Contents 1 When and how to use this tag responsibly 2 When not to use this tag 3 If your work has been tagged 4 How to help reduce the backlog 5 See also 6 External links

When and how to use this tag responsibly A "citation needed" tag is a request for another editor to verify a statement: 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, 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. Avoid "hit-and-run" or pointed tagging. Try to be courteous and consider the hypothetical fellow-editor who will, hopefully, notice your tag and try to find the citation you have requested. When adding a tag, ask yourself: Is it clear just what information you want cited? Is the information probably factual? (If it is not, then it needs deletion or correction rather than citation!) Is the knowledge so 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 your watchlist so that you can advise on the changes or revisit the article when you have the opportunity to fix the verifiability problems 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: Do not use this tag because you don't understand a statement, or feel that "non-expert" readers are likely to be confused. Use {{Clarify}}, {{Explain}}, {{Confusing}}, {{Examples}}, {{Why}} or {{Non sequitur}}, as appropriate, instead. If the content is nonsense or is unlikely to be true, be bold and delete it! Do not tag controversial, poorly sourced claims about living people. Remove them immediately! If you are sure the statement you want to tag is not factual, even if it does not come under either of the preceding headings, it may still be appropriate to simply remove the text (delete it!). Be sure to add a suitable edit summary such as "Very doubtful – please add a citation if you return the content". If the original statement was accurate after all, this gives someone the chance to put it back, hopefully with a proper citation this time. If a statement sounds plausible, and is consistent with other statements in the article, but you doubt that it is totally accurate, then consider making a reasonable effort to find a reference yourself. In the process, you may end up confirming that the statement needs to be edited or deleted to better reflect the best knowledge about the topic. If an article, or a section within an article, is under-referenced, then consider adding an {{Unreferenced}}, {{Refimprove}}, or {{Unreferenced section}} tag to the article or section concerned -- these tags allow you to indicate more systemic problems to the page. A reference at the end of a paragraph typically refers to the whole paragraph, and similarly a reference at the end of a sentence may almost always be taken as referring to the whole sentence. If a particular part of a sentence or paragraph seems to require a separate citation, or looks as if it may have been inserted into the text at a sentence or paragraph level, try to check the original reference rather than adding tags to text that may already be well referenced. The extra parameters available in the {{Citation needed span}} template may allow you to indicate which section you want to refer. Do not insert a "Citation needed" tag to make a point, to "pay back" another editor, or because you "don't like" a subject, a particular article, or another editor.

If your work has been tagged If you can provide a reliable source for the claim, then please add it! If you are not sure how to do this, then give it your best try and replace the "Citation needed" template with enough information to locate the source. You may leave the copyediting or Wikifying to someone else, or learn more about citing sources on Wikipedia. This beginners referencing guide for Wikipedia provides a brief introduction on how to reference Wikipedia articles. If someone tagged your contributions with a "Citation needed" tag or tags, and you disagree, discuss the matter on the article's discussion page. The most constructive thing to do in most cases is probably to supply the reference(s) requested, even if you feel the tags are "overdone" or unnecessary.

How to help reduce the backlog At the moment, there are over 333,146 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 333,146 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 Template:Citation needed Template:Citation needed span Template:Verify source Template:Unreferenced for an article (rather than an individual statement) which does not cite any references or sources. Template:Refimprove for an article (rather than an individual statement) that has some citations, but not enough. Template messages – Sources of articles Inline verifiability and sources cleanup templates Wikipedia:Verification methods – listing examples of the most common ways that citations are used in Wikipedia articles Wikipedia:Citing sources/Example edits for different methods – showing comparative edit mode representations for different citation methods and techniques. Wikipedia:Citation templates – a full listing of various styles for citing all sorts of materials Category:All articles with unsourced statements - list of all pages with {{citation needed}}

