I have been told that users are required to cite sources to prove our answers, but a) barely anyone I've seen does this and can get away with it and b) what if there are no quality websites explaining our answer?

  • 3
    Do whatever you can. You can cite and quote from paper dictionaries, and at the very least you can say something like "I'm from (wherever you're from) and everyone I've heard says it like this..." Then we at least know which variety of English your answer represents. Feb 8, 2018 at 3:32
  • @curiousdannii True, that's a good suggestion.
    – user280496
    Feb 8, 2018 at 3:34
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    Is it really "barely anyone"? I thought many of us regularly cite at least basic sources such as dictionaries, style guides and the like. It's when it comes to idiomacy and other usage-related questions that we tend to fall back to what makes sense intuitively. Even there, it's often possible (and often done) to provide judiciously-chosen examples as support.
    – Lawrence
    Feb 8, 2018 at 7:35
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    @L Yes, a user who has been a member exactly one day, knows that barely anyone cites references in their answers.... Brava Grandma for this very thorough investigation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 8, 2018 at 12:25
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    @Mari-LouA I've been a member for over a year on this website. Just not on this account. Brava Mari-Lou A for this very thorough investigation. Case closed.
    – user280496
    Feb 8, 2018 at 12:28
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    And you say barely anyone posts references? Maybe newcomers, but definitely not seasoned users. I have been told that users are required to cite sources You didn't know this after one year?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 8, 2018 at 12:31
  • @Mari-LouA Notice the present perfect tense. I learned that the first day I was on the website.
    – user280496
    Feb 8, 2018 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


On a question posted yesterday, there were 64 views, an edit and 2 upvotes of the question. 4 of 7 comments offered answers without reference! 3 answers received 3 upvotes and only 2 of answers had ref/research links. And at great risk of being banned to a scholar's gulag ... many of the guilty are high high reputation members.

Since this is supposed to be an answer: is this is the only site scholarly based ... YES. i think it will remain so.

'Is It barely anyone?' err ... yes i have to agree with @grandma

'@L Yes, a user who has been a member exactly one day, knows that barely anyone cites references in their answers.' agree

And another exchange with a 3000+ rep:

me: that was a good comment. should have been an answer.

him/her: 'I don't believe I could have said so conclusively and with specific useful references, so I wasn't willing to post it as an answer'.

I have followed this forum for years, recently joining and participating. I learned early to do my research ... getting down votes and aking what my research revealed. Then i read the 'rules'. It helped me appreciate the 'opportunities for improvement'.

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    I'm having a hard time following anything in this answer. Can you make this clearer? Which question are you talking about? (give a link)
    – Mitch
    Feb 8, 2018 at 17:44
  • @mari-lou : but 4 comments had answers too. I agree with your statement: 'Comments should really be asking the OP to clarify issues, but this doesn't always happen.' That is how i answered. I am loath to link ... at issue is the author's question. But I shall privately to a moderator.
    – lbf
    Feb 8, 2018 at 18:27
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    Okaay, user Grandma Norma has abandoned and deleted their account. Weird.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 8, 2018 at 19:59