I'd like answers to be judged on the merits of their content, regardless of source, so I'm essentially in favour of keeping and approving these answers…
…but, they do make me uneasy, mostly because I can see that there might be potential for someone to complain that their work has been posted without permission. In a sense that is not our problem, it is between the poster and the author, but the question remains whether we want to encourage it or not.
I've been wondering if we can turn this to our advantage however, and I propose the following two actions:
- In the case where the answer is 'not very good' we comment, linking to this meta post, and delete. This is a higher standard than we would apply to other answers, and to be good enough to keep the answer should show it's work well and be useful (upvoted), anything less gets the chop!
- In the case where the answer is good, showing its work well and being useful, we keep it, vote for it, accept it if applicable, but we take the excuse to try and contact the original author to spread the word about this site. If they join up and would like to post the same answer under their own name then we delete the 'quote' version.
This policy would have a particular benefit: we'd only be spending the time approaching folk who we already know are capable of providing the quality answers we want here!
In addition, if the source is online, the answer must link to that source. This makes it easier for readers to learn more, and might also alert the author of the quoted material of its use by this site. (Which is a good thing, per the second point above!)