RationalWiki:Project Citation Found

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This project is dedicated to the proper usage and control of the {{fact}} template,[citation NOT needed] and the accompanying category. There are currently 1,371 articles that request citations. This project seeks to:

  1. Find citations for facts that have the {{fact}} template so they no longer appear on Category:Articles with unsourced statements
  2. Make those uses of the {{fact}} template which are jokes include "|joke" to prevent their appearance on Category:Articles with unsourced statements
  3. Ensure the {{fact}} template has been used in a proper manner

Find Citations[edit]

Often,[citation NOT needed] users use a fact or statement which they believe is true, but can't seem to remember where they got their information from. As such, they insert the {{fact}} template, to encourage other users, or themselves at a later date, to go and find the proper source or reference. However, this tends to be ignored/forgotten/not done because people are lazy.[citation NOT needed]

  • Identify and contact the statement writer to see if their memory has cleared up (if the user is still active).
  • Scour the depths of google, wikipedia, youtube, and the internet at large to find the citations.
  • Come to this page and create a new section at the bottom with the title of the article to solicit help from other members of this project.
  • If none of the above prevail, after a reasonable amount of time has passed, edit the article to remove the statement because you believe after extensive research that it is an unsupportable claim

Sometimes, the {{fact}} template was inserted by a user, other than the statement maker, who finds the original statement suspect but assumes good faith and does not outright remove the claim.

  • If you agree with the original writer and believe the statement to be true, see above.
  • If you agree with the template adder and believe the statement to be suspect, and some time has passed since the request for citation was made, attempt to discover who made the original statement through the revision history, then see below.

Remember, you are not required to look for a citation to a statement you believe is not true. However, you should in good faith contact either the original statement writer or another user you know who is knowledgable or at least opinionated on the subject to attempt to find some citation. After a reasonable amount of time (or if the original user is inactive and it's fairly obvious no one else supports the claim), you may edit the statement out of the article. If another editor sees this removal but believes the statement to be true, they are free to re-add the statement with citations.

Also, be bold. If a statement is patently ridiculous, don't wait for someone to find an equally ridiculous citation, remove the entire statement.


Sometimes the {{fact}} template is used as a joke.[citation NOT needed] In this case, the template should include a pipe and the word "joke" ({{fact|joke}}). This prevents the article from appearing in Category:Articles with unsourced statements.

Proper Usage[edit]

The {{fact}} template should not be used after statements about the lack of something (e.g., unicorns do not exist[citation NOT needed]). Rather, is the responsibility of one who disagrees with that claim to provide proof positive of something's existence.

The {{fact}} template should not be used after statements of common knowledge (e.g., Halloween is October 31[citation NOT needed]). This also includes information that might only be common knowledge on this site (e.g., the scientific method is the best method available to understand the world,[citation NOT needed] since that is part of RW's SPOV).

If the {{fact}} template is used incorrectly, such as above or when the statement has been corroborated in some other way by the article, be bold and remove it.

Final notes[edit]

The {{fact}} template isn't all bad, and sometimes can be a force for good in providing extra arguments for a point. If a request for citation is fresh, don't feel the need to join in right away, and in fact, don't, unless you have already have an interest in the article. This project exists more for cleaning up old requests for citations, reducing in size (but not necessarily eliminating) Category:Articles with unsourced statements, and helping make sure the template is used properly.


Members of Project Citation Found should sign their name here with four tildes (~~~~).


Members who need help finding their citations are welcome to create new sections below here to request help from other members. Comments about the project itself should go on the talk page.