Template:Citation needed/doc

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{{Citation needed}} (also known by the redirects {{Cn}} and {{Fact}}) is a template used to identify questionable claims in articles that lack a citation to a reliable source. The template produces a superscripted notation like the following:

Humphrey Bogart has won several snooker world championships.Script error: No such module "Unsubst"..

While Humphrey Bogart may have played snooker at some point and may have won a tournament at one time, there is no reliable, published source to verify this. Also it is not common knowledge.


Template parameters


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You may append a date to the template in the following format:

{{Citation needed|{{subst:DATE}}}}


  • Substitution of this template will automatically fill the date parameter.
  • If you don't add a date parameter, a bot will date your entry with the month and year at a later time.
  • The date parameter consists of the name of the current month and the year only, not full dates. The names of the months are capitalised in English. Any deviation from these two rules will result in an "invalid date parameter" error.

It is also recommended to add the (non-displayed) |reason= parameter to leave a better record for future editors. For example, the following usage might be appropriate to the claim that "Humphrey Bogart has won several snooker world championships.":

{{Citation needed|reason=This claim needs a reliable source; Bogart was a famous actor, and his major biographies don't mention snooker.}}

Adding this template to an article places the article into Category:Articles with unsourced statements or a dated subcategory thereof.

Please remove the template when you add a citation for a statement.


This sentence shows the template used at the end.{{Citation needed|reason=reliable source needed for the whole sentence}}

The above wikitext will render as follows:

This sentence shows the template used at the end.Script error: No such module "Unsubst".

The template should be inserted after punctuation, such as a period or comma.

When not to use this template

Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about living persons should be removed immediately. Do not tag it: immediately remove it. For more information, see the section on poorly sourced contentious material in the policy page Biographies of living persons.

Material that is doubtful, harmful (and possibly slanderous) may be removed immediately, rather than tagged. See Burden of evidence.

The {{Citation needed}} template is intended for use when there is a general question of the verifiability of a statement, or when an editor believes that a reference verifying the statement should be provided. Other templates are available for other or more specific issues, see the list of inline templates. For example, claims that you think are incorrect should be tagged with {{Dubious}}, and those which represent a non-neutral view should be tagged with {{POV-statement}}. Being specific about the nature of the problem will help other editors correct it.

If you have the time and ability to find an authoritative reference, please do so. Then add the citation yourself, or correct the article text. After all, the ultimate goal is not to merely identify problems, but to fix them.

While an editor may add this template to any uncited passage for any reason, many editors object to what they perceive as overuse of this tag, particularly in what is known as "drive-by" tagging, which is applying the tag without attempting to address the issues at all (hit-and-run). Consider whether adding this tag in an article is the best approach before using it, and use it judiciously. Wikipedia's verifiability policy does not require reliable sources for common well-known facts (e.g., "The Moon orbits the Earth"), or that citations be repeated through every sentence in a paragraph. All direct quotations and facts whose accuracy might be challenged (e.g., statistics) require citations. See WP:MINREF for the list of material that is absolutely required to be followed by an inline citation, rather than a general reference or no citation at all.

This template is intended for specific passages that need citation. For entire articles or sections that contain significant material lacking sources (rather than just specific short passages), there are other, more appropriate templates, such as {{Unreferenced}} or {{Refimprove}}.

Do not use this template on policies, guidelines, or other non-article pages.

How to respond to this tag

The addition of this tag is a request for an inline citation to support the tagged statement. If you are able to provide a citation to support the claim, then please do so.

Except for certain kinds of claims about living people, which require immediate production of inline citations, there is no specific deadline for providing citations. Please do not delete information that you believe is correct simply because no-one has provided a citation within an arbitrary time limit. Where there is some uncertainty about its accuracy, most editors are willing to wait about a month to see whether a citation can be provided.

See also

Inline templates

  • {{Cite quote}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".Script error: No such module "Category handler".[cite this quote]: for "actual quotations" which need citations to make them proper
  • {{Clarify}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".Script error: No such module "Category handler".[clarification needed]: request clarification of wording or interpretation
  • {{Examples}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".Script error: No such module "Category handler".[examples needed]: request examples for clarification
  • {{List fact}}Template:List fact: request a citation of a source which justifies inclusion of a given entry in a list
  • {{Nonspecific}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".Script error: No such module "Category handler".[not specific enough to verify]: flag a general, yet factual statement as needing to be made more specific before it can be verified
  • {{Page needed}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".Script error: No such module "Category handler".[page needed]: request a page number for an existing citation
Highlighting some text that needs a citation
Incomplete citations
  • {{Full}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".[full citation needed]: in-line request for full citation, for example when only (Author, YEAR) is given.
  • {{Page needed}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".Script error: No such module "Category handler".[page needed]: in-line request for the page number or page numbers in a work such as journal for an existing citation.
  • {{Season needed}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".[season & episode needed], similar to {{page needed}}: for missing TV season & episode number.
  • {{Volume needed}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".[volume & issue needed], similar to {{page needed}}: for missing journal, newspaper, comic, etc., volume and issue numbers).
  • {{Update after}}Script error: No such module "Category handler".Script error: No such module "Category handler".[dated info]: a template that only shows itself after a specified time, indicating an exceptional statement that will date quickly

Article message box templates

  • {{Cite check}}, article/section may have inappropriate or misinterpreted citations
  • {{Refimprove}}, article/section has weak or incomplete sources/references/citations
  • {{Unreferenced}}, article/section has no sources/references/citations given at all
  • Citation method and style

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