I believe it's good practice to open links to other sites, images and similiar in a new tab.

When I'm browsing answers at this site, I want to keep the context when I'm looking at external links. I often close a tab when I'm finished reading, and here I'm constantly closing my stackexchange-tab.

"Is this just me?"

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2 Answers 2

I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree (and disagree with Kit).

Although external links often provide a good answer to a question, we encourage people to post the information in the answer itself. The reason for this is to reduce to loss of traffic from the site, and hopefully encourage users accept or upvote answers that provided them with the information they needed.

Making links open in a new tab (or window) would increase the chances they would stay, which seems to compliment that guideline/policy/encouragement/thing.

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Personally, I prefer to have the links work normally. I don't expect a links to open in a new window unless it has a ... at the end.

I prefer to follow Jakob Nielsen's standard about links (#2 bullet 4):

In particular, don't open pages in new windows (except for PDF files and such).

You can always use the middle mouse button or right click + open in new tab.

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While the general consensus among usability experts is that links should open in a new window, I don't think we should follow this practice here. Stuart Pegg got a good answer to this. Facebook and Twitter opens links in external links for a reason. People will stay longer on the site and will perhaps be more inclined to give feedback after clicking the link. –  tarjeieo Oct 16 '11 at 13:30

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