The question "What books an undergraduate needs to study to get a clear conception of rotational physics?" has been marked as a duplicate of "What are some good books for learning the concepts of Kinematics, Newton laws, 2D Motion of Object etc.?" when clearly the two questions ask for recommendations on different complexity levels on rotational physics. The first at an undergraduate level (apparently not restricted to 2 dimensions or the Newtonian formalism) while the other on 2-d rotations and kinematics apparently high-school level.

I am facing a similar problem: my post "Resource recommendation for rotational mechanics (especially gyroscopes)" has been wrongly marked as a duplicate of the above posts when my post is more specifically about gyroscopes.

Different posts target different complexity levels or specific topics under the same broad topic. Shouldn't this be taken into consideration when posts are being marked to be duplicates of one another?

This problem is especially relevant to resource recommendation requests (as in the examples).


1 Answer 1


Resource-recommendation questions are very hard to handle, and they were in fact deemed completely off-topic for several years until we managed to work out a consistent policy that lets the good stuff in without wreaking havoc. The result of the policy is at

Are resource recommendations allowed?

and you should read it carefully (and ideally its previous revisions and their links to other questions here and elsewhere on the network and the Stack Exchange blog) to get a sense of where the rules come from. In particular, Good list, bad list gives a good sense of what the problems are with unrestricted resource-recommendations questions.

One of the problems, specifically, is that if those questions are allowed