The "Related questions" list does a great job in presenting the most upvoted (and whatever other parameters are used) questions related to a subject, and the subgroup of linked questions, when present, is even better. However, given the amount of high quality questions and answers that are present in physics.se I wonder if there isn't something more that can be done to index the best-of of the various topics.
What I'm thinking of are list-questions (probably community wiki) presenting the most upvoted, frequently asked, high-quality questions/answers. Eventually with a tree structure with links to similar list-questions on more specific topics. Something like the following:
Common questions on: Quantum mechanics:
Link to common questions on interpretations of quantum mechanics
Link to common questions on Schroedinger equation:
Link to common questions on group theory applied to quantum mechanics
and so on, I think you got the idea.
Would something like this be compatible with the policies/doable? I'm not meaning this in a somewhat abstract way: if I create a community wiki post on the lines described above, would this be considered inappropriate/off topic?
Here is a list of cons/pros that I can think of:
- Who decides which are the "best-quality" questions to be worth putting in such lists? For high-rated questions with lots of views this would not be too much of a problem, but in other situations the choice may be more subjective. A poll in these cases would be appropriate, but we can't create a (probably meta) post for any such choice. However, it may be feasible to have a twin-question on meta for each such list-question where to decide these things.
- Who can create/modify these lists? Making them community wiki enhances the problem lowering the rep needed to modify them lower. Still, the fact that most of the edits by newer users must be peer-reviewed eases this problem.
- It would be time-demanding to mantain such lists. Yes it probably would. However it would also, if well played, help people to quickly find what they are looking for if something similar has already been discussed, thus lowering the duplicate questions asked and allowing to not reinventing the same wheel endless times.
- They would become extremely large. This is easily prevented by appropriate "directory structures", with links to sub-lists when one contains too much links to be useful.
- It would provide a peer reviewed list of valuable discussions. All the indexing systems (related/linked questions, tags, advanced search capabilities) provided by the stackexchange network are very good, but they have intrinsic limitations: with more and more questions asked it can become hard to locate the treasures hidden in the sea.
- Less duplicates: for a new user it may not be so easy to navigate between questions to find what he is looking for. The proposed kind of lists would definitely help on this (of course provided they are visible enough. Maybe they could even be linked in tag wikis to do that?).
- Easier to link OP to similar discussions.
- It would improve the overall quality of physics.SE. Ok, this is maybe not really a pro but my subjective take on the whole proposal. Still, wouldn't it be great? :)