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Since this site is more subjective than some, we occasionally get answers that are solely based on personal opinion or make claims with no justification/references. Even subjective questions should invite facts (instead of opinions), so such answers are less than ideal.

What should we do with these answers? Here are a few options (though feel free to propose alternatives not in this list):

  • Just leave them alone and let them be downvoted/ignored
  • Flag them for immediate deletion
  • Flag them for the application of a post notice (e.g. "citation needed"), with deletion being the next course of action if the answer is not filled out

If you'd like some ideas on how this is handled on other sites, I refer you to a Skeptics FAQ.

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  • $\begingroup$ So what's happening with this? Are we waiting for more votes, or answers...? $\endgroup$ – Mithical Feb 8 '17 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir I was hoping there would be more votes on your answer, but since nobody else seems to have a proposal, I'm on board with that solution. $\endgroup$ – Ben N Feb 8 '17 at 19:24
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Here's my proposal. I've tried to have this take into account our quality needs and also the good of the answer OP. This is essentially the same as your last idea.

  1. Comment and ask for them to provide sources to back up their claims, or stick that moderator notice on.

    This tells them that there's something wrong with how they're doing their answers, and gives them an opportunity to improve them.

  2. If they update with the sources, then great - problem solved. If they refuse, or haven't after a period of time, then delete them - they're not reliable or good answers.

As to what the amount of time that we should give them, I don't know at the moment - people can provide suggestions.

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I have some information that is not publically available based on research that I've been doing for the past several years. I can't cite it since it isn't published. Yet it is considerably more advanced and in agreement with observed evidence than theories that usually get mentioned like Integrated Information Theory or Global Workspace (both of which can be disproved). It won't be published until it is completed and no earlier than 2021. So, I can either withhold what I know (which would be quite odd considering that proton decay was talked about for years before it was disproved), or I can answer without citations.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a worthwhile concern. I think that as long as you explain why you hold the position you do (as opposed to just posting a one-line assertion), that should be considered sufficient support. $\endgroup$ – Ben N Mar 31 '18 at 19:47

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