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Template:Documentation subpage Template:Redirect Template:Redirect Template:Template shortcuts Template:High-risk Template:Notice Template:Pp-semi-indef Template:Tl 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 Template:Citation needed and is installed with no spaces directly after punctuation.




  • To automatically add the current date, you can use substitution: {{subst:Citation needed}}.
  • The Template:Para parameter need not be added by the editor: if not entered, a bot will soon add it. The date parameter consists of the full English name of the current month with initial capital, a space, and the year, not full dates; e.g., "January 2013", but not "jan13". Any deviation from these two rules will result in an "invalid date parameter" error.
  • The Template:Para parameter is optional but often helpful. It is displayed as a tooltip in some browsers (hover the mouse here Template:Citation needed to check behaviour of your browser). For example, the following usage might be appropriate to the claim that "Humphrey Bogart has won several snooker world championships":
    • Use only plain text for the Template:Para parameter. It does not support wiki markup like wikilinks, which can "mess up" the tooltip.
    • Double quotation marks used within the Template:Para parameter will likewise "mess up" the tooltip; use single quotes or the HTML code " instead.
  • Use of this template places the article into Category:All articles with unsourced statements and Category:Articles with unsourced statements from July 2021 (example; past months are listed in Category:Articles with unsourced statements).
  • This template should be installed directly after punctuation, such as a full stop (period) or a comma.
  • Remove the template when you add a citation for a statement.


Example 1

This sentence shows the template used at the end.{{Citation needed|reason=Reliable source needed for the whole sentence|date=July 2021}}

This wikitext will be rendered as follows:

This sentence shows the template used at the end.Template:Citation needed

Example 2

[[Humphrey Bogart]] has won several [[snooker]] world championships.{{Citation needed|date=Template:Currentmonthname Template:Currentyear}}

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

Humphrey Bogart has won several snooker world championships.Template:Citation needed

Example 3

If it is considered that he might have won just one tournament, the template may be placed accordingly; and a reason for the need of a citation may be given, displayed when the mouse hovers on "citation needed":

[[Humphrey Bogart]] has won several{{Citation needed|date=July 2021|reason=Only aware he won one tournament. Sources for others please.}} snooker world championships.
Humphrey Bogart has won severalTemplate:Citation needed snooker world championships.

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 doubtful, 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 Template:Tl, and those which represent a non-neutral view should be tagged with Template:Tl. 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 Template:Tl.

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"), 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 Template:Tl or Template:Tl.

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 about a month to see whether a citation can be provided.

Template data

Template:TemplateDataHeader <templatedata> { "description": "The template is used to identify claims in articles, particularly if questionable, that need 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": "August 2018", "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" } } } </templatedata>

Tracking categories


Template:Div col

Template:Div col end

See also

Inline templates

Highlighting some text that needs a citation

  • Template:Tl: 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 Template:Citation needed span the largest order of insects, with Template:Citation needed span

Incomplete citations




Article message box templates

  • Template:Tl, article / section may have inappropriate or misinterpreted citations.
  • Template:Tl, article / section has weak or incomplete sources / references / citations.
  • Template:Tl, article / section has no sources / references / citations given at all.
  • Citation method and style

Template:Inline tags