Template talk:Failed verification

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F.Y.I. This template is one of several templates used to provide or request sources for articles.
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.

When to use[edit]

This template is intended to be stronger than {{request quote}} or {{verify source}}. The intended use is when a plausible source has been provided, but an editor has thoroughly checked that source and found that it does not support the text of the article. Robert A.West (Talk) 21:38, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

The citation should just be removed and replaced with {{fact}}. This tag seems redundant.  Þ  06:55, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Then the mis-citing editor will simply put back the original bogus source. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 16:20, 17 March 2007 (UTC) [Corrected 00:01, 19 March 2007 (UTC)]
The mis-citing editor you mean? Such cases should go to talk. If the original editor continually reverts, take it to dispute resolution. Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Failed verification reveals only 68 links, many of which are not in mainspace articles. It would seem this might be a good candidate for TfD.  Þ  20:40, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Right, that was a typo. Anyway, I don't disagree with your take on what process should be. I'm simply countering the idea that the proper response is deleting instead of discussion. I.e., what's good for the gander is good for the goose in this case. The point of the template is to generate discussion as to how to fix something. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 00:01, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Is it an appropriate use of the tag to indicate that a link that has been given is now broken? It seems that does not fall under the instructions for its use; surely there is a difference between giving a citation that doesn't include what it is purported to and the url ceasing to exist and therefore being unverifiable? (talk) 22:24, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject Inline templates proposed[edit]

Resolved: Old news.

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)

The proposal became a project: Wikipedia:WikiProject Inline Templates (talk) 22:24, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Last edit rendering the template invisible[edit]

{{editprotected}} The last edit renders the template invisible. Could an admin please revert. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:50, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. --- RockMFR 22:33, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Inside or outside the ref?[edit]

Should {{Failed verification}} be used inside or outside the ref? Inside puts the message next to the citation and outside puts in the body of the article. ~

I would say outside. It is important enough to cast doubt on the statement the citation claims to support. For many readers (myself included) merely seeing the footnote link provides some support for the statement. Rich Farmbrough, 07:58, 9 April 2010 (UTC).

Rename to "Not in citation"?[edit]

Does anyone have a problem with renaming the template to {{Not in citation}}? Its current title and all other redirects to it would continue to work transparently as synonyms. We could go with {{Not in citation given}}, too, but I think the shorter form has the best combination of memorability and brevity.--Father Goose (talk) 08:14, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Second that. "Not in citation" is more succinct than the current title. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 23:06, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
So, no objections? If not, I'll move it next time I swing back this way.--Father Goose (talk) 02:29, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Links to talk page[edit]

This template would be more useful if it could link to section of the talk page where the failed verification is discussed. This feature is in some other inline templates so it shouldn't be too hard to implement. Thanks, SteveMcCluskey (talk) 21:22, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I second that, there are many cases where such a link would be most useful. Could you please implement such a feature? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 23:04, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Done. Rich Farmbrough, 07:55, 9 April 2010 (UTC).

Is this the proper tag for a content changing source?[edit]

A source is cited which is a top list that updates every week. Therefore there is no way to verify the source, since the data now is different. Wayback Machine does not happen to have the exact week the source is referring to. Is this the right tag for this or should something else be used? --Muhandes (talk) 07:24, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I moved the question here, which seems more suitable for this discussion. --Muhandes (talk) 12:17, 2 July 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) 20:21, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Add Category:Pages with incorrectly substituted templates[edit]

Resolved: Fixed.

{{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) 02:14, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

plus Added — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:35, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Change text or documentation?[edit]

According to the documentation, this tag should only be used if "the source says something other than what is contained in the article." "For example, if the article says that 26% of statistics are made up, and the source says that 32% of statistics are made up, then that information has failed verification." In other words, this seems to say the tag should be used when the source given contradicts the statement. However, the tag's text simply says "not in citation given".

Should the text be changed to, say, "contradicted by citation", or should the documentation be changed to say the source simply needs to not support the statement, rather contradict it? --Chealer (talk) 16:53, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

"Does not support". When a reliable source blatantly contradicts the text in the article, the article text has to change, per WP:V, unless two sources contradict each other, in which case it's time for {{disputed-inline}}, a talk page discussion and more sourcing. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 02:03, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
This template is particularly useful when the statement is missing from the source as well as when it contradicts it. Using the above example, the article says 26% of statistics are made up but the source doesn't give any percentage. This is also failed verification, but there's no contradiction in this case. D O N D E groovily Talk to me 12:42, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you both. So, is there any opposition to changing point 3 from "the source says something other than what is contained in the article" to "the source does not support what is contained in the article"? --Chealer (talk) 05:07, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
 Done I think we could also add an indication that if the problematic reference is the only one given to support a statement, {{fact}} should also be added. Unless someone has a better idea of what to do in these cases. --Chealer (talk) 03:09, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Clarification on when to use[edit]

I changed the documentation page to clarify when to use it. In short, this template should not be used if the source has no relevance to the topic. In such cases, the references should simply be deleted. D O N D E groovily Talk to me 12:40, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

That helped a little, but the percentage example isn't helpful. This template is most often used for "judgement call" matters, in which an editor is seemingly engaging in novel synthesis or questionable interpretation of a source, not misquoting statistics. If a percentage were misquoted, it would simply be fixed, not flagged with this template. We need a better example. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 22:48, 24 March 2012 (UTC)


Is this template meant to be nested within the ref tag, or left in the text at the ref marker?  -- WikHead (talk) 12:02, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Oops - never mind. I see this has already been asked and answered above at #Inside or outside the ref?  -- WikHead (talk) 12:11, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Conflict with WP:Verifiability?[edit]

