Various posts or or.stackexchange contain urls to reference papers, e.g.:Usages of logarithmic mean in optimization

Problem is that these URLs can change, and without a reference to the author/title/year of the paper it is virtually impossible to trace back the paper that was referred to in the first place.

Is there a way that we can stimulate the author's to include a proper reference? Is there some way to moderate this?

  • $\begingroup$ This is a very good point. I am guilty of this myself. I'm not sure what the solution is -- hopefully folks will have some ideas. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2019 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ The issue you're describing is called link rot. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2019 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


Agree! I like the style of how the reference is given in this answer: https://or.stackexchange.com/a/800/

An alternative would be to require links be to doi's.

I'd support having persistent references (however we decide) be a community norm. E.g., to get started maybe edit some answers to reflect this and then move to asking folks who haven't followed the style to edit their answers.

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    $\begingroup$ This is a good suggestion. It is definitely helpful when someone posts a full reference like in the post you linked to. It's also kind of a pain. So linking to a doi would be a reasonable (and easier) alternative. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2019 at 19:26
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    $\begingroup$ I also like the idea of any of us taking the initiative to edit some posts, and hopefully we'll all get into the habit of providing more solid references. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2019 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ I agree easier is better $\endgroup$
    – E. Tucker
    Jun 27, 2019 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ I like that referencing style too. I just don't know how that's done. And since I haven't earned the right to edit posts yet I can't check how it's done myself. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2019 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JorisKinable it’s not done any special way. You just use markdown to add italics, etc where needed. $\endgroup$ Jun 28, 2019 at 3:18

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