It has been said that "citations are the source code of Physics.SE"

References are how citations are added to a posting. Should we recognize good citation/reference practices via:

  • a badge after a fixed number of answers, voted to N-score, each with at least X references
  • a badge when total citations in all answers exceed Y
  • when a moderator awards Q or A with subjectively-good ('policy') references.
  • etc.

By 'counting citations', I mean "counting the number of links that are included in the body of the question or answer"

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  • $\begingroup$ By a citation you mean a link from another Phys.SE post? $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Apr 15 '13 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking a link to a qualified web source that provide information about the answer, or a facet of the answer. E.G. a peer-reviewed journal link, pub-sci article, univ. website, wikipedia, etc. $\endgroup$ – New Alexandria Apr 15 '13 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ How are you in practice going to count outside citations of a Phys.SE post? $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Apr 15 '13 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Qmechanic edited above $\endgroup$ – New Alexandria Apr 15 '13 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean references rather than citations? $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Apr 15 '13 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Qmechanic I do. On this site, I think of the best references being citations. I realize this isn't a comprehensive mindset. I've opened the the question to solicit answeres with ideal solutions $\endgroup$ – New Alexandria Apr 15 '13 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ Usually references and citations of a given post are two different things. A given post can include several references to outside articles. Conversely, outside articles can cite a given post. They become citations of the given post, but are obviously for chronological reasons not mentioned in the post. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Apr 15 '13 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ If someone answered a question, and references 4 journal articles, are those references not citations of the articles? The answer given is supported by the referenced (cited) articles. $\endgroup$ – New Alexandria Apr 15 '13 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ AFAIK they don't make site-specific badges on SE. Doesn't hurt to ask, though. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 15 '13 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ I just did and got the *hit-storm. You'd think I kicked a puppy. $\endgroup$ – New Alexandria Apr 15 '13 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ Besides the "should we do this" and "will they let us do this" aspects, there's the cold, hard, "this is too complicated to be done" aspect - all badges are currently awarded through infrequently-updated counters on the site that track votes, views, and postings. Trivial algorithms, fully automated; no gray areas; no hassle. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Apr 16 '13 at 1:04
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    $\begingroup$ Also if this is implemented, I request a gold badge for the time I went on a citation binge :P $\endgroup$ – user10851 Apr 16 '13 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ The answer you liked is the kind of answer that I think we would benefit from by drawing more attention $\endgroup$ – New Alexandria Apr 16 '13 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ This is a terribly mis-written post. "well-cited" means that many people have cited it "lot of references" is the right word here. $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Jul 28 '13 at 5:13

I suspect tracking external citations would be impractical, but I quite like the idea of an internal citation count. Having said this, frequently cited questions tend to attract high scores so the author gets credit that way.

@NewAlexandria: you shouldn't interpret all the comments as a *hit-storm. Rather the reverse actually, as if a question attracts a lot of discussion it usually means it's a good question.

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  • $\begingroup$ Certainly a well-cited answer can become highly ranked, but the well-cited questions have a specific worth. Maybe the traditional journals already worked this out, and what we really need is our own version of Impact Factor. $\endgroup$ – New Alexandria Apr 17 '13 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ Note that official Impact Factor calculations are not a big thing in all fields, especially the less cutthroat [read: more pleasant ;) ] ones. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Apr 18 '13 at 8:23

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