This answer (viewable to those with rep > 10k on "alpha sites", 2k on beta) to the question Which star did Uranus occult in 1977 when the planet's rings were discovered? seems useful. The author never responded to the comment asking for a link unfortunately.

A month later, a moderator with the current description "I work for Stack Overflow as a Senior Product Support Specialist." deleted it.

Is it possible to know why in this case?

The Circular number is easily found. Is it possible to undelete this answer and just add the link to the source http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/03000/03051.html I can't really understand why the answer was deleted. The material seems quite relevant and with the link, the answer has value as it helps readers know of a new way to look up information on occultations.

If the answer is deleted for a serious reason (I can't even vote to undelete!) then I suppose it could be re-created by a different user, but the author is active here so it's probably more appropriate to recover the answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Since the whole answer is just a quotation, I believe it's deleted as plagiarism. The help center mentioned this: "Do not copy the complete text of external sources; instead, use their words and ideas to support your own. And always give proper credit to the author and site where you found the text, including a direct link to it." At this point, it's better for the answer to be deleted since it's a serious case of plagiarism, let the OP fix it, then they can flag their posts for undeletion after that. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewT. Plagiarism is when you try to claim that the material is your own work. "...posting the work of others with no indication that it is not your own..." Have another look at the answer again 1) Top line reads Circular No. 3051 Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION... and 2) the entire thing uses SE's standard block quote. The author clearly does not try to pretend that they are the IAU. This is not plagiarism by any reasonable definition. But I can imagine someone might call it plagiarism for lack of a better word or applicable rule. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 22:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Copying the text of an IAU Circular violates CBAT's terms of use. $\endgroup$
    – Mike G
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 22:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Even if it is not plagiarism, a quotation-only answer is not the kind of answer that SE generally accepts and IMHO rightly deleted. But I'm no one here, so let's wait for regulars/mods to chime in... $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeG that's pretty persuasive, thanks! "Circulars must not be posted on your own publically-available Web pages. If you wish to refer to a circular from your own page, read these instructions." (although that link seems to be broken) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewT. yep, that works for me too, thanks! Note that that answer is written by someone who's currently a moderator here as well. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ Access to moderator tools is granted at 2k, not 10k, on beta sites. $\endgroup$
    – Picachieu
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 3:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DaRussianPotatofromAmerica duly noted, thank you! I've made an edit. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ @DaRussianPotatofromAmerica From here (found in your profile): "Reputation thresholds for privileges are very very low. As a result, users are reviewing posts, casting close and reopen votes on questions long before they are familiar with the workings of the Stack" in particular goes to Is beta-graduation the goal here? With a limited reserve of high-quality answer-writers, might it present more challenges? Thanks for the head-up, intentional or not. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 3:43

1 Answer 1


There's a proposed reason for closing the answer that is certainly sufficient. I don't think there's any need to find out if this was the exact reason or not in order to say that the answer should not be undeleted.

@MikeG's comment:

Copying the text of an IAU Circular violates CBAT's terms of use.

Mods tend to do things for good reasons.

Other comments above discuss plagiarism which doesn't seem to apply in this case, and quotation-only answer which definitely does apply. The usual remedy for a helpful but low quality answer is commenting and then down voting. There was a comment and the author did not follow-up. Quotation-only is probably not a reason for mod-deletion of an answer, but certainly a term-of-use violation would be.


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