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From time to time, a question I posted on some Stack Exchange website didn't get any useful answer or got too many comments that I don't find interesting, which led me to post it another Q&A platform (e.g. Quora, mailing list, etc.). Sometimes, I received a useful answer there.

What shall I do regarding my Stack Exchange question in that situation:

  • edit the question to add a pointer to the external resource that contains the answer
  • add a comment pointing to the external resource that contains the answer
  • add the link to the external resource as an answer
  • add the link to the external resource + the useful content as answer, if copyright/license permits
  • delete the Stack Exchange question
  • nothing

?

14

Taking each of your points in turn:

edit the question to add a pointer to the external resource that contain the answer

No. If you want to post an answer, post an answer. Don't put the answer (or even a link to the answer) into the question.

add a comment pointing to the external resource that contain the answer

If you want. If you want to post a link this is best place for it.

add the link to the external resource as an answer

No. Link only answers aren't good answers. There are several reasons for this

  1. Links die. If this happens then the answer becomes useless.
  2. You are making people go somewhere else for the answer. You've got a question that has a "1 answer" link. Someone has the same problem as you, searches and finds your question. Imagine their disappointment when they realise that they've got to go somewhere else for that answer.

add the link to the external resource + the useful content as answer, if copyright/license permits

Yes. This is ideal and perfectly acceptable. If you can't copy the content then summarise it in your own words.

delete the Stack Exchange question

If you want to, but if the question is interesting (does it have up-votes?) then it seems a shame to lose this.

nothing

Possibly. Someone else could come along later and provide a better answer.

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  • Sounds good, thanks. As a side note, "add a comment pointing to the external resource that contain the answer ->If you want. If you want to post a link this is best place for it." Some SE such as Health SE remove this kind of comments though (and also remove answers that simply copies the content of a link). Aug 11 '15 at 21:32
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    @FranckDernoncourt - I'm not familiar with Health, but I suspect that they want to ensure that the information on the site is accurate and safe.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Aug 11 '15 at 21:53
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    They also discourage answer which only contains quote. Their point is: "Quote-only answers don't add any value to the internet and are a bad practice". But as I know SE allows that. Can you explain why?
    – Ooker
    Aug 12 '15 at 5:46
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    @Ooker - as I said before, I'm not active on Health so I can't answer that question.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Aug 12 '15 at 6:05
  • oh sorry. What I mean is does that against SE's rule overall?
    – Ooker
    Aug 12 '15 at 6:57
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    @Ooker - quoting is generally OK. If a specific site want's stricter rules for whatever reason then that's up to the site to organise.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Aug 12 '15 at 7:50
  • @ChrisF So what to do if for a given SE the mods delete any comment that contains a link, and refuse to add a link in the question itself? I cannot copy the content due to license issue, and don't want to risk paraphrasing. Oct 14 '15 at 4:27

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