Template talk:Dubious

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WikiProject Inline Templates
This template is within the scope of WikiProject Inline Templates, a collaborative effort to improve and manage Wikipedia's inline footnote, cleanup and dispute templates. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.
Some discussion of this template may take place at the project's talk page, rather than here.


Resolved: Template changed to resolve issue.

Should the link to the Talk page really be talk:{{PAGENAME}}#Disputed? The relevant Talk section would have to be named Disputed. Shouldn’t there be a {{{1}}} thing to the actual section name (however that works)? —Frungi 04:31, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I changed this. 07:31, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, you can specify now. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:02, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Template:Disputed redirect[edit]

Resolved: Long-settled issue.

I do not agree with this. I used the template on the Ghost and to my great surprise one little sentence that I had listed as dubious was now a full-blown statement that all the article was disputed. The guidelines here Wikipedia:Disputed_statement haven't changed. So I do not see why someone would change this to a redirect unilaterally. QBorg 02:41, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Excerpts from the Guidelines: "If you come across a statement which seems or is inaccurate[...] First, insert a "Disputed" section in the talk page to describe the problem. [...] Insert {dubious} after the relevant sentence or paragraph." QBorg 02:54, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • The reason for the redirect was that the contents of this template were identical to those of tl:disputed (it even read disputed). It is generally considered not a good idea to have different two templates for the same purpose. The added advantage of tl:disputed is that it adds a category that is watched by many people, so that people will come in and help with the matter. At least that was the general idea. If it conflicts with current practice, this would bear discussion. Radiant_* 08:32, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)
    • While I dislike seeing disputes waged in the article itself, that is what Wikipedia:Disputed statement calls for. Personally, I would rather have the issue handled only on the article's talk page, but that's neither here nor there. The two templates are used for different purposes -- {{dubious}} is to fairly unobtrusively dispute a statement in an article; {{disputed}} should be used to dispute the overall accuracy of an entire article, although many people slap that template on an article because they disagree with part of one sentence. Hmm... maybe {{disputeabout}} should be advertised more. SWAdair | Talk 10:13, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • Interesting note: Wikipedia:Verifiability#Checking_verifiability suggests either copying or moving a disputed statement to the talk page, but doesn't mention adding a tag of any sort. That's what I like. Handle it all on the talk page. SWAdair | Talk 10:29, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
      • I do agree that disputes are handled better on a talk page. That's what talk pages are for. But it seems to me that either Wikipedia:Disputed statement or WP:V needs an amendment; maybe we should get some other opinions on the matter? Radiant_* 10:59, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)
        • My point was basically that "dubious" is a nice tool for telling an user unfamiliar with wikipedia that a sentence he just reads might be false to redirects them on the talk page. I'm new on wikipedia so I do not really know where we could get more opinions on the matter. QBorg 15:30, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I have used this template to flag off a section on Meluhha which I am unqualified to verify, but which raises my suspicions. It seems like a decent enough warning to the casual reader, especially since I don't feel able to judge whether or not it should be removed entirely. However, is there another way of bringing this to the attention of a linguist who could speak to the cited author's credentials? --April Arcus 23:49, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Link to talk page[edit]

I don't think article pages should be linking to Talk pages. Sites that reproduce our articles rarely reproduce the Talk pages, and certainly any printed version would not. It seems to break the normal rules of namespace boundaries. A simple note that the fact is disputed seems adequate, and readers can consult the Talk page if they so desire. Soo 17:16, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Good point! There is code that will prevent the talk-page-related content from showing up on mirrors, but I misremember what that code is at present. Someone does need to fix this. There is at least one other template with a talk link like this that will also need this treatment. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:00, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

"Dubious" not "disputed"[edit]

Resolved: Requested change made, and undisputed for a year.

This tag is "dubious" but the text it inserts is "disputed". I think they should both be "dubious". After all, there is a template for disputed content. When I add this it isn't because I don't believe something is true it's because I am skeptical and think someone else should have a look. If I don't get comments here I may just be bold and change the text of this tempmlate. —Ben FrantzDale 06:36, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree with Ben FrantzDale's suggestion, at least as long as no other tag is available--as I don't think there is--to indicate an assertion of which one is suspicious, but which one doesn't necessarily dispute per se, because of a lack of counter-evidence. If the George Bush article were to say he likes eating houseflies, I would like to flag that as dubious, though I do not dispute it since I have no evidence to the contrary. Is there any reason why the text for this isn't "dubious" instead of "disputed"? --CHE 16:23, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

I see you just made the change yesterday. Very good. —Ben FrantzDale 00:41, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Burden of proof?[edit]

Resolved: Wrong venue.

I am engaged in a dispute over a sourced, scholarly claim in an article. The editor who added the dispute tag, when challenged to directly quote from the cited source and show how it did not prove its point, declared that he felt he did not need to quote from the source as he felt it was entirely incorrect in every particular. He then claimed I should prove why I feel the source is correct. Note that I did not add this source to the article; it has been there for a long time.

