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Recently I posted a question about the TV show Scrubs. Later I myself found a good answer to a similar question on Quora. Quora is well known Q&A website.

The above answer's author's bio qualifies his answer as authoritative and possibly an expert one. The answer is well received and discussed as well.

In such cases if

  1. I do not have any addition to the original answer
  2. The source Q&A website is well known and trustworthy
  3. The original answer is well received and discussed
  4. The original author has good expertise and authoritativeness

is it alright to mention that answer (possibly in as-it-is manner and not just the link) here by giving appropriate reference and citation to it?

Quora is just an example of such website. Reddit is another. And I am sure there are other movie-centric Q&A websites out there.

What is the current policy regarding such answers?

  • 2
    If anything, definitely quote the essential parts (using proper quote markup) and don't just link to the external site. It might be preferable to summarize it a little in addition to (or even instead of?) the quote or at least emphasize the important parts to make it different from a mere wall of quote, but this isn't technically required in order for it to be a viable answer. – Napoleon Wilson Sep 14 '16 at 15:51
  • @NapoleonWilson thanks for the explanation. :) – Pale Blue Dot Sep 15 '16 at 13:24
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I believe there shouldn't be any problem with this, provided you're sensible about it:

  • make sure your answer is more than just a link to the other site. See also Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really "good answers"? on main meta. Basically, the text of your answer should be coherent and useful even without the links. "See [link] for the answer to your question" is bad, but "The answer to your question is [...], as discussed at [link]" is good.

  • be sure to provide clear attribution to your source. See also Users are calling me a plagiarist. What do I do? on main meta, which describes what plagiarism means and how to avoid it. (You may also want to check the copyright policy of the site you're quoting from. Stack Exchange material is licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0; I don't know about Quora or Reddit.)

The above are rules: if you don't follow these, your post is likely to be deleted either as a non-answer or for plagiarism. As more of a guideline, I would advise including a summary in your own words as well as just a quote. An ideal answer would look something like this:

The answer to your question is [summary of essential parts of answer].

As discussed on Quora [link to the page you've sourced from]:

...

[direct quote of relevant parts of Quora discussion]

See also How to reference material written by others in the help centre.

  • Nice answer, on the side note old meta on same topic from here Use of copied content – Ankit Sharma Sep 15 '16 at 8:10
  • Thank you for this answer. My intention was the same - to know where to draw the line when classifying an answer as plagiarized. Especially when the user genuinely doesn't have anything to add to it. Because many times some questions go unanswered and it shouldn't be wrong to summarize and cite an answer from another website. What you've written perfectly makes sense. Hope it will be useful for other users in future. – Pale Blue Dot Sep 15 '16 at 13:22
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    Afterall, a significant part of what we do here is largely just accumulating information from elsewhere anyway, and that's not a bad thing. – Napoleon Wilson Sep 15 '16 at 13:31
  • @NapoleonWilson true that. Also just for information - Quora's content reuse policy: quora.com/… But couldn't find solid information about Reddit's policy. – Pale Blue Dot Sep 15 '16 at 13:45
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    I would also reference Shog9's excellent meta post Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer? – user9311 Nov 4 '16 at 22:16

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