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As a new user myself (just 22 days old), I feel as if the downvoting policy needs a major rejig.

I agree to the fact that downvotes must be anonymous - as if the person who is downvoting is known, then revenge downvoting may be rampant. But the point is when we come across new contributors who are unaware / don't know the policy of PhySE, we have to try and make an inclusive environment for them as well.

In the Stack Overflow, I have seen that new users are taken through a good-enough tutorial while posting their first question. They ask the motivation of the user for the question, why he/she thinks it is relevant, what is his understanding of the question etc...

We need to introduce a similar culture in PhySE also.

Whenever we are filling out the form to ask a question, we need to start subdividing as:

  1. Title
  2. The OP's question
  3. What are the underlying concepts and his understanding
  4. Why is he not able to solve the question and where is he stuck
  5. What could be the motivation of his problem (will use it for experiments, research, hypothesis etc.)
  6. Finally tagging and duplicate checking.

This will help reduce the number of downvotes and as a result bans, and also will create a major difference in the culture of PhySE as we know that EVERY QUESTION has been indirectly scrutinised through this process.

I feel that this should not apply only for first-timers, but for every question.

This may have been raised before but it's high time it's raised again. What is the community's say on my opinion?

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    $\begingroup$ Such a requirement, for every question, will add friction to the process and likely result in fewer question overall. If it were to only reduce the number of homework and obvious duplicate questions that would be one thing, but it is not clear that it would. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ But the Stack Overflow site is working quite well on this process. What does @JonCuster have to say ? $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ It will help reduce the number of duplicates as well. $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ Good to see there are no complaints about downvoting on StackOverflow. Oh, wait... You think it will help, I'm less sure. Your proposed process does not "scrutinize" anything - it is merely a set of steps that a potential questioner has to go through to post a question. Nobody else is involved in that process. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ @JonCuster won't it help OPs rethink their question and atleast in that brainstorming process get their answer? $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ One might hope so. But many will likely click through the process as fast as possible to try and dump their homework problem on us. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ What about making all those field compulsory? $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:06
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    $\begingroup$ This will help reduce the number of downvotes... Citation needed. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ Your proposal for a question template for new users is interesting, and I think it's a good start on such a template (though "stuck" is more about homework, and we aren't a homework-help community). But that's a completely separate issue from your title question about "downvote culture." Introducing such a question wizard would be a big effort. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:37
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    $\begingroup$ Also, I'd argue that the real problem is that people don't downvote enough. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:48
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    $\begingroup$ @rob - I've tried to search on the mother Meta but failed - what non-StackOverflow sites use the Ask Wizard? Do any? Are they even interested in moving to one? I know Code Golf has their Sandbox, which is similar. Clearly the machinery exists so we could decide as a site to ask for it. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ I'll do something - I shall upload the SO one here. $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ "As a new user myself (just 22 days old), I feel..." Glad you have it all figured out in just 22 days. $\endgroup$
    – hft
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ I think this is a good idea! The problem though is someone is going to have to go through the effort to implement those features the way its done for stackoverflow. I might also add a step (0), to use approach0.xyz, physics.se bar and generally remind the user to google their question before posting, and include any links that seemed they could have been relevant but weren't for the OP (either because too complex, or similar wording but different question) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20 at 15:34

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Sorry if this is going to be a little off putting, and maybe it’s just a question of style, but by your own admission you have been around for less than a month and suddenly you think we need a major change of culture on PSE?

I’m all in favour of changes and constructive criticism but may I respectfully suggest you first understand the current culture before suggesting a major rejig? Have you yourself synthesized from the multiple posts and discussions on vote closing and downvoting on PSEmeta what the culture of PSE actually is and why the community consensus has evolved to where it is now?

The community here has had numerous reflections on downvoting, and you were not part of any of those discussions. Outside input is important and welcome (at least for my part) but before you propose a solution, maybe you should make it clear that you are aware of the previous topical discussions on PSEmeta, why you think the community should dismiss cogent arguments made by others (including by some quite experienced and well-regarded users) and why you think that a site that has maintained reasonably high standards and has done reasonably well needs to introduce a new culture?

It is unlikely that impatient users who do not care about reading current guidelines will pay much attention to any parts of a process that will come between them and quickly posting to get an answer as fast as possible. Impatient users will remain impatients irrespective of the hurdles you insert in the process. It may deter some poster but this will be a minority. In fact, as pointed to in comments, the problem is that we don’t downvote enough.

Finally, maybe you also can start thinking about what you will say to the next new user who - after less than a month on the site - disagrees with you and suggest we need another new change of culture.

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  • $\begingroup$ IMO, this is a rant, and I've seen KINDER reactions from ChemSE. Now you have the freedom to do whatever you want, and downvote this question to Naraka! I've been banned by the community from asking any questions, and I figure I can't answer any questions in PhySE as you are a lot beyond a 12th-grader; so it's bye-bye from me. $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Mar 24 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ I've told this to ChemSE as well; and they're far more cooperative, than people here who wish to randomly throw cross questions at new users looking at the ambiguous rules (what IS a good answer, good question etc etc...) and your HW policy which allows HW but doesn't allow it at the same time. $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Mar 24 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ I am not like your average spammer who looks to post HW just like that and get away without responding. I am a genuine person looking for answers to my questions and I am going to respond to anything. $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Mar 24 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ Before I go, read this from ChemSE chemistry.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5371/… and please change for the better. $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Mar 24 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ what a strange string of comments. The fact of the matter remains that while constructive outside input is appreciated it is difficult to believe that a user with (at that time) 22 days on the site can really appreciate the reasons underlying this policy. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 24 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ Whatever SE, be it Chem, Phy or Math they all have common features. You can NEVER explain why here you are quick to downvote and close while other SEs are very generous. Maybe you should start another SE for school level physics? $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Mar 24 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ Quantum mechanics, some kind of new functions, excessive operators - can a person at a school level understand all this? How do you expect such a user to contribute with answers to such complicated theories? $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Mar 24 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ Eod, what prevents you to react in the same way as ChemSE did? Is it the amount of 'pride' PhySE takes in its so called quality of questions? $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Mar 24 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14646/… $\endgroup$
    – user385297
    Commented Mar 24 at 16:14

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