Template talk:Original research

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{{originalresearch}} redirects here. --⟳ausa کui × 19:18, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Added category[edit]

I've edited this one to put mentioned articles in Category:Articles which may contain original research. squell 13:42, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Don't delete[edit]

what? I've been searching all over to use this template. don't delete it, it describes exactly the problem with some arttclces i've seen in WP Blueaster 03:43, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

See the talk page[edit]

I don't understand why this template directs readers to the talk page—it seems like a pretty tedious and indeed complex task explaining why something in an article is OR—linking to WP:OR should be sufficient. mgekelly 09:19, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

This template should never be placed in the article page to begin with. Kelly points out one reason, the tab in wikipedia says discussion. When wikipedia changes the name of the tab to "talk" to match the url, then I will agree. Point, don't talk techie slang and ask someone else to be more accurate in their presentation.
More importantly, I view the use of these kinds of templates on an article page as a kind of elitist academic graffiti, perhaps one step above spam. References are not important to everybody (cite --Rcollman (talk) 03:43, 8 February 2008 (UTC) in Template talk:Original research (section)). It is an opinion and belongs on the discussion page for those who care or are a member of your club. If not having a reference annoys another editor, don't be lazy, edit the article and explain why on the discussion page. If the template were something more discrete like an icon, I might be able to ignore it and could live with it, just like a superscript, referencing a citation. Is this helpful to the reader is my editing criterion. Please be careful with the placement of this template. Thanks --Rcollman (talk) 03:43, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I just noticed "Note: This template should not be applied without explanation on the talk page, and should be removed if the original research is not readily apparent when no explanation is given." And more similar comment to mine below this (big grin) but I am still steamed --Rcollman (talk) 03:47, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

If no-one's going to discuss this, I'm going to go ahead and change the wording. mgekelly 08:55, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

  • It's likely that no one noticed your question in the couple of days it was up. Stable templates, such as this one, tend not to generate much discussion. My feeling is the template is fine as it is, linking to the talk page of the article to which it's attached, where discussions of how to correct Original Research (or how to provide verifiable sources) should be handled. Many new editors are unclear as to why particular assertions they might make (such as theories, opinions, etc) are inappropriate to Wikipedia. The direction to use Talk reminds editors to discuss their concerns and helps reach consensus. In other words, don't go breakin' what doesn't need fixin' :) —LeflymanTalk 10:16, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, what may be obvious to you is not obvious to the person trying to fix it. If you just tag the article without explaining exactly why it is rather difficult for outsiders to fix the problem. This template should be a temporary tool not something you just put on an article because you disagree with it. I am trying to work my way through the backlog of pages tagged as OR and it is sometimes very difficult to see why the template was added because no explanation is given. By the way any help with the backlog (currently about 1000 pages!) would be greatly appreciated! MartinDK 14:46, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Date parameter[edit]

I think it would be beneficial for this template to include a date parameter as Template:POV does. Subcategories of Category:Articles which may contain original research would not be necessary; the date would simply appear in the template itself so editors and readers would know how long the template had been in place and thus find it easier to review the changes made since that time. — Elembis 08:50, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I totally second this. Also, it would be beneficial if the articles were put in subcategories according to what month they were tagged. That way it would be much easier to deal with the backlog since we could start with the old and possibly outdated tags first. I had a go at this backlog a while ago and although I did cut it down a bit it is very hard work because most of the time the tag was just slapped on and you get into arguments with people who want the tag there no matter what because they disagree with the entire article. This is especially true when it comes to the religious and ethnic articles. MartinDK 15:05, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, putting this into practice. Sorry for the delay..Rich Farmbrough, 14:40 29 September 2007 (GMT).


