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During my learning I've read a couple books on a topic and have my reviews about them. How should I answer in the book request on that topic, which already has some answers on the books I read? Should I

  • write them all in one answer for a synthesis of reviews?
  • split then in separated answers so that they can be voted independently?
  • edit the already answers because they are wiki posts?

Assuming I have only one review, but the other answer on the same book is not even close to what I would write, should I edit it, comment, or post another answer? If what I would write is quite unfavored to the book, would the previous answer still hold?

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For most other types of questions, we always say that you should make unrelated answers as separate posts so they can be independently voted on. But when it comes to recommendations, the voting is fairly meaningless since there isn't really a "best" or "correct" answer to such questions (Griffiths notwithstanding :-P), and in fact there isn't even much of a basis for judging whether one answer is better than another. So for resource recommendations specifically, posting all the recommendations you have as a single answer is an acceptable option. Posting each book in a separate answer is also acceptable. (Exception: if there is one community-wiki answer that everybody is supposed to edit their recommendations into, just do that.)

Now, if you're making one or more posts of your own, as for what to actually include in them:

  • If you are recommending a resource that doesn't appear in any of the existing answers, then definitely include it in your post.
  • If you are recommending a resource that is also recommended by an existing answer,

    • If your description of the resource is substantially different from how the existing answer describes it, go ahead and post your recommendation separate from the existing one.
    • If your description is quite similar to the existing one, just skip it.
    • As a special exception to the above two options, if you think the existing description mostly covers what you'd write yourself but you just want to add one or two minor points, and those points are consistent with the existing description, and the existing answer is community wiki, then you can edit it to contain the few things you want to add. But these situations are relatively rare.

All this applies regardless of whether what you want to write is favorable to the resource or not. However, keep in mind that we are collecting resource recommendations, not general criticism. You should only mention resources that you think are worth recommending, and as part of that you should usually have some good things to say about them.


Of course, if you think a resource that someone else has already recommended is bad, you can take steps to point that out, but that's a whole different situation. (TL;DR would be either comment, or edit if it's a wiki post, but make sure you provide a balanced overview of the benefits and problems with the resource.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Why is the voting meaningless? Why is it CW? Assuming I have only one review, but the other answer on the same book is not even close to what I would write, should I edit it, comment, or post another answer? If what I would write is quite negative to the book, would the previous answer still hold? $\endgroup$ – Ooker Nov 21 '17 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ Voting is meaningless because resource recommendation questions don't have right or wrong answers; beyond that, there isn't even much of a basis on which any answer can be better or worse than any other. Also, I'm not sure why these questions are CW; you can probably find some information on that in older meta posts. The rest of your comment would probably make a good addition to the question. $\endgroup$ – David Z Nov 21 '17 at 7:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Ooker For our most recent discussion of the on-topicness and CW status of these questions, see physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/7039/50583 $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Nov 21 '17 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ I just finally finish the draft of my review and post it here. One year after this question :( $\endgroup$ – Ooker Dec 6 '18 at 15:39

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