Template talk:Cn

Preferred "citation needed" in red [22 April 2009]


Your making the CN template a link to a subsequent page changed the text from red to blue (or whatever your browser's default color is). As a result, it gets lost in the other data. I like you idea of encouraging people to understand what we mean by "citation needed" but I think I like better the red "flag" that the template otherwise provides on the page. -- jillaine 13:11, 22 April 2009 (EDT)

I believe there's a way to force the red color anyway. I'll check. If not, I'll revert. Q 14:22, 22 April 2009 (EDT)

Dallans Correction [27 June 2011]

Thanks! I guess I'd pretty much forgotten about this. Given that almost no one actually documents their information sources, not sure how useful this is. Flagging "everything" may not be helpful. But perhaps when the absence of documentation for a specific item gets annoying (ie, "How the heck do you know that!?" this may be useful. Also wonder if this should be "citation needed" or "Source needed". Q 16:39, 24 June 2011 (EDT)

I added the links based upon a watercooler discussion where people said they wanted them. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully it will encourage more sources to be added.--Dallan 10:57, 27 June 2011 (EDT)

Delete [27 August 2013]

I started this conversation in the wrong place, Talk:Citation_needed#Purpose.3F, so apologies for that!

Many of the pages on WeRelate contain facts that do not have any sources next to them. There seems to be no qualitative difference between those facts and ones that have this template. Since this template was created, the "?" was added in that encourages provision of sources. On that basis I suggest this template is deleted. AndrewRT 13:12, 23 August 2013 (EDT)

See, for example, Person:Joseph Banister (2) which has both a ? and a "citation needed" next to the death entry. AndrewRT 13:16, 23 August 2013 (EDT)

I don't believe this template is redundant, at least not to the automatic "?" flag on unsourced events. First off, see the example which is linked from the explanatory text of the template, Person:Samuel Smith (1). That page shows that there are sometimes things like narrative which can contain assertions that are not documented, and attention needs to be called to them so that citations supporting the fact can be added. There are other uses too; for instance, see Person:Samuel Carr (18), where the "citation needed" text appears for the marriage in a context where the "?" flag is not presented; this calls attention to the fact that the marriage of the person is undocumented, and if it were absent that would not be readily apparent. (I've removed the "Speedy delete" from the template while this discussion continues.) --Robert.shaw 14:43, 23 August 2013 (EDT)

I don't want to confuse an example, but for Samuel Carr, I think there is a question mark on the family page, because there is no source. So what is being pointed out is that the citation-needed gets exported to the attached Person pages whereas the question mark does not. Ironically, on this page, the situation does turn out to be complicated, and to have this fact presented without any sources was not very helpful to future readers of this page, who may not have had as much familiarity with this family as the submitter. In this case, I think the correct date is presented, but given that it goes against the recorded date (see [here), something is needed to explain if there is an alternate source assuring the given date is the actual marriage date, or if it is an assumption based on supplementary sources (like bottom line and continuation showing at least three child born before recorded marriage date - or was it a different wife?) --Jrich 23:26, 23 August 2013 (EDT)

I've used it sometimes when I'm feeling cranky about what looks obviously wrong and I don't have a counter source, although I often make the text bigger. It's more obtrusive and obvious than just the little red question mark. The question mark says to me "just" unsourced, and maybe I can find the source. More often, though, I use the , in varying sizes, with an associated comment. I'd be happy to just stick to the Red Flag if nobody else sees the need to keep this template.

If you are working on templates, one that isn't really, but should be, is Original Source Documentation Needed. (I haven't tried creating a template yet.) I've used it on pages where all sources are from Ancestry Trees, and they are obviously a mess (they often show up on the Duplicates Page list, with multiple parents, impossible birth dates, etc.).--GayelKnott 15:02, 23 August 2013 (EDT)

Please don't delete this. One big difference between an unsourced fact, and an unsourced fact where I have added the cn template (I can only speak to how I personally use it), is that when I add the cn template, it is because I have tried to justify the fact by looking in the appropriate places and can't find anything that justifies that fact, nor anything that explicitly disproves it. Yes there is an element of petulance, or pique, or whatever, but I waste time trying to justify a fact somebody else asserts without providing sources, and can't, then I feel justified putting this template to warn other people that this fact may be specious. If the fact is easy to find, then I will add the documentation, but if it is not, then the original submitter should do us all the service of providing the documentation, and when they don't, I should be allowed to ding them for, in my opinion, their lack of consideration in making us guess/re-discover their source. --Jrich 22:28, 23 August 2013 (EDT)
Agree with Jrich. Citation needed means a human has looked at this and found it weird, and wanted to call attention to the weirdness. the question mark just means no one bothered to upload/add a source, and, as noted, is so common as to be ignored at this point.--Amelia 23:45, 25 August 2013 (EDT)
concur with jrich and Amelia. And Gaye. And Robert. Jillaine 07:09, 27 August 2013 (EDT)

Thanks all for commenting on this and please be assured that I wouldn't want us to rush into deleting anything like this before there had been a thorough discussion. Two themes seem to be emerging:

  1. this template is being used where the editor feels that the fact is questionable or disputed.
  2. This template is being used where the ? doesn't show up - in particular in narrative text and with marriage facts

Regarding the first, it strikes me that either the wording should be strengthened to make this clearer or a different template should be used.

Regarding the second case, I would be comfortable keeping this template if it were made clear on the template documentation that it should only be used where the ? is not present.

On Wikipedia (where this template was first used), the policy is that "any material likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source" [1]. However, as far as I can see, sourcing on WeRelate is only encouraged, not mandatory. It may be useful for the project if this was discussed and articulated more clearly. AndrewRT 15:27, 27 August 2013 (EDT)