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I wonder if there is a way (e.g. a unique and stable ID), other than the full link, that one can use to cite a post, in the same vein as we can cite a journal article via its DOI.

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    $\begingroup$ The shortest URL that I'm aware of is the FQDN plus /q/ID. So the shortest URL that retrieves this question is https://stats.meta.stackexchange.com/q/6414. $\endgroup$
    – Sycorax Mod
    Oct 9, 2022 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ Nice! It's not as short as I hoped but it's something... $\endgroup$
    – utobi
    Oct 9, 2022 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ The "share" button below a post is almost the shortest URL for a specific question or answer, but it has your user ID number appended to it, so it's longer than strictly necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Sycorax Mod
    Oct 9, 2022 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ So if I want to cite, say, this post within another post X, will it work by using only the key '/q/6414' in the "link" field of post X? $\endgroup$
    – utobi
    Oct 9, 2022 at 21:06

2 Answers 2

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As noticed in the comments, the shortest link is https://stats.meta.stackexchange.com/q/6414 (this question), where the questions/6414 part of the URL got shortened. It can be obtained from the "share" button, but it also appends your user ID creating something like https://stats.meta.stackexchange.com/q/6414/35989 where 35989 is my user ID.

So if I want to cite, say, this post within another post X, will it work by using only the key '/q/6414' in the "link" field of post X?

If you want to use only the string "/q/6414" as a reference then I'm afraid it would be meaningful only to a small subset of users of this site that understand how its API works. It also does not mention which StackExchange (or other) site this part of the link refers to (maybe https://stackoverflow.com/q/6414?). If the link needs to be useful as a reference, it needs to be meaningful for the reader.

If you need a shorter link, you can always use one of many URL-shortening services available online. For example. Bitly created https://bit.ly/3yvSSCJ for the link to your question. There are some downsides to URL shorteners; this article lists some of them. https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/pros-and-cons-of-url-shorteners/

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The use of off-site URL shorteners has been discouraged for a long time:

Our official URL shortener list is here:

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