Possible Duplicates:
Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”?
Why is linking bad?

Is it okay to answer questions like this (name blanked out):

alt text

The answer happened to be relevant and useful, but what if the link no longer works? Shouldn't you at least copy/paste te relevant part?


3 Answers 3


No. You should always provide relevant text along with appropriate information about the source material (such as the name and date posted, if available).

I personally haven't always done this myself, but it's a good practice to capture relevant information without needing to click on links (other than to validate the material and get more information).

  • 4
    The biggest reason to do this is to make sure that the answer remains helpful even after the link dies, IMO.
    – tvanfosson
    Nov 16, 2009 at 16:34
  • 1
    @tvanosson: Of course, we aren't allowed to change our vote after the link dies to indicate that it's become a bad answer.
    – endolith
    May 18, 2012 at 0:45

I would usually explain some detail as to what is at the link. It gives the reader some idea of whether it will be relevant or interesting.


Technically, yes as it does allow you to save the answer, and it may provide relevant information concerning the question. Most people like seeing more information than just a link. The best answers are the ones which provide the link and then give and explanation as to what it says/why it's relevant.

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