Sometimes a Web page off-site — or a passage in a book, for that matter — answers a question perfectly. How should I refer to or quote that external source as my answer?

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The community has generally accepted this as site policy on Mi Yodeya:


"One who says something in the name of its speaker brings redemption to the world" (Avot 6:6).

Frequently, an answer to a question on this site, or information that can contribute to an answer, is available verbatim on some other website or in print. This guideline addresses how the responsible user should make use of such external content.

  • At a minimum, always provide a reference to the external material.

  • If it's on a website, your reference will be much more helpful if it includes a link.

    Use the link button (globe with an arrow) or see here.

  • Even more helpful would be to also summarize, in your own words, what the external material says.

    This helps people get an idea of the answer you're presenting, and also helps them decide whether to follow your reference.

  • If there are parts of the external material that would be best quoted in their original language to enhance your summary, you may quote small excerpts, as long as you make it clear that they're quotations using quotation marks or blockquoting.

    To do blockquoting, use the button that looks like quotation marks or see here. Be careful when pasting in text; you might need to add some line spacing to make it look right.

  • If you feel that it's worth reading the entire original piece, it's nice to recommend as much.

Please comply with this policy in all of your posts on this site. We are not lawyers, but our understanding of American copyright law is that copying entire pieces without permission, even with attribution, is a violation of the original author/owner's copyright. In addition, we feel that it's just not fair for this site to use other people's work to drive traffic to our website rather than to the original author/owner's.

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Perhaps discuss using images of text instead of text itself? –  Double AA Jun 17 at 17:32
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