Template:Tertiary source inline

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[non-tertiary source needed]

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How to use

This template is used in articles to identify sentences or short passages which have an inline citation but improperly reference a tertiary source.

Adding {{tertiary source inline|date=August 2022}} produces a superscripted notation like the following, usually placed immediately after the citation to the tertiary source:

Most people believe in ghosts.[1][non-tertiary source needed]

You can also include a |reason= note, which displays in the tooltip upon mouse hover, to leave a better record for future editors. For example, the following usage might be appropriate in response to the arguable claim that "Most people believe in ghosts":

{{tertiary source inline|reason=Citation is to a compendium of ghost-related folklore, without any clear source or basis for this claim; there must be more reliable, secondary sources for this.|date=August 2022}}

Adding this template to an article places the article into one of a family of categories identifying "Articles with unsourced statements". To find all such articles, see Category:All articles with unsourced statements.

When to use

Use this template to flag analysis supported only by a tertiary source, or information that you believe is improperly or unnecessarily supported by a questionably reliable tertiary source, so that other editors can see whether this use is appropriate and/or replace it with a citation to a stronger (usually secondary) source. Tertiary sources may be used on Wikipedia, but they need to be handled with care. In particular, WP:No original research policy states, "Articles may make an analytic or evaluative claim only if that has been published by a reliable secondary source." Thus, such claims cannot be cited to tertiary (or primary) sources. For more information, see WP:Use of tertiary sources.

Not all secondary sources are independent of the subject. If your concern is lack of an independent, third-party source, use {{third party inline}} instead.

When not to use this template

Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced should be removed immediately. Do not tag it: delete it. For more information, see the Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons § Remove contentious material that is unsourced or poorly sourced policy.

Material which is doubtful and harmful may be removed immediately, rather than tagged. See WP:Citing sources § Unsourced material.

If no citation is given, use the {{citation needed}} tag instead. If the source given is self-published, use {{self-published inline}}, or {{user-generated inline}} if it comes from a user-edited site. If you think the author has a conflict of interest or is otherwise too close to the subject, use {{third-party inline}}.

If you have the time and ability to find a better reference, please do so. Then correct the citation yourself, or correct the article text. After all, the ultimate goal is not to merely identify problems, but to fix them.

Some editors object to what they perceive as overuse of inline tags, particularly in what is known as "drive-by" tagging, which is applying a dispute or cleanup tag without attempting to address the issues at all. Consider whether adding this tag in an article is the best approach before using it, and use it judiciously.

This template is intended for specific passages which need citation. For articles or sections which have significant material lacking sources (rather than just specific short passages), there are other, more appropriate templates, such as {{unreferenced}}. If the article as a whole relies on tertiary sources (rather than the independent, secondary sources required by the content policies), consider adding a {{refimprove|reason=Needs secondary not tertiary sources}} tag to the top of the article. The {{refimprove section}} variant can be used to similarly flag a section of an article.


See also

Inline templates

  • {{Citation needed span}}, wrapper for a portion of a paragraph to highlight it as needing citation
  • {{Cite quote}}, for "actual quotations" which need citations to make them proper
  • {{Clarify}}, request clarification of wording or interpretation
  • {{Failed verification}}, source was checked, and did not contain the cited material
  • {{Page needed}}, request a page number for an existing citation
  • {{Primary source inline}}, similar to this template, but for flagging inappropriate citations to primary sources (use outside <ref>)
  • {{Request quotation}}, request a direct quote from an inaccessible source, for verification purposes
  • {{Self-published inline}}, flag facts in the article as being reliant on self-published source[s] (use outside <ref>)
  • {{Self-published source}} flag the citation itself as being to a self-published source (use inside <ref>)
  • {{Tertiary}} – note a citation to a tertiary source that does not sufficiently or at all cite its own sources (use inside <ref>)
  • {{Third-party inline}}, to mark sentences needing an independent or third-party source
  • {{Unreliable source?}}, flag a source as possibly being unreliable and/or unverifiable
  • {{User-generated inline}} – flag facts in the article as being reliant on a user-generated source or sources (use outside <ref>)
  • {{User-generated source}} – flag the citation itself as being to a user-generated source (use outside <ref>)
  • {{Verify source}}, request that someone verify the cited source backs up the material in the passage


Article message box templates

  • {{Cite check}}, article/section may have inappropriate or misinterpreted citations
  • {{Refimprove}}, article/section has weak or incomplete sources/references/citations
  • {{Third-party}}, whole article contains zero independent/third-party references
  • {{Unreferenced}}, article/section has no sources/references/citations given at all