I've been responding to Counter-intuitive results in OR with a reference to Greenberg's "Myth and counter-examples in OR", and the answer has been deleted by Robert Caitano.

Tough I understand the "not an answerlocal content" policy in general, I'm divided on this one, for the following reasons, and wanted to hear some opinions.

  • I believe this is a great resource: how can we make it known to users of this site? Including in some tag wiki, maybe?
  • The question could also be read as a and Greenberg's document is a good response to that.
  • Most importantly, I think the reference is a well-curated collection that responds exactly the question, so I can't see much point in copying the content there item by item into OR.SE. Would it be a solution to copy exemplary points from there into the answer, and then provide the link for further reference?

The folks here will work hard to build this collection of content, so when someone finally finds this community through search, the last thing we want to do is send people elsewhere to find that information. Stack Exchange was not intended to be a list of links or a search engine telling users where to find their answers elsewhere.

In my opinion, an answer with little more than a link to a 200+ page book was properly flagged as 'not an answer'.

If the question provided a great opportunity to raise awareness of that resource, a proper answer could have provided some great examples from the book to answer the question. Then linking to the book provides a great supplement to an answer if folks want to dig into the information further. But answers are expected to contain actual content; otherwise, we're just adding another barrier between the searcher and the information for which they are searching.

That is why link-only answers are not considered an "answer" in the context of this this site.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I see; my problem was that although being a large book, it is mainly a collection of answers to exactly the question. But if I understand you right, it would be Ok to formulate an extended answer, giving some particularly good examples from the collection, and then provide the link for further reference. I'll do that, then. Is it better to edit the existing question or provide a new answer? $\endgroup$ – Marcus Ritt Jul 1 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ @MarcusRitt Essentially, yes. Even one great example answering the question would benefit. Then it is entirely appropriate to say "I got this example from [book] which has many more example like it." $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Jul 1 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ @MarcusRitt, see how others (sorted in 'active' order) gave a link and a short quote that is an answer, and for more information (or context) you can follow the link. Even if the whole book (every word) was the perfect answer if the link goes dead so does the answer, any question that actually required such a long answer is probably too broad. In short: Give an answer (or a few) that we can clearly determine are good just by looking at the answer; additional links to prove that you are correct are great. $\endgroup$ – Rob Jul 2 at 17:12

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