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A "citation needed" tag is a request for another editor to verify a statement : a form of communication between members of a collaborative editing community. It is never, in itself, an "improvement" of an article. Though readers may be alerted by a "citation needed" that a particular statement is not supported, many readers don't fully understand the community's processes. Not all tags get addressed in a timely manner, staying in place for months or years, forming an ever growing Wikipedia backlog —this itself can be a problem. Best practice recommends the following: