Proposal:Every piece of information in Wikipedia should be cited

From Strategic Planning
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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Wikipedia contains a great deal of unreliable information from unknown, uncited sources. New editors should be strongly encouraged to say where they got their information. If new information does not come from a source published somewhere, Wikipedia can survive without it. The 3 million or so currently existing articles should be edited in such a way that all information contained therein can be traced to published sources that are accessible to many people. This should be a goal of established Wikipedia editors, whether it is feasible or not. Striving for this goal can only improve Wikipedia.


1. Add citations to existing articles in such a way that the information they contain can be traced to sources. Primary sources should be favored.

2. Encourage people adding information to provide a source for their information. Make it easy to cite a source. Educate editors about the importance of cited sources.


There is a large amount of information on Wikipedia that comes from unknown sources.

Key Questions

How can we educate potential editors about the importance of citations without greatly slowing the rate of improvement of Wikipedia?

Potential Costs

It takes a lot of time to find appropriate sources for all the information in an article, and it also takes time to incorporate the information from sources into the article accurately. It may be harder to find sources for the information in 3 million articles than it is to write 3 million articles in the first place.

Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Every piece of information in Wikipedia should be cited.

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