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Citation Needed Proposal

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The following information documents the proposed changes to Template:Citation needed.

The {{Citation needed}} template is used to notate that a sentence or claim cannot be verified with the current sources available. Missing and unverified sources pose a challenge to WikiTree's Honor Code, (VIII. We cite sources. Without sources we can't objectively resolve conflicting information).

This template produces a superscripted message [citation needed] which links to the sources help page.


Why was one of my Profiles tagged?

  • If this template has been added to one of your profiles, a user is requesting that a sentence or claim in the profile be verified by providing a reliable source.
  • If this template has been added to one of your profiles and you do not agree, you should start a discussion in G2G before the template is removed.

When and How to use this Template

The {{Citation needed}} template is a request that another user help to verify a sentence or claim. Since not all users will understand or be able to address the issue in a timely manner, the following points should be considered before using this template:
  • If you have (or will have) the opportunity to verify the statement or claim yourself and provide a reliable source, consider adding the profile to your watchlist or to-do list. This allows you to correct the profile yourself since the goal of this template is not simply to identify issues, but to fix them!
  • When adding the template to a profile, make sure that the information you want sourced is clear to other users. If you are questioning a particular claim, add the template directly after the claim. If it is a sentence, add the template after that sentence. If it is a full paragraph in question as a whole, add the template after the last sentence in that paragraph. You may also want to leave a comment on the profile to provide more information on why the template is being added if you think the reasoning will not be clear to other users.


When an entire sentence is in question

The template is used at the end of a sentence that cannot be verified (as a whole):
John Doe worked as an Engineer for Union Pacific Railroad.{{Citation needed}}
Displays as:
John Doe worked as an Engineer for Union Pacific Railroad.[citation needed]

When a specific claim is in question

The template is used within a sentence directly after a claim that cannot be verified (e.g., the death certificate indicates that John Doe worked for Union Pacific Railroad, but there is no mention that he was an Engineer):
John Doe worked as an Engineer{{Citation needed}} for Union Pacific Railroad.
Displays as:
John Doe worked as an Engineer[citation needed] for Union Pacific Railroad.

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