Are questions like this appropriate?

[Meta] Should this be for research level questions ONLY, in a similar fashion to mathoverflow.net?

  • Should this SE try and accommodate everything from high-school Physics homework to post-graduate level questions? (vote yes if you want it restricted, no to make it general)

If not, what's the proper way to make a poll?


I'd say the proper way is either

  1. put a comment on the site proposal asking for clarification, or
  2. just propose a questions that is not research level, and see if it gets voted as on-topic or not.
  • 1
    And when posting a non-research level question, you can comment "Trying to determine if non-research level questions are allowed." This doesn't turn your specific question into a poll, but it helps guide voters.
    – Gnome
    Jun 2 '10 at 20:39
  • @Gnome - It seems to still be difficult to get people out of the mind of answering questions but rather voting on the quality of the question. I found that a comment does help, but may bias the votes. On the few that I posted deliberately as "good off topic example" with a comment to that effect, nobody disagreed with me. Out of the 20+ votes each one got, not one 'on topic' or 'bad' vote. Maybe I'm not used to people not disagreeing with me .. and the questions really were that obvious.
    – Tim Post
    Jun 17 '10 at 15:32

There are already a ton of non-research-level physics sites out there. There doesn't need to be another one. There are, however, no general research-level ones. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to just make another low quality non-research website.

I'm a physicist, and I and every one of my colleagues, as far as I know, specifically avoid every one of those other physics sites. A lot of us would be interested in a specifically research-level one, though; but I can guarantee you you'll get almost no research physicists showing up to contribute if the site is lower than, e.g., the mathoverflow level.


If the limitation of votes will be implemented, the proposals main comment might be used, the "great comment" votes are also democratic

  • Working within the vote limitation allows you to judge how important the issue is to the community, though. If it gets low votes, you might just want to hold off on that decision for now.
    – Gnome
    Jun 3 '10 at 11:58
  • @the cat: but that way those who consider it important will vote and possibly determine a direction the others didn't want Jun 4 '10 at 16:43

As I said in the comments of that question, I think it's a reasonable approach to polling community opinion on how broad the focus of a proposal should be.

I've seen it used in quite a few proposals already.


Another example: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/51/astronomy/1010#1010


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