In the bounty questions, the asker often mentions what he is specially looking for in an answer to his question by mentioning the purpose of the bounty. And all these purposes are to be drawn from a pre-written list. One of these purposes is mentioned as "Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources."

What meaning does this have for a mathematics question where the answer has to be calculated using formulae and other mathematrical techniques and there is no way that one can just draw the answer from some source?

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    $\begingroup$ I have thought that the phrase means that a desirable answer would be based on material from a well received textbook, or a peer-reviewed article that has appeared in a reputable journal. Together with outlining the key ideas. After all, the interesting math questions cannot be answered just by calculations using formulas and other techniques. $\endgroup$ May 15, 2016 at 6:34
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    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Suppose you get a problem on integration and the solution is based on mere technique and nothing else. Then what does this mean? $\endgroup$ May 15, 2016 at 6:42
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    $\begingroup$ There is always a user posting the bounty. If you don't understand why they did it, you can always ask them, but the general reasoning is that one... I mean, a possible reason was "I needed to choose a reason so I chose at random". $\endgroup$ May 15, 2016 at 6:43
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    $\begingroup$ What @NajibIdrissi said. Also it is possible that the asker would view Wikipedia as a credible and official source. The point is that, like with close reasons, a finite list of choices may not cover the spectrum of reasons very well. $\endgroup$ May 15, 2016 at 6:46
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    $\begingroup$ That text is general for all of stackexchange. Unless you change it when you start your bounty, that is what you get. It does seem less meaningful for math than for many other stackexchange forums, I admit. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    May 15, 2016 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ It could also mean that the asker has a few related questions. While they want this particular question answered, a good reference paired with a good answer could be more helpful in general (I feel this way about one of my questions). $\endgroup$
    – pjs36
    May 15, 2016 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


To me it means that existing answers seem to be lacking (from the bounty offerer's perspective) in providing the "background" justification for their solution(s).

For example, existing answers may have given a definite integral's value but merely alluded to a "keyhole contour" as the means of getting that. A nice tutorial on contour integration would go beyond the limits of what StackExchange posts can normally encompass, but an Answer that links the specific problem at hand to steps explained in greater detail in a textbook or online chapters might prove satisfactory to a bounty offerer (and likely to other Readers with similar confusion).

In cases where competent existing answers do not meet the bounty offerer's wishes for explanation, the boilerplate text can and probably should be supplemented by the "bounty remarks" option. Note that this section has limited support for Markdown formatting (according to Meta.SE FAQ on bounties), and recent experience suggests that MathJax/$\LaTeX$ should be used sparingly if at all in such custom text.


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