1. When writing about Stack Exchange, or citing from Stack Exchange, in research papers, citations, bibliographies, etc.: Is there a Common Convention or Etiquette suggested when referring to Stack Exchange questions and users?

  2. Is there an official Stack Exchange guide, (a URL), regarding "Common Conventions", or "Etiquette" that may help clarify this, and other similar questions?


#1 is explicitly answered below. However, in view of the comments, and questions, the "implicit" answer to #2 seems to be "No".


This would be very helpful -- given the wiki, and the fact that Stack is being cited formally, (Citing Stack Overflow discussions).


Another stack user also noted the importance of generalizations - affirming that "Stack Etiquette", (Stack Link) -- but they did not include a citation to a general etiquette "Thread".


  1. Other Stack sites, (Stack Link)? (Stacks? Exchanges?)
  2. Other Questions? (Threads?)

OP's? Commenters? Questioners? Exchangers? Stackers? Editors?

Wikipedia Example

Wikipedia refers to its users, and users refer to each other as Wikipedians.

Although in practice, "Editors" seems to take precedence.

  • 6
    Uuuh. Are you serious? You feel the need to formalize this?
    – Oded
    Nov 14, 2015 at 19:38
  • 1
    I agree that there should not be some "enforceable standard" -- However, in the artistic sense, it is a stylization opportunity for people who like to help edit and improve questions and answers -- especially when this information is published/sited elsewhere. Nov 14, 2015 at 19:58
  • 2
    @elikakohen there's no right or wrong thing when addressing users. Do what you feel like doing. What we would probably recommend is Stack Exchange users or simply users, because that is, after all, what they are. This is very much opinion-based IMO. Nov 14, 2015 at 20:04
  • 1
    @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ thanks. That is about as official as it gets. :) Would you mind posting this as "The Answer", so I can accept? Nov 14, 2015 at 20:29
  • 2
    I really think that it was an error downvoting, kidding the user, and that was very useless to close the question. Is well written, clear, and he asked for a netiquette rule, not asked to create a rule, but just if is there a rule. I hope one day downvoting and censoring like this will be avoided
    – realtebo
    Jul 31, 2018 at 22:28

3 Answers 3


There's no right or wrong thing when addressing users really.

Do what you feel like doing. What I would recommend is 'Stack Exchange users' or simply 'users', because that is, after all, what they are.


I'm going to address two of these that kinda bug me:

Other Stack sites, (Stack Link)? (Stacks? Exchanges?)

Stack Exchange sites. Just 'Site' for short, if you like. Not 'Stacks', not 'Exchanges', and definitely not 'forums'

Other Questions? (Threads?)

Questions. 'Threads' are a forum thing, and tend to imply 'discussion'. We have comment threads, but questions are not threads.

We don't need to formalize our terms for users. They're... users. Or people. Use natural language when referring to other people on the site.

  • Just referring to them as "SE sites" also suffices. Though I've seen many refer to Q/A as "Q/A threads".
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 14, 2015 at 20:05
  • 2
    Q&A yes, threads no - SE is not a discussion forum
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 14, 2015 at 20:14
  • @Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. 1. Thanks. I have seen "SE user, site, etc". However, sometimes the conventions used, (OP, SE), are ambiguous when they occur in citations, publications, print, etc. 2. And to: @Undo: I agree, "Natural Language" should be the way -- but "OP", "SE", etc, don't fulfill this; 3. However: What I think you are stating, is: "To represent the culture of the Stack Communities: Just expand to natural language -- without specific formality"; Nov 14, 2015 at 20:22

My personal preference is to use "community members" or "the community" in place of the word "users" (e.g. "What does the community think about this proposed feature?"). I personally don't like the word "users", because to me it implies that people who participate in Stack Exchange are just customers using a software product. To me, participating in Stack Exchange means being part of a community, not using a piece of software.

But it really is just a personal preference. You should use whatever word or phrase you think works best, so long as it isn't silly and makes sense. There is no need to create a new word to describe people who use Stack Exchange.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .