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Please look at this answer to the question Garuda purana Is it a myth to create fear in humans? that I recently provided. Asker commented that citation has not been done.

Can someone please refer me to FAQs about citation rules? I looked at help center for referencing but still not clear what elements are missing for it to be a good answer. (Probably I should provide shloka number?)

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TL;DR: There are enough references in your answer. The OP might not have checked properly. They are unclear where you took it from. You just need to be clearer while adding them. A reference can be anything which will support the claims what are added in the answer. There should be a clear indication of the reference i.e., on what basis you are writing something. It need not to be a quote or a link to a website. They are encouraged.

For valid references on our site, see What kind of references are valid in answers? Are modern works allowed?


First of all, the references in your answer looks fine. References are enough for that answer.

Avoid "this chapter here says" in questions and answer.

They are unclear. You have to be clearer and specific as much as possible. while citing source. You have added broader references like "Swargarohanika Parva" and adding link. In other instance, you didn't mention the parva at all and just said "this chapter". There are "this chapter" or "this site" is not a very good way of saying which chapter it is. The answer you add should solve the question OP had instead of visiting other website. It should stand alone without any external sources and without reading external links. If you add "this" page or "See here", it adds confusion to the reader. They don't know where the link takes them. It could be a malicious website with virus, a site which use cookies and other permissions a user don't want in his device. So, there should be clear indication which website the content is taken from along with the chapter name if possible. Visit

Adding chapter names will help even if the links are dead.

If the link is dead in some cases, it will be very difficult to know which site and chapter the content is taken. When the answer solely depends on the links and the link is dead, it might affect the existence of answer and it may be deleted. So, adding chapter name will be helpful.

Quote only when needed

I think the help center article you added already says enough how the citations should be added.

  • Provide a link to the original page or answer
  • Quote only the relevant portion
  • Provide the name of the original author

So, give proper attribution to the author from where you have taken the content. While adding or quoting information from external sources, proper way of attribution should be followed. See blog post by Jeff Atwood which is about attribution.

Citations are mandatory not quotes

Do not copy the complete text of external sources; instead, use their words and ideas to support your own.

Links and quotes are not always mandatory. There should be clear indication from which source the content is taken. If there is a link add it.

A reference or a citation is something which should be added to support what you say in the answer. We need your answer and not someone else's answer. The quoted material itself shouldn't be the complete answer. We have to remember that quoting is different from citing. Citations are mandatory on our site and not quotes. Also see

To improve your answer, adding the chapter numbers is needed. If you know the shloka numbers too, that is a bonus but they are not required. It will be helpful to the readers without looking into the link added.

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    Thank you very much sir. Very helpful. Will keep in mind – Ketan Aug 7 '18 at 16:36

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