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I could not find a question on this topic. I was hoping although audience may range from professionals, students to laymen, should we push for readers to cite formally following MLA, Chicago or any other academically accepted citation (after all majority of contributors will go forth in academic pursuits and it will rub off good habits...)

Should there be an accepted norm or protocol for formal citation instead of hyper-linking "as-one-feels-like"? :smiley:

Or would it perhaps deter further audience from participating?

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  • $\begingroup$ Why is a related question "How to deal with cranks"? I hope I am not missing something. :( $\endgroup$ – Sniper Clown May 16 '12 at 0:53
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I don't see a point to doing this. The barriers to entry should be as low as possible. As long as people cite relevant sources in any way, I'm pretty happy.

after all majority of contributors will go forth in academic pursuits

I highly doubt this, depending on what you mean by "contributors."

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  • $\begingroup$ By contributors, I meant the general users. $\endgroup$ – Sniper Clown May 16 '12 at 0:56
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    $\begingroup$ The majority of general users will go forth to washing dishes. I'm with Qiaochu. Anyway, I have gone forth in academic pursuits, and I have no idea what MLA or Chicago are (in this context); I cite stuff the way I see it cited in journals, and different journals have different conventions, so which one are you going to choose? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson May 16 '12 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ It was just a thought. Also another of my concern was - and I am not an expert on this- when programs filter the answers, sluices the answers to wikipedia or other sites, perhaps an ordered template, will enable the task efficiently. Again not an expert. $\endgroup$ – Sniper Clown May 16 '12 at 1:09
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    $\begingroup$ Needless to mention the pejorative connotation with "washing dishes". $\endgroup$ – Sniper Clown May 16 '12 at 1:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Mahmud: In my case, it would be "cleaning up after my nephew", but Gerry's point still stands. $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician May 16 '12 at 1:33
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    $\begingroup$ Could one of the dish washers come to my house and clean the dishes? We are running out of glasses and plates. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 16 '12 at 7:26
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    $\begingroup$ Huh, nearly a year later and we still can't figure out how to solve the dishes problem. They keep getting dirty. We tried buying more dishes, but that only resulted in more dirty dishes... $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jan 22 '13 at 14:00

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