While reviewing the late answers from the review queue I encountered a post similar to this (I can't find the original in my review history):

You could try the solution found here:


Well, if it answers the question then it is a valid late answer, albeit short... or so I tought. To replace the link by the referenced page's title I clicked Edit and lo-and-behold it was a review audit (and I passed). Of course opinions on the validity of answers differ, but audit test answers must be very wrong. What is so very wrong about this post that I missed?

By the way, I can't remember ever having failed a review audit, but it almost feels like I'm doing more review audits than normal reviewing.

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    If the link broke, then you'd be left with "You could try the solution found here:" which is positively the most frustrating experience someone looking for an answer can have, especially if it was the accepted answer. That's why we heavily frown upon answers containing little more than a link.
    – user50049
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 14:04
  • Alright, that answers my question then. Learned something! Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 14:04
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    @TimPost That has happened to me! Oh my gosh, I almost popped a vein.
    – J. Steen
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 14:04

3 Answers 3


It's a link-only answer, subject to link rot. It has no value by itself, because you are forced to go somewhere else for the complete answer.

Stack Overflow's policy leans towards having as much relevant code in the answer as possible, with a link to support it if necessary.


Link only answers are, in general, frowned upon. They add nothing of value to the Stack Exchange site in question itself. It's better to add a summary, example, an actual answer to the answer itself and use the link as a reference.

Links die all the time.


This should be a comment instead of an answer since it doesn't provide a self-contained answer and is most likely subject to broken link.

If the user had put the important parts contained in the link in the answer(and said he took them from there) it would have been a very good answer. Since it's only a link, if the link breaks.. well the answer breaks too and this is not a wanted behavior in the SE network!

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