I find this post by the Moderators really really annoying. And I see it for almost all the new users answers.

Welcome to Skeptics! We expect answers to provide references for all significant claims they make. Please add appropriate references to your answer.

If the Mods want to make it clear to the user, think of other (more appropriate) methods to let the user know his answer is not accepted at the site. I am sure after 5 minutes of browsing a person knows how to use the site.

Perhaps a check should be indicated so the user can confirm that his/her answer is unbiased and properly referenced.

Repeating a comment 100's of times is a waste of the Mods time, and makes new users feel unwelcome. (my opinion)

  • 5
    What alternative do you suggest?
    – Christian
    May 10, 2011 at 23:14
  • @Christian, you may have missed it, I said "Perhaps a check should be indicated so the user can confirm that his/her answer is unbiased and properly referenced." By which I mean that the user needs to check a box that says "I have properly referenced my claims for this answer"
    – picakhu
    May 11, 2011 at 2:10
  • and to the downvoter, why the downvote?
    – picakhu
    May 11, 2011 at 2:11
  • @Picakhu, I did not downvote you, but meta is different from the normal site, there are no rep penalties for downvotes. Downvotes also are a sign of disagreement, not a measure of accuracy. This means a downvote signifies someone saying they do not agree, an upvote represents agreement.
    – Kortuk
    May 13, 2011 at 6:12
  • 1
    If the moderators are willing to "waste their time", is there another wording for the comment that you could suggest that you would find less off-putting?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    May 13, 2011 at 9:43
  • @kortuk, I am aware of the meta policies, just wondering why there was a downvote. I guess people here think that repeatedly posting the same comment is the right thing to do.
    – picakhu
    May 14, 2011 at 5:24
  • @picakhu, I find that it is only a repeat to the users that do not need the comment. I am not supporting or not supporting as I am not an active member of your site, but I would say I have to make the same comment many times on ED.
    – Kortuk
    May 14, 2011 at 5:38
  • @Oddthinking, I believe that a comment should not be the means to communicate with an individual. The only idea that I like from Sklivvz post below is the hyperlink one. If however a comment is absolutely necessary according to the "super-users" of this site (of whom I am not one), then, I think the use of "We" is what upsets me. In my opinion, this site is not owned by "Us". It can be "Here, it is expected..."
    – picakhu
    May 14, 2011 at 7:10
  • I think new users read these things, sure, but they don't take them seriously until they experience their first post deletion.
    – user11643
    Jun 29, 2020 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


There is already a "dynamic answer help that pops up for new users (< 100 rep)" as described in this post.

We also suggested a warning message if a post (question or answer) contains no hyperlink, but it is not on the agenda, for now.

Furthermore, what should we do with answers without references? Moderators, and other users too, leave messages. This is also to explain how the site works, because people don't really know that we have this policy.

Finally, it has been agreed that no references are a good reason for downvoting an answer to zero points. The community in general seems to be fairly good in taking care of that.

So as you can see, we do take a range of different actions. On the other hand - your comments are very welcome, and we should be considering new ideas or improvements -- at least during the beta period.

  • @Skilivvz, as you know many(perhaps not a majority) of the users are migrants, and they come in with a score of 101. As far as I know the use of evidence to justify answers is unique to this site. Please correct me if I am wrong. In any case, if you find it OK to repeat your comment many times, then by all means go ahead, I am just voicing that I feel turned off by it.
    – picakhu
    May 11, 2011 at 2:22
  • 3
    @pik I wouldn't mind if all new users got the warning either.
    – Sklivvz
    May 11, 2011 at 12:14
  • @picakhu, Most sites would prefer that there were references, we heavily promote it on ED, but it is more required on a site where you are discussing the validity of a scientific claims. @Sklivvz, maybe for everyone below 150 rep, that way people coming from other SEs get the message also.
    – Kortuk
    May 13, 2011 at 6:14

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