Over the last month or so there have been productive questions surrounding citation (When to use citations, how to combat unreferenced answers).

In a recent answer regarding bad eyesight there was a line that I don't think has any supporting evidence -- the author disagreess. The author provided a reference, however it didn't exactly support the statement in question. The comments lead me to believe that the answerer thinks that the statement has merit. This situation has come up a few times with me before, and I'm sure others - a partially unreferenced answer has an author that disagrees with a reader about the legitimacy of a citation. This hasn't really been covered in the aforementioned meta posts.

Assuming that one has downvoted and engaged with the answerer, what can/should be done to resolve the disputedly referenced statement. As I see it here are my options:

  • High road the author and remove the line myself
    • directly conflicts with what the answerer thinks is an important line
  • Flag for moderator attention (and deletion/banner)
    • overkill for answers if there is another option
  • Do nothing more; future readers can evaluate the comments and merit of the answer for themselves. (Agreeing to disagree is not ideal!)
    • it's not entirely fair to expect readers to read through extended commentary

Any thoughts?

  • $\begingroup$ I think the first option which you posed is most reasonable, however, only if as you said, there is at most one unreferenced line. For anything beyond that, I'd say that option 2 would then be the most appropriate. Option 3 should, in my opinion, not even be an option, since, in my eyes, an argument would most likely end up in an extended discussion, and that's not really what comments are there for. $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 17:56


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