To make the answers acceptable I think there should be references to all the answers (atleast wherever required) provided to really believe in the history. Since our site is about the HISTORY of math and science, it becomes important about the sources or references. What do you think about it?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are you suggesting some software change to require all answers to cite sources? If so, I'm not sure I'm in favor of that sort of drastic change at this stage. If you're just suggesting that we standardize voting on answers based on the idea that good answers should cite appropriate sources, that certainly sounds reasonable, but isn't really a feature-request. $\endgroup$
    – Logan M
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ No it wasn't a feature request. I thin I included the tag.. @LoganMaingi $\endgroup$
    – Jasser
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 2:01

2 Answers 2


I think referencing as done on History.SE and Skeptics.SE should be sufficient.

Example 1

Talking about topic X I find that [this paper](link) has said:

blah blah quote

Example 2

From page X of book name (and author) it says:

blah blah from book

Example 3

Yes, you are right, topic X did happen. From [here](link) OR book name we see that many scientists of the renaissance era ate ketchup with their chips.

Example 4

Scientists that ate ketchup with their chips were more likely to fake their data [1]. This is because lions did this also [2]. There was also the fact that topic X experimented on live animals so penguins were studied and the same behaviours were observed [3].

later on in the answer


  • [1] [Some internet link](link)

  • [2] `From national geographic magazine (date, page, etc)

  • [3] `From "The big book of penguins" ISBN, data, author etc.

  • $\begingroup$ You probably picked the best two sites to give a nod to. I'll also add the Biology.SE is fairly stringent. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ Could you describe how it's done within this post? $\endgroup$
    – BMS
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I also think that it's better to answer within the post. $\endgroup$
    – Jasser
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ @BMS I have added examples to my post. Warning they are nonsense context. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ We should propose the SE team to include BibTeX into SE :D $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Commented Nov 1, 2014 at 10:48

While it is often preferable to have references, there should not be any strict rule about this. If an answer can be improved by adding references, we already have a mechanism for providing such feedback, viz. voting and comments.

At Skeptics.SE for example, this strict rule has morphed into the absurd rule that, like Wikipedia, there should be no original research whatsoever, and every sentence and clause must be backed up by references. In which case, why not just stick with Wikipedia?

I think we should welcome original research (which is not equivalent to making sh*t up) and let voting and comments decide if the answer is good.

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    $\begingroup$ Downvoting this for the sole reason that people may up-vote an answer if it shows research effort and is well-backed up with references. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Commented Nov 1, 2014 at 18:41

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