The Mapping Wiki
The Mapping Wiki

To ensure that all Wikia content is verifiable, anyone may question an uncited claim. If your work has been tagged, please provide a reliable source for the statement, and discuss if needed.

You can add a citation by selecting from the drop-down menu at the top of the editing box. In markup, you can add a citation manually using ref tags. There are also more elaborate ways to cite sources.

In wikia markup, you can question an uncited claim by inserting a simple ‌{‌{‌fact‌}‌}‌ tag. This displays as: 

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

When and how to use this tag

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 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, we hope, 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 or a worklist so that you can 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.
  • If the content is nonsense or is unlikely to be true, be bold and delete it!
  • Do not tag controversial material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced. Remove it immediately, for legal reasons.
  • Do not tag excessively trivial claims. Remove them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 task to someone else.
  • If someone tagged your contributions with a "Citation needed" tag or tags, and you disagree, discuss the matter on the article's talk page or comments. 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.