If I answer a question whose answer was inspired by a similar question answered by someone else then should I credit that user's name or link to the original question in my answer?

  • 7
    I'd say, do both. – Gerry Myerson Dec 5 at 11:57
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    I think there have been many instances of similar appropriate attributions to commenters who preceded an answerer with a key observation in comments below a question they've answered. I commend your for taking such inspiration into account! – amWhy Dec 5 at 19:39
  • Just a cautionary note, however. If you find yourself answering a question extremely similar to a question answered by someone else at a different point in time, then I would seriously consider whether the questions is a duplicate of that other answered question, and if so, it should be closed as one, and not answered. – amWhy yesterday
  • And by "duplicate" I don't mean a "word-for-word" copy. Most on this site would consider, e.g., the question "How to solve for $x$ when $2x -4 = 3y$," and the question "Solve for y: $5y+1=7x$" as "duplicates", in that the steps required to solve both of them are identical, just the numbers are changed. – amWhy yesterday

Unlike with attribution, where you have to supply

the name of the creator and attribution parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. CC licenses prior to Version 4.0 also require you to provide the title of the material if supplied, and may have other slight differences.

(copyright, license and disclaimer notice are already covered by the Stack Exchange framework)

there are no hard-and-fast rules for inspiration. However, as Gerry Myerson says in the comment, why not do both? E.g.

As demonstrated by user @Rhaldryn in an answer to this question ...

It's not that much more work to type, compared to the amount of work the original author has put into their answer. Also, if the original question/answer ever gets deleted, you might still have a working link to the author.

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    Not only it is "not that much more work", it is also nice, and potentially useful. – Andrés E. Caicedo Dec 5 at 16:02

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