I've seen a bunch of answer consisting in just a quote taken from an (authoritative) source. How is this seen?

Is it ok as it is, or should it be suggested that some content is added?

To me it seems almost like answering with just a link, but I may be missing some important aspect.

  • Thanks @TheycallmeTrinity. That was huge. – Agos Nov 21 '13 at 9:59

I think the quote adds the important source to the statement, but its content should be made clear throughout the answer.

I'd then suggest to summarize what the citation says and report it.

This might be especially valuable in case the quote is from an Italian website and the answer is given in English instead.


If the rest of the Internet dies and this site is the only one still online, would the answer still be valuable?

If the answer is yes, then the answer is fine.

If the answer is no, then go ahead, ask for improvement and even flag it if you think it's not salvageable.

  • 1
    +1 for the incipit. Geniale! – Daniele B Nov 27 '13 at 11:51

No. No. No.

I can say it straightforward.

Answers consisting of only a quote are a subset of google results and do not contain added value.

An answer shows usually an effort, some research, information that cannot be found just googling around.

  • 1
    -1 there still is an effort to find them, and you may assume that the asker tried it before asking, and failed. – o0'. Nov 30 '13 at 19:48

I believe (and indeed I have given answers of this kind) that these are perfectly good answers. Not everybody has access to every possible reference work, and giving a relevant quote both answers the question and makes the quote accessible to people researching the same issue at a later time.

Even giving just a link might be useful, if the link were to a source that exhaustively and authoritatively answers the question, but giving a quote from a work not everybody has or knows gives a net addition to what is available online.

  • 4
    Just a link might be useful now but links may die turning the answer into a useless reference. Links should never be the only information provided in an answer. – Gabriele Petronella Nov 20 '13 at 20:27

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