The question is, is the burden of proof on the editor who adds the dubious tag, or on the editor(s) who defend the cited source? Ie., must he prove the source is wrong, or must I prove it right? Kasreyn 18:33, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

This question does not belong on a template's talk page; try Wikipedia:Content dispute; see also Wikipedia:Disputed statement. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 21:57, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

DisputedAssertion and Dubious templates[edit]

Resolved: Moot: Templates merged, and other issues addressed by {{Fact}}.

Template:Dubious versus Template:DisputedAssertion. See WP:TFD#Template:DisputedAssertion.

Personally, I think that the name of the latter is more consistent with other templates, though the former (this page) has more history. Also, I like the idea of a picture separating a line item as a functional element of the page, and not a parenthetical. For the newbie's sake. If Template:DisputedAssertion makes it, this page may need to be differentiated from Template:DisputedAssertion, or merged with it. Again, my opinion, is to merge.


My opinion is that the Dubious template ought to stay, and moreover ought to read on the page as "dubious" rather than disputed. The point here is that they're two different things. I dispute something when I feel I have counterevidence. I am doubtful of something when I don't necessarily have counterevidence, but I'm suspicious of the assertion for various reasons; e.g. it just sounds totally nuts, it's been added by an editor who has added known falsehoods in the past (I have recently run into that), it creates inconsistencies. In any case, it is a flag that should warn the reader of a something misleading, or should capture the attention of an editor who might know better, but who might have missed the addition without the flag. CHE 18:33, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
As noted elsewhere, this isn't what this template is for. If you are doubtful of something unsourced, and it is not already subject to an editing dispute, use {{fact}}. If it is sourced and you doubt the source's authoritativeness, use {{rs}}. If it is allegedly sourced, but you doubt that the source says what the article claims it does, use {{verify source}}. Etc. See WP:WPILT for a list of all known inline templates of this sort. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 21:56, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject Inline templates proposed[edit]

Resolved: Project active, at WP:WPILT.

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)

"Relevance" question[edit]

Resolved: Answered.

Should the "Dubious" template be used in situations where the relevance, but not the accuracy of a statement is disputed? If not, what template should be used in its place? CJCurrie 04:15, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

No, it's for sourcing/reliability/factuality/interpretation disputes (i.e. stuff covered by WP:V). There is no template I know of for relevance, at least not an inline one. More a matter for WP:BOLD cleanup, or talk page discussion at this point. A more general cleanup tag (even {{Cleanup}} could be used and the issues raised on the talk page.SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:41, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I take that back. If there is an active dispute about the relevance of a statement, then this template would in fact apply; basically, if it is something that could be addressed by [[Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute

Wikipedia:Disputed statement]] more narrowly, then {{dubious}} could be relevant. (Also, some consider {{Cleanup}} to be deprecated, per Wikipedia:Clarify the cleanup, so my recommendation to use it is now obsolete.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 21:50, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

"Try not to use"[edit]

Resolved: Moot; issue raised is not relevant to template; see {{fact}} instead.

re: edit by The Cunctator, who writes on the template, `try not to use,' : why? see discussion above. There are lots of situations where one is surprised by an assertion but doesn't +know+ that it's false, and so wants to call the attention of the other editors to it, or to the editor who added it that it needs support. This seems essential to a wiki. CHE 21:56, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

That's what talk pages, search engines, and libraries are for. Please try to keep inline disruptions to a minimum. The {{fact}} template serves an identical purpose. --The Cunctator 20:43, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Indeed; the very issues raised by CHE are not at all what this template is for, though its previous incarnation of documentation made it sound like it was actually a clone of {{fact}}. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 21:41, 25 July 2007 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Result: {{disputable}} was redirected to {{dubious}} in September 2007.

It is proposed that {{disputable}} be merged into {{dubious}}:

  1. Language to remain the same at {{dubious}} (i.e., in agreement with itself, unlike {{disputable}})
  2. Tooltip to link to Wikipedia:Disputed statement (not Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute, which is for article-wide disputes)
  3. Anything salient about the {{disputable}} documentation will be added into the {{dubious}} documentation.
  4. Final documentation will be clarified, that {{dubious}} is not for flagging items that an editor thinks might be incorrect or unsourced (this is what {{fact}} is for), but for tagging statements that are subject to ongoing dispute among edidors, e.g. due to conflicting sources. The purpose of this template is a) to warn readers that a statement in the article may not be accurate, and b) to alert editors that additional sources need to be found, to ascertain which of the conflicting views in the dispute is more authoritative. If this usage correction is not made, it is very likely that this template will simply be merged with {{fact}} (probably forcibly, via WP:TFD, the next time someone who likes XfD processes notices that this template is being misused as a {{fact}}-alike.
  • Support as nominator. I'm going to start working on the dox cleanup now. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 20:56, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Pending answer to Question Hmmm - it seems strange that you're proposing that disputable be meged using the word dubius, and then you're proposing dubius should be changed to something like disputable-inline, why don't we just redirect {{Dubious}} to {{disputable}}?--danielfolsom 23:37, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Answer: The merge isn't about the template name, but rather about the code and its functionality. {{dubious}} has useful, standardized code, while there really isn't anything salvageable at all about {{disputable}} except perhaps for some wording to add to the documentation (and even that is iffy). This is really more of an informal TfD against {{disputable}} than it is merge proposal, per se. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 20:31, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Agreed with merge. — Omegatron 04:51, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Well while I can't really see much of a difference in functionality, that's probably because I don't use {{fix}} - but hey: Support--danielfolsom 14:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Endorse merge nomination but also suggest that the template instead transclude articles into Category:Articles with disputed statements (month/year timestamp optional) rather than Category:Accuracy disputes(the status quo is making that category slightly bloated)... Ranma9617 02:03, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Support the merge. Dubious is a much, much better representation. -User:LelandRB|Señor Lelandro]] 02:00, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Requested move[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.