Sorry, pet peeve of mine. Using this neologism internally is one thing, but we shouldn't require our Dear Readers to click through and read a policy page to figure out that "original research" usually does not mean original research at all, but unpublished wanking. --Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri 19:31, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Common knowledge and the like[edit]

Sometimes, I see this template used in pages containing some form of commonly held knowledge; a page of mine about the onomatopoeia "boing" was a victim (per se) of this at one time, see permalink: permalink. The content of this is impossible to deem original research; there is no such thing as a reliable source with information on the word "boing" other than a dictionary, and just about everyone has a dictionary or uses Wiktionary. Practically speaking, every single statement in that article is simply common knowledge held in regard to the word "boing". I think that, in this respect, the template is often used unfairly, and some concensus ought to be reached about that. Bellito, master of all things Mac-related 03:40, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

OR vs. or[edit]

Does anyone find it bothersome that {{OR}} and {{or}} redirect to different original research templates? Dekimasuよ! 15:15, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Very. squell\talk 14:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
not at all, but I recently found it very confusing when the redirect was changed. I found it helpful that big OR redirected to the big template and little or redirected to the little tag. I was confused on a recent article as to why the little template was showing up when I left an OR there only to find out the template had been redirected a couple days ago.--Crossmr (talk) 05:54, 6 February 2009 (UTC)


Could you add this for the link to the spanish template?? Thanks to all you

Mundo tarantino 17:05, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

"This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims."[edit]

The wording kinda bothers me; it says it may contain. That means there is a possibilty of containing OR. But, the purpose if the template is to inform that an article or section does contain original research. So, should it say "This article or section contains original research or unverified claims."? THROUGH FIRE JUSTICE IS SERVED! 03:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Hopefully an author who is certain of such things takes out the OR instead of adding a template. This is more often used to suggest to other editors that there may be issues that need to be addressed; it draws in other sets of eyes to examine the impression left upon the person who added the template. Many of our cleanup templates are also written in the potential form to reduce direct conflict, I would think. Dekimasuよ! 16:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with User:angelofdeath275, it is misleading. The template appears to say You are welcome to include original research in this article. Was that the intention? It all hinges on the bad use of the word may in the template. 16:50, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
To be perfectly honest, I never interpreted it in this way - and I'm sure most users do not since they are aware of the WP:NOR policy, however (and this is a big however), I can definitely see how new or passing users might misapprehend the meaning. It's a sloppy use of the word "may". Wisdom89 (T / C) 18:27, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Is there anyway to change the wording to something along the lines of "A user has expressed concern that this article contains..." or "this article or section consists of original research"? Wisdom89 (T / C) 01:44, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Change may contain to possibly contains. Just contains is too strong, since that may not be the case later on, but possibly contains alerts the reader of the possibility. Mike0001 (talk) 11:07, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Takes care of the issue for me. Wisdom89 (T / C) 15:55, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Transclusions: {{Student-in-universe}} and {{Political parties in Northern Ireland}}???[edit]

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I really don't have a clue what these are doing here:{{Student-in-universe}} and {{Political parties in Northern Ireland}} --Fitzhugh 18:26, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Presumably those template included this tag when Rich Farmbrough added that section. I've removed it, as it does seem pretty useless. Besides, neither template transcludes this one any more, anyway. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 04:51, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Category:All articles with unsourced statements[edit]

Shouldn't the use of this template add the article to the Category:All articles with unsourced statements category, just like the {{fact}} template does? I'd edit the template myself to make this happen, but I'm not convinced that it's an uncontroversial edit so I'd like to hear some opinions on the matter first.-Lilac Soul (talk contribs count) I'm watching this page so just reply to me right here! 12:00, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Poor Template[edit]

This is a poor template as the wording 'may contain original research' means in effect it can apply to every article and once established you can rarely be sure of it's removal. I think there should definitely be a forced option to explain what part or parts of the article are 'Original research'. And why does it link to the talk page? Quite bizarre. SunCreator (talk) 13:02, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Your comment contradicts itself. The template links to the talk page to indicate that more information (i.e. what part is OR) should be provided there. Superm401 - Talk 18:34, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Edit request: please strike NO[edit]

The article or section may contain no original research is the opposite of what it should say. Either strike no or say may violate a guideline about no original research. -- (talk) 23:30, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Interwiki - ro[edit]

