Citation Hunt

How reliable is Wikipedia?

Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. (Identifying reliable sources)

Wikipedia articles should be written in a neutral style and should cite appropriate sources. You will see the phrase [citation needed] where a statement is being made on a Wikipedia page that needs to be backed up by reference to a source.

Citation Hunt is a neat tool that helps to find missing citations on Wikipedia. You can then search for an appropriate source to use to update the article.

By IFLA ( [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

How many citations can you fix in 10 minutes?

  1. Login to Wikipedia
  2. Make sure you have the Visual Editor enabled
    1. Click Preferences in the menu at the top right of the screen.
    2. Select the Editing tab
    3. In the Editor section, uncheck Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta
    4. In Editing Mode, choose Show me both editor tabs.
  3. Go to Citation Hunt
  4. Find a snippet that needs a citation (you can restrict the search to specific categories – type into the box under the buttons) and click I’ve got this! to open the Wikipedia page
  5. Do some searching on the web until you find a good quality, reliable source. Remember – no fake news!
  6. Edit the Wikipedia article and click    to insert a reference at the appropriate point in the article, replacing the [citation needed] text.
  7. Save the article.
  8. Go back to Citation Hunt and find another article to fix!


More Reading

NEW! OAbot

  • Add an Open Access reference link to a pay-walled reference link from the suggestions provided by OAbot.
  • Wikipedia links to hundreds of thousands of paywalled sources. Our community does not prohibit or even discourage citing paywalled sources, but at the same time there is absolutely no prohibition on surfacing open access (OA) versions right alongside those citations. Indeed, a good citation will have as much information as possible to let the reader find (and use) it in the way that is easiest for them. Read more about OABot here.
  • OABot Logo CC-BY-SA Doug Dworkin

The Primary Sources tool

(By (originally posted to Flickr as "Citation needed") [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)