Wikipedia:Citation needed

Innovative application for the template in xkcd 285 (Wikipedian Protester)
The {{ Citation needed}} template aims to promote accountable discourse.

To ensure that all Wikipedia content is verifiable, anyone may question an uncited claim by inserting a simple {{ Citation needed}} tag, or by using a more comprehensive clause.

Example: 87% of statistics are made up on the spot.[citation needed]

Citation needed statements are part of Wikipedia's backlog of outstanding problems. Currently there are 314,689 articles with "Citation needed" statements. You can help reduce the backlog!

When and how to use this tag responsibly

A "citation needed" tag is never, in itself, an "improvement" to an article: it is nothing more or less than a request for another editor to verify a statement: a form of communication between members of a collaborative editing team. For the user of the encyclopedia however it is at best a somewhat cryptic distraction; although it may alert an experienced user to a problem with the veracity of a particular statement. Tags that remain in place for months or years form an ever growing Wikipedia backlog—this is a problem in itself.

  • Do tag thoughtfully. Avoid frivolous or "hit-and-run" tagging. Consider the hypothetical fellow-editor who will, hopefully, notice your tag and try to find the citation you have requested. 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 it 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, taking responsibility for your tags is very constructive. At the very least, any articles you have tagged should be on your watchlist. Re-visiting such articles occasionally, and trying to fix verifiability problems yourself when you have the opportunity, is also highly commendable.