Wikipedia:Citation needed

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 verifiable, anyone may question an uncited claim. If your work has been tagged, please provide a reliable source for the statement, and discuss if needed.

You can add a citation by selecting from the drop-down "cite" menu at the top of the ing box. In markup, you can add a citation manually using ref tags. There are also more elaborate ways to cite sources.

In wiki markup, you can question an uncited claim by inserting a simple {{Citation needed}} tag, or a more comprehensive {{Citation needed|reason=Your explanation here|date=July 2019}} clause ({{fact}} and {{cn}} will produce the same result). This displays as:

Example: 87% of statistics are made up on the spot.[citation needed]

"Citation needed" statements are part of Wikipedia's backlog of outstanding problems. Currently there are 363,560 articles with "Citation needed" statements (see the historical number of tags).

You can help reduce the backlog!


When and how to use this tag[]

A "citation needed" tag is a request for another or to verify a statement: a form of communication between members of a collaborative ing 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, 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:

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[]

A gif showing how to fix a citation needed by adding a reference

Currently, there are over 363,560 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 ors have to do work checking those statements. With 363,560 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.

I can help! Give me a random citation to find!

See also[]

External links[]