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In this question: wpf datagrid - binding a custom column The OP answered his own question adding a link to Experts Exchange which you can not see unless you have a subscription.

I know it is an old question, but I was wondering what it would be the best thing to do in this case. Should I flag it as "not an answer"? Should I ask the OP to add more detail? I don't know if it would be ok for him to copy the code from Experts Exchange to SO.

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1  
I guess should at least flag the answer, and asking to move it to a comment? –  Bolu Oct 9 '13 at 16:10
    
So the go-to-the-bottom-of-the-page technique doesn't work on the hyphen site any more? Pff. Presumably that means they get no google-juice too... –  AakashM Oct 9 '13 at 16:16
    
@AakashM I don't know what do you mean :P –  Dzyann Oct 11 '13 at 19:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In this case it really is "not an answer" because it doesn't answer the question. Even the link doesn't answer the question, given that the content is on the other side of a paywall.

If you wanted, you could comment asking for the answer to be incorporated into his answer so that the answer, as it stands, and without following any links, would answer the question.

Note though that a user needs to have the right to apply the cc-wiki licence to content they provide here. If that content is limited to that subscription site they may not be allowed to post it here and apply the cc-wiki license to the content. (I am not familiar with the ownership rights of content submitted to that site to state definitively who is and is not able to post such a contribution here.)

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I down-voted, and flagged this answer with "other" with the following comment:

Not only is this a link-only answer which won't be very useful on its own if the answer on the other site disappears (or the site is down, or they go out of business, etc.), it points to a site that requires a paid subscription to see the answer. Boo.

For a long time we were using "not an answer" for these posts, but that is not quite accurate - they're answers, just not very good ones, because they're not self-contained. In this case they're even worse because they require paid subscription. This is like telling someone to go buy this month's Playboy magazine because the answer is on page 63. An answer, but again, not a very good one.

In a lot of cases we can comment before flagging, so the user can improve the content and make it a better, self-contained answer. In this specific case, however, as Servy points out, they may not be able to improve the answer because the content may not be legally copied to the answer here. But the answer is not a useful answer for our site because only those who have paid to see the content can get anything from it. This flies in the face of the whole purpose of our site.

Related / background:

Still having issues with link-only answer flags

Can we get some consensus on what flag to use for link only answers?

Is it forbidden to use "Other" flag for link-only answers?

Should I flag answers which contain only a link as "not an answer"?

Add a "link-only answer" flag reason

Should there be a policy about 'One-Link-Only-Answers'?

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You are totally right, what confused me about this question, was not the fact it was not self-contained, but that I couldn't see the actual answer at all, because it is a paid site. Thank you for the clear explanation! –  Dzyann Oct 9 '13 at 16:11

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