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What is this sites opinion on users answering questions by promoting their own 'non-standard' research? By non-standard, I mean research which makes claims that are generally accepted by the physics community to be either wrong or not useful. While it is tricky to know when this is happening every time, I worry that people visiting this site will see answers which seem credible but are the opposite!

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  • $\begingroup$ Related: physics.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4539/106502. $\endgroup$
    – Chris Mod
    Jul 24 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ That post leaves ambiguous the case when this non-standard research has been published in a (low impact) peer-reviewed journal. $\endgroup$
    – fewfew4
    Jul 24 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ If it's been published in a reputable journal, BioPhysicist's answer applies. $\endgroup$
    – Chris Mod
    Jul 24 at 4:29
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What is this sites opinion on users answering questions by promoting their own 'non standard' research?

I care less about the opinions and more about the policy.

If the post is not an attempt to answer the question, it should be flagged for review/deletion. If the post is an actual attempt at answering the question, then it deserves to stay on the site. However, if the content is incorrect, detrimentally speculative, etc. then users should downvote the answer. This then helps mitigate your following worry

While it is tricky to know when this is happening every time, I worry that people visiting this site will see answers which seem credible but are the opposite!

If the answer has enough down votes, then the answer will not be as easily visible, and it indicates an issue with the post and "caution" should be used when looking at it.

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    $\begingroup$ What is the reason for the down vote? Meta is a great place to hash out understanding of how the site works. I could be wrong on all of this as well. $\endgroup$ Jul 24 at 2:59
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure who down voted. This seems like the most reasonable and practical approach. Perhaps the person who down voted can share their thoughts? $\endgroup$
    – fewfew4
    Jul 24 at 3:21
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It’s what downvotes are for. Once the post reaches a specified negative score, senior users could choose to vote to delete it. In outrageous cases, flagging can be used

It might be courteous and useful to add a gentle comment like “Would you have additional references to your method” or something like this. As it is always difficult to judge if a published paper is really non-standard, there might be some niche literature on this topic.

Finally, (I’m sorry to say that) many once-reputable journals are now quasi-homeopathic: the good stuff is diluted to the N’th degree with fillers of highly suspicious quality, so simply going by the journal brand might not be enough

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    $\begingroup$ You're right that many journals accept dubious work, and it's a real shame. Having their work published in a journal gives them an air of authority that I've seen being used to their advantage. I just hope that this community can correctly identify when this is happening. $\endgroup$
    – fewfew4
    Jul 24 at 14:53
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Worth noting in this context, that there are quite a few answers that are of low quality simply because:

  • the person answering does not know physics very well
  • the person knows physics well... but they specialize in a very different field, and base their answer on vague recollections
  • the answer is hand-waving or watery, because the answerer didn't have time (or didn't bother) to write up a proper answer

Moreover, some of such answers may have many upvotes - depending on the qualifications of users who noticed the question.

I think it would be very difficult to delineate between such marginal quality answers and actually non-standard research that the OP has in mind. And both are in agreement with the community rules, unless the claims are too obviously outrageous.

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