This meta is a check-in on: What are the citation expectations of answers on RPG Stack Exchange?
I created this meta a few years ago so people could point to it while leaving a comment addressing an answer that has insufficient citation for something. It's supposed to explain the basics for the author you're giving feedback to so that you don't have to re-explain them yourself and can instead focus your energy on describing the specific thing they need to do with their answer.
Check-in: Time for review & adjustments
It's been just over three years since the Citation Expectations Q&A was created, so I want to check in on how it's doing at fulfilling that purpose, and if there's anything we can add, remove, or change to make it more effective.
My intention has been that it got revised as needed along the way, but it being a faq will understandably make many folks hesitant to mess with it! So I'm opening the floor here for us to discuss the revisions we might make.
I've been the de-facto curator of this meta and it's been on my mind to ask about this, so naturally I have questions I want to ask you for feedback. I'm going to try (sort of rubbishly) to lay them out below. I'm also interested in your input generally so you're free to just provide whatever feedback you want in whatever format you want regardless of the prompts I'm providing.
I need to disclaim that it is a community FAQ and community wiki, so it's still yours to edit, too! I'm not asking this so that you tell me what I do with my thing because it's not mine—I'm checking in what we should be doing with our thing to help it work well for us.
Questions I have for you!
Broadly, I'm interested in you considering your usage of the Citation Expectations Q&A when you use it as a reference point to direct users to: What works well? What doesn't work well? What would you add, remove, or change about it to help it work better for you?
If you've got feedback on any/all of these questions you think is worth sharing, I'd be interested in your thoughts.
- Are there any common citation scenarios the Citation Expectations Q&A leaves out, that you find yourself missing when you go to reference it in feedback?
- What would you have it cover?
- What's most important to cover about that?
- Is there any fluff in the Citation Expectations Q&A that by this point is not actually helpful, and makes using it harder rather than easier?
- What would you suggest removing or replacing to that end?
- When referencing our Citation Expectations, are there times you struggle to clearly indicate a relevant part of it more than other parts?
- Where does this tend to happen for you?
- What do you do to ensure people see the bit you need to indicate?
- Are there any spots in the Citation Expectations you regularly get pushback from authors when you reference them?
- What would you advise we do to shore it up and better support you guiding users?
- Are there any “Not OK” scenarios you run into very often that aren't covered that we should be laying down detailed guidance for? (It's kind of surprising there's only one per section, but that's just how it shook out.)
Or: What would you edit?
The above is a user survey to prompt conversation, but I'm interested also in what you might just propose you'd revise about the Citation Expectations Q&A, minor or major.
Also: Should we split up the answer post?
This one's been on my mind since the start: personally I've considered splitting the answer up into multiple posts (general intro, objective citations, subjective citations) so that people can link to just one of those sections, but that gives up some control over the intro coming first. But maybe that doesn't matter at all. Would it be helpful for us to do this?
This check-in isn't for settling unestablished issues around citations
There's a couple of elephants in the room I need to acknowledge.
First, the smaller elephant: this meta is not about creating brand new citation expectations we don't already use. The Citation Expectations Q&A is simply a guidebook. When I created it, it laid down nothing new, it just summarised what people were already saying to help save people some work. That should continue to be true. If you've got new proposals, I suggest raise them in a separate meta for discussion, and then in the future they might become part of our Citation Expectations Q&A.
Second, the larger elephant: this meta is not about how to enforce our citation expectations. Whether & when we delete, downvote, flag, etc is probably on the forefront of some peoples' minds, but if we have that conversation, it needs to happen in another space. The Citation Expectations Q&A is just there to help users succeed and to help you provide feedback for them. To whatever extent “how do we enforce it?” is a not-entirely-settled issue (and perhaps it never will be), like with the above elephant, this isn't a place to create those new rules. I want us to just focus on what's already the case. If you think the guide should mention something about how unsupported answers might be handled, sure, that's possible. I'd like your assistance though in avoiding this meta getting derailed into debating what to do with invalid citations—that's a different topic to tackle separately.