Template talk:Citation needed/Archive 5

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Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6

Unlinked or linked brackets?

When fact is compared with other minor "touch" templates, I can see that the fact template is the only one having the "[" and "]" brackets also having a "link", turning out as blue, and other similar templates have brackets without a link, and are black.

I'm not requesting an edit for this template yet, since I think this would need a concensus. Would it be better to "link" the brackets from other similar templates too, or should the brackets be unlinked from this template? Either way, the style of these templates would improve the cosmetic looks these templates have.

I've altered the code of this template to show brackets as black:

<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;">''citation needed''</span>]]]</sup>

Which would show up as:

[citation needed]

Unlike as:

[citation needed]

Compared to the other inline tags, it's like a perfect look. Comments? ~Iceshark7 23:45, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Should be consistent. Looks good. Rich Farmbrough, 09:10 24 September 2007 (GMT).


Resolved: Now using {{fix}} as intended.

I was bold and converted this template to call Template:Fix-inline. Pretty much all other inline templates of this type have been using that format for weeks now without issue (see [1]). Primary purpose is to allow standardization of how these templates are displayed, formatted, called, et cetera.

As a 'side effect' this returns the outer brackets to unlinked black as requested immediately above, in at least two other comments further up this page, and by the consensus in the discussion on the same topic at the Wikiproject page. I kept the 'Template-Fact' class since there are apparently some javascripts and/or other options which key off it, but all the other templates of this sort except NCite (which is a near copy of Fact and has the same Template-Fact class) use an 'Inline-Template' class.

If there's some reason not to include this template in with the others for consistency we can revert, but overall I think it will be better for everyone if we can make changes to just one template when there are decisions to adjust the formatting of these inline notices. --CBD 16:08, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

{{Fix-inline}} is just a component of {{fix}}, and isn't intended to be used standalone. I note that the template now properlly uses {{fix}}, so tagging this topic as resolved. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:51, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Usage / placing

I wonder if anything speaks against using the template included in <ref>{{fact}}</ref> tags. It seems to me that it would still work to draw attention to a need for a citation, but would simultaneously work as a reference placeholder which needs to be filled. I got the idea because I believe that References sections are still widely underappreciated as individual and very important sections. There are still far too many articles with unformatted in-line external links, many ref sections are a gigantic mess. — [ aldebaer⁠] 15:47, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Strongly oppose. This would imply to all but to the top 0.1% of super-dilligent users that the alleged fact in question has actually been sourced; only hardcore editors who specialize in verification, and very serious end users who are checking facts (e.g. because they are relying upon the article for a news paper story or a university paper) actually look at the references being cited to see if they are a) even there, and b) are reliable. I.e., hardly anyone would notice that any such {{fact}} tags hidden inside bogus reference citations. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:48, 13 September 2007 (UTC)


Why is this template called "fact"? It doesn't seem to make much sense. -- Smjg 01:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Why so many redirects?

(They all redirect to template:fact)

Can't we delete some? What if everyone created there own redirect? Chaos! I like the {{wtf}} one. -Rocket000 04:30, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

What's the problem? Some people are just used to grabbing a different name (after all, the template does say "citation needed", which makes stuff like {{citation needed}} and {{cn}} perfectly logical). EVula // talk // // 04:50, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
This is not a problem. If you have heard that there is a problem when there are too many templates, it's when they are nested, not when there are a bunch of redirects. 1of3 02:49, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
It is not a problem but I would like to propose to get rid of some of the redirecting templates, especially {{Citeneeeded}} (very gooooode English), {{Sourceme}} (pardon me??), {{Citationneeded}} (I regard it reasonable to to retain the good old custom of spacing). Wkr, --Paunaro (talk) 21:31, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Right spirt, but missing the point. The fact that there are a lot of redirects is not an issue at all, and deleting them without running massive AWB or bot cleanup sessions would break a lot of things. The problem is that {{fact}} is advertising all of these redirects. That entire section should just be deleted, with the sole exception of {{cn}} and {{citation needed}}. If anyone wants to know what all the redirects are, that is what "What links here" is for. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 10:14, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
You don't need {{editprotected}} to make the edit; you can just edit the documentation page. I'll leave it to consensus here to decide whether or not that's a good idea. --ais523 13:04, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Duh. Sometimes I forget which templates are /doc'd and which aren't. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 07:04, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Quotations from Jimbo

Kim van der Linde wrote:

That would amount to deleting around 90% of the article as unsourced........

Jimbo Wales wrote:

Go for it!

--Jimbo Source

Oskar Sigvardsson wrote:

If you want to go the bad-ass evil & sneaky route, simply tag all of the unsourced items with {{fact}} (an edit which, granted, would take some time), let them be for a week and then summarily remove them. If it is as bad as you say (which I don't doubt, after a quick look at it), raze and rebuild from the ground up is a very sensible option.