{{editprotected}} please add this interwiki link: ro:Format:Original Ark25 (talk) 19:38, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Please create a /doc page! --Nardog (talk) 09:23, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Done and done. - Trevor MacInnis (Contribs) 15:21, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
{{editprotected}} Same for sv:Mall:Källor Thanks --NMeden (talk) 21:56, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
That's currently interwikied to and from Template:Unreferenced. Can you clarify why this should also be linked there? Dekimasuよ! 01:15, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Oh, might be my bad. Can you please explain what the difference is between Template:Unreferenced and Template:Original research. sv:Mall:Källor seems to correspond to both.--NMeden (talk) 13:27, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Note: If added, it should go on the /doc page (which is not protected). --Lightsup55 ( T | C ) 09:15, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Style edits[edit]


I've started a sandbox for this page with some tweaks to the presentation. Just needs synced across. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 11:29, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Done. --Elonka 06:31, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Why use the word "may"?[edit]

Why does this template say "This article may contain original research…" instead of just "This article contains original research…"? Are there other maintenance templates that use "may" in this way?  —Chris Capoccia TC 10:38, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Most cleanup templates use "may" in my experience. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:01, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
i think it's confusing because one way of reading the sentence is "This article is allowed to contain original research…", which is obviously not the intent.  —Chris Capoccia TC 15:02, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

New Language[edit]

I don't have access to edit this template.

Please add

fa:الگو:دست اول

regards Pooya (talk) 14:30, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Done. Cheers, — sligocki (talk) 02:31, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
By the way, anyone can add a new language, you must add it to the documentation page Template:Original research/doc. Cheers, — sligocki (talk) 02:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

discuss parameter[edit]


I have added a {{{discuss}}} parameter here [1] that allows you to put a custom discuss link in (like in {{Merge}} and friends).

Usage: {{Original research/sandbox}}

The talk link comes to this section rather than to the top of the talk page.

And old usage still works:

Although it apparently doesn't work on talk pages :)

What do you guys think? Cheers, — sligocki (talk) 02:23, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea, done. Please update the documentation as necessary. Cheers,  Skomorokh, barbarian  08:27, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Suggested changes[edit]

There are a few suggestions I'd like to make to improve the template:

  1. The current text can be a bit misleading because it suggests that the section and/or article can be improved simply by adding sources. However, if it's indeed original research, no matter how many sources you add it's still going to be WP:OR (especially if it's a synthesis). So I would suggest to perhaps change the last sentence to the following: "Please improve the article by verifying the claims made. Statements or sections consisting only of original research may be removed."
  2. The first sentence could be shortened to just "This article may contain original research" leaving off "or unverified claims". Normally when editors use this template, it is only because they are suspecting OR, not because they are suspecting that claims have not been verified. Also it makes the template purpose overlaps with {{unreferenced}}.

So to sum up, I suggest changing the text to:

This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made. Statements or sections consisting only of original research may be removed. More details may be available on the talk page.

(Note that I have also changed "See talk page for details" since more often than not there are no explanation on the talk page)

What do you think? Laurent (talk) 15:12, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

I like this change, sounds better and more focused. But I think it's important to encourage adding references once something has been verified. For example:

This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements or sections consisting only of original research may be removed. More details may be available on the [talk page].

What do you think? Cheers, — sligocki (talk) 21:26, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
That's a good point, we often still need sources to prove that the text is indeed not original research. I'm going to make a request for the change as I think it's hopefully quite uncontroversial. Laurent (talk) 11:56, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Text change[edit]

{{editprotected}} Please could someone change the text to this version, per the discussion above? Thanks, Laurent (talk) 12:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Done - Rjd0060 (talk) 14:46, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Wording change[edit]

Propose changing this statement:

"Statements consisting only of original research may be removed."

To this:

"Statements consisting only of original research should be removed."

