This question: Linear bending of a mesh, asks for a clarification on formulas from a linked paper which in turn is paywalled in the ACM digital library. I was able to find alternative links to the paper via Google Scholar, but thought it would be good to raise the issue formally rather than edit & forget.

How accessible should source material be? Arguably, the ACM link is less likely to rot than some duplicate copy on a faculty web page. Is stability more important than accessibility? Is it incumbent upon readers to find alternative copies if needed?

Or maybe the problem is the question itself - i.e. it doesn't present enough information / context directly & depends too heavily on the paper in question. Link only answers are a problem, maybe it's too much of a link only question.


Why not include both?

In the interest of future availability, you could include both links - the pay walled one plus a free alternative. You've described potential advantages to each, so there's no reason to omit either of them. Just make it clear which is which.

Could use more context

I wouldn't call this specific question a link only question, but it does seem to be a heavily link dependent question. It would help to have more context, describing the parts of the paper that seem relevant but confusing.

Further detail can be requested in comments, or if the question is unclear you can vote to close so it can be put on hold until clarified.


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