Template:Title missing

[title missing]

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{{Title missing}} (or {{title?}} for short) is an inline cleanup template flagging a broken source citation that is missing the title, or complete and correct title, of the cited material (or at least the specified fact that title information is not available).

It is most commonly used to replace a bad title, when an automated tool or an incautious user has uncritically accepted the value of a <title>...</title> from a Web page and the value is incorrect; many sites just repeat the name of the site (the work, in citation terms) in this field, and put the title of the actual page only in a <h1>...</h1> heading or elsewhere in the page's content. Another replacement case is when the information is wrong because an editor copy-pasted one source citation in the wikicode of the article to use it as the basis for another citation to a different source, and adjusted the URL and other information but forgot to change the title.

The template can also be used to tag for cleanup a truncated title or the fact that the title information simply has been omitted entirely. A common case of this is an unformatted citation to an unspecified work (e.g. "Johnson (2001)", without any corresponding further data on the source). This is because an editor just forgot to fill in the details, because someone assumed a source was so well known it did not need complete citation, or because the material was split from an overly long article into a new sub-topical article without ensuring that all citations made the trip with the content.

When the given title is questionable or outright disputed, then a dispute template of some kind, such as {{citation needed}}, {{dubious}}, or {{disputed-inline}}, etc., should be used instead.


red-outlined triangle containing exclamation point Do not place this template in any Citation Style 1 citation's |title= parameter. All text in |title= the parameter is made part of the citation's COinS metadata. The |title= parameter should include title data only.

How to fix the problem flagged by this templateEdit

Do not remove the template without fixing the problem one of the following ways.

  • If you know the title, fill in the needed information, and remove the template.
    For a template-formatted citation, there's really only one thing to do:
    1. |title=TitleOfCitedItem
    For a free-form citation:
    1. Just add the title to the citation; or...
    2. Better yet, convert the entire citation to this {{Cite journal}}, {{Cite news}} or some other {{Cite xxx}}-series template, as appropriate for the work in question.
  • If you know that no title was specified by the original source, explicitly state this, using [square brackets] (to be clear that this is an editorial statement not an actual title):
    1. |title=[untitled]
      or for free-form citations:
    2. [untitled]
    Do not use question marks.
    Do not just repeat the work (publication/site) name, publisher or other field.
    Do not leave the information blank and untag it, or someone else will just come along later and flag this with {{title missing}} again!
    Do not use |title=none, |title=unknown or anything else vague; any implication other that the source itself did not specify a title is simply a signal to other editors to re-tag it with {{title missing}}.
  • If you don't know:
    1. Check the source and add the necessary information, as above.
    Do not use question marks.
    If the source is a dead link, check archive.org for a backup copy (see your {{Citation}}/{{Cite xxx}}-type template's documentation for use of |archiveurl= and |archivedate= parameters). If no archive copy is available, use {{dead link}} after the citation, but leave {{title missing}} as well.

See alsoEdit

Source citation guidelines
Citation repair templates