Jimbo Wales wrote:

In general, I find the {{fact}} tagging to be overdone in Wikipedia. A better option is to nuke the unsourced material. Sometimes {{fact}} is warranted, I don't mean that it is always a bad idea. But it is overdone.

I very often see completely preposterous claims tagged with {{fact}}, usually because an editor is being excessively cautious. Be bold. :)

--Jimbo Source

Currently, there are some quotations from Jimbo on this talk page. His opinions are interesting, but I don't think it's appropriate to place one user's opinion in a place separate from the opinions of other users, as if his opinion were more important. I think Jimbo's opinions should be placed under a section on this page, or an essay should be created for them, so they don't get archived. A.Z. 02:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I just moved the comments to this section. A.Z. 04:22, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Impact on spacing

Currently, if this template is used at the end of a paragraph, it eats the space separating the paragraph from the following paragraph. E.g.,

A paragraph.{{fact|date=October 2007}}

Another paragraph.

is displayed as:

A paragraph.[citation needed]Another paragraph.

Is someone able to fix this? —GrantNeufeld 14:08, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Gee, we had that fixed months ago by placing the categories first, before the displayed text. What happened? Gimmetrow 15:27, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Make the link point to Wikipedia:Citation needed


Considering the thousands of transclusions of this template, the link on the "citation needed" text could go somewhere a bit more targeted, by explaining everything the clicker might want to know. To that end, I've created Wikipedia:Citation needed. Please improve that page as necessary, and if consensus agrees, update the template to link there rather than directly to Wikipedia:Citing sources. Stevage 03:06, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Deliberately leaving this open for more discussion, and to make sure that the change is done correctly first time. There are 89820 pages that use this template (making it 49th in Special:Mostlinkedtemplates), and the servers will have to reparse them all if the template is changed; that's not a reason not to change the template, but it is a reason not to change it more than about once a week at the maximum (and preferably longer), so it's important to get any change right first time. Also, are there any other changes to this template that people have been thinking about which could be done at the same time? --ais523 11:58, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
That's ok - I gave it a week and no one replied. One advantage of updating the link to a new page is that then we can redirect that page if we ever want to, without updating the template. I don't know of any other changes. Stevage 21:58, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
YesY Done. It kept the servers busy for about 15 seconds just to schedule the updates to articles that this will take. The change to links on existing articles will not take place immediately, but rather when the servers get round to it, which will usually be within a few hours but may take up to a week depending on whether they're busy with something more important. --ais523 09:27, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Odd category

On the article about West Germany, it appears that a call to {{fact}} is causing the article to be included in Category:Articles with unsourced statements since September 2,007. The template is called in the article as {{Fact|date=September 2007}}. I don't see a reason for the extra comma within the template code, and it's apparent that there isn't a comma in the template call either. Slambo (Speak) 11:07, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I think the cause is the formatnum on stat_pop1 in the infobox code. You can get the same thing putting a fact tag in a stat_area field. Gimmetrow 12:10, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Tag spam issue

Occasionally I had run into the so-called "citation tag spam" issue, where users - acting in good or bad faith - will go over an article and tag every paragraph, sentence, or sometimes even parts of sentences with this template. With dozens of such templates, the articles are quite uglified. Now, I agree that sometimes it is helpful - for example, if the article is in review and editors have asked which controversial facts need inline citations. Sometimes it can be too much, for example in articles were a more general {{unreferenced}} or {{refimprove}} is needed. Do we have something discussing how not to abuse this template? An essay, perhaps? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:47, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

FYI, this has been discussed before. See /Archive 4#Overuse in a single article and /Archive 4#Not overrused. Note that, until just now, the archive page was a mixed-case-duplicate-name and thus essentially lost. I've just now move it to /Archive 4 so it can be found again. • I do think this kind of overuse, when {{unreferenced}} or some other ambox would be better, is suboptimal. I don't think we need Yet Another essay, just a mention in this template's doc page. I'll see what I can come up with. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 20:43, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
The people who add excessive tags do so in good faith, but unfortunately they often lack the perspective to see that the tags are excessive. For example, they may be tagging an article on a subject with which they are completely unfamiliar. One relevant essay is WP:POINT. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:46, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I've seen this on occasion in a content dispute when it seems the only way to get through to another party who feels something is properly cited is to tag each and every claim made which is felt requires citation. It might be better in these cases to tag the section and make a complete list on the talk page.--Crossmr (talk) 22:51, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I find that a much better technique, if a full list is needed. It's more conducive to discussion than fact tags on the article, which have a black/white nature. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:58, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I've rewritten the template documentation completely, in the hopes of clearing up this and other confusions. Except in a few cases, I tried to be neutral and descriptive, reflecting what editors are doing, rather than telling people what to do. Hopefully others will agree and see this as an improvement.  :) Comments, commendations, condemnations? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 07:44, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it's very nice - it explains what's going on and how to use the template, and I think it should be clear to the intended audience. I copyedited it a little this morning. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:07, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Good improvements, too. Mentioning and linking "inline citation" in the lead-in is an especially good idea. • One subtle but important thing I changed from your edit: I changed the phrase "that do not have an inline citation" to "are incomplete without an inline citation". The former could be read as implying that all material requires an inline citation. As far as I have been able to determine, it is an open question as to exactly what level of inline citation is appropriate on Wikipedia. Some articles footnote practically every sentence; others rely on a general "Sources" section at the end. I suspect the best answer is "it depends on the article", but I'm not sure even that sentiment has consensus. Unless there's some clear evidence of consensus in either direction, I think we should avoid saying anything that implies when citations are required. We can just link to the relevant guidelines, and let the question be decided there. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 17:07, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
That's very reasonable. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Create category for articles with incorrect date parameters

