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When to use

You should only add this template to articles that contain no citations or references of any kind.

Do not add this template:

  • In articles that have some citations, but not enough, the {{More citations needed}} template should be used instead as a general template, or the {{Unreferenced section}} template for individual sections that have no citations.
  • In articles containing a list of sources at the end, but no inline citations, including parenthetical references or in-text attributions, consider {{no footnotes}} when the article would be significantly improved by detailed attribution of sources to specific claims.
  • Watch out for lists of general references that someone has incorrectly listed under ==External links==. If the link leads to a reliable source that supports some article content, then that website is a reference, not an external link.
  • Other templates, listed below, should be used when the citations are inadequate for other reasons.


  • Be bold! Consider searching for sources and citing them in the article, instead of adding this template.
  • In articles about people and businesses, consider using the more specific {{Third-party sources}} template, to encourage citation of WP:Independent sources rather than the subject's own website.
  • See Wikipedia:Biographies of living people for guidance on dealing with unreferenced biographies of living people.
  • Consider not adding this template to very brief stubs, since anyone visiting the page can see, in a single glance, that it contains no citations.


There are six parameters, one positional (deprecated), and five named parameters. All parameters are optional.

  • |1= – scope of notification (e.g., 'section', 'article') default: 'article'. Deprecated; see Details.
  • |date= – month name and year; e.g. 'November 2023' (no default)
  • |find= – search keywords for {{find sources}} param 1 (double-quoted search); default: page title. See details below.
  • |find2= – search keywords for {{find sources}} param 2 (unquoted search). Alias: unquoted. See below.
  • |small= – set to left or no; see details at Ambox. Default: standard-width banner.
  • |status= – if set to hasaref, alters the tracking category to Category:All articles possibly lacking sources


{{Unreferenced|date=November 2023}}



Substitution of this template will automatically fill the date parameter.

The optional |find= parameter is available, for modifying the operation of the {{find sources}} links displayed by the template:

{{Unreferenced|find=search keyword(s)|date=November 2023}}

see below for details.

To flag an individual section as being unreferenced, use the {{Unreferenced section}} template, which categorizes more narrowly:

{{Unreferenced section|date=November 2023}}


Positional parameter 1

Positional parameter |1= is the deprecated 'type' parameter, which used to be set to 'section' or other values. To mark an unreferenced section of an article, please use {{Unreferenced section}} instead.

Date parameter:

The |date= parameter is (generally[1]) used to indicate when the template was added to a page. An example of its usage is {{Unreferenced|date=November 2023}}. Adding this parameter sorts the article into monthly subcategories of Category:Articles lacking sources, rather than adding it to Category:Articles lacking sources itself, allowing the oldest problems to be identified and dealt with first. If the date parameter is omitted, a bot will add it later.

Find parameters:

There are two 'find' parameters available to control the presentation and operation of the {{find sources}} links optionally displayed by the {{Unreferenced}} template. By default, the template displays {{find sources}} with a quoted search query equivalent to the exact article title. Sometimes, especially if the article has a long, descriptive title, or if it includes parenthetical disambiguation terms, this may not give useful results. The find parameters can be used to provide the search keywords of your choice to the {{find sources}} links. Use:
  • |find= to specify keywords for an exact search (double-quoted query); this corresponds to {{find sources}} positional param |1.
  • |find2= to specify keywords for an unquoted search; this corresponds to {{find sources}} param |2. The alias |unquoted= may be used instead.

The value "none" may be passed to 'find' (|find=none) to suppress display of find sources links. (Note that specifying |find=none and a nonempty value for |find2= is not a valid combination.)

General information

This template can either be placed at the top of an article, at the bottom of the article page (in an empty "References" or "Notes" section—usually just before a {{Reflist}} template), or on the article's talk page.


This template adds the article to Category:Articles lacking sources and a monthly subcategory such as Category:Articles lacking sources from November 2023 (as described above), which are hidden categories.

Differences from related templates

The similar template {{More citations needed}} adds an article to Category:Articles needing additional references. {{More medical citations needed}} adds the article to Category:Articles needing additional medical references as well as Category:Articles needing additional references.



This is the TemplateData for this template used by TemplateWizard, VisualEditor and other tools. Click here to see a monthly parameter usage report for this template based on this TemplateData.

TemplateData for Unreferenced

This template generates a tag to indicate that an article has no citations.

[Edit template data]

Template parameters

This template prefers inline formatting of parameters.

Type (e.g., section)1

Text to replace the word "article", usually "section". This is a legacy feature, and this usage has been replaced with the separate '{{Unreferenced section}}' template.

Auto value
Month and yeardate

Provides the month and year of the citation request; e.g., 'January 2013', but not 'jan13'

January 2013
Auto value
Find sources keywordsfind

Search string for 'find sources' template. May be one or more words. Set to value 'none' to suppress 'find sources' output.

Your keyword list
Auto value
empty string

Tracking categories

See also


  1. Because of the nature of the workflow using the current date makes sense, it is simpler to add, especially for the WP:bots it means that older dated categories do not have to be constantly created and deleted, and it enables some measure of progress. Moreover it is "good enough" to get the articles into the workflow and the intention is to ensure they are cleaned up eventually. Occasionally however it may be useful to bulk add items, to older categories, for example when the system was initially set up, when merging two schemes or when adding to the current month would swamp it disproportionately.