Template:Citation needed

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[citation needed]

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


{{Citation needed|date=July 2024|reason=Your explanation here}}


  • The |date= parameter consists of the full English name of the current month (with initial capital and rest lowercase), a space, and the year. For example, "January 2013" but not "jan13" or "January 23, 2013". Deviation from this rule will place the article in Category:Articles with invalid date parameter in template.
  • To automatically add the current date, you can use template substitution: {{subst:Citation needed}}.
  • If the |date= parameter is not given, a bot will soon add it (AnomieBOT's TagDater task) but it's better if you add it yourself to avoid an extra edit to the article's history.
  • 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=July 2024}}
  • 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=July 2024}}

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=July 2024}}

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.

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=July 2024|reason=Only aware he was photographed playing once. Not aware of any source that claims he played a lot.}}
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 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 "Remove contentious material that is unsourced or poorly sourced" at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons and "Burden of evidence" at 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 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 {{Citation needed lead}}.

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. 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"), 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 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. Also note that the 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 {{Refimprove 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 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 TemplateData documentation for this template used by VisualEditor and other tools; see the monthly parameter usage report for this template.

TemplateData for Citation needed

The template is used to identify claims in articles, particularly if questionable, that need a citation to a reliable source.

Template parameters[Edit template data]

Month and yeardate

Provides the month and year of the citation request; e.g., 'January 2013', but not 'jan13'

Auto value
Reason for citationreason

A reason as to why, or for what content, the citation is needed; use single quotes, if any


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

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