Over on RPG.SE, we are using a post notice to indicate when citations would be appreciated on a question. For all the details, you can see the RPG.meta post here.

The text of the notice is:

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

We have a question about how to apply the back it up principle here on Politics.SE. Although there is no accepted answer, the top answers all suggest that answers should be generally (but not always) backed up. The most common way to back up an answer is with references. However, many (if not most) of our answers are not backed up.

Do we have the ability to use this post notice? If we do, should we use it?

  • What would the advantage of a notice be over a regular comment? And will the author of the answer be notified when such a notice is added?
    – user11249
    May 5, 2017 at 19:26
  • @Carpetsmoker - Post notices are more authoritative than a comment from a user. Additionally, they are more prominent than a comment. The more people who see them, the more effective they are. I don't know about notifications, I'll see if I can find out. May 6, 2017 at 0:43
  • 2
    I think that this would be useful for really low-quality answers. Skeptics.SE also uses this feature.
    – Panda
    May 6, 2017 at 3:45
  • Somewhat related: politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2774/… May 8, 2017 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


Personally, I don't really see the value of such a post notice over a regular comment:

  • You'll have to leave a comment anyway since the author of the answer isn't notified, so they don't know something is wrong and can't improve the answer.

  • It will never be as specific as a comment.

  • Only moderators can add notices.

  • It's not clear who added the notice. How does one reply?

Jon Ericson outlined some more problems with post notices on meta SE.

Post notices are slightly easier because you don't have to type them, but they're easier for exactly three people only (the mods). If you want to make adding these sort of common comments easier then I recommend using AutoReviewComments.

Even on sites where references are mandatory in 100% of the answers (such as the Skeptics site), the post notice seems like the wrong tool to me. Do you want to indicate that an answer is bad? Downvote! Do you want to point out something that could be improved? Comment! Is an answer an unsubstantiated rant? Flag!

I do think it's a good idea to put notices on questions though. Philipp did that here, and I think it would be a great if we that could be done on more questions.

  • The author would be notified if a 'citation needed' notice was added to their post, according to this. Still, it is often too vague to be useful, and you might need a comment anyway, which makes you wonder if there's any value in the first place.
    – Aurora0001
    Jun 6, 2017 at 19:04
  • Looks like there's some confusion in the comments about whether that works @Aurora0001. It's probably best to test that before we start to actually use those notices.
    – user11249
    Jun 6, 2017 at 19:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .