The current reputation system fails to convey a lot of information about the contributor. I propose to add a simplistic data analysis based on e.g. academic citation metrics (H index, or any of the cool alternatives).

I propose these numbers to be calculated from the questions and answers seperately, so that at least a certain degree of visualization is given to the number that makes up the reputation.

If this idea really picks up, perhaps ways to visualize time-dependent per-post data (when did I receive my upvotes, did the amount of upvotes on that old answer increase linearly or exponentially? etc).

I can understand this would seem like a very limited audience would be interested in these numbers and or graphs, but as many of the StackExchange communities are formed by people with a scientific and/or geeky this would be a useful addition in my opinion.

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    Gotta be careful not to deanonymize the votes. For instance, knowing when votes were received ("when did I receive my upvotes") can allow users to correlate votes with individuals if the individuals also commented in a way consistent with the vote they put in.
    – Louis
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 14:25
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    Do you mean something like this? Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 14:29
  • @Louis then just make the minimum time frame weeks or something.
    – rubenvb
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 14:32
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    @Shadow not quite: I frankly don't care about "citizenship duties" like flagging, close voting, editing. I "care" about the perceived quality of people's content and how that relates to the quantity thereof.
    – rubenvb
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 14:36
  • I see. But your request lacks some details: where this will be displayed? How? Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 14:40
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    @Shadow The reputation tab has a lot of room left, and I am not a webdesigner ;-). If any of these metrics are deemed useful by the community, why not put them in place of the accept rate that was banished to the abyss. Of course, the meaning of such a number is as disputed as the accept rate. Nonetheless, I feel such things have a place next to other arbitrary numbers like reputation (because "we all know" it says only so much about the expertise of an individual), and number of badges.
    – rubenvb
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 14:51
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    Such metrics could revive precisely the same sort of nonsense removing the accept rate was supposed to kill. Instead of "I won't interact with that person, she never accepts anything!", it will be "He got all his rep from questions, I'll downvote his answer!" I am in full agreement with you on how interesting the data would be, but this concept would need VERY careful implementation. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


I am strongly against such idea, and I will try to shortly explain why. I don't think we need more user quality metrics on SE. We've already gotten the rep points and the badges, and we've already gotten many rep-hunters and badge-hunters. And we have gotten too little users who just do the good and important things regardless of any points, like extensive good editing and re-tagging, commenting on posts explaining what's wrong with them and how to improve them (i.e., showing how to plant food instead of simply giving food) etc.

It is, in my opinion, much more important to understand that improving the site has to be done regardless of the actions being reflected in the measures. People should feel that it is good to do good things simply because they are good. That is the way to keep the high standard of the sites. Therefore I don't think that it really matters if you use H-index, PageRank, rep points, number of accepted answers or whatever criteria to show which users did more job, I don't think it's significant whether someone has 15k or 20k rep, so I don't think it's any important to "improve the preciseness" of the measures.

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