How many references, on average, should an answer to an objective question have to be considered reliable?

3 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    That depends on the question. For example, I'm not going to cite any sources at all for this answer since you're asking for an opinion. I've given plenty of answers that I know to be correct to fact based questions that cite no sources at all. At the other extreme, I've had occasion to site three or four peer-reviewed scientific journal articles for answers I've given (and then had the asker chose a best answer that cited no sources and contradicted all four of mine).

    If someone asks what are the names of the planets in our solar system, I can answer correctly without looking anything up, since I memorized that in the fourth grade, and finding a source to support my answer would simply be superfluous. If someone asks what's the temporary name of the recently discovered 10th planet, citing only one source is fine, especially if said source is the NASA website. But if someone asks were the current research in the treatment of a rare chromosomal disorder is going, you'd better give more than one source, although the exact number depends on what those sources are (one or two review articles from reliable sources might be better than five or six primary research articles). All three of those are objective questions, but the number of references required for each is quite different.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    that would depend on the reliability of the references.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well... on yahoo answers the need for reference is not that much so as long as it sounds sane it should be fine. On papers and other stuff... five is good.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.