External links Media related to Citation needed at Wikimedia Commons v t e Inline cleanup tags Attribution {{According to whom}} {{Attribution needed}} {{By whom}} {{From whom?}} {{Like whom?}} {{To whom?}} {{Who}} Clarity {{Ambiguous}} {{Clarify}} {{Clarify span}} {{Clarify timeframe}} {{Context inline}} {{Expand acronym}} {{Incomprehensible inline}} {{Non sequitur}} {{Which one}} Precision {{By how much}} {{Definition}} {{Definition needed}} {{Explain}} {{Example needed}} {{Examples}} {{How}} {{How often}} {{Quantify}} {{Specify}} {{Vague}} {{When}} {{Where}} {{Which}} {{Who else}} {{Why}} {{Year needed}} Excessive {{Duplication span}} {{Importance inline}} {{Relevance inline}} {{Undue weight inline}} Miscellaneous {{Chinese script needed inline}} {{Disambiguation needed}} {{Original research inline}} {{Pronunciation needed}} {{Siadn}} {{Synthesis inline}} {{Synthesis inline span}} {{Whose translation}} Neutrality {{Buzzword inline}} {{Lopsided}} {{Peacock term}} {{POV statement}} {{Weasel inline}} {{Weasel word some span}} Time-sensitivity {{Clarify timeframe}} {{Update after}} {{Update inline}} {{Anachronism inline}} Verifiability Dubious {{Contradict-inline}} {{Disputed inline}} {{Dubious}} {{Dubious span}} {{Inconsistent}} Missing or problematic reference {{Additional citation needed}} {{Better source}} {{Chronology citation needed}} {{Citation needed}} {{Citation needed lead}} {{Citation needed span}} {{Citation not found}} {{Cite quote}} {{COI source}} {{Failed verification}} {{Failed verification span}} {{Excessive citations inline}} {{Irrelevant citation}} {{Medical citation needed}} {{Nonspecific}} {{Obsolete source}} {{Primary source inline}} {{Promotional source}} {{Request quotation}} {{Retracted}} {{Scientific citation needed}} {{Self-published inline}} {{Tertiary source inline}} {{Third-party inline}} {{Unreliable fringe source}} {{Unreliable medical source}} {{Unreliable source?}} {{Verify quote}} {{Verify source}} Incomplete or broken citation {{Author incomplete}} {{Author missing}} {{Bare URL inline}} {{Date missing}} {{Dead link}} {{Edition needed}} {{Episode needed}} {{Full citation needed}} {{Incomplete short citation}} {{ISBN missing}} {{Page needed}} {{Place missing}} {{Publisher missing}} {{Season needed}} {{Time needed}} {{Title incomplete}} {{Title missing}} {{Volume needed}} {{Year missing}} Wording {{Awkward}} {{Copy edit inline}} {{Buzzword inline}} {{Technical statement}} Inline cleanup templates  WikiProject Inline Templates v t e Wikipedia referencing Policies and guidelines Verifiability Biographies of living persons Identifying reliable sources Medicine Citing sources Scientific citations General advice Citation needed Find sources Combining sources Offline sources Referencing styles Citing sources Citation Style 1 Citation Style 2 Citation Style Vancouver LSA Comics Citation templates Reflist template Inline citations Footnotes Parenthetical referencing Punctuation and footnotes Shortened footnotes Nesting footnotes Help for beginners Reference-tags Citations quick reference Introduction to referencing Referencing with citation templates Referencing without using templates Referencing dos and don'ts Citing Wikipedia Advanced help Cite link labels Citation tools Cite errors Cite messages Converting between references formats Reference display customization References and page numbers Template documentation {{Edit refs}} {{Refref}} {{Refref2}} {{Refstart}} Tools Wikipedia Library Retrieved from "" Categories: Wikipedia information pagesCitation and verifiability maintenance templatesWikipedia basic informationWikipedia quick introductionsHidden categories: Wikipedia semi-protected project pagesWikipedia move-protected project pages

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