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I see lots of questions that ask for reading material on a particular subject that are left open and get good answers. I've often gone and followed the recommendations in those answers and learned alot about that particular area.

Then I often see extremely similar questions asking for reading material being closed. Particularly in the case of books, and that's fair enough as people only need to go to Amazon and read the reviews there to decide if a book is worth reading. So book questions are just unnecessary noise on SO as the answers can easily be found using Google or Amazon.

I have just posted a question asking for recommendations for Academic Journals and/or Reviews related to database systems. It's not like I'm not asking for some beginning HTML type book. This is far removed from a book question - there are no duplicates of my question and there is no site like Amazon with hundreds of reviews of academic journals dealing with specialized areas.

There is some very advanced programming and theory happening in this area and I want to get into it. I have (obviously) already Googled for journals and I found one after 2 hours. But I don't know if it's 'respected', which something I've been told is worth taking account of when reading an academic journal. I found no Review type material. So that is why I decided to post a question asking about where to find material on this area.

The people best placed to answer it are the people on SO who specialize in the area of database systems theory and programming. It seems to me that the question got closed for being a 'tell me what book to get' question when it is far removed from that as I have explained above. So with that in mind would it be possible to re-open my thread so I can get some input on this for database specialists?

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Note: Book requests/questions are not bad because of the lack of specificity, they're bad because the system doesn't support lists of things well (who maintains them when they go out of date, how does the voting system work in regards to it, etc.). –  casperOne Feb 5 '13 at 1:49
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And if your screen name is a reference to the Street Fighter character Guile, kudos to you. =) –  casperOne Feb 5 '13 at 1:49
    

1 Answer 1

Book recommendation questions are closed because:

  • They are subjective: There is no definitive answer; answers must be judged based on voters' personal preferences

  • They lie outside the scope of the site: SO is not an aggregator of sources of programming knowledge, be they web pages, books or academic journals. The goal is to answer questions about specific programming problems.

  • The information gleaned is impermanent: The "leading academic journals" of today may be disreputable tomorrow. There are new publications in the academic world all the time, so the only way the answers provided will remain accurate is if they are constantly updated, bringing us to our next point...

  • There is too much useless activity on these questions: Questions like this tend to inspire an initial flood of mostly useless answers, and from there on see intermittent activity from late answerers/editors until the question is ultimately locked.

Your question is subject to all of these problems. The complexity of the programming concepts you are studying has no bearing on whether the question is constructive. Additionally, the fact that it is not easy to find reviews of academic journals elsewhere on the internet does not make the question more on topic here.

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I have to say the "not easy to find" point made me think twice on this one. But there's always chat for that. –  bfavaretto Feb 5 '13 at 2:49
    
@bfavaretto Yeah, I was kind of wary about that one, but I'm sure you'll agree the obscurity of information does not increase its relevance to a specific context, even if it does in some cases increase its value. It would be great to have an online resource where academic journals can be discussed, but that does not mean we have to adapt a QA site into one. –  Asad Feb 5 '13 at 3:19
    
I agree, the existing sites are not for that. But it makes me think, I always hear the SE engine is not suited for discussions and lists. Of course it was built with Q&A in mind, but it's still better than maybe any "forum" system around, IMO. –  bfavaretto Feb 5 '13 at 3:24

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