What is the utility of a tag like this? All content on Wikipedia must be verifiable. If it is found to be unverifiable, or if content has failed verification, shouldn't it simply be removed? We may as well have a template marking patently false information or content which is obviously vandalism. The policy there is to remove or revert on sight, why not here? MMartyniuk (talk) 13:03, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

This tag is added to a specific statement, references by a specific source. It may well be that other sources are available. The template doesn't say that the statement is impossible to verify, just that a specific attempt at verification has failed. Debresser (talk) 13:50, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Which leaves the statement unverified. Should we really keep unverified information on Wikipedia indefinitely on the off chance that somebody will be able to verify it in the future? I thought the onus was on the person making the claim to support it with a citation, not to make a claim with a false citation and let other do the research. At the very least, shouldn't failed verification claims be outcommented until they are verified?
Wikipedia:Verifiability currently states "No matter how convinced you are that something is true, do not add it to an article unless it is verifiable" and "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material." MMartyniuk (talk) 14:09, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Again: the fact that a statement is unverified is not yet reason to remove it. If it were unverifiable, that would be reason to remove it. That is why we have {{Citation needed}} and all those other tags. Debresser (talk) 15:05, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
All the same, there ought to be a policy that text tagged with [citation needed] or [not in citation given] should not stay on Wikipedia indefinitely. An editor applying such a tag has a responsibility to take further action if there is no response within a reasonable time. The Watcher count helps indicate how long a wait is reasonable, but a month is surely the outer limit. (No, I did not use the templates in producing this comment.) Peter M. Brown (talk) 15:30, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes statements remain unsourced for years. And I fail to see the big problem. If a statement is not contested, let it be. Debresser (talk) 16:30, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem with an uncontested statement being unsourced indefinitely. A challenge is frivolous, however, if the challenger fails to follow up when the challenge is not met. Most of these tags that clutter up Wikipedia are a distraction for the general reader and are quite pointless. Peter M. Brown (talk) 16:44, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
They're not even slightly pointless; they alert readers to information that may not be reliable at all. In this template's particular case, they even more importantly flag material that isn't just unverified but for which verification attempts have failed. Yes, it should not be used long-term in any particular instance. It's an invitation to people who are certain the information is correct to quickly provide the/a correct source for it. The most common cause of its use is when facts are ascribed to the wrong sources (e.g. because of interpolation of unsourced facts between two sourced ones that share a source, or moving sourced facts, without their citation, to another passage sourced to a difference source), and the second is when a source has been misinterpreted and the source does not actually support the fact being claimed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:10, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Add a "reason" parameter?[edit]

Resolved: Done to the extent possible without a site-wide consensus discussion about how this whole class of templates behaves.

Any chance a "Reason" category can be added to this template? It would be useful if a "Reason" category could be included, with the "reason" displayed when hovering the cursor over the tag. I guess this could be considered a request... FWIW. --IJBall (talk) 20:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

I think you mean a template parameter, not a WP:Category, and have changed the topic heading to reflect this. Virtually all inline templates of this sort support a |reason=Your text here parameter, it simply doesn't display in the article, and is a note for editors, in the wikicode. I've updated this template's documentation to illustrate how to use this. To change this behavior in these templates, to display in the article on mouse-over or some other event would be a bigger discussion than a change request here, e.g. maybe a WP:RFC opened at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Inline Templates.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:04, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. (And thanks for correcting me!) --IJBall (talk) 04:52, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Change category tree[edit]

These statements/references seem to me worthy of more attention than {{Citation needed}} tagged statements. There are currently 4,686 pages transcluding of this template compared with something over 344,479 members of the category tree rooted at Category:Articles with unsourced statements. I propose moving these 4,686 to Category:Articles with failed verification. I will try to cut the code in a few days if there is no objection the move. All the best: Rich Farmbrough20:11, 22 August 2014 (UTC).

Code in sandbox. I will make this live presently. Please feel free to raise issues, or request a revert if there are any problems. All the best: Rich Farmbrough18:05, 25 November 2014 (UTC).
Category:Articles that have failed verification? Category:Articles that fail verification? Even better would be a title that doesn't include 'Article' because categories contain articles; no need to state to obvious. Categories can also contain Files which are not articles but might contain this template. Perhaps Category:Claims that fail verification or Category:Statements that fail verification, or something similar.
Trappist the monk (talk) 18:33, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
It is fairly standard to use "Articles" because we want to distinguish from content categories. "Articles with claims that have failed verification" might be better, in terms of precision, but it is overly long. A Merry Christmas! Rich Farmbrough02:15, 23 December 2014 (UTC).
Category:Articles with failed verification sounds clear enough to me. Debresser (talk) 14:03, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

 Done All the best: Rich Farmbrough23:33, 6 January 2015 (UTC).

Quote marks break "reason" parameter[edit]


@SMcCandlish: When using the "reason" parameter with double quote marks, then it doesn't properly reflect in the tooltip. For example:

{{Failed verification|reason=Source does not mention "foo bar"}} produces: [not in citation given]


<span title="&quot;Source">not in citation given</span>

-- intgr [talk] 11:39, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Can use &#34; instead of ". --Obsuser (talk) 03:47, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, this is a limitation of HTML itself; the double-quote character has to be escaped, and we can't use any markup like italics.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:04, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I updated the documentation, which was wrong about this parameter anyway (some time between the original 2014 discussion about it and now, someone implemented it as a tooltip – maybe even me – without updating the docs).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:08, 28 July 2017 (UTC)