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For example, in this question someone provides a Wikipedia article in their answer, which I also did on my own answer to another question. For my own answer, I knew 90% of the information off the top of my head, but because I needed to doublecheck some of the info, I posted the source that I doublechecked from as well. Tangentially related, when I answered this question for someone, I referenced the Steam Support page. Do we want to encourage questions on this site that can be answered by searching the relevant support/help sites?

Is there a general rule regarding sources and when you do or do not need to list them? For example, I know, as a gamer, for an answer to this question, I would probably want to see a source from Valve or the TF2 blog or something, so I knew the person wasn't pulling an answer out of thin air. I'm not quite sure what to do or if there is an official stance on this.

  • As I am the "someone" I will be interested by the policies about that. – Mushu Jul 7 '10 at 23:37
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Well, according to standard plagiarism guidelines, if you even get inspiration from somewhere you should attribute sources. I don't mean to say we should be treating every answer strictly as an official piece of writing as such, but if you get even some of the information from a source, I think it's a good idea to keep the sources in the question.

This also adds credibility, look at the way Wikipedia handles sources.

  • Not just plagiarism, but also the fact that unless you have incredibly high rep, why should people believe you? It helps built some trust in the quality of your answer – Ivo Flipse Jul 15 '10 at 7:11
  • Thanks for the advice. I think I'll stick to this method, as it'll cover the most bases. – FAE Jul 15 '10 at 9:29
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You do not need to list sources, but it may make your answer look better to potential upvoters if you do list one. It also helps you avoid any embarassing incidents like posting stuff that hasn't been true in months.

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