It is proposed that this template be renamed {{disputed-inline}} (and its wording edited from "dubious" to "disputed" to conform), in keeping with other inline variants of page/section-level box templates like {{disputed}}.

  • Support (as nominator). The "dubious" name and wording has been subject to dispute here before, is unclear, and has often confused people into thinking that this template is simply an alternative version of {{fact}} (and misusing it as one), which it is not. Go with the nascent convention of using "[BigTemplateName]-inline"; this is much easier to remeber than quirky names like "dubious". — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:25, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment - with a redirect from {{dubious}}, right? — Omegatron 04:48, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think the connotations of "disputed" and "dubious" are very different. I tend to use this tag when I doubt the veracity of information but have little in the way of concrete proof to back my argument up; "disputed" says to me that the sources themselves conflict. Is there a reason these can't be separate inline templates? Dekimasuよ! 10:37, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • This particular template can be categorized differently, but to change how it displays is to alter the intentions of the editors who added it to the articles. That's my point, so I think we're talking past each other. Dekimasuよ! 02:27, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
  • My counter would be that this template had an intended purpose, and a mistaken one, and that the fact that it has been misused as as {{fact}} clone in some instances is kind of inescapable, no matter what is done with it. That cleanup will take time does not militate against cleanup. :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 14:49, 31 July 2007 (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.

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it be moved. --Stemonitis 07:12, 1 August 2007 (UTC)


Seriously, I don't see why this template says "dubious" instead of "disputed", and I can't tell if there was a consensus for change in the little vote right above here.

I think "dubious" makes it seem as if editors, or Wikipedia, are personally making a judgment about some facts within an article, whereas saying "disputed" would express something more along the lines of "I personally don't have an opinion on this, but just so you readers know, it is under dispute right now". I used it in that sense, for example, on Suman Ranganathan just now, not intending to call something into question but just to mark a passage that is the subject of a dispute.

Would it be beneficial to change the way this template appears? Or would it be better just to turn {{disputed-inline}} into a new template that actually says "disputed"? I see that that template did say "disputed" for a while but was redirected here in September 2008...does anyone remember why? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:45, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Actually, on second thought, I have BOLDly undone the redirecting because I think {{disputed-inline}} is valuable and don't see any discussion that generated consensus to redirect it. If anyone disagrees, feel free to revert me and start such a discussion. Thanks, rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:55, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Can we delete this template?[edit]

This is yet another template designed to add inline criticisms of an article while allowing the critic to avoid actually doing anything about it. It serves no purpose other than to add to Wikipedia's chronic issue with unprofessional inline complaints.

Either users should FIX THE SODDING ARTICLES or they should actually post their issues on the relevant article's talk: pages. It serves no purpose to keep adding these kinds of template. Please, let's delete this one, and start to consider deleting most of the others too. -- (talk) 02:52, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

This argument refers to the inline dubious tag, but I'm sure it's transferable to situations involving the section one. That's not always possible. For example, I strongly suspect an error in an article I am looking at right now, but it's likely the person who put the knowledge in has greater knowledge in the field than I do, in fact I knew what they put in was wrong but I don't know the right information. I disputed it a first time and it was changed by someone else to something closer to the truth, in fact the error is minor now and they have again quoted a source suggesting they have greater familiarity with the field than I, yet my computation shows it is wrong - again - just less so than before. Rather than go and delete the work of someone who is likely more expert than I, I'd like to flag it dubious and show my proofs so people can see it, decide if I am right or not and then (hopefully) fix it, or remove the dubious flag and show why my proof is wrong. You could say "that should just go in the discussion" but the unfortunate truth is on many articles, putting things in discussion means they will simply be ignored, and in the alternative, a user could rely on dubious information that was only disputed in the discussion pages in the interim. This (inline dubious) flag brings an issue to attention. So long as the person adding it shows their reasoning it serves it's purpose well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Redirect to disputed-inline[edit]

Following discussion at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Dubious_v_disputed, how about redirecting this tag to {{Disputed-inline}}? Currently clicking on "dubious" in the template takes you to Wikipedia:Disputed statement, and the meaning of "dubious" is not really clear. Rd232 talk 17:33, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Is this the way it's supposed to work?[edit]

In Bicycle braking systems I used the following tag: {{Dubious|Larger rotors == greater stopping power ?|date=February 2010}}

Here's the section title declaration: == Larger rotors == Greater stopping power ? ==

It produces a discuss super that takes me to the Discussion page, but not to the named section, which is way down the page, and the name of which is not visible to the clicker anyway. Is this how it's supposed to work? Seems kinda pointless to use the section title if so.