After going through Special:Wantedcategories, I noticed that a number of them were suggested as a result of people incorrectly using the date parameter. I think it would be a good idea to create a category for these articles. It wouldn't be too hard to implement if using the ifexist parser function, and would make it easier to fix them. Harryboyles 05:16, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Seeing as I didn't get a response, I decided to add the code myself. It first checks to see whether the date parameter has been specified. If so, it then checks to see whether the dated category exists. If not, the articles is added to Category:Articles with invalid date parameter in template. Harryboyles 18:02, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


What do people think of stealing the sexy design of the french {{référence nécessaire}} and using it here? It allows a chunk of text to be highlighted in relation to the citation-needed tag, but could be used without an argument and would display like ours does. Anyone? Arbeit Sockenpuppe (talk) 19:28, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Using the talk page, you can explain in detail which words you are concerned about, why you are concerned, other ideas you have, and so on. This is far superior to just highlighting some words in an article. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I just came here to ask the same thing. For backwards compatability we would need to ensure existing variable-free transclusions of this template behave exactly as before. However, if we made unnamed variable 1 carry the unreferenced text that would probably work. Alternately, to avoid confusion we could make a new template (though that would likely slow uptake). —dgiestc 16:29, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Bad formatting

This template causes horizontal scrollbars on so many pages it's ridiculous. See, for example, The Statue of Liberty in popular culture#In television and film. Can something can be done about it? I'm no expert in HTML but surely this is bad form? --— Hugh 01:54, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't see it. You may need to take a screenshot to show others what you see. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:14, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Here's a screenshot. --— Hugh 12:49, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I see. I managed to duplicate that in my version of firefox as well. I know the cause - the whitespace in the fact tag is set to nowrap - but not the reason. It looks like a rendering issue to me, rather than an HTML issue. The fact that the monobook skin uses the entire width of the browser window doesn't help. Anyway, I don't see any good fix to this right away. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:41, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Use of the name "Fact"

I do not think that "Fact" is the best name for this template. When I first ran across it, I thought it meant the item had been proven fact, when what it really means is that the factuality of the statement requires citation as it is dubious or not common knowledge. -- Jolliette Alice Bessette, -- 10:40, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

As the documentation page states, it may be easier if you visualise a question mark after the fact tag, i.e. {{fact?}}. As for renaming the template, it's pretty unlikely. The template is transcluded thousands of times in tousands of articles. Many bots and other software assume that the main template is {{fact}}. Not to mention that many editors have the syntax nailed down in their memories, making it much harder to change. If you wish to tag sentences in articles, you can use the aliases {{cn}} and {{Citation needed}}, which might be easier. Harryboyles 11:04, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Which template option to use

Should {{subst:fact-now}} be recommended on the documentation page as the best choice since it is simpler and more sure than {{fact|date=September 2016}} and will have less edits in the history that {{fact}}? (talk) 22:47, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Version for maps?

Increasingly I have run into situation where a well-referenced article has a completly unreferenced map, with npov/OR issues that arise from that situation. While we can tag map captions with {{fact}}, it would be better if we had a dedicated template for it - along the line this map does not provide any references or sources. There should be also a more general template to be slapped at the image page itself (often located on Commons). Comments? PS. Example of a large and completely unreferenced map.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 23:13, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Well for NPOV you can use {{POV-map}}, but for OR I don't know. Please don't do like on Image:Average annual precipitation in China(English).png for example though, someone created a page on wikipedia for an image on the commons, in order to tag it as POV. Jackaranga (talk) 22:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
For images lacking source I guess it's just {{Di-no source}} Unsourced images should be deleted. Jackaranga (talk) 22:35, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Note that OR is allowed for maps (Wikipedia:OR#Original_images), but they should still be referenced. It would be nice to distinguish POV, missing references, and a missing source as that's potentially three different issues, I'm ok with using {{POV-map}}, {{fact}}, and {{Di-no source}} respectively but wouldn't object to map specific versions. And for maps on commons please tag them on commons, I know for my commons maps I'll often completely miss stuff put on their wikipedia pages. Kmusser (talk) 16:16, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I think that these tags are a great idea. However nowadays most maps are uploaded to Commons, so this conversation is a bit on the moot side, unless we get similar/identical tags there. Regards, MapMaster (talk) 03:32, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Why have the categories disappeared?

