There's already been a discussion about back-it-up rules and relevancy of answers a few times on this site.
- What should we do with answers that are not backed-up?
- Related Answers: Why your Pakistani answer won't always work for India
- Do we want references in our answers?
- Should we encourage writing from experience?
There may have been even more, that I missed, but these are the most obvious. Now, all of these questions and their answers pretty much seem to agree on one thing: having backed up answers is good. It makes the site a better place.
Yet, although we've been asking users to explain how or why their answer works, there still is very little written that comes with sources or describes the actual experiences had so that they can be compared to the situation in the question. There is often no disclosure of the culture these experiences are taking place in, even though we are encouraging the use of location tags.
Like said here:
The thing that I worry though, is that people may be answering questions or upvoting answers that demonstrate a lack of experience.
That worry was made in the very beginning of the site, and I am seeing it come true lately. I spent half an hour yesterday evening trying to convince one of the site's more active members to include some back up for the claims their answer was making, and in the end, the only thing added was a line like 'Speaking from experience here'. That doesn't give any information on how the experience related to the situation the asker was experiencing, and the cultural background behind that experience. I'm seeing it in other answers too, they're basically coming across as brainstorming on possible solutions, sometimes explained in detail as to how or why they should work, but those claims aren't backed up with anything, there's no proof they have worked in the past.
From here, it is suggested that:
If you do not know your solution works because you've used it yourself or you've seen it recommended by a reputable* source, do not supply the answer.
Now, that quote comes from an answer where it is argued that answers must back themselves up with either sources or experience, and it seems to suggest that enforcing such a thing is possible. All other answers to that question seem to be in agreement, although they are shorter versions.Same goes for the question here, it suggests that enforcing a back it up rule works and is possible. I personally would love to see this happening then, since it would mean easier vetting of answers that actually fit the question and a higher answer quality overall.
Now, looking at the first posts queue or searching this site for the newest answers (is:a, sort by newest), it becomes clear there's a whole lot of common sense answers and brainstorming going on, and that to the outside world it looks like this is okay here (hence the first posts almost never being backed up).
Now, I've been wondering how we could achieve having backed up answers, or discouraging the ones that aren't. And I could use some help with it, so:
How can we encourage/enforce the backing up of answers?