Hmmm. Maybe the double equals is confusing it. Let me try changing the title. Dmforcier (talk) 19:09, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Yep, that seems to have fixed it. Does the template parse the title for heading tags? Dmforcier (talk) 19:09, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
No; it's the equal sign that does it: before this parameter even gets as far as the template, the wikicode parser has spotted the first equals sign, and based on that, has decided that you are trying to pass a value of "= greater stopping power ?" through a parameter named "Larger rotors". Of course, having done that, the value is lost because {{dubious}} does not have a parameter named |Larger rotors=.
Where a parameter value is intended to contain equal signs, you need to put it through a named parameter, or fake the parameter number. {{dubious}} has no suitable named parameter, so the following fudge could have worked:
{{dubious|1=Larger rotors == greater stopping power ?|date=February 2010}}
--Redrose64 (talk) 21:07, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Editprotected request involving this template[edit]

This message is to inform people monitoring this talk page that there is an "editprotected" request involving this and several other templates at Template talk:! cymru.lass (hit me up)(background check) 20:09, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Cymru.lass, 4 February 2011[edit]

{{edit protected}} Will someone please put {{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}|{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>NAMESPACE}}|<includeonly>[[Category:Pages with incorrectly substituted templates]]</includeonly>|}} in the template, right after <!-- {{Failed verification}} begin -->? This will categorize the page in Category:Pages with incorrectly substituted templates if it is substed. Thanks! --- c y m r u . l a s s (talk me, stalk me) 02:31, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I support this request. Such is the standard for all maintenance templates, and for obvious reason. Debresser (talk) 10:19, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
 Done in a slightly different way to that suggested. See Template talk:Fix/Archive 1#Detection for substituted templates for details. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 18:23, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Purpose? Dispute?[edit]

What is the real purpose of this template? The documentation starts "Add {{Dubious}} after a specific statement or alleged fact that is subject to dispute (your own or someone else's)". It then goes "It is best to simultaneously try to resolve the dispute on the talk page."

So is this for alleged facts which are already disputed, or not yet? See also #Redirect to disputed-inline. --Chealer (talk) 19:18, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, this template is for statements that are being disputed. Debresser (talk) 21:42, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Also, I object to your removal of a much needed warning from the documentation, and will restore it. Debresser (talk) 21:42, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. So, if we're going that way, would anyone oppose changing the text from "dubious - discuss" to "disputed"? --Chealer (talk) 02:46, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
The strength of the present title "Dubious" is that it allows for tagging statements that sound unlikely, even if there is no clear source claiming its inaccuracy or logical proof to that extent. If we had one of two, we would have to add the opposing statement to the article, or remove the statement altogether. Which is why this tag calls for discussion. In short, I think the present title is fit. Debresser (talk) 14:25, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
One of two what? --Chealer (talk) 16:22, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
A source or a proof. Debresser (talk) 16:35, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh, so one of the two. OK --Chealer (talk) 02:45, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I believe this is what Debresser intended to write: "The strength of the present title "Dubious" is that it allows for tagging a statement that sounds unlikely, even if there is no clear source claiming its inaccuracy or logical proof to that extent. If we had one of the two, we would have to add the opposing statement to the article, or remove the statement altogether. Which is why this tag calls for discussion. In short, I think the present title is fit." --Chealer (talk) 02:45, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I guess you're saying this template is for statements that are not being disputed then. Since you already stated that this template is for statements that are being disputed, I suppose you think this template can be used on dubious statements, whether they are disputed or not. --Chealer (talk) 02:51, 18 April 2012 (UTC), corrected 16:17, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Statements then. Sigh... Debresser (talk) 05:49, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Right. --Chealer (talk) 16:17, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Considering the clarification made above, would anyone oppose solving this by changing the documentation where it says "It is best to simultaneously try to resolve the dispute on the talk page.", to "If the alleged fact is already disputed, it is best to simultaneously try to resolve the dispute on the talk page."? --Chealer (talk) 02:51, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps keep it closer to the wording of the template and say "It is best to simultaneously try to discuss the dubious statement on the talk page."? Debresser (talk) 05:49, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
That's even better. Does anyone oppose adapting the documentation in such a way? --Chealer (talk) 16:20, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
 Done --Chealer (talk) 17:22, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. Debresser (talk) 20:13, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Contested rather then dubious?[edit]

