Wikipedia:Template do not excuse citations
This page is an essay on the Citation policies.
|This page in a nutshell: Do not add a citation needed template to your own uncited claim simply to avoid having it removed. It doesn't excuse it, it just shows that you knew verification was needed but didn't care.|
There are many users on Wikipedia (many typically being anonymous or inexperienced) that have a history of making claims or adding material without citing the proper sources, the more disruptive of which continuing to do so after being warned to stop. After so many warnings and/or seeing another editor add a Citation needed template to one of their claims (rather than outright removing it), the disruptive user will sometimes start adding unsourced content to articles with the template. As an editor, you may believe that this helps you get away with persistent additions of uncited material, but doing this is with your own claims is a sure way to give away your disruption.
"Citation Needed" templates are used as a request for editors to add a citation to an existing uncited claim; when such a request isn't met within a reasonable amount of time, such claims will usually become subject to removal. These templates do not give a user free reign to make whatever claims they want without citing a source. By continuing to add uncited claims to articles with a "Citation needed" template, you are actually showing that you are well aware that your claims require verification, but simply don't care. In repeated circumstances, this can lead to an administrative report (which, in turn, can lead to a block).
Remember that Wikipedia's guidelines and policies are there for a reason. If everyone were allowed to just make whatever claim they wanted, this site would have even less encyclopedic value than it currently does, because let's face it - many users continue to participate in this kind of behaviour, regardless of policy.
Appropriate uses of "Citation Needed" Templates
- Adding the template to someone else's claim
- Adding the template to claims in which the given citation doesn't actually confirm the claim (decoy citations)
Using a "CN" template as a loophole to avoid having your claim deleted. WP:GOODFAITH users shouldn't worry about doing this by accident, as this disruptive behaviour depends on intention.