From The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta:

Imagine you’ve just gotten on an elevator with a friendly stranger. You have precisely one floor to describe your community to them. What would you say? The elevator pitch is a brief sentence that describes what your site is about. Every word counts!

Once decided, it can be sliced and diced to form:

  • the tagline
  • the motto
  • the blurb under the logo
  • a set of reserved domain names
  • a convenience redirect “nickname” for the site
  • perhaps eventually the domain name in some form

We should brainstorm a bit and collect ideas for that.

  • I see a lot of people answering with site names, taglines and slogans. An elevator pitch is a bit longer than that, e.g. 30-120 seconds worth.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 2:09

12 Answers 12


[citation needed], shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia, could be part of our motto or tagline. Some part should reflect that we don't just want some answer, we want to see the evidence.

  • 1
    I love that idea! I'd vote for it as the "blurb under the logo" if not the site name itself :) Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 19:40
  • 2
    Booooooooo, I just noticed citationneeded.com is a website entirely dedicated to a hint on how to get rid of the wikipedia notice. As if that wasn't a singularly useful hint on how to approach that piece of information. Anti-skepticism at its TERRIBLEST! Sorry for the rant. I still think it's a great "blurb under the logo" Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 20:20
  • 1
    @DavidHedlund: I think that makes it an even better reason to persuade the SOIS team to purchase the address from him. Urg. What an horrible page.
    – Borror0
    Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 12:28
  • This is linked elsewhere, but since I can only find it on the "Linked" side panel, I'll repeat it here: citation needed poll
    – cregox
    Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 4:22

I propose this for our tagline:

Carefully distinguishing speculation from fact

I got the idea from a Carl Sagan quote:

We wish to pursue the truth no matter where it leads. But to find the truth, we need imagination and skepticism both. We will not be afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact. The cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths; of exquisite interrelationships; of the awesome machinery of nature.


Every day we are exposed to remarkable claims about the world. Some are true, some false, but without evidence - without science - there is no way of knowing.

[Name of web-site, hopefully Citation Needed] is a question-and-answer web-site to allow people to expose dubious claims to scientific skepticism - the idea of accepting an idea only when there is empirical evidence.

Based on the famous StackExchange Q&A software, it provides an informative and fun way to look at the world. Its trademark is a remarkably high "signal-to-noise ratio"; you generally get intelligent questions and well-researched answers.

  • What's that? The elevator pitch? If so, that's a bit long.
    – Borror0
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 3:21
  • See my comment on the question. Elevator pitches are more than 4 words long. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_statement The slogan can be "sliced and diced" from it.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 3:39

As for the name part, I like how the names Stack Overflow and Server Fault are focused on when something goes wrong in their respective domains. It conveys what the site is about, at the same time as it's a bit tongue in cheek, and encapsulates the moments when we're most likely to have to ask for help from others.

I would very much like to see that we cuold come up with a catchy name in that vein, but I'm terrible at coming up with this sort of thing. There should be instant familiarity to it, for every potential user. Something like HideTheDecline.com might be too obscure :)

It would be great if it could be a play on logical fallacies, because all skeptics love those, don't we. ConfirmationBiased.com? Strawman.com? Or simply FallibleMinds.com?

You see? Terrible! That's what I said. These aren't suggestions, I'm just trying to indicate the direction I think we should be looking.

  • We won't get a domain name in the forseeable future, we can still collect ideas but don't be dissapointed if they are not used for a long time.
    – Mad Scientist Mod
    Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 19:49
  • 1
    @Fabian: Perhaps, but if we get a good name we'll get to use that instead of "Skeptics.SE" (Cooking.SE is named Seasoned Advice, for example). Skeptics.SE is just an horrible name. I wouldn't mind a new name in the least.
    – Borror0
    Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 19:52
  • @Borror If we can come up with a name in the same league as "Seasoned Advice", it might just work.
    – Mad Scientist Mod
    Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 19:54
  • 3
    Seasoned Advice is just wonderful. I think [citation needed] is in the ballpark, tho. Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 20:18

I kind of like

A Q&A site where you can't beg any questions...

  • One issue with this are the grammar-nazis that get riled up about the misuse of the phrase. I would rather avoid that.
    – MrHen
    Commented Jun 27, 2011 at 19:52
  • 2
    @MrHen - well, it's a good thing I meant it in its correct sense then :).
    – Khanzor
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 2:12

Here is some scattershot to see if something sticks:

  • Oh really?
  • We require additional data
  • Why?
  • We keep asking "why?"
  • Where lies go to die
  • More accurate than your mom
  • I don't want to believe
  • The evidence speaks for itself
  • Never say always
  • Doubt everything
  • Question everything
  • Challenge everything
  • [Place a footnote marker at the end of the logo with a statement at the bottom of the site:] We read footnotes.

If you really like one, point it out in the comments. If a few people agree, someone can post it as a separate answer so we can hash it out on its own. (And then I will remove it from that list.)


Not sure how to succinctly say, "This site is the grain of salt you should add to the stuff you learn."

But we could go with something like:

Life, with a grain of salt.

  • 1
    "Grab some salt"; "We brought salt". Salt shows some promise.
    – MrHen
    Commented Jun 27, 2011 at 19:56
  • @MrHen Ooh, very nice! "You've got questions? We've got salt." "Peppering myths with fact." hmmm....
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Jun 27, 2011 at 20:11

Here's my attempt at an elevator pitch:

Skeptics is AskReddit meets Snopes meets vBulletin meets Wikipedia. We're a question and answer site for looking at the hard evidence behind the claims we encounter on a day to day basis. All claims in an answer have to backed by a reference; we don't tolerate speculation.

The result? The fastest and highest quality fact-checking on the Internet.


I like evidence based term.

'It's a site where people seek information based on scientific evidence'

  • I like "evidence based" as well, but how does this distinguish us from many other science sites, including blogs?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 9:27

Is it really true that ... ?

I am not attempting to create any names or domains, but the phrase about seems to identify very accurately what is this site about.


How about a play on the Air Force and Navy intel slogans "In God we trust, all others we monitor". Something like In Science we trust, all else we verify.

Skeptics: Refusing to ignore the man behind the curtain since 2010.

  • 1
    I like the sense of humor ;) +1 for that. But honestly, we don't just blindly "trust" in science like i.e. Christians trust in their piece of maculature. There are certain reason's behind our trust in science, and one of those reasons is that science follows the principle "you DO NOT JUST TRUST IN SCIENCE" ;)
    – user288
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 8:32

Where Fairy-Tales and Unicorns go to Die!

  • Fairy tales ok, but not the unicorns!
    – cregox
    Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 4:19

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