Something that comes up in many sites, but I think will be more common here than most, is attribution. We need to remember (and remind others) to attribute our posts when we source the material online - even if we don't quote it verbatim, and simply summarize, it's right to attribute it.

Not only does this avoid plagiarism or copyright complaints, but it also lends more weight to the post if it is attributed to a reputable source. (Attributing to a magazine might not be as useful as a professional woodworker or carpenter, but it's probably worth more than a random person on the internet, even with a high per-site reputation, right?)

Attribution also helps the original poster and future readers by including additional sources of information that may be helpful in identifying surrounding information, and possibly help them develop their own ability to find answers better.

What guidelines should we follow in attribution?

2 Answers 2


Here are some guidelines - please edit if you have other suggestions.

  1. Pictures need to be attributed, either in-line or at the end of the post with [1] style attribution
  2. Quotations sourced from other sites directly should be in >quote blocks, and attributed before or after the quote, or using [1] style attribution
  3. Statements that are summarized from another site should not be in quote blocks, but should be referenced near the statement, using language like "[Popular Woodworking] (http://www.popularwoodworkin.com/somepage/) suggests that you should..." or similar text to identify that you are bringing over their argument.
  4. Statements that are summarized from a group of related articles (by different authors and publishers) do not necessarily need attribution, but are best referenced using [1] style attribution, or by listing them as possible sources of additional information.
  5. Attribution to a web page should include the link directly to the page, and should when possible include the title of the article or paper or other text that would be helpful in finding the article if the link rots. Attributing with [this] is not very helpful as it makes it harder to find rotten links.

Also, please read the rules regarding attribution on Meta.SE.

  • Combining 3 & 5, that's the normal "SE way". Don't just link to the reference site, and don't just quote it. Give a link, then give a short summary. The summary may be sufficient, but the details are just a click away.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 20, 2015 at 18:38
  • What is " [1] style attribution"?
    – Ast Pace
    Oct 21, 2015 at 16:05
  • Basically footnote-style.
    – Joe
    Oct 21, 2015 at 18:04

While I completely agree with attribution and referencing, I'm not overly confident, as was said, "but I think will be more common here than most". I really don't think attribution will need to be here any more than another. I believe we will have the experience and wisdom of many who have done this work for a long time. When someone with 35+ years of woodworking experience is posting, most everything they say will be off the top of the head, be on topic, and be exactly right without need for attribution, mainly because they are the source material.

With that said, don't think I'm in anyway above, beyond, or sideways from thinking we don't need attribution. If someone pulls a picture or grabs a quote, ABSOLUTELY attribute it.

  • The reason I said '... more common here than most' was that compared to some sites where there is little out there on the internet on the topic, woodworking has a lot out there on the internet; so we will have a lot of posts that source from a source online. We'll have lots of experts who provide their own advice as well - but that's the hope of most sites, honestly.
    – Joe
    Mar 20, 2015 at 19:36
  • @Joe ... I see where you are coming from and can agree with that. And yes, most sites do hope for the experts, don't they. Still, as you say, attribution is a good thing. Keeps us legal and everything. No sense plagiarizing like the coding SE sites do! ;-) Mar 20, 2015 at 19:38

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