Citation Hunt

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
A screenshot of Citation Hunt in English (
Coolest Tool Award 2022 logo
Citation Hunt

2022 Coolest Tool
Award Winner

in the category
Newbie Friendly

Citation Hunt is a tool for browsing snippets of Wikipedia articles that lack citations. It is available in several languages and allows browsing snippets either randomly or by their article's categories in a quick and fun way.

Customizing Citation Hunt topics and pages[edit]

In its default configuration, Citation Hunt presents users with a random page from the entire database of Citation Needed tags. There are two primary options for customizing or limiting the scope of these pages:


A topic search box can be found underneath the 'I got this!' and 'Next!' buttons. These topics are taken from the categories present on Wikipedia articles - to find articles on British librarians, for example, simply type the text into the search box and click the entry in the drop-down menu. You can also make partial searches and scroll the menu, such as for 'librarians'.


To customize the list of articles presented more specifically, click the Customize button next to the language selector at the top of the tool. The options currently available are:

  • Search for articles in Citation Hunt - Create a custom Citation Hunt by searching for articles by name in the tool's database.
  • Enter a list of articles - This is the simplest way to limit Citation Hunt to a subset of specific articles - simply write a list of Wikipedia article titles, one on each line, and the tool will only present Citation Needed tags from those pages (if available).
  • Import from a PetScan query - For more thorough customization, use the PetScan tool to create a PetScan ID corresponding to a list of articles.

If tags are found for the articles in your list, you will receive a success message informing you how many snippets were found. A custom URL will be created for you, which looks like and will be valid for 30 days, after which you will need to recreate the custom article list.

When browsing a custom Citation Hunt search, a yellow banner will be present at the top of the tool, and clicking Next will browse through the current subset of articles only.

There are two ways to view statistics on the usage of the custom Citation Hunt:

  • The leaderboard, when accessed from a custom Citation Hunt, displays users that worked on that specific set of articles.
  • Advanced users can also add a custom=1234abcd URL parameter to the statistics page to restrict it to a custom Citation Hunt, displaying counts of snippets that were viewed and fixed.

Internationalization and Localization[edit]

Citation Hunt is translated through TranslateWiki and is currently available in over 20 languages.

Adding support for a new language[edit]

After the UI has been translated through TranslateWiki, there are two options for adding a new language to Citation Hunt: either write the relevant configuration yourself and send it to the team, or give them the necessary information and wait for them to integrate it. The first is preferred (and more fun!) if you have some technical skills and a GitHub account.

The faster, technical way[edit]

  • Edit in the repository with the new language variables, with special attention to select the templates and categories.
  • Set up a local environment and create a local database for your language by following the repository.
  • Sanity-check the data to ensure a reasonable number of snippets, articles and categories are being used. This can be as simple as just browsing your local instance a little, but you may also want to run a couple of simple queries in your database to check the size of the data.
  • Send a pull request (example).

The slower way, non-technical way[edit]

  • Create a new issue or message/email one of the authors (User:Surlycyborg, GitHub profile) with the following information:
    • The code for your language's wiki (equivalent to 'en' in English Wikipedia)
    • The names of the templates that are used to mark unsourced statements (equivalent to {{ citation needed }} in English Wikipedia). There is no need to specify templates that redirect to one another.
    • The category used for Hidden categories (equivalent to Category:Hidden_categories in English Wikipedia)
    • The orientation of the new language (left-to-right or right-to-left)
    • (Optional) A beginner-friendly page that describes what reliable sources are (similar to Introduction to referencing with VisualEditor in English Wikipedia)
    • (Optional) If there is a policy for omitting citations in an article's lead section, a link to that policy (equivalent to WP:CITELEAD in English Wikipedia)
  • Wait for someone to help you :-)

Tip: You can sometimes find some of those requirements by simply visiting the English Wikipedia equivalent, and then switching to the target language using the Languages menu.