Wikipedia:Citation needed

Extended-protected page
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Innovative application for the template in xkcd 285 (Wikipedian Protester)
The {{Citation needed}} template aims to promote accountable discourse.

To ensure that all Wikipedia content is

discuss
if needed.

You can add a citation by selecting from the drop-down

ref tags. There are also more elaborate ways to cite sources
.

In

cn
}} will produce the same result. These all display as:

Example: 87 percent of statistics are made up on the spot.[

citation needed
]

For information on adding citations in articles, see Help:Referencing for beginners. For information on when to remove this template messages, see Help:Maintenance template removal.

When to use this tag

A "citation needed" tag is a request for another editor to supply a source for the tagged fact: a form of communication between members of a collaborative editing community. It is never, in itself, an "improvement" of an article. Though readers may be alerted by a "citation needed" that a particular statement is not supported, and even doubted by some, many readers don't fully understand the community's processes. Not all tags get addressed in a timely manner, staying in place for months or years, forming an ever-growing Wikipedia backlog—this itself can be a problem. Best practice recommends the following:

  • Tag thoughtfully.
    self-evident
    that it really does not need to be cited at all? (Some things do not.)
  • Some tags are inserted by people well-placed to find a suitable citation themselves. If this is the case, consider adding these articles to
    verifiability issues
    yourself.

When not to use this tag

Before adding a tag, at least consider the following alternatives, one of which may prove much more constructive:

If your work has been tagged

How to help reduce the backlog

There are 518,056 articles with "Citation needed" statements. You can browse the whole list of these articles at Category:All articles with unsourced statements.

Frequently the authors of statements do not return to Wikipedia to support the statement with citations, so other Wikipedia editors have to do work checking those statements. With 518,056 statements that need

WP:Verification, sometimes it's hard to choose which article to work on. The tool Citation Hunt
makes that easier by suggesting random articles, which you can sort by topical category membership.

See also

External links