Since we are (A) not all of a sudden granting permission to remove such statements where there was no permission before, and (B) as we don't allow original research to begin with, statements that consist only of original research should indeed always be removed. SchuminWeb (Talk) 17:12, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it means "may" as in "it's okay to do it." I think it's "may" as in "this might happen." We shouldn't imply anywhere that there's a blanket instruction to remove perceived OR regardless of context. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 20:46, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Section parameter[edit]

Can we make this not be small when it is in a section? It is inconsistent with other cleanup templates.  Liam987(talk) 06:40, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Restore to long version[edit]

Per Template_talk:Unreferenced_section#Restore_to_long_version and User_talk:SilkTork#Template:Section_OR, unless there are objections I shall amend this template so that the section version is restored to the long version in line with other section templates. SilkTork ✔Tea time 08:54, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Reword from "may" to "possibly contains"?[edit]

As others have commented, this template's wording has semantic ambiguity due to the word "may" and could be read to mean pretty much the opposite of what is intended. Perhaps a wording change from

  • "This article may contain original research."


  • "This article possibly contains original research."

would be better? Jason Quinn (talk) 03:45, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

As you say, this is a continuing cry, and one that I'd like to support too. Don't get why it hasn't been changed already. LookingGlass (talk) 08:51, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Discuss or Talk?[edit]

This template uses the term: Discuss=Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet as opposed to what seems the more common term Talk=Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Should there not be a standardisation in this? LookingGlass (talk) 08:49, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 28 June 2015[edit]

This is not a major edit request, but I would suggest that, instead of "This article possibly contains", it (and its derivatives) read "This article may contain". It is not really needed, but it makes reading faster and this template less technical, and these two are synonymous. Gamingforfun365 (talk) 03:34, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

 Done here. APerson (talk!) 18:40, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

@APerson: Chiming in, I wanted to suggest this should be undone. See the talk sections above this from just a couple years ago. There seems to be some concern that a literal reading of "May contain" could be viewed as being permissive, such as "you may include original research." See this diff-- ferret (talk) 01:51, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Ferret, that's a good reason to make it "possibly contains", so I've self-reverted. On the other hand, there must be some other way to say it that makes everyone happy. What do you think about "might contain"? APerson (talk!) 21:07, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Pinging Jason Quinn and LookingGlass, who were in a previous discussion about these two choices. APerson (talk!) 21:08, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think 'might' will work, as it's the past tense form of 'may', and can also indicate permissiveness. -- ferret (talk) 21:37, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, APerson. On the table is a choice between two imperfect solutions. "May" is easier to read and more accessible, as Gamingforfun365 suggests, but is ambiguous. (As Ferret points out, "might" is the past tense of "may" so it's really not a new solution.) "Possibly" is somewhat awkward to read but, I think, fairly precise. Better alternatives perhaps do not even exist but it would be great to consider some. As per my previous thread, I have a fairly strong preference for "possibly" but it is not without some reservation. I care very much about accessibility. If I may get speculative, my gut instinct is that the present wording using "possibly" functions better as a notice of a problem and those who read it will be left with the impression there is a problem with the text; whereas the ease of reading the previous text may have counter-intuitively left the template's message quickly forgotten. Jason Quinn (talk) 05:12, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

