I noticed some answers that:

  • have nothing or little to do with the question;
  • include an undisclosed link to a paper that is either by the answer’s author or particularly liked by the answer’s author – as evidenced by their profile and number of links (22) to that paper in other answers.

If we take the current wording of the spam flag (“Exists only to promote a product or service, does not disclose the author's affiliation.”) literally, these answers are not spam as they do not promote a product or service. However, they clearly abuse this site for publicity, which is more or less what the spam flag is about. (In the old wording of the spam flag, these answers were spam.)

I flagged some of these answers as spam either with the spam flag or a custom flag for explanation. In one case the flag was declined, while in the other case the flags were marked helpful, but the respective post was not deleted.

My questions are:

  • Should posts that meet the criteria for spam (exist only for promotion; no disclosure) with the exception that they advertise a paper (instead of a product or service) be deleted?

  • If yes, how should those posts be flagged?

Note that I intentionally did not include links to the respective post to avoid publicly shaming anybody. Moderators can obtain them from my recent flag history.

  • $\begingroup$ I took a look at a few of the recent flags you're talking about, and it seems that your definition of "having nothing or little to do with the question" is very far out of line with that used by the moderators when handling flags. As for what you're asking here, I think it's been brought up before, so I'll hold off on answering for a while in hopes that I or someone else can find the previous questions which dealt with this issue. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ Concerning self-citation/self-promotion, see also meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/582/2451 $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic Mod
    Commented Jul 10, 2016 at 7:29


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