I'm a bit confused. I used to think that it's good to provide additional information from other sites whenever an answer is submitted but later I realized it's wrong, but not totally. Now another question is up. If I have decided to give references or citations, I'm (almost) always confused again about what should I give. So far I only provide links to Wikipedia and a few online dictionaries (like Cambridge's) but I often see various sites linked to. Is there a "somewhat" clear instruction on choosing off-site resources, reference targets and citation sources?

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    I don't understand why you think providing a reference might be wrong. Would you explain a little more? The only time it should be a problem is if your entire answer is content from some other site. It is important to explain how the reference relates to the question in your own words. – ColleenV Apr 10 '17 at 13:49
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    Are you asking if there is a list of sources that are considered credible by the ELL community? If that is the question, the Resources for Learning English post is a good starting point, but whether a reference is useful depends on the context. There are a lot of terribly incorrect entries in Urban Dictionary, but every once in a while it is the only freely accessible on-line reference for certain slang. Wiktionary can be a good resource for most words, but it has some made-up entries too. I hope that if there was a problem with a reference, the community would help you correct it. – ColleenV Apr 10 '17 at 16:56
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    I can recall instances of when someone linked to some page and more seasoned users warned others in the comments that it's a bad source and learners shouldn't use it. Other than that, I don't think there's a blacklist on any websites, although B.S.-spitting language websites aren't few, unfortunately. (And it's not even that clear what constitutes B.S.) – M.A.R. Apr 10 '17 at 17:58
  • @M.A.R. I think the bad practice you may have seen comments warning against was linking to an external source without quoting or summarizing the content. Just a bald "here, read this" link, which means "your answer is somewhere else", and prohibited for that reason across SE. The major reason is this is a Q&A site, so we want As here, as well as considering what happens to "link only As" when that link inevitably breaks. Then the A is useless. – Dan Bron Apr 17 '17 at 16:34

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