There are other templates which replace "possibly" with "may", so it would be ironic to make this template exclusive about it, and, plus, as a warning template, I think that most people understand the meaning of its wording. P.S. I have read the dictionary before even starting this, and "might" is the past tense of "may", and I am saying that it is ironic to make this template have to be "possibly" exclusively when other warning templates say "may". Gamingforfun365 (talk) 06:26, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Also, I have noticed the word, "should", in the template, which is actually the past tense for "shall", and would not it be better if we were to change the orange warning sign to the stiffer red attention sign (although that would be awkward because that is used for deletion tags) because original research is intolerable here and elsewhere on Wikipedia? Gamingforfun365 (talk) 06:45, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
The existence of many other templates that use "may" does not mean that "may" is the best choice. There's no agreed upon wording so that reads like a variation of argumentum ad populum. Those other templates suffer the same issue and at one point I was intending to comb through all of them and update them on a case-by-case basis. I decided to start with this template but never got around to starting the larger project; so, the actual irony here is that you are using this template against making the change to possibly whereas I intended to use it an an example to show how the others should be changed similarly. As for the orange color, it is appropriate because it is only a warning about the material possibly containing original research. It isn't saying that the material does contain original research. Jason Quinn (talk) 17:18, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Aside from my having read all of this, the reason why I came here is that, maybe, the template could stick to its point better with fewer words/characters/syllables, but, after all, it was not important as I had said, and I actually never knew that you were the starter of this template. Also, I know that possibly is conditional. Gamingforfun365 (talk) 09:58, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the Ping. I disagree that "might" is the past tense of "may". I don't believe that "may" is a verb. In my opinion both "might" and "may" are words used to construct forms of the conditional tense of a verb. Grammarians might like to to chip in. As that last sentence illustrates, the word "might" is used to construct the conditional tese of the verb "to like" it is not itself a verb. So I would vote that the word "may" be changed to the word "might" in the artcle, as ferret suggested. I would say that in common usage "may" carries the sense of granting permision whereas "might" carries the sense only of possibility and that the latter is what is required. LookingGlass (talk) 09:48, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

I should note that my position is to keep "possibly contains". I am opposed to both may and might. I am the one that noted it is the past tense of may, see may#Verb. -- ferret (talk) 11:36, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Ok, literally true, but it's an auxilliary verb. I'd go with "possibly contains" (present tense of v. contain) or "might contain" (which is also the present tense of v. contain) as they're synonymous LookingGlass (talk) 11:12, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

I am starting to prefer "possibly contains" because it feels more urgent because it is against the core policy. Gamingforfun365 (talk) 06:49, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 17 August 2015[edit]

Change "should" to "must", for original research is against one of the three primary policies of Wikipedia, which is not good, and must makes it sound important. Gamingforfun365 (talk) 07:16, 17 August 2015 (UTC) Gamingforfun365 (talk) 07:16, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Not done @Gamingforfun365:, see Template_talk:Original_research#Wording_change above. As this has already been discussed and is a content (rather then technical) edit to to a high visibility template, please discuss first. — xaosflux Talk 10:38, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
The person who did that wanted to reduce ambiguity, and what I want to do is to make original research sound as if it really should not be on Wikipedia, which is true-positive, so this has nothing to do with my situation. Also, can we do something about the word "possibly"? It sounds somewhat ambiguous, for anything on Wikipedia can possibly contain original research, so it does not help very much. Better substitutes may be "presumably", "probably", and "likely". Gamingforfun365 (talk) 07:00, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

I personally don't see a need to make either change you've asked for here. -- ferret (talk) 11:36, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

And that is not bad. My only intention was to reduce a degree of ambiguity because possibly and probably are not entirely synonymous. Gamingforfun365 (talk) 21:22, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 14 June 2016[edit]

Please add |removalnotice = yes inside the {{ambox}} template. Many of the other maintenance templates contain this and this one should be the same. See Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_131#Implementing_Help:Maintenance_template_removal. Omni Flames (talk) 07:01, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 07:18, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Is "original research" the right term to display to readers?[edit]

Is "original research" the right term to display to readers? This would transmit the message "this is real new stuff in Wikipedia, not just copied"; it is a complimentary term. Among contributors the meaning is (or should be) clear, but perhaps "original research" should be replaced by other displayed text in tags on articles and inline? I don't know what better wording to use, maybe something like "unreferenced personal opinion"? The templates could continue to be {{Original research}}, {{Original research inline}}, etc, with the displayed text changed. Pol098 (talk) 15:43, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Suggest a potential transwiki to Wikiversity on the template?[edit]

What about including a suggestion on the template to consider posting the article, or portion of the article that is original research to Wikiversity? This could help Wikiversity and help Wikipedia. Michael Ten (talk) 04:59, 8 February 2017 (UTC)