Wouldn't this template be better named contested? I often hesitate adding dubious, because it really not clear that the right word. It's not citation needed either because there is sometimes a citation already. The more exact situation is that it is contested. So could the template and it's content be changed to Contested. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:55, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Not really. If a dubious tag is added, it means precisely that: dubious. That is less than actually contest it. Debresser (talk) 22:58, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Breaks on brackets[edit]

I get [dubious ] for {{dubious|K[X] is NOT integral}}. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 22:03, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

First, the {{dubious}} template should not be substituted - that is, don't use {{subst:dubious|K[X] is NOT integral}} - I have de-substituted the above example. Second, the template's argument is used to create a link, and links may not contain square brackets. This is partly because square brackets have special meaning in wiki markup; and partly because square brackets are forbidden in page titles which means that they are also forbidden in section headings - see Help:Link#Disallowed characters. Since they have apparently been used in a section heading, you need to workaround this by using a technique such as percent encoding, so use the form {{dubious|K%5BX%5D is NOT integral}} which produces [dubious ]. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:47, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Talk link redirect does not work[edit]

The specified format is: {{Dubious |Talk section name |reason=Summary of problem |date=June 2013}} It seems that whatever I put into the Talk section name, the dubious-discuss only links to the top of the talk page. Also, anything added to reason= does not display. Are these this intentional? Should the doc be changed? Thank you Jim1138 (talk) 16:50, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Which pages have you added a {{dubious}} to, that are not linking? --Redrose64 (talk) 18:48, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Instructions conflict with instructions for "Citation needed" template[edit]

On the page for this template under the "Incorrect uses" section, it states: "This template is not to be used: to flag unsourced statements, and those which one simply thinks might be incorrect – use [citation needed]"

On the page for the "Citation needed" template under the "When not to use this template" section, it states: "The [citation needed] template is intended for use when there is a general question of the verifiability of a statement, or when an editor believes that a reference verifying the statement should be provided. ... claims that you think are incorrect should be tagged with [dubious ]"

Have I misunderstood something?

It appears that the "Citation needed" page says that statements the editor thinks are incorrect should be tagged with Dubious, as the Citation needed tag is not for this purpose. Then the "Dubious" page says that statements the editor thinks are incorrect should be tagged with Citation needed, as the Dubious tag is not for this purpose. Which is correct? Which should I use under such circumstances?
Paranoid Android 2600! (talk) 16:43, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

The explanation is as follows: {{Dubious}} is for sourced statements that nevertheless seem dubious, either because of the source itself or because of the source's interpretation by the editor who wrote the statement in the Wikipedia article. {{Citation_needed}} is for statements that are unsourced, regardless if you agree with it or think the statement is incorrect.
I'll try and rewrite that sentence in the documentation to make this more clear. Debresser (talk) 16:55, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Ah, thank you very much for clearing that up (and for the fast response). So if I understand correctly (I'm still fairly new to doing things like tagging articles and such, and while I would try to only tag something if, for whatever reason, I cannot fix it myself, it still might be potentially irritating or even offend the people that contributed to that article when someone comes along and points out all the problems but doesn't seem to make any effort to improve things themselves, and I don't wish to cause this sort of thing. Granted, that may not be completely avoidable all the time, but I at least want to be certain I am using such "tools" in the correct manner when I do use them), the Citation needed page shouldn't say that "claims you think are incorrect should use Dubious", but rather, claims you think are incorrect but are sourced shouldn't use the Citation needed tag - and if they aren't sourced, it's irrelevant whether or not you think they may be inaccurate, the Citation needed tag should be used. For the Dubious template instructions, "claims you think are incorrect" SHOULD use Dubious - but (of course) it's not meant to be based on merely the personal opinion, feelings or "hunch" of the particular editor - the determination of something being dubious would be based on certain, specific factors relating to the source (e.g. if the source is valid) that's given for that claim.
Thanks again! Paranoid Android 2600! (talk) 21:13, 10 December 2013 (UTC)


After all that is said and done, I still think there is an issue here. The above explains the issue according to the documentation page here on {{Dubious}}. The instructions here state specifically that this template should be used only for sourced statements that are nevertheless dubious. On the other hand, the documentation page of {{Citation needed}} implies clearly that this template is for all dubious statements, including non-sourced. My experience seems to support this second usage, and logic also dictates that the word "dubious" can pertain to any statement, without any relation to its sourcing.

In short, I propose to change the documentation here to reflect that this template can be used for unsourced statements as well.