It seems that articles with this tag no longer display the Category:Articles with unsourced statements as of ... link at the bottom with their other categories. Why is that? Is it a bug or an intentional change? If the former, can someone fix it? If the latter, can we change it back? —Angr If you've written a quality article... 17:15, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

It's because the categories have been hidden; see for instace [2].
So, I suppose changing it back is easy enough. Do we want to? Why was it changed in the first place? — the Sidhekin (talk) 17:39, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't about other people, but *I* find it helpful to know how old the {{fact}} tags are on articles I keep on my watchlist. I generally like to let them ripen for a quarter-year or so before removing the unsourced claims (unless they're on articles about living people, in which case the unsourced claims get removed immediately). —Angr If you've written a quality article... 17:53, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Found the relevant discussion. I guess that's where you'll have to argue your case. :) — the Sidhekin (talk) 18:37, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Meh, not worth it. Thanks for the link, though! —Angr If you've written a quality article... 18:45, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
For the record (since it came up here): There is now a user setting "Show hidden categories" (on the "Misc" tab) that any logged in user may select to make these categories display as well. Highly recommended to anyone doing maintenance work. :) — the Sidhekin (talk) 06:19, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Off-wiki reference to this template

Fans of this template may be interested in this article from Reason magazine. (talk) 15:43, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Added article to WP:Press coverage and WP:Wikipedia as a press source 2008. --Silver Edge (talk) 08:29, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Please change the message

{{editprotected}} The content of this template is highly mocked by sites like Encyclopedia Dramatica and Uncyclopedia,[citation needed] and also by what is mentioned in the source above. Please change it. Interactive Fiction Expert/Talk to me 07:11, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Change how and why? – Luna Santin (talk) 07:43, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Edit request declined. Not specific enough, plus a change on a highly used template like this needs more input. Garion96 (talk) 08:20, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Due by date?

I may have missed it, but the template documentation Date parameter section is missing the actual "due by date" parameter! It seems to me that logic suggests a "parameter" needs both a start date, and an end date. Without the end date, the later extremity of the definition becomes potentially infinite. I think it would be nice to know that the content associated with the {{fact}} can eventually be deleted if no citation had been forthcoming. Naturally the community will need to reach consensus on what that time period may be...--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 13:43, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the way I have seen it done is that you wait a reasonable time after requesting a citation, and make a good faith effort to find one yourself in the meantime. User:Pedant (talk) 08:43, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
So, what is a "a reasonable time"?
If someone makes a claim, and I can't begin to imagine where the claim came from, no amount of good faith will help ;o)...I could pray for inspiration I guess ;O)--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:51, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Line wrapping

It seems that this template can cause a line to fail to wrap in certain circumstances. This example emerged in historical revisionism before with line wrap problem for the first line "Historical revisionism has both a legitimate academic use and a pejorative...", after without [citation needed] and line wapping fixed. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 18:31, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Seattle Slew

This section left out Seattle Slew as a triple crown winner. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:05, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

"This claim needs references to reliable sources since May 2008"

This is ungrammatical... Is a simple addition to the end of the tag the only way to give the date? Waltham, The Duke of 20:44, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Hey... Why does Orpheus get to receive an answer in twelve minutes and I am still waiting? :-( Waltham, The Duke of 08:19, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I'd go with "This claim was tagged as needing references to reliable sources in xxxxx" or "In xxxxxx, this claim was tagged as needing a reference from a reliable source", which is much easier to comprehend and dispenses with an unneccesary plural to-boot. --Dweller (talk) 10:25, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. I think that grammatical horror is generated by a Bot, not by this template. --Dweller (talk) 12:56, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

OK. Can't find it. Where have you seen this problem? --Dweller (talk) 12:59, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Das problem is at ze tooltip vich appears ven one hovers over den bracket (not ze link). It cannot have anything to do with a bot, unless you are referring to the one adding dates when the taggers have forgotten to, which sounds irrelevant.
Now, about the solution, it is probably simpler (in the technical sense) to find one that works both with a date and without it; to be honest, I have no idea if completely different messages can appear in each case, so what I said might be the only solution. Although not as American as using the preterite, I'd go with present perfect: "This claim has been tagged as needing references to reliable sources since May 2008". The problem here is the length. We could solve this by removing the "tagged" part, which is absent from the current version anyway, but the following does not work well without the date: "This claim has needed references to reliable sources since May 2008".
The only way to do it is probably to change the addition. A proper sentence would look rather awkward (like "This claim needs references to reliable sources and was tagged in May 2008"), so the only viable solution would be to make it look like a technical note: "This claim needs references to reliable sources (tagged May 2008)". After all, these templates are not supposed to stick for months and years, even if they often do.
Thoughts? Waltham, The Duke of 17:26, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


