Earlier today Viren Jain, a world-leading expert in automated connectome reconstruction, posted an answer that I upvoted. It was short but contained a link to a paper that was highly relevant. However, when I revisited the question his answer became a comment.

Was he told by a moderator to make his answer a comment? If so, does this have something to do with limits on answer length? When I check the guidelines for posting answers I don't see anything about limits on answer length.

I must note that most leading neuroscience researchers don't have much time on their hands so if they share their work on this forum we should be grateful. Also, longer answers aren't necessarily a sign of greater insight. As Blaise Pascal once said:

I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.

If you consider the answers recently posted by neuroscientists on this site Konrad Kording, Viren Jain, Christian Jarvers, Brad Wyble, Eric Lee and Bzazz most of these are of moderate length but I would say that all of them are on point.

Note: I can't find the edit history for this question so at the moment I'm speculating. However, it is my hope that if I encourage good researchers to contribute to this forum that they will be welcomed.

1 Answer 1


No, there are no limits on answer length, but there are on how you link to external sources.

In case you need to visit a link to understand the answer, that does not constitute an answer, and is more suitable as a comment. Due to link rot, the answer might become meaningless once the link dies. That is also why we ask for APA references to papers with DOI links.

This is also reflected in the general 'how to ask' guidelines:

Provide context for links

Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why itโ€™s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

Furthermore, is there anything wrong with posting the link as a comment? It is valuable and can still be up voted. It won't be removed as long as it is relevant. It might get removed once someone (potentially else) takes the time to summarize the information which may be found in the link and posts that as an answer.

  • I just hope that this is explained tactfully to researchers that are new to this site.
    – user3503
    Aug 24, 2019 at 11:48
  • 2
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8231/…
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Aug 24, 2019 at 15:36
  • @Aiden You can help link them to this post in the future. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Aug 24, 2019 at 16:57

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