In such a case it seems reasonable that a {{Citation needed}} tag could also be added, but that would be up to the editor. After all, we are under no obligation to exhaustively tag articles, and pointing to an issue will usually open the discussion to such an extend that sourcing will also be dealt with. Debresser (talk) 01:22, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

To avoid even the question of double-tagging the same statement and reduce the possibility of confusion, my personal preference at this time would be to use CN for unsourced statements and Dubious for statements that are sourced but nevertheless...dubious. DonIago (talk) 16:49, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
If a statement is dubious and unsourced, I see no problem with double tagging, but in actual practice this is not often done. Debresser (talk) 17:11, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
It seems a bit redundant to me in this case, but I'm enough of a cynic that I consider unsourced statements inherently dubious. If we can eliminate the "need" for double-tagging I'd like to do so, but I'm certainly open to other possibilities. DonIago (talk) 17:19, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

The reason parameter doesn't do anything for me[edit]

When I try to use the reason parameter it doesn't show up. Example[dubious ]. The reason "She would have been his fifth grandmother" doesn't show up. How come? Contact Basemetal here 01:11, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

The |reason= parameter is a dummy, which intentionally does not display. It's mentioned in the documentation, as "a dummy parameter, used to add a short explanation of the issue"; a fuller description should be left on the article's talk page. Also please note that parameter names are always case-sensitive unless the template has additional code to permit variants, therefore |Date=February 2014 should be |date=February 2014 --Redrose64 (talk) 10:25, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Which template description is correct[edit]

There is an un-sourced claim that I believe to be incorrect. I looked at the description of several templates, and each says to use a different template. Specifically, {{Citation needed#When not to use this template}} states For example, claims that you think are incorrect should be tagged with {{Dubious}}, while {{Dubious#Incorrect usage}} states to flag unsourced statements, including those which you think might be incorrect – use {{Citation needed}}. Which should I use? Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 21:19, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

@Chatul: It would help if you told us which article this is in, and which is the unsourced claim in question. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:13, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
An example is the claim IBM also developed, but never officially released, TSS/360, a time-sharing system for the System/360 Model 67. in History of operating systems. It is unsourced; according to Cn I should tag it as Dubious and according to Dubious I should tag it as Cn. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 19:38, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Since you've raised a talk page thread on that matter, I would use {{dubious|TSS/360 never officially released?|date=November 2014}} because {{cn}} can't be linked to a talk page discussion. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:58, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks - done. That still leaves the general question of how to tag an unsourced statement that you know to be incorrect. If {{Dubious}} is appropriate, shouldn't the description so indicate? Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 21:07, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
If you are certain that it is incorrect, remove it and explain why in the edit summary. If you are reverted, direct them to WP:BURDEN. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:19, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Improve the spacing[edit]

You see this? There is too much space between the s and the closing bracket. —User 000 name 05:51, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

That would be a matter of opinion. I myself tend to agree with you. In any case, this is not the correct place to write about that issue. This is the talkpage of the {{Dubious}} template only. Perhaps write about this at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). If you do, let me know, and I'll support you. Debresser (talk) 13:14, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
@User000name: & @Debresser: I agree. I noticied it when editing Draft:The Lego Movie Sequel. For your display, here's what it actually looks like, in an example:

There's nothing wrong with the current Dubious template![dubious ]

Someone just needs to erase a space, that's all. AKA Casey Rollins Talk with Casey 7:37 AM EST April 22, 2015
I certainly agree, and the cause is that the "discuss" link is wrapped by a <span class="metadata">. This class is hidden on mobile. I have serious reservations about this practice in general, which seems to be aimed at keeping mobile readers as readers and not encouraging them to become editors (it also used to be the case for {{main}} until several people complained about it being essential navigation material). I do most of my editing on mobile these days and having to switch to desktop view to even see a link to talk is very annoying. Hairy Dude (talk) 18:37, 30 October 2015 (UTC)


Where's the sandbox for this template? AKA Casey Rollins User talk:AKA Casey Rollins 7:40 AM EST April 22, 2015

It's not been created yet. But there are links to do that; at the bottom of the template's documentation, you will see a green box with three lines of text, the middle one reads "Editors can experiment in this template's sandbox (create ..." --Redrose64 (talk) 14:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Help re rules. When is it not legtimate to place a dubious tag to signal request for further sourcing for an extraordinary claim?[edit]

At Yehuda Glick I placed a dubious tag on a source, which is mainstream but said something that looks odd, after having searched the net for confirmation of that statement. I found no mainstream source independently containing this information. Thus the RS is a singleton. By placing a tag there, I asked other editors to find further evidence that I can’t find for this, to me, extraordinary claim. It was reverted by another user who habitually reverts me). I have difficulty in explaining the problem to the editor, who says that(after 9 years,) I still need to brush up on policy. Help, re the propriety of asking for further WP:RS with a dubious tag, anyone?Nishidani (talk) 20:20, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

