Template:Citation needed

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[citation needed]

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"Template:Proveit" redirects here. For the template about the referencing gadget, see Template:User ProveIt.

{{Citation needed}} is a "Wikipedia logo"template used to identify claims in articles, particularly if questionable, that need a "Wikipedia logo"citation to a "Wikipedia logo"reliable source. This template produces the superscripted message [citation needed] and is installed with no spaces directly after punctuation.


{{Citation needed|date=October 2023}}
{{Citation needed|date=October 2023|reason=Your explanation here}}


  • To automatically add the current date, you can use "Wikipedia logo"substitution like this: {{subst:Citation needed}}.
  • The |reason = parameter is for an explanation why you think the material needs a source. It is optional but very helpful. It is displayed as a tooltip in some browsers (hover the mouse here [citation needed] to check behaviour of your browser). For example, the following usage might be appropriate to the claim that "Humphrey Bogart was an avid snooker player":
{{Citation needed|reason=This claim needs a reliable source; Bogart was a famous actor but his major biographies don't mention snooker.|date=October 2023}}
  • Use only plain text for the |reason = parameter. It does not support wiki markup like wikilinks, which can mess up the tooltip.
  • Double quotation marks used within the |reason = parameter will likewise mess up the tooltip; use single quotes or the HTML code " instead.
  • If omitted, the tooltip "This claim needs references to reliable sources." is used by default.


Example 1

This sentence shows the template used at the end.{{Citation needed|reason=Reliable source needed for the whole sentence|date=October 2023}}

This wikitext will be rendered as follows:

This sentence shows the template used at the end.[citation needed]

Example 2

[[Humphrey Bogart]] was an avid snooker player.{{Citation needed|date=Template:Currentmonth Template:Currentyear}}

The template indicates that it may be that Humphrey Bogart played snooker at some point and it may be that he was enthusiastic about the game but no reliable, published sources were given to verify it and the information is not considered common knowledge.

"Wikipedia logo"Humphrey Bogart was an avid snooker player.[citation needed]

Example 3

If it is considered that he might have played snooker but was not an avid player, a reason for the need of a citation may be given, displayed as a tooltip when the mouse hovers on "citation needed":

[[Humphrey Bogart]] was an avid snooker player.{{Citation needed|date=October 2023|reason=Only aware he was photographed playing once. Not aware of any source that claims he played a lot.}}
"Wikipedia logo"Humphrey Bogart was an avid snooker player.[citation needed]

In this example, it may be better to use the {{Citation needed span}}, which has slightly different syntax, template to highlight the word "avid".

When not to use this template

Contentious material about "Wikipedia logo"living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced should be removed immediately. Do not tag it; immediately remove it. This includes material that is disparaging, misrepresentative, insulting, harmful, or possibly libelous. For some policy about this, see the sections "Wikipedia logo""Remove contentious material that is unsourced or poorly sourced" at "Wikipedia logo"Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons and "Wikipedia logo""Burden of evidence" at "Wikipedia logo"Wikipedia:Verifiability.

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.

Within a "Wikipedia logo"lead section that is clearly written as a summary of a substantially sourced article,

  • statements that are supported with citations within the body of the article should not be tagged,
  • statements that are not supported in the article body should be tagged with {{Not verified in body}}.

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 ""Wikipedia logo"drive-by" tagging, which is applying the tag without attempting to address the issues at all. Consider whether adding this tag in an article is the best approach before using it, and use it judiciously. Wikipedia's "Wikipedia logo"verifiability policy does not require reliable sources for "Wikipedia logo"common well-known facts (e.g., "the Moon orbits the Earth"), neither 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 "Wikipedia logo"WP:MINREF for the list of material that is absolutely required to be followed by an "Wikipedia logo"inline citation, rather than a "Wikipedia logo"general reference or no citation at all. Also note that the "Wikipedia logo"burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material.

This template is intended for specific passages that need citation. For entire articles or sections that contain significant material lacking citations (rather than just specific short passages), there are other, more appropriate templates, such as {{Unreferenced}} and {{More citations needed}} (for whole articles) as well as {{Unreferenced section}} and {{More citations needed section}} (for sections of articles).

Do not use this template to tag policies or guidelines.

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 "Wikipedia logo"contentious claims about living people, which should be immediately removed if not cited, there is no specific deadline for providing citations. Please do not delete information that you believe is correct solely because no one has provided a citation within an arbitrary time limit. If there is some uncertainty about its accuracy, most editors are willing to wait at least a month to see whether a citation can be provided.

Template data

This is the "Wikipedia logo"TemplateData for this template used by TemplateWizard, "Wikipedia logo"VisualEditor and other tools. Click here to see a monthly parameter usage report for this template based on this TemplateData.

TemplateData for Citation needed

	"description": "The template is used to identify claims in articles, particularly if questionable, that lack a citation to a reliable source.",
	"params": {
		"date": {
			"label": "Month and year",
			"description": "Provides the month and year of the citation request; e.g., 'January 2013', but not 'jan13'",
			"type": "string",
			"autovalue": "{{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}}",
			"suggested": true
		"reason": {
			"label": "Reason for citation",
			"description": "A reason as to why, or for what content, the citation is needed; use single quotes, if any",
			"type": "string"

Tracking categories


See also

Inline templates

Highlighting some text that needs a citation

  • {{Citation needed span}}: similar, except that the text needing the citation is changed to a dark slate-gray color while being encapsulated in an off-white box with a pale pink outline. For example:
Beetles constitute by far[citation needed] the largest order of insects, with 350,000–400,000 species in four suborders.[citation needed]

Incomplete citations




Article message box templates