Template talk:Citation needed

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{{Citation needed}} vs. {{Dubious}} [edit]

Template:Citation needed § When not to use this template says:

The {{Citation needed}} template is intended for use when there is a general question of the verifiability of a statement [...] claims that you think are incorrect should be tagged with {{Dubious}}.

Whereas the lead section states:

{{Citation needed}} is a template used to identify claims in articles, particularly if questionable, that need a citation to a reliable source.

And the page for Template:Dubious says:

This template is not to be used [...] to flag unsourced statements, including those which you think might be incorrect – use {{Citation needed}}.

I think the word incorrect in the first passage above is confusing, since {{dubious}} appears intended for when an existing citation is suspected to be misused or generally unreliable. For the sake of clarity I propose rewording that statement to:

[...] statements with a citation that seems unreliable should be tagged with {{Dubious}}.


[...] sourced statements that you nevertheless think are unlikely or incorrect should be tagged with {{Dubious}} or {{Disputed-inline}}.

Any thoughts? —Coconutporkpie (talk) 21:24, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

I see now that the current guidelines at Wikipedia:Citing sources § Dealing with unsourced material state that either {{citation needed}} or {{dubious}} are appropriate in cases of individual unsourced statements, so maybe the question is moot. —Coconutporkpie (talk) 21:52, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I have to start getting ready to leave for an extended trip in about 5 minutes so I cannot look into it now but there's a problem here either in the guideline or templates documentation that ought to be ironed out. Mostly likely the entry on the guideline was added by mistake by an editor not realizing the template was supposed to be for sourced statements. Your thread corrected my understanding of the usage of {{dubious}} and I'm generally pretty familiar with proper usage of the templates so this was a likely situation. I believe that we need to strive for better self-documenting names for our templates. Perhaps the name "dubious" itself is inadequate if it lends itself to misunderstanding. Or maybe the documentation of {{dubious}} should be changed to allow it to function as a "stronger" {{citation needed}}. Curiously, {{Dubious source}} redirects to {{better source}} which is also perhaps sub-optimal. Jason Quinn (talk) 05:20, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
These tags should be mainly targeted at the readers. So "citation needed" suggests that it may or may not be correct, and needs to be verified. But "dubious" gives a clear indication that someone thinks the statement is wrong. The documentation on the Dubious template should be updated. It is a very useful tag and it should not be limited to the Dubious source situation. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:35, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree with Graeme here... The tags are to indicate a potential problem with the text in our articles, not issues with the citations. The "cn" tag is used to indicate that the text needs a citation, regardless of whether that text accurate or not. The "dubious" tag is used to indicate that the accuracy of the text is questioned, regardless of whether it is cited or not. They overlap in cases where text is both uncited and believed to be inaccurate. Blueboar (talk) 00:10, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Question: If the material is both unsourced and dubious, why are you tagging it at all? Why don't you just remove it? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:43, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
    • That's a good question. Wikipedia:Editing policy has this to say: 'Unsourced content may be challenged and removed, because on Wikipedia a lack of content is better than misleading or false content'. I think that in such cases it's better to move the dubious, unsourced content to the article's talk page, or remove it altogether, if the problem can't be simply and immediately fixed. If there is no citation given, I don't think that simply tagging material as {{dubious}} is necessarily very helpful, whatever the documentation for that template may say. —Coconutporkpie (talk) 22:25, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Applying (and dating) template in an infobox results in odd categorisation[edit]

Here's a weird one. Not sure how to fix it TBH. Hence this note. If the {{cn}} template is applied and dated (eg: {{cn|date= November 2016}}), and the text to which it is applied is in the article body, then the article is - as it should be - categorised under the relevant dated category. (eg: Category:Articles with unsourced statements from November 2016). However, if the template is applied and dated, and the tagged text is in an infobox (esp a "numeric" infobox field), then the article is - likely unexpectedly - placed under a category of format: Category:Articles with unsourced statements from November 2,016. (Note the thousand separator). Something somewhere is treating the date as a non-date numeric. Possibly low priority. But someone closer to the syntax (of the "cat-date" logic or indeed the related infobox logic) might want to take a look. If isn't a template error, may need to be addressed as a bug report (can't seem to find any equivalent bug on [https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/ Phabricator/Bugzilla). Guliolopez (talk) 01:09, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

@Guliolopez: It's not a bug to report at phab:, nor is it a template error - it's a mistake in the usage of the template. This doesn't happen at all places in an infobox; it only happens when you put it in a parameter that expects a pure number. These parameters often pass the value through the {{formatnum:}} parser function - consider {{formatnum:2016}} → 2,016. Such params often have an associated param for notes or refs, and the {{cn}} should be placed in that other param. For example, {{infobox settlement}} has |population_total= and also |population_footnotes=, so if there was something like |population_total=1234 without a ref, and you considered that doubtful, you would not alter it to |population_total=1234{{cn|date=November 2016}} but instead leave it alone and add the param |population_footnotes={{cn|date=November 2016}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:05, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Also, it's already in Phabricator as T23054. The part about it mangling category links like these was declined. There's also T30582 which is still open, but no activity since 2011. Anomie 14:00, 14 November 2016 (UTC)


I've just edited § Examples to show the code for all the examples.

But I don't see the evidence for the description of Example 2 :

[[Humphrey Bogart]] has won several [[snooker]] world championships.{{Citation needed|date={{currentmonthname}} {{currentyear}}}}
The template indicates that it may be that Humphrey Bogart played snooker at some point and it may be that he won some tournaments at some point but no reliable, published sources were given to verify it and the information is not considered common knowledge.

The template code may imply that to an experienced editor, but it says nothing about "it may be that Humphrey Bogart played snooker at some point". Am I misreading this, or is the code really insufficient to convey all that the text says it does?

Please {{Ping}} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 05:03, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Edit request for template:CN - a cascade-protected page[edit]

{{This is a redirect}} is deprecated and should be replaced with {{Redirect category shell}}. Please convert {{This is a redirect|from template shortcut|protected}} to:

{{Redirect category shell|
{{R from template shortcut}}

It does not need "protected" parameter because the template checks for it - like the old one did (see the current template, it lists "Fully protected" twice). Christian75 (talk) 10:49, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

 Done -- John of Reading (talk) 12:18, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Edit request for template:Cn - a cascade-protected page[edit]

{{This is a redirect}} is deprecated and should be replaced with {{Redirect category shell}}. Please convert {{This is a redirect|from template shortcut|protected}} to:

{{Redirect category shell|
{{R from template shortcut}}

It does not need "protected" parameter because the template checks for it - like the old one did (see the current template, it lists "Fully protected" twice). Christian75 (talk) 10:55, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:52, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 April 2017[edit]

There are now what I call Desert Foxes in the Coachella Valley, from the East Coast, Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA, to be precise.≠b 2605:E000:FD0B:1700:78E6:8E7C:E5BC:F30D (talk) 16:57, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Not done: this is patent nonsense. ProgrammingGeek talktome 18:18, 25 April 2017 (UTC)