That editor was wrong to revert you with the edit summary "don't tag w/o discussion - the source states this explicitly". The {{Dubious}} tag is appropriate precisely for that reason, otherwise the statement should simply be removed as unsourced.
The most appropriate tag in this case would be {{Verify source}}.
By the way, what do you find dubious about the statement that two organizations claimed responsibility for an attack? That happens all the time. Debresser (talk) 14:18, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
The last I heard of Fatah claiming responsibility for anything violent was during the 2nd intifada. Fatah is part of the PLO which is the ruling power in the West Bank, where the Palestinian National Authority is funded by Israel, EU and the US. Had Fatah claimed it was behind the attempted murder of an Israeli in Jerusalem, all hell would have broken out politically, since it would mean Mahmoud Abbas, as a Fatah leader and PNA pm, was behind the attempted assassination.
{{Verify source}} is not appropriate because one just one source states this, and I verified that it did. The problem is, I can find no other source, re Glick, or re Fatah generally, officially claiming responsibility for murdering Israelis recently. Its funding depends on compliance with multilateral internationally stipulated agreements to desist from such violence or terror. Had Fatah claimed responsibility, it would have been noted in Haaretz, Ynet, The Jerusalem Post, and the New York Times, to start with. Zilch. That is why a tag is needed. What I do with tags when I meet them, is google to see if I can supply the evidence. The deleter refuses to google and come up with a confirmatory source (I tried and failed). Without the tag, the reader may be susceptible to accepting an extraordinary claim simply on the basis of a unique source in a mainstream but distinctly tilted newspaper, which may have, as often happens, slipped up due to sloppy editing.Nishidani (talk) 15:07, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Please read the documentation of {{Verify source}} again. It is not for checking the statement in the article with the source, but for checking the source itself. Debresser (talk) 22:05, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. But (a) the source is standard RS (b) contains the statement and (c) the editor refuses to accept the argument there is something odd there. But, I'll take you up on it and use this tag. Let's see, then. Cheers Nishidani (talk) 05:58, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

"Incorrect uses"[edit]

Frankly, in the list of incorrect uses, I expected to find something like:

  • "to challenge a contentious unsourced or poorly sourced statement about a living person - remove such statements from the article immediately"

...per WP:BLPREMOVE, of course. Is there a reason why the above would not be an incorrect use? GregorB (talk) 18:14, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

It already says "to flag unsourced statements". No need to specify all sorts of unsourced statements. Debresser (talk) 13:29, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but it says "use {{citation needed}}", and in this particular case this is not a good advice. Of course, cn doc itself advises against using the template for contentious BLP stuff, but many people who wanted to use "dubious" won't know (or check) that. GregorB (talk) 07:26, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
It is not bad advice either. Also note that not all statements on BLP are contentious. So I think the advice to use {{Citation needed}} is the best general advice. Debresser (talk) 11:59, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

Protected edit request: Make the link to talk visible on mobile[edit]

Please remove the <span class="metadata">...</span> tags. This prevents the link to talk from showing up on mobile, with consequences discussed above. Hairy Dude (talk) 09:38, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Span tags are used in many maintenance templates. I don't think we should remove them because of a problem with (some?) mobile telephones. In any case, this would be an issue to bring to the attention of WikiMedia developers. Debresser (talk) 17:31, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit template-protected}} template. fredgandt 17:38, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
@Debresser: The problem is not with some mobile telephones. It is all devices which use the mobile interface, and the problem is not the span tags but the metadata class, which has the declaration display:none; in mobile.css - there are two fixes, one id to remove the declaration from the style sheet, the other is to remove the class from the template.
This is a frequent issue at WP:VPT along the theme of "why does (insert name of template here) not show on mobile?" --Redrose64 (talk) 22:32, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
So this is an issue for developers? Debresser (talk) 07:17, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

The 'reason' parameter[edit]

@Redrose64: Regarding this revert, I'm well aware that |reason= is undisplayed in many cases, since I'm the one who introduced that convention to begin with. Heh. In many cases we've moved toward actually displaying it (though some want to use to to entirely replace the tooltip content in inline templates, an unbelievably bad idea I'll get into later and elsewhere). When the template's own documentation doesn't state that the display is suppressed, and goes to the trouble of demanding a short value, this is a strong indication that the intent is to actually display the content in the tooltip. The labeling of it as a "dummy parameter" was intentionally removed in September 2015. Is there a particular reason you feel it must be suppressed in {{Dubious}} in particular? It actually seems like a very good candidate for display, because the template itself is vague, and too often an actual talk page discussion is not opened about whatever it is that is being flagged as dubious.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:29, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Personally I think having the reason displayed is a good idea, and many templates do that. Just that not as a note, like SMcCandlish added it to a few templates recently, but instead of the usual text, like this: |title = {{{reason|The material near this tag is possibly inaccurate or nonfactual.}}} , as usual. as a silent parameter, like SMcCandlish suggested at Template_talk:Contradict-inline#Behavior_of_the_.27reason.27_parameter.
By the way, what is "nonfactual"? Perhaps replace that by "factually incorrect" or even just simply "incorrect"? Debresser (talk) 07:21, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Dictionary.com on nonfactual, but "incorrect" would work.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:12, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd prefer "incorrect". Debresser (talk) 09:59, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Suggestion to allow specifying talk page where discussion should take place[edit]

I used this template for {{Inflation-fn}} when I moved three citations from deeply buried template documentation pages into this central repository. Two of these were already marked as dubious in the template documentation pages, and a third was merely a bare link in a hidden comment in the respective dataset. If possible, I would change the usage to direct to Template talk:Inflation-fn rather than the talk page of whichever article the citation appears on.