This template is permanently protected, but doesn't have the appropriate padlock icon (see, for example, Template:Failed_verification). Just indulging my inner pedant - if any administrators are feeling bored, they might like to add it :) Orpheus (talk) 15:24, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I'm avoiding work. :) EVula // talk // // 15:36, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


Not sure if this is the same glitch as that reported on 6th May (above), but see the VP --Dweller (talk) 10:19, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Why does Wikipedia have this template? It seems illogical to me. I see these tags everywhere, and the majority of the time I wonder how the statements they follow are allowed to persist. My instinct is to delete them, but I am afraid of violating some rule. When the rules get in the way of the mission, red flags should go up. If the goal is factual accuracy, then when inaccurate or unverified content is found it should be hastily deleted. What purpose does it serve to leave dubious content, other than to avoid edit wars? That seems to me to be the real purpose of this template.

If this template were done away with, and all additions to the encyclopedia were required to be properly sourced from the moment of addition, the articles would be both more accurate and more concise. As it stands, they seem to have a tendency to become bloated and infested with "citation needed" tags; this decreases both the readability and the trustworthiness of the encyclopedia.

This template facilitates the intentional insertion of patent nonsense by editors who know that policy protects their "contributions" from deletion. For the common reader, a citation tag is probably seen as a mild annoyance rather than the ominous warning that it should be. If they absorb the misinformation in spite of those tags, which at least some (if not most) of them will, then Wikipedia has done them a disservice--one that could have been avoided by simply demanding verifiable content to begin with.

Quality over quantity should be the guiding principle of an encyclopedia. I tend to think the opposite is in effect here. Jdtapaboc (talk) 13:47, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree, but unfortunately many people seem to like their articles littered with little stickers. Occasionally they even do actually appear somewhere just because a citation is needed.
If you see something which you know to be nonsense, remove it on sight. If you see a stale citation tag on a doubtful statement, remove it and add a note to the talk page. Date these tags on sight, so it will be obvious when they are stale. There's no reason for uncited material to remain in an article for days or weeks. Michael Z. 2008-05-27 14:19 z
They're extremely useful in one context in particular: when improving an article. A lot of editors use the technique of marking all claims that need citing before knocking them all off by citing or removing, on the way to WP:FA etc. --Dweller (talk) 15:13, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. And one should not forget that Wikipedia initially had a much laxer attitude towards citing sources; many articles have invaluable information which is, however, unsourced. That includes several FAs, which have been suffering the FAR axe one by one for a couple of years now. This template is a necessity in a large part justified by a historical accident—you might as well consider it a part of Wikipedia's natural evolution. Waltham, The Duke of 16:32, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Whatever you say, I see very little indication that the tag is used in that fashion. There, at the very least, needs to be some guidelines on the use of this template, since its practical use is the very opposite of Wikipedia:Be bold, and I think harmful in most cases.--Fangz (talk) 07:58, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
You've been here a long time, but maybe you've not spent much time at WP:PR, WP:FAC, WP:FLC, WP:GA, WP:FAR, WP:FARC and WP:FLRC? I agree that with breaches of WP:BLP the template is inappropriate, but compared to the mass of uncited claims that need sourcing, BLP breaches are a tiny minority. Good faith but unsourced claims that are not inaccurate and do not breach BLP should not be removed (and be bold should not be used in these circumstances) and this tag is useful for pointing out that they should be cited. --Dweller (talk) 09:39, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
You've not been here long, and you seem to be under the impression that every claim should have a citation or this stupid tag. That is not the case. Only contentious assertions need fall into that category. Citations are great, but being bold and actually leveraging the benefits of this being a wiki are more important. Gigs (talk) 06:56, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
That's inaccurate on several counts. Featured material does indeed require claims to be sourced and this tag is a useful tool for people working at FAC etc, either as developers of candidate articles or reviewing them. --Dweller (talk) 11:14, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
It is concerning to me that an administrator has not even read the policies he/she is citing. "The list of featured-article criteria calls for citations where appropriate. Wikipedia:Verifiability, which is policy, says that attribution is required for direct quotes and for material that is challenged or likely to be challenged. This page clarifies that requirement. Rule of thumb - Not every statement in an article needs a citation, but if in doubt, provide one." And that "rule of thumb" is even commented in the source as "an invitation to overcite". In no way is a citation ever required for every claim in an article. Gigs (talk) 11:53, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Always happy to take feedback. I have read the criteria. In practice, at FAC, uncited claims are routinely challenged. This is because, in the first part of the criteria you mentioned, they also state that a FA must be "Factually Accurate: claims are verifiable against reliable sources". FA strictures go way beyond WP:V for obvious reasons. --Dweller (talk) 11:57, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Incorrect fr.w.o interwiki

The French equivalent is "Modèle:Référence nécessaire", not the currently linked "Modèle:Citation nécessaire". The latter is only for the case when a fact's accuracy is not in question but other wikipedians would like to know the source so that they can also look their for additional info/context. --Gronky (talk) 01:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Broken results when used at the end of a paragraph in article space with a wikilink/image at the start of the next paragraph

