This question is currently closed for being a duplicate of this question. The closed question asks about recommendations about video lectures for quantum lectures while the second question asks about books. The answers to the second question do not contain information about video lectures.

Why is this question closed? The two questions are certainly not duplicates of each other. The first question does not have a sufficient number of answers as well. Answers which solely mention video lectures would not be correct for the second question as well since the question asks only about books.


2 Answers 2


In short, the reason is that resource recommendation questions aren't allowed to only ask about books. If you look in the body of the second question, it actually asks for "introductory guides".

Yes, the title does say "books", and we should probably change that, but it should be understood as asking for any educational resource that presents the specified topic at the given level. So videos are perfectly good answers.

  • $\begingroup$ Can there be any changes in the resource recommendation policy if the community is willing to? I certainly feel that learners like me should be guided by the best resources (books, video lectures, websites, etc.). Having good resources helps a long way in learning things. Also, Chemistry Stack Exchange seems to entertain resource recommendation questions. Can we adopt some model like theirs so that the posts do not become garbage? $\endgroup$ May 21, 2019 at 6:56
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    $\begingroup$ @ApoorvPotnis It looks like you're purposely avoiding engagement with this answer's contents. David just pointed out that res-recom questions can be broader than just books (indeed, that's why the tag was renamed from [books] to [resource-recommendations]), as well as how to edit the duplicate target for your specific example so that it gets to the natural scope of the policy. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2019 at 7:04

Resource-recommendation questions are considered on-topic here $-$ subject to some tight restrictions. Basically, there is a segment of the community that feels (based on extensive experience coming from the early days of Stack Overflow) that open-ended list-based questions are a bad fit for the site, and that they should not be allowed at all. Back in 2013 a compromise was arrived at which is encased in the FAQ thread Are resource recommendations allowed?, and which basically allows resource-recommendation questions but subject to a number of restrictions to keep them in a useful form instead of spiraling out of control.

One of this restrictions is that an endless series of "same as that one over there, but with X minor modification" are not considered constructive or on-topic. This is why the thread you've linked to was closed - a fact that was explained in the comments by the moderator who closed it.

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    $\begingroup$ But online and offline resources are different things. Books and video lectures offer completely different learning experiences. And an answer which mentions video lectures solely would not be correct for the second question specifically asks for books. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2019 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ The nature of the resource-recommendations policy on this site is such that not all such questions can find a home here. This is by design. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2019 at 20:46
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty "By design"?! $\endgroup$ May 20, 2019 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Massimo By design of the policy and the compromise it represents - yes. Don't blame me, I was on the side arguing for a more open policy (as opposed to the previous straight ban). And part of the compromise that helped convince the ban-all-list-questions crowd was a policy that kept a tight lid on the format. If you ask me (and look at my edits on questions with the tag for background), it's a moderation-intensive policy, but it really has massively improved the level and usefulness of q&a's on that tag. It gets a lot of garbage, and without the filters it'd just melt down. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2019 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ Still, the policy is getting on five years, it may well be time to revisit that decision. In which case, I'd rather see a general policy discussion rather than the current thread and its basis on an awful question. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2019 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I wasn't blaming you, I misinterpreted "by design" as "SE designed it like that". $\endgroup$ May 20, 2019 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Massimo No worries. And on that count, the standard SE line is a fair bit stricter than the current mix here. The 'design' is to allow some of them, and it works by not allowing all of them. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2019 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ Please see my comment to David Z's answer. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2019 at 6:58
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    $\begingroup$ @ApoorvPotnis You're obviously welcome to propose and argue for a change in the policy. Which should entail (and I hope this is obvious to you) reading closely the historical discussions that led to the current one, to understand the issues that it was designed to solve, and a coherent and well-sustained argument on how and why the proposed alternate model would work, and detailed case studies of other sites with policies you want to borrow. However, given that your comments indicate that you don't fully understand the current policy, I would advise you to hold on that proposal until you do. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2019 at 7:07
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty I have not fully read the historical discussions and all the policy-related questions and answers on meta. I will read them. But my point is this: There are experts on this site who have probably read a lot of books (resources) on a certain topic and know which is(are) the better resource(s) and which not. Some resources which are good are not that famous. But due to the broad, international base of people on Physics.SE, these resources stand a chance to be utilized by a large portion of people. Keeping a very tight policy discourages answers for potentially good resources. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2019 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Apoorv Yes, there are such experts. There are also a lot of non-experts with ill-informed opinions who are more than happy to chime in with useless link-only answers to resource-recommendation questions, and experience has shown that the latter will completely drown out the former, absent a constant moderation effort. Keeping a tight policy discourages the awful answers and keeps the signal-to-noise ratio high. Is it your proposal to discard high SNR as a priority? Or what steps are you considering to keep in line the low-quality cruft? $\endgroup$ May 21, 2019 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to chat with you on this topic if you are interested and have time. Can we create a chatroom? I cannot write everything here because of the character limit and the comment section is getting too long. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2019 at 11:11
  • $\begingroup$ @ApoorvPotnis You're welcome to catch me on hbar at any time. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2019 at 12:10

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