I'm considering adding the following clauses into the first bit of our FAQ:

How should I answer?

Make sure your answer adds helpful information and is a complete, stand-alone answer. Read other answers first and be sure not to completely restate information that has already been posted.

Please note that answers should be backed up either with a reference, or experiences that happened to you personally. You should always include in your answer information about why you think your answer is correct.

This will give us something to point to (the FAQ) stating that duplicate and totally uncited answers are not okay. We seem pretty strongly in favor of backing it up, (also here) and me too answers.

Are there any objections/suggestions/improvements? Since support was so strong in the other threads I've edited this version in for now. Remember we can update the FAQ at any time. Community input decides the FAQ, which is what this is already based on.


3 Answers 3


Go ahead and add this in. 

  • 20
    Could you back this up, or is this only your opinion? Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 18:03

Your point about do not re-state is correct and very important. However, given that in many cases, people do not actually apply Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V - but they don't end up substantially adding value. Sometimes people don't copy from one answer but all their individual points are covered in many different answers already.

We might want to rephrase this as :

Before you answer, you should read other answers and think whether or not - "Does your answer add substantial value or new input which hasn't already been covered in one or multiple answers above?"

  • True, it's not quite intentional copying, I'll think about some different working for that bit
    – Zelda
    Commented May 10, 2012 at 15:42
  • I changed the wording a bit, the new copy is in the Question and the FAQ. Think this addresses your concerns?
    – Zelda
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 19:43

Hmm, seems to me you contradict yourself here. You say that every answer should be complete and stand-alone, and also that answers should not repeat information found in other answers.

So what if I believe the correct answer to a question is three key points: A, B, and C. Someone else gives an answer with two of those key points: A and B. Do I give my own answer, repeating A and B and also including C? Or do I say, "Bob brought up two good points here, let me add a third" and then discuss C?

I think the second option is better. Why repeat what someone else has said? Just acknowledge that they gave a partial answer and then add the additional material.

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