moved

The name of this template as {{fact}} can be misleading to editors unfamiliar with teh the template's usage, as well as general wikipedian practices. Often when I tag things using {{cn}} they can be quickly reverted with claims that I am claiming the statements to be innacurate, i.e. not a fact.

This tag should be used for statements and editor either 1)knows to be accurate, but doesn't have a source or 2)doesn't have the knowledge or resources to verify it's factuality, but has no good reason to doubt its accuracy. If an editor comes across a statement they have good reason to think is false, and that statement is unsourced, they should simply remove such a statement not tag it.

I think a lot of confusion over the usage of this template - i.e. whether it is calling into question the statements staus as fact, or just asking that a stated fact be sourced - could be solved by moving it to another name. But that's just a simple opinion[citation needed].-- 05:21, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not following you. You seemed to be objecting to {{fact}}, but then used the redirect {{cn}} as the offending example. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:30, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Request for addition of related template

Template:Views needing attribution is related to the fact template and should be added to the see also section. --Abdull 09:25, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Request adding padding to the left


I have noticed that even if you leave a space before using the template like this "some fact {{Fact|date=May 2007}}", it still butts right up against the fact that needs to be cited, and doesn't look too good. I would request that where the syntax shows style="white-space: nowrap;" that it be changed to style="white-space: nowrap; padding-left: 2px" or similar. BennelliottTalkContributions 14:15, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

N Not done. This would mean a formatting change to a large number of pages. I'd suggest getting consensus for it somewhere appropriate first. (Butting right up is the standard formatting at the moment for such tags, and things like <ref>.) --ais523 15:20, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree there is no consensus for the change. I like the way it looks, it is tight. Perhaps it looks different on your browser. Compare this[citation needed] with this[citation needed] to get an idea of the change, I like the first(current). With your suggestion it looks like the tag is a word on its own surrounded by spaces a opposed to being associated with the information preceding it. (H) 15:26, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

How long should they be tagged?

So, how long do we let fact tags remain? If something has been uncited for 2 months, should it just be removed? Not a dog 01:53, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

yes. Generally a week is sufficient, maybe less on really high traffic articles. If no one can be bothered to supply a source in a week (unless they've indicated they are intending to do so) it should be removed. If they say they're going to provide one, but don't, just play it by ear. If they seem to be dragging it out, remove it.--Crossmr 00:33, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

change link

change link of this template from Wikipedia:Citing sources to Wikipedia:Citing sources#How to find sources. After this section is added: [1]. This should be helpful for a new visitor. Currently this tag is helping nothing in improving verifiability Racky pt 08:45, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

subst shortcut

i got tired of writing {{subst:fact-now}} and made a copy at {{subst:factn}} for lazy people like me. :) --Indolences 22:00, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

End of line scrollbar fix

{{editprotected}} The current code used is:

<includeonly>{{#if:{{NAMESPACE}}||{{#if:{{{date|}}}|[[Category:Articles with unsourced statements since {{{date}}}]]|[[Category:Articles with unsourced statements]]}}[[Category:All articles with unsourced statements]]}}</includeonly><sup class="noprint Template-Fact">[[Wikipedia:Citing sources|<span title="This claim needs references to reliable sources {{#if:{{{date|}}}| since {{{date}}}|}}" style="white-space: nowrap;">&#91;''citation needed''&#93;</span>]]</sup><noinclude> {{/doc}} </noinclude>

This causes problems if the template produces the last text on a line. Specifically, with some browsers, if the word citation fits on the line, but needed does not, the word needed will cause a horizontal scroll bar. A proposed fix would be:

<includeonly>{{#if:{{NAMESPACE}}||{{#if:{{{date|}}}|[[Category:Articles with unsourced statements since {{{date}}}]]|[[Category:Articles with unsourced statements]]}}[[Category:All articles with unsourced statements]]}}</includeonly><sup class="noprint Template-Fact">[[Wikipedia:Citing sources|<span title="This claim needs references to reliable sources {{#if:{{{date|}}}| since {{{date}}}|}}">&#91;''citation&nbsp;needed''&#93;</span>]]</sup><noinclude> {{/doc}} </noinclude>

A comment in a section above says that an earlier comment said this could cause a different problem in some browsers. I couldn't find any comment that that could have been a response to, and it didn't cause any problems for me with Firefox 1.5 or IE 6. Unless that concern is correct, I recommend changing template code. -- kenb215 talk 05:55, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Let's wait a little while for comments. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:14, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Neither solution is correct; the problem is that a [citation needed] using nowrap could potentially go off the edge of the screen, but some browsers will display the nbsp version as [
citation needed] in such cases. If only there was such a thing as a non-breaking square bracket (except that that would cause problems with non-Unicode browsers)... --ais523 16:52, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, somebody above said that somebody above said that, but I didn't see any comment that might have refered to it, including in the archive. Does anybody know of any of the browsers that this breaks? -- kenb215 talk 23:22, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm disabling the editprotected. Once a solution is found, feel free to add another one. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:35, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


This is a bit of a suggestion/discussion/request... Wouldn't it make more sense if instead of "[citation needed]" it would say "(citation needed)"? More in-line would seem to look more normal and make more sense to me. Althepal 04:26, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

This has been discussed at some length already (see discussion on this page). For best results, please address points raised in prior discussion in your own suggestions. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 02:58, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

xkcd Cartoon

There is an xkcd cartoon about this template. Bkkbrad 12:09, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

LOL!! Althepal 18:24, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Don't forget the second joke in the image title (mouse over in most modern browsers). —Toby Bartels

Usage notes

The usage notes should be amended to state that the editor should make a good-faith effort to check the references given and do a basic search to find references first, and only add the tag if they are unable to find and add a citation. There is no need to cite every clause in every sentence, and too many lazy editors apply this tag in trivial cases. WP:SOFIXIT! Dhaluza 10:42, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, this is very annoying. Tomgreeny 15:02, 7 August 2007 (UTC)