User ff524 deleted my answer, that I think is relevant to the question, which is If I request a paper through my university library, must they pay a substantial amount of money? . If you can see it, since it is deleted.

I give a suggestion related to this part of the question: "I find this price ridiculous and will not pay".

Another commenter thought my answer may be "Promoting a illegal site". Of course that depends on the jurisdiction (given that the site is Ukranian, their laws may well differ from the commenter's), and my answer does not concernt itself with legality but with morality (which is quite often not the same, unfortunately).

Anyway, I'd like to ask ff524 to revert their deletion, given that I have show that the answer is relevant to the question, which was their only stated objection.

  • 3
    You can see the comments (including the one from moderator ff524) - you were not answering the question. You gave an answer, yes, but it was not to the asked question (but pertained to the background information in the question).
    – Oded
    Jul 20, 2017 at 19:50
  • Yes, is it so bad to give some background information? Especially since another commenter already hinted at the very same thing, so it seems relevant to go into that. Jul 20, 2017 at 19:52
  • 4
    Give background information, sure. But answer the question. Which is something you failed to do.
    – Oded
    Jul 20, 2017 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


Welcome to AC.SE. You can most definitely ask for explanations about what is going on. This is exactly what meta and chat are for. In this case, since the question is specifically about AC.SE, using our meta is better than the general meta.

When you answer was deleted a comment was left that said:

This is not an answer to the question: does the library have to pay to get the article when someone requests it from them?

That is the heart of the issue. While you were providing some relevant information, you were not answering the question. Had the question been about getting the paper without paying, your answer would have made sense. The issue is the question was about if libraries had to pay the full amount for ILLs.

Please take a look at our help center. We are different from other online discussion forums in that we are unabashedly a Q/A site. We limit discussion to meta and chat and use comments sparingly, and only to improve questions and answers.

  • It could have been turned into a comment.
    – gerrit
    Jul 21, 2017 at 11:07
  • @gerrit possibly, but it was related to the question, an answer, and a comment, so it is not really clear where it should go. It was also lomg, ranty and not trying to seek information or improve the question/answer, so wouldn't have been a great comment.
    – StrongBad
    Jul 21, 2017 at 11:14
  • 2
    Thanks, this explains my line of thinking exactly.
    – ff524
    Jul 21, 2017 at 14:03
  • I suppose I was adding the "ranty" bit to avoid complaints about legality, by focusing on morality instead. Jul 21, 2017 at 20:56

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