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Often times I continue to conduct research on the subject of a question even after submitting an answer. I like to return to posts to add links to any useful resources that I have found with the intent of providing readers as much insight as possible.

However often times when I revisit my answers, I find that other answers provide similarly deeper or more insightful information than I provided in my original answer. I do not wish to hijack other user's answers by including them inline, and so I would seek to state something along the lines of "See userSoAndSo's answer (link) for more good points on this aspect of your question."

My desire is not to steal votes from the alternate answer's author, but rather to provide the original inquisitor and future readers with the most detailed and complete answer possible.

What is the community's perspective on this practice?


Discussion Consensus

(as of Janurary 8, 2014)

Consolidating the answers below, the practice of adding links/references to alternate answers is not only acceptable, but may well be desirable in many cases in order to provide additional insight or to highlight the existence of good information that may otherwise be hidden. However, the following guidelines should be observed:

  • Your answer must stand on it's own without being dependent on these links/references and, ideally, any link. If you were to remove all links from the answer, it should still satisfy the question.
  • Only add such links to your own answers. Do not edit-in these links to other people's answers - instead if you feel such links are relevant and would prove to be an asset to someone else's answer, add them in a comment to that answer.
  • The last two sentences of the second paragraph of this answer demonstrate the practice that I am referring to. – bosco Jan 4 '14 at 3:48
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My take...

If you are expanding your own answer, link away, but for other people's answers I typically add links to additional information in comments to either the original question or (rarely) to an answer.

There is no chance of "stealing" points that way and I don't like the "link only" nature of answers that are mostly references.

  • Fair enough! I hadn't considered the possibility of adding links to another person's post through edits - an excellent point to bring up. – bosco Jan 9 '14 at 0:48
  • I didn't say edit the question/answer. I said add a comment. I would be hesitant to edit links into someone else answer. – s_ha_dum Jan 9 '14 at 1:04
  • Right, I got that - definitely didn't convey that very well in my comment, though (sorry about that). I assumed you meant that you added this additional information in comments as opposed to editing it in. I had meant to convey that I agreed with you, and that I simply had not considered that someone might think to edit such links into someone else's answer rather than their own. I added a "Discussion Consensus" to my original question - you will see your sentiment reflected in the two guidelines that I list. – bosco Jan 9 '14 at 1:14
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I feel as though it is a valid means of providing a more complete, unified response. In this manner, I am not taking any credit for their thoughts or words while still directing votes and inquisition to another good response. If my answer is accepted, referring/linking also draws attention to the important information contained in these referenced answers which might otherwise be overlooked by anyone who simply reads the accepted answer.

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I saw this practice a couple times, I did so myself here and there, and I can't think of anything bad or disrespectful on this (if this is what you are thinking about). It is the opposite of this, I would say. Providing more insight into a particular question's topic—even if you provided the by now accepted question—could make (new) readers aware of other good answers and hidden gems. Of course, an answer should address the question on its own, and must not consist of a number of referals to other answers and that's it.

  • I was indeed considering the "bad" or "disrespectful" nature that some WPSEpedians might perceive in such actions! – bosco Jan 9 '14 at 0:46

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