Wikipedia talk:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue

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Does basic information about a topic (such as dates) need to be cited if there's a link to a page which discusses it in more detail, and the information is cited on that page? For example, does this statement on the page about Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball need a citation?

A second pinball game in the Sonic series, Sonic Pinball Party, was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003.[citation needed]

Terrible comparision[edit]

Both because the sky isn't blue (it only appears so) and the sentence on the sky looking blue in the article sky has four citations. Showing that you do indeed have to cite that the sky "is" blue.--Remurmur (talk) 02:27, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

The cites are there for the attribution of why the sky is blue, not just because it's blue or else there'd be a sentence in that article with four cites that says "The sky is blue". And while the sky certainly only appears to be blue, ask anyone in the world what color the sky is, and you'll get the same answer, hence the ubiquity of the choice phrase.-- 04:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Can you provide are reference that everyone (not colorblind) will say that the sky is blue? It seems that some tribes don't recognize the sky as blue: (talk) 15:04, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
How can the sky "appear" to be a different color than it is if color is a property of appearance? Eebster the Great (talk) 05:09, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
The sky is colorless. The scattered light in the sky can make it appear to be blue, red, orange, or yellow.--Remurmur (talk) 14:47, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
It's a common colloquialism for something obvious. Whether it's technically true or not is irrelevant. Drop it. — sephiroth bcr (converse) 22:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The sky as a primary source[edit]

WP:PRIMARY states "a primary source may be used only to make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is verifiable by a reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages from the novel to describe the plot." An earlier version had something similar described by Wikipedians on talk pages as the "apple pie exception," though I don't know what version might have been the most exemplary of that; this one [1] mentions apple pie "In some cases, where an article (1) makes descriptive claims the accuracy of which is easily verifiable by any reasonable adult without specialist knowledge, and (2) makes no analytic, synthetic, interpretive, or evaluative claims, a Wikipedia article may be based entirely on primary sources (examples would include apple pie or current events), but these are exceptions." I think this was saying apple pie (or a sky) can be a kind of primary source.

There are cases where a source may not be needed (the primary source is unstated) but where there may be no merit to the easily verifiable claim. "Is the Pope Catholic?" Well, Pope Benedict XVI actually does link to Catholic Church, but doesn't cite that, and it doesn't mention he's a man. "Does a bear shit in the woods?" Usually, unless it's in a cage. If the information is the answer to a rhetorical question or some kind of circular logic, it's probably not needed; "'Obvious troll is obvious' {Citation needed}" would be silly, as it can go without saying. Шизомби (talk) 16:30, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I looked at the sky the other evening and it was purple and red. That is what happens when people engage in original research. Chillum 20:00, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Cite this[edit]

Yes, this is not the best example. Let's have a contest for who can come up with the best one. I call it "Cite this". I'll start:

  1. A sharp stick in the eye is painful. Chrisrus (talk) 19:12, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

How about these?

  1. Barack Obama's surname is Obama.
  2. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is in Pisa. (inspired by the humorous quiz question: Wo steht der Schiefe Turm von Pisa?)
  3. The Empire State Building is one Empire State Building tall. (an IP did add a "citation needed" tag to the caption, which was removed with a reference to this page – a valid application of the policy)
I've seen other examples of gratuitous "citation needed" tags, but can't remember them anymore. Too bad. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:33, 8 January 2014 (UTC)


It seems that WP:BLUE and WP:NOTBLUE could be merged. It seems in some circumstances the obvious needs to be cited and sometimes it does not depending on the circumstance. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:03, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Sure. While at it, the example could be replaced with a less ambiguously correct one, such as "Living humans are air breathers" or "Water is wet".LeadSongDog come howl! 21:42, 31 May 2017 (UTC)


I frequently run into "source needed" trigger-happy editors when they either disagree with an edit, feel ownership over an article or see any information they don't believe is essential as "trivia".

My favorite example was that I posted a brief mention of two actors working on a film who had worked together before. I was asked to prove this. Apparently, the cast lists on the movie pages (both of which were well-known, popular movies) were not an adequate source for who was cast in a film and I was told that Wikipedia (meaning even the information contained in the rest of the article which I was contributing to) was not a reliable source.

Taken to the logical extreme, this standard would mean that any statement in a Wikipedia article ("While X was married to A...", "So-and-so played the role of Robin Hood...","Q published his first book when he was 27...") that was previously discussed in an earlier section, would require additional citations if it is referred to again in subsequent sections of the page. This would quickly lead to citation overload (and overkill).

I'm not sure that extensive citations are needed when an editor writes "Harrison Ford acted in several Star Wars films" or "The Yankees are a New York City baseball team" or "Cat videos are popular on YouTube". By this measure, every single statement on Wikipedia should be required to have outside sources verify it! (talk) 12:34, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Technically, yes, even the most trivial bit of trivia should be verified by a reliable (the presence of editorial oversight being the crucial criterion) journalistic, or preferrably even academic (ha, ha) source. If such a source cannot be found, some (weasel word, haw haw) would argue that the bit of trivia is simply too trivial and not worth including in an oh-so serious encyclopedia as Wikipedia aspires to be. Realistically, if I had a say, articles on pop-culture topics would be treated much more leniently in this respect, not least due to the dearth of press coverage – let alone academic research – on, say, deep-underground music. Although in cases like these, again, some would argue that the subject or bit of info is simply not notable enough for inclusion. Whatever. I for one don't lose any sleep on trivia like that on Wikipedia, since nothing much consequence depends on its correctness and people don't trust Wikipedia that much anyway.
Anyway, regarding the technical point you are bringing up: Repeating a footnote is easy, especially under the default system using footnotes (see WP:REFNAME), but also under the Harvard reference system. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:40, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Trivial observations[edit]

I've got another example here: V – The New Mythology Suite#Similarities to V by Spock's Beard. This is OR only in the most minor, trivial sense, and easy to verify just by yourself. Sure, there's a bit of personal, subjective judgment involved in deciding if the similarities between the album covers are something to write home about, although I can't see anybody denying them. However, the rest of the similarities can hardly be argued with. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:20, 21 August 2015 (UTC)