However, I suppose there is potential for mild misuse, if for example someone does something like {{Dubious|talk=WP:WL}}. If another template or code would be more suitable for this situation please let me know or edit the other template to correct. Or would discussing each instance of inflation citation be preferred to happen on every article it is to be used on? djr13 (talk) 06:17, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

By default the link is to a section named "Dubious" on the talk page for the page that the template is placed on. You can use the first unnamed parameter to pass the name of a different talk page section, e.g. {{dubious|Inconsistent values|date=April 2016}} however that section still needs to be on the talk page for the page that the template is placed on. --Redrose64 (talk) 07:55, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I am aware of this, that's why I was suggesting allowing changing which talk page the template refers to. djr13 (talk) 05:08, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't see a legit use case for this. If the template is using bad data, that's an issue to raise on the template talk page. If there's something not from a template that's dubious, the discussion should take place at that page's talk page. The "danger" here is fairly broad, the most obvious negative use case being WP:OWNish wikiproject people directly all dispute/cleanup template talk regarding "their" articles to the wikiproject talk page. We have a |discuss= parameter on a few templates like the merge/split ones, because two pages are involved and we need to centralize discussion at one of them. That doesn't really arise with a template like {{dubious}} or {{citation needed}}.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:16, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Maybe some clarification[edit]

Per this entirely too lengthy discussion on ANI, I wonder if some brief clarification might be helpful on the Incorrect Usage section.

Basically, the editor seems to be on the losing end of consensus over a relatively minor (but apparently deeply personal) issue, and has decided to use this template as a statement, pushing to include it as a way of saying that they're not changing the article per se, but they're bucking consensus anyway by tagging the line as dubious.

Seems like there could be some gently worded clause, reminding editors that this template is not a weapon. TimothyJosephWood 22:51, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Is there any case in which a template is a weapon? DonIago (talk) 13:51, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Of course not, but compare guidance at Template:Citation needed, which preempts predicable misuse of the template. TimothyJosephWood 14:38, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Temperamental and annoying people will be temperamental and annoying. We shouldn't add disclaimers and "don't be a bad child" warnings to every template that can be used sarcastically or otherwise pointedly, or we'd spend all of the next month adding such disclaimers to templates.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:12, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Is there a variant that more explicitly says "sources conflict"?[edit]

The docs say that it's for this purpose, and I use it, but the word "dubious" doesn't really convey that. Is there a variant (or could one be created) which says "sources conflict"? Or similar wording that says that I'm not expressing subjective doubt, but actually have a "deciding which source to believe" problem.

In some cases it's worth describing conflicting reports, as the uncertainty will never be resolved ("what were X's dying words?"), but in others ("what is the height of Mt. Y?") there's clearly one correct answer. (talk) 03:01, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 10 March 2017[edit]

Please add {{subst:tfd|type=tiny}} at the top of the Module:Unsubst invocation, then change |link=Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2017 March 10 to |link=Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2017 March 9, per a nomination by TenPoundHammer. Pppery 12:22, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

 Done -- John of Reading (talk) 13:17, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 13 March 2017[edit]

Please wrap the tfd notice in noinclude tags, so that it doesn't continue to disrupt the numerous articles that use this template. The relevant change I'm requesting is to substitute the first two lines of the template code with the following:
<noinclude>{{Template for discussion/dated|page=Dubious|link=Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2017 March 9#Template:Dubious|type=tiny|bigbox={{#invoke:Noinclude|noinclude|text=yes}}}}</noinclude>{{ {{{|safesubst:}}}#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Dubious |date=__DATE__ |$B=

Thanks. – Uanfala (talk) 15:39, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Done Cabayi (talk) 15:45, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 21 March 2017[edit]

The original copy of the Sean J. Conlon page was edited to remove the claim that he was "a leading real estate entrepreneur" Burfordbw (talk) 14:08, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the template {{Dubious}}. If possible, please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. If you cannot edit the article's talk page, you can instead make your request at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection#Current requests for edits to a protected page. — Train2104 (t • c) 14:24, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

pre-filled date[edit]

This should have the same pre-filled {{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}} as template:citation needed.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:45, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Which doesn't have that. So I am not sure what you are referring to. Debresser (talk) 04:00, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
With {{citation needed}}, you can omit the date and a bot will later fill it in. But, provided that you subst it, as in {{subst:citation needed}}, the bot will not need to visit since it will be saved as if you had used {{citation needed|date={{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}}}} which is to say {{citation needed|date=June 2017}}. I suspect that is asking for a similar feature here, i.e. when you use {{subst:dubious}}, without a date, it will be the same as when you use {{dubious|date={{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}}}}. This feature is already present. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 09:51, 19 April 2017 (UTC)