Template:Unreliable medical source

[unreliable medical source?]

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This template is intended to be used when a statement about medicine or health (including veterinary, psychiatric, etc.) is sourced but it is questionable whether the source used is medically reliable for supporting the statement. It produces a superscripted notation like the following:

The treatment is definitely effective.[unreliable medical source?]

Articles tagged with this template will be categorized into Category:All articles lacking reliable references.

Place this template inline, {{Unreliable medical source|date=December 2021}} following the questionable claim (and any punctuation attached to it). The template should be placed outside the reference (<ref> ... </ref>), within the article's text:

Potentially controversial statement.<ref>some alleged source for this</ref>{{Unreliable medical source|date=December 2021}} Next sentence.

When to use and not use this template

This template should be used to express doubt about the credibility of a source for a medical claim.

This tag should not be used on unreliably sourced contentious statements about living persons; if the source is not reliable, the statement should be removed immediately.

For whole articles or article sections that rely on poor medical sources, considering using the banner template {{medref}} or {{medref|section}}, respectively, rather than individually tagging a large number of statements.

For sources promoting non-medical [[WP:FRINGE|fringe theories and pseudo-science}}, the variant template {{Unreliable fringe source}} can be used.

For sources unreliable for reasons other than promotion of dubious scientific claims, the more general template {{Unreliable source?}} can be used.

This tag should not be used to indicate that the sourced material could not be found within a given source. In that case, {{failed verification}} is a better template. For statements that have failed verification and have a questionable would-be source, consider removal of the source (and possibly the statement) over using both tags.


The template has the following optional parameters:

  • date: should be set to the month and year when the article was tagged. Example: {{Unreliable medical source|date=December 2021}}
  • reason: a note explaining why you think the source is unreliable as per WP:MEDRS. Displays as a tool tip. Keep it short (one sentence) as longer material belongs on the talk page. It is good to reiterate the reason in your edit summary. Example: {{Unreliable medical source|reason=Your WP:MEDRS-based reason here.|date=December 2021}}
  • sure or certain: if set to "y" or "yes" will remove the question mark from the template's output to denote a degree of certainty that the source is unreliable. Please use this with a reason parameter, and only after a good faith attempt to verify the reliability of the source in question. Example: {{Unreliable medical source|sure=y|reason=Your WP:RS-based reason here.|date=December 2021}}


See also

Inline templates

More templates

Policies, guidelines, essays, and WikiProjects


  • Vickers, Tim and Eubulides (30 June 2008). "Dispatches: Sources in biology and medicine"". The Wikipedia Signpost.
  • Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine)
  • Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (science)
  • Wikipedia:Reliable source examples § Physical sciences and medicine
  • Wikipedia:Current science and technology sources
  • Wikipedia:Conflicts of interest (medicine)
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Medicine-related articles
  • Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine