Referring to, for example, answers like this.

Link-only answers are generally frowned upon on SE as a whole as they are unreliable (due to the potential to change, move or disappear) and clumsy to use. The 'How to Answer' section of the Help pages says this:

Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

The consensus is generally to delete link-only answers altogether; even if they are highly-rated and/or accepted.

This is exacerbated by the fact that SDL Live Content requires a login; making the free, public resource of the Tridion StackExchange utterly useless when answers like this are posted. Although Tridion is not open-source or freely available, StackExchange resources should be (and if they can't be, then SE is not the right platform).

We have the additional problem, here, that it is presumably frowned upon to quote large sections of Live Content for the same reason that it is not publicly accessible.

So how should link-only answers to Live Content be handled? I am in agreement with the consensus that link-only answers are useless and should be deleted; even moreso if the linked resource may not be accessible.

Perhaps, if quoting Live Content directly is not acceptable, then it should only be acceptable to link to Live Content as a supplement to the answer, which should provide all relevant information directly, and not as the main feature of the answer itself? After all, if the answer to the question is just "go and read the documentation," the question should probably be closed anyway.

2 Answers 2


I think all answers should give context, citing quotes appropriately, even if the point is to read the manual.

In the case of link-only answers we should at least ask or encourage the poster for context and information in comments.

A downvote might be warranted, but I'm not sure about closing them "even if they are highly-rated and/or accepted." I like your question Ant, because as our community, we can determine what types of questions and answers are appropriate for Tridion Stack Exchange.

I don't think SDL Live Content links are utterly useless if we consider the audience, practically all of whom have access to the documentation.

In terms of proper citation and credit, quoting large sections of closed resources is definitely not a good idea. But we are allowed to reference and cite parts of closed resources in formal writing. For example both APA and MLA allow citations to closed electronic sources such as EBSCOHOST--the author still needs to make their point independent of the quote. So +1 to your supplement point, with maybe an exception for questions that specifically ask about the documentation (e.g. differences between versions, location of something for a given version, etc).


I pretty much agree with Alvin and would also point out if you encounter a link only answer you can always add context to it. Although I personally would probably just add another answer including both the context and the link.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .