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If I answer a question making various historical claims, how strict should we as a community be about what kinds of references I use to back up my claims?

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  • ... what site are you talking about here? – hichris123 Apr 21 '14 at 0:32
  • @hichris123 History of Math and Science, I must have clicked the wrong button. Is there a simple way to move this to that proposal? – Jack M Apr 21 '14 at 0:33
  • @JackM Edit your question to link to the proposal. Typically questions here start or end with Proposal: [**History of Math and Science**](http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/65204/history-of-science-and-mathematics) (or other equivalent syntax). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 22 '14 at 14:08
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My suggestion:

  1. No references at all is to be discouraged and downvoted.

  2. Credible historical books and articles (for some value of "credible") are acceptable, and you should cite the specific book/article and page number. In short: just tell us where you read what you're saying. Especially if it's an off-line or otherwise somewhat inaccessible source, please also mention any information about where that author claims to have gotten their facts.

  3. Anything better (such as original sources) is obviously ideal, but it seems like it would be a bit stifling to require original sources all the time.

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