For example,



will display as

A[citation needed]B

rather than

A[citation needed]


as expected,[3] but only in the article, Talk, or Template namespaces. The culprit seems to be this diff, the category link that ends up at the end of the paragraph causes the parser to lose the paragraph break. One possible fix is to simply move the new code to elsewhere in the template where other text or html (comments, unfortunately, don't seem to count) is generated. If nothing else, a ZWNJ[4] or a <nowiki/>[5] at the end of the template is sufficient to fix it. Any comments before I make a {{editprotected}} request? Anomie 01:53, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

You are absolutely right. To quote brion: "category tags tend to eat adjacent whitespace, yes". The fact template indeed ends with a Category caused by <includeonly>{{#switch:{{NAMESPACE}}|{{ns:-0}}|Template|Talk={{#if:{{{date|}}}|{{#ifexist:Category:Articles with unsourced statements since {{{date}}}||[[Category:Articles with invalid date parameter in template]]}}|[[Category:Articles with unsourced statements]]}}}}</includeonly>
The solution, well, the easy one is to move it to the front of this template, like I did here. Makes it a little less readable, but it works, as long as you don't want any whitespace in FRONT of your tags..... But now that we are looking at this, what is that code actually supposed to do? It's somewhat confusing, and i'm somewhat in doubt wether this actually works at all. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:44, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} this version will address the immediate problem here. I would like to point some things out though, that we should deal with as soon as possible.

  1. This is NOT the first time, actually, previous cases, are still readable on this talk page.
    I have now added a comment to my proposed intermediate version, that categories should not be placed at the end in this template. Comments are ignored by the parser, so there should not be any issue with increased transclusion size or anything. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:12, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
  2. This is not the best solution. What we have here, are categories that should be dealt with in {{fix}}, but 2 editors apparently were not able to figure out how to do that safely, and dedided to implement these new features here. The new features in question are:
    1. Adding cases with incorrect |date= paramaters to Category:Articles with invalid date parameter in template
    2. Adding templates that include this template to the Categories as well, instead of only Mainspace articles. (Apparently mostly for info/navboxes that include this template)

We need to either merge these changes back into {{fix}} someway, or we might as well not use fix at all if we don't. Please discuss. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:10, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 07:05, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Citation needed tags in place of unreferenced tags

It has been suggested that I bring the larger issue of tagging to this discussion page to discuss my views and perhaps seek a bettter consensus on how we use each of the two tags mentioned in the header. In a number of articles, I have noticed a lot of unreferenced information showing up in essentially the same paragraphs and sections. Sometimes its just in a single section, but more often, the unreferenced stuff is throughout the article. I tag each instance of unreferenced info, and someone complains that it makes the article look "ugly".

The reason I use statement specific 'cn' tags is to allow for a pinpointing of the info that needs citation. I equate it with a big, messy garage. Somethings in the garage are as they should be, while others need to be sorted, referenced or tossed out. If I am new to this garage and am told that there is junk in there needing to be referenced, I am not going to know where to look. If, however, someone says that all of the specifically-marked boxes need to be referenced the job a lot easier. This specificity of targeting the comments needing citation allow the user to not feel overwhelmed, and they can focus on citing the specifically-tagged info, and not have to sort through the entire section or article. More general referencing tags go forever without being resolved. Note how quickly someone gets all up in arms over the individual tags. They get the editors' attention. Perhaps, rather than complaining that they are ugly or whatnot, maybe roll up your sleeves and find the references requested, instead of simply complaining it, or sweeping the uncited info under the proverbial rug by grouping them all under the vague section or article 'unreferenced' tag. Additionally, to those arguments that complain about the targeted tags being ugly I say this: we aren't looking for pretty, we are looking for encyclopedic. You can have both, but you cannot have pretty at the expense of encyclopedic. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 20:48, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with WP:CITE and related policies and guidelines. Citations are not needed everywhere, only where appropriate. While you certainly have the right to challenge unsourced material with a discussion on the talk page, drive-by tagging of noncontroversial or uncontested material is not acceptable. More importantly, challenges should not be frivolous. If you have reason to doubt the material, explain yourself on the talk page. Otherwise, if you find an unsourced article, add a general "unreferenced" tag to the top of the article or section in question. Fact tags are used for specific statements that are challenged, and the challenge is usually described on the talk page. We do not add 49 fact tags like you did on Ibiza and was opposed by the community on Talk:Ibiza. If you have reason to challenge specific material, use the fact tag and the talk page to discuss it. Viriditas (talk) 21:00, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
With respect, I have very little interest in having Viriditas (who I have had significantly unpleasant experiences with in the past) try to tell me that I don't know how to read a policy or guideline; its a standard tactic of his. Usually, I just ignore the young fellow, as he is chock-full of unpleasant things to say to/about me (and maintains a list of them, I'd wager). I am not talking about tagging everything in sight, but rather those statements which would otherwise appear to be synthesis (or just plain original research). I am not tagging uncontested info, like "Ibiza is off the coast of Spain" or whatever. Typically, when I tag info, I tell folk I have done so on the article discussion page and wait for feedback. I am almost always quite specific unless there is simply too much info to list individually. So, bad faith assumptions aside, does anyone 'else have something to offer? - Arcayne (cast a spell) 21:52, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
That's not a very nice thing to say to someone who originally invited you to this discussion. Perhaps you could learn to put your personal grudges aside and focus on the issue at hand? Your particular style of using fact tags is at odds with Wikipedia's culture. It's really not appropriate for your to go from article to article forcing your system on the rest of us. And I can't help but notice you have chosen to do this in articles where you have had conflicts with the editors, so it seems like you are using the fact tag as a WP:POINT, which goes against its intention. If you find a section that lacks sources, and you find it necessary to alert the reader, use an {{unreferencedsection}} tag. If you find it necessary to challenge a particular statement or claim because you cannot find a reference for it, then use the fact tag and explain your reasons on the discussion page. It's really very simple. There is no reason to add 49 fact tags to Ibiza. If you are willing to do the work, find the sources and add them. If you can't, add a single unreferenced tag. The discussion on Talk:Ibiza and the subsequent third opinion that was posted there explained the problem to you. I'm not really sure what the issue is here. Viriditas (talk) 21:20, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Lol Did you miss the part where I suggested I wanted to hear from someone other than you? I don;t want to hear your point of view because your revert-warring makes it clear where you stand. I don't need your input. I would like others, as you seem incapable of stopping the snarky comments. Please respect my wishes, and allow someone who knows how to actually be polite weigh in, please. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 21:52, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Contrary to your claim, I haven't engaged in any "revert warring". Please read WP:1RR and WP:BRD to understand your error and correct it. Viriditas (talk) 22:22, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I believe this is a copy of your exact request above. Please don't duplicate requests for comment. I invited you here for discussion from Talk:Silent Running. I am allowed to comment as is anyone else. Try to put your control issues aside and place the needs of the encyclopedia above your own. In this particular case, the encyclopedia needs references, so it would help if you would do some research and find them. Drive-by tagging is not helpful and only serves to create conflict, as your past contribution history demonstrates, specifically with Talk:Ibiza where your tagging strategy was reverted by long-term, established administrators and editors. If you don't have the time to work on an article, then simply say so on the talk page and use a single {{unreferenced}} tag as the template suggests. We aren't here to "get editors' attention". We are here to write an encyclopedia. That comes before everything else, and if your strategy interferes with that primary goal (which by all accounts of past behavior it does) then you need to take a step back and think about what you are doing. Insanity has often been described as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. You aren't getting different results. Viriditas (talk) 22:22, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
It was, and I moved it up to the previous section because I specifically said I wanted comments from someone other than yourself, as I know what you think, and it is either the way you present info, our bad blood, or whatnot, but I don't really want to hear your opinion any more. You suggested I come here, and out of a spirit of politeness, I did so. You've made your opinion abundantly clear. I ant to hear from someone else, okay? - Arcayne (cast a spell) 23:52, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
And I would appreciate if you actually allow other people to respond. Stop making this about you and me (yet again). We do not interact well together, so kindly allow me to ask my question or the rest of the hundreds of thousands of subscribers, if you don't mind. YES, I heard your opinion. I want others. Thanks in advance. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 00:19, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
How does your proposal help improve Wikipedia? Every time you've implemented it you've caused weeks worth of major drama, including edit wars. How does wasting the time of editors who would be better off writing help the encyclopedia? You've already tested out your proposal in several venues, with massive failure each time. How many more times do you intend to do it before you realize it isn't working? Either start collaborating with other editors and help find sources or use the single tag like everybody else. You're engaging in WP:POINT by adding 49 instances of {{fact}} to a single article, and you've been told to stop. Furthermore, there is some evidence that you've used this disruptive strategy to wikistalk your opponents to other articles and disrupt their editing. Wikipedia isn't a battleground, and {{fact}} tags aren't weapons. I can't stress this enough. Yes, you love drama, and can't wait for your next close-up on WP:ANI, but there are those of us who are fed up with it. Viriditas (talk) 00:31, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Apparently, I was unclear when I said I didn;t want to discuss this matter with you. As you appear unable to post a question to me without combining it with at least one personal attack, please understand that you will not be getting s response. If you wish to have a discussion about how to seek out mediation so you can learn to edit without attacks, mediation is thattaway. This template discussion is not the place for you to (again) air your petty grievances. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 00:36, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
My observation is that the strategy of using a flurry of {{fact}} tags in articles is used by editors as a WP:POINT. I have observed how this disruptive behavior was stopped in its tracks by editors such as Lekoman, Wildthing61476, Vassyana, Neil, and Avb on Ibiza: [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13] This is not a personal attack, but a direct, evidence-based discussion of how your strategy has impacted the encyclopedia in a negative manner, and how editors and administrators alike oppose it. Additionally, instructions on how to use this tag appear in clear, unambiguous language in the "contraindications" sections. Lastly, WP:CITE and its related guidelines recommend using the discussion page to help improve sourcing. There is no single guideline or policy that supports cluttering the page with tags or harassing editors with drive-by tagging. It is possible that you do not understand the ramifications of your actions or the end result of your proposal, but I think that you do, and you are using it to disrupt articles and editors who work on those articles. This becomes evident when asked to account for the tags on the discussion page. For example, on Talk:Silent Running, you were told that a passage you had questioned was already sourced, and you were pointed to two references on the talk page. It was recommended that you check the sources for accuracy, and in response you wrote, "Not my job, unless I have time. If all I have time is to note that they needs citations, so be it."[14] This response is not acceptable per WP:CITE and its related guidelines which suggest that challenges to claims should not be frivolous. In other words, you were shown sources that verified content in a discussion, yet you refused to add the content and the sources to the article. The primary use of the fact tag is to improve the encyclopedia by adding sources where appropriate. If you cannot be bothered to perform the most basic function related to this task, such as helping verify and add sources, then you have absolutely no business using the tag in the first place. Contrary to what you must think, this is not a MMORPG where you get to annoy editors and disrupt articles by adding 49 fact tags to an article, not bothering to verify a single source or add a single citation when they are offered to you. If you can't do the work, don't take up the task. The fact tag is used explicitly to help bring citations into the article for specific claims that are challenged. Since, by your own admission, you can't be bothered to do that, then you should not be using (and abusing) this tag in the first place. Viriditas (talk) 01:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Are you done now? Have it out of your system? You can post 'til the cows come home; I am not interested in your personal attacks and mischaracterizations, and I am guessing the rest of the discussion page isn't either. I will not be commenting on any post from you questioning my behavior, because you appear unable to do so without personal attacks and incivility. I will await comment from someone else on my posed question. Understand that continuing personal attacks after you have been asked to stop is harassment. Stop of go away, please. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 01:05, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Asking you questions about your proposal is not a personal attack. Asking you if you understand your past actions and the result of implementing your proposal is not a personal attack. I can post example after example (complete with diffs) of editors and administrators alike asking you to stop adding multiple fact tags. The fact is, you aren't interested in seeing the information sourced; you made that clear above. And, you aren't using the talk pages to document challenges to the material as is suggested by the guidelines. What you are doing is using the fact tag excessively, aggressively, and disruptively, and as a result you are wasting time and energy that is better spent finding sources. If you enjoy adding fact tags, then at least make the effort to find sources first. If you can't do that, and you see a section that needs sources, use the talk page. Then, add a single "unreferenced" tag to the section or to the top of the article. Do not continue adding mutliple fact tags to single sections unless you discuss why you are challenging the material on the talk page. Controversial material does not need multiple fact tags - it needs to be removed from the article and placed on the talk page. So what you are left with is using a fact tag for specific claims that need specific sources. Please do not add 49 fact tags like you did to Ibiza. You will not find any support for this kind of behavior. Unless you can address these points, you can consider your proposal DOA. Viriditas (talk) 01:12, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Citation needed tags in place of unreferenced tags - take two

It has been suggested that I bring the larger issue of tagging to this discussion page to discuss my views and perhaps seek a bettter consensus on how we use each of the two tags mentioned in the header. In a number of articles, I have noticed a lot of unreferenced information showing up in essentially the same paragraphs and sections. Sometimes its just in a single section, but more often, the unreferenced stuff is throughout the article. I tag each instance of unreferenced info, and someone complains that it makes the article look "ugly".

The reason I use statement specific 'cn' tags is to allow for a pinpointing of the info that needs citation. I equate it with a big, messy garage. Somethings in the garage are as they should be, while others need to be sorted, referenced or tossed out. If I am new to this garage and am told that there is junk in there needing to be referenced, I am not going to know where to look. If, however, someone says that all of the specifically-marked boxes need to be referenced the job a lot easier. This specificity of targeting the comments needing citation allow the user to not feel overwhelmed, and they can focus on citing the specifically-tagged info, and not have to sort through the entire section or article. More general referencing tags go forever without being resolved. Note how quickly someone gets all up in arms over the individual tags. They get the editors' attention. Perhaps, rather than complaining that they are ugly or whatnot, maybe roll up your sleeves and find the references requested, instead of simply complaining it, or sweeping the uncited info under the proverbial rug by grouping them all under the vague section or article 'unreferenced' tag. Additionally, to those arguments that complain about the targeted tags being ugly I say this: we aren't looking for pretty, we are looking for encyclopedic. You can have both, but you cannot have pretty at the expense of encyclopedic. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 20:48, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

(perhaps someone other than Viriditas might wish to comment) - Arcayne (cast a spell) 21:54, 18 June 2008 (UTC)