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Attributing contributions to academic work that occur in online forums

Sometimes we may ask questions on stack exchange or other online forums wherein the response is helpful or even essential to a piece of work that gets published in an academic journal. If this occurs, how should credit be given to those involved in the exchange? Should they all be included as authors? Should a link to the forum be included as a reference in the paper?

It seems to me that this issue makes the current pre-publication editing and peer review process quite awkward. Once it's in a forum, it's "published". Peer review occurs after publication and perhaps most interestingly with respect to the politics of science: everyone is their own editor. In any case, how might this issue be dealt with now while we have forums, which are in some sense politically useless from the perspective of the question answerer in academia (i.e. probably very little that you publish on a forum will yet directly help you get a job or keep one), and journals?