Wikiversity:Citation needed

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On Wikipedia, in theory, all asserted fact in articles should be verifiable through independent reliable sources. So, there, when one sees a questionable fact, there are templates that may be added to flag this. Adding this template does not mean that the fact is "wrong," but that verification is not shown. If one knows that the fact is wrong, it may be more appropriate to remove the text, but this template is used when the matter may be in doubt.

On Wikiversity, we allow original research, which includes self-reported experience, opinion, studies, conclusions, and opinions that are not verifiable. However, the Wikimedia Foundation is dedicated to neutrality, which is consistent with academic values, where fact and opinion are distinguished.

Wikiversity resources should be neutral. However, neutrality, on Wikipedia, has been implemented by excluding opinion, unless that opinion is attribted and verified through a reliable source, and this opens a large can of worms, because it can blur fact and opinion, i.e., interpretation, judgment, and, of course, it can introduce bias, as users decide that some editorials are from an adequately reliable source, and some are not. On Wikiversity, we avoid this problem. A user may express their opinion, but, then, we may require that this be attributed. A signature can be used, for example.

It is common for opinion to be mixed with fact. It is often harmless, but ... higher education seeks to distinguish the two. What do we know, what is not really controversial, and what is possibly biased assessment?

This essay on Citation needed is intended to support Template:Citation needed here, and, of course, it contains opinions. However, this is a community resource, and we have varieties of opinion. The initial author of this page is not asserting ownership, so this stands as a collective expression and is fully open to modification.

The template is properly used when a statement is made on resource, not distinguished as an essay or opinion, presented as if it were a fact, but without verification. It would be better to modify the page to attribute opinion, as, for example, a factual claim could be attributed to the Wikiversitan who made the claim, or otherwise attributed to source. However, sometimes this takes time that is not available.

(So the template could have been "attribution needed." However, {{cn}} and {{citation needed}} have entered the realm of common memes, one can see reference in many places; there is an often-viewed cartoon showing a professor lecturing a classroom, and a student is holding up a sign that says {{citation needed}}, with the curly braces.)

So the template suggests that the neutrality of the page may be compromised in some way. It is not a claim that the text tagged is wrong, and it is an opportunity to expand the resource.

This can be added to essays, where the one adding it believes that the author may want to explain an unsourced opinion. However, an essay page should always be explicitly attributed regardless, or divided into sections that are attributed. Comments on essays may be on the attached Discussion page, or might be interspersed and set off, whichever works better for educational purpose. The goal of neutral Wikiversitans should be that an author has the opportunity of clear presentation and full expression, unimpeded, but also always open to being balanced by alternate views and research.

See also[edit]

Wikipedia:Citation needed