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Lately, I have been seeing answers that are quoting blogs. Citing blogs can be very problematic as circular citations are a likely possibility i.e. the blogs would in-turn cite Hi.SX as source and vice versa.

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Can we enforce some sort of guideline or mandate a certain quality from sources being cited here?

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Not long ago, I saw this Wikipedia article referencing a post on Hinduism.SE:

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Now imagine some new user posting that text that as an answer here. We end up in the same circular-reference problem you are talking about.

I'm seeing that a lot of new users are quoting Wikipedia, blogs and what not. In fact some of the high-rep users are still continuing to do so.

It looks like the rule the moderators here have adopted is:

Anything goes, as long as one uses blockquotes and leaves a link to the source in the answer. It's fine with us even if the reference is to a verse from Bible or Quran to prove one's point.

Also, with the current rules one can write his or her opinions in a blog, quote his own words using blockquotes here in the answer and the answer is now no longer an opinion because it has a proper reference!

But write the same opinion without blockquotes or any references and it's guaranteed to be taken down.

What a flawed system!

I don't think flagging answers is doing any good because moderators and several users who monitor the review queues are very lenient when it comes to enforcing the same rules they have upvoted here on meta.

This is what I got back from a moderator when I flagged an answer that didn't have any references at all:

no references, needs a banner – sv. Sep 6 at 3:40

declined - flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention

As I stated here before on another post, moderators themselves are not clear on what rules they should be enforcing.

So I suggest everyone to read this excellent post and start using your voting power and downvote answers that you don't think meet the reference criteria.

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  • So, do you suggest Moderators to delete answers without proper citations? This will make new users to stop contributing this site. I think there should be trade off between leniency and Strictness. – The Destroyer Sep 24 '16 at 12:49
  • No, I think mods should leave a banner first, educate the user, give them some time to update their answers, then delete the answer. We already have ton of answers without proper references from early days of the site. So you want to build more such answers? Other day I found an answer by one of the mods which is copied from Yahoo! Answers with no attribution - we have to decide if we want more such answers from new users as a way to increase the user base. – sv. Sep 24 '16 at 17:27
  • I have no problem with this. But some users are reluctant to update the authentic sources. Also, we cannot keep deleting the answers. Yeah, those answers might have written during beginning. – The Destroyer Sep 24 '16 at 17:33
  • When I flag an answer that's lacking references, I usually write 'no references, needs a banner or convert to comment' - high rep users cannot add a banner themselves nor does the review system gives them that as an option. – sv. Sep 24 '16 at 17:43
  • @sv. If one crosses 5000 reputations then he gets option to delete a answer... as such users are very less and not active so we are having this problem... so one solution can be upvoting good and medium answers such that there becomes a group of users with rep. Level crossing 5000... then we can delete answers also without help of moderators... just as we can close questions... – Tejaswee Sep 25 '16 at 10:02
  • Sorry I forgot... Its given on crossing 4000 reputation. – Tejaswee Sep 25 '16 at 10:12
  • @Tezz Even at 4k, you can only 'vote' to delete. I'm actually looking for a privilege where high-rep users can add a banner which is better than deleting. I'm not sure what you mean by upvoting good or medium answers - the ones that lack references or use blogs need to be downvoted to avoid the problem that senshin and cheenbabes were discussing here repeat all over again. It has received 30 upvotes. I think it needs to be implemented, without further discussion. – sv. Sep 25 '16 at 17:51
  • @Tezz It appears senshin did lot of editing to improve the quality of questions and answers, but finally got fed up and left :P – sv. Sep 25 '16 at 17:51
  • @sv. Your edits are good. They really enhance readability. By the way, in think we need Hint (i don't what it is called for websites: the light text that appears in answer) which says that answerer must use authentic sources . I think this will help users. – The Destroyer Sep 25 '16 at 18:47
  • @sv. I don't understand... what do you mean by "put a banner."... – Tejaswee Sep 26 '16 at 2:45
  • @Tezz Take a look at this answer, you'll see a banner at the end of the answer. Now if you look at this answer from 2014, it has 0 references. I think such answers need a banner, so I flag such answers so mods can add a banner at bottom so users know the answer may or may not be correct because it lacks references. But one mod neither wants to add a banner nor delete the answer, other one promptly adds banner, 3rd mod can be rarely seen on the main site. – sv. Sep 26 '16 at 3:00
  • Another reason this becomes problematic in Hinduism specifically, is that Hinduism isn't a religion/dharma of book. We give too much importance to embodied knowledge (the yet unwritten text). Words of a living guru has as much as an importance as a work of smriti. – Vineet Menon Sep 26 '16 at 4:55
  • @sv. Ok.. thanks for giving information about banner... – Tejaswee Sep 26 '16 at 13:57

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