I recently posted a question which was answered in the comments. I asked the author of the comment if they would like to post it as an answer, but since they didn't after several days I paraphrased the comment and added it as an answer so that I could accept it.

I marked this as Community Wiki since I am not to credit for the answer, but I noticed that the BibTeX generated by pressing the Cite button still lists me as the author.

I have no need to cite this answer, I simply pressed the button out of curiosity. However it seems a possibility that others in similar situations to myself may have their answers cited, and I feel that the citation should at least mention the fact that the answer is Community Wiki.


In response to the comments, I think I should make my question clearer.

I would like to suggest that the "author" attribute in the BibTeX generated by the citation button for questions marked as Community Wiki be changed to "Community"/"Community Wiki", or at least note the fact that the answer is marked as such.

As it stands, authorship is currently attributed to whoever has written the most lines in the answer (and at least 2x more than the original poster). This seems quite a crude metric, a substantial rewrite whilst preserving the original ideas would lead to the answer being attributed solely to the rewriter.

There are also scenarios such as the one I found myself in, I would not want anybody citing that answer to have my name as the author, but as it stands there is nothing I can do about it.

The purpose of Community Wiki is not just to deny reputation for an answer, it gives ownership of the answer to the community as a whole, removing single authorship (as noted here for example). As such, I believe the community should be the "author" credited for it.

To sum up, I can think of more scenarios where citing an individual author for a Community Wiki post would be inaccurate than I can where somebody would mark an answer as Community Wiki but still want the citation attributing to themselves.


This answer is marked community wiki. At the bottom of the answer, there is a link to "Cite" the post:

enter image description here

The citation generated when clicking this link reads as follows:

@MISC {3354371,
   TITLE = {What is the error in this fake proof which uses series to show that $1=0$?},
   AUTHOR = {Xander Henderson (https://math.stackexchange.com/users/468350/xander-henderson)},
   HOWPUBLISHED = {Mathematics Stack Exchange},
   NOTE = {URL:https://math.stackexchange.com/q/3354371 (version: 2020-06-12)},
   EPRINT = {https://math.stackexchange.com/q/3354371},
   URL = {https://math.stackexchange.com/q/3354371}

Note that Xander Henderson is cited as the author.

  • $\begingroup$ How would the BibTex button know who the actual author is? You haven't linked to the question/answer so we can't see it, but if the Community Wiki author makes enough changes I doubt an algorithm could identify the original author by textual comparison. $\endgroup$
    – postmortes
    Nov 7, 2020 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not asking for it to identify the original author, just to either note that the answer has been marked as such, or to provide attribution to the community. At the moment the citation is exactly the same as if I had posted the answer and credited it to myself. I didn't link the question since the specifics of that case aren't particularly relevant, all of the necessary background is in the question. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Nov 7, 2020 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ I think you need to expand your question to include that comment then, as at the moment you're asking "is there a reason for the implementation" and it seems like you are after a feature request. So what should the citation be? I rather doubt "Community Wiki" would be very satisfying should it be encountered in a paper. $\endgroup$
    – postmortes
    Nov 7, 2020 at 16:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your suggestion, please see my updated question. I won't comment on whether or not such a citation would be "satisfying" since that seems subjective, but I hope I have made my thinking clearer. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Nov 7, 2020 at 17:26
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I have added an example to you question, as I don't believe that everyone is familiar with the "Cite" button, and there may be folk who don't know what you are talking about. Feel free to roll it back if you feel that the edit was inappropriate. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Nov 7, 2020 at 19:39
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I would also suggest that "Math StackExchange Community" would be a good alternative author. Or list the top 3--5 editors. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Nov 7, 2020 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Xander, that's made things a lot clearer for people $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Nov 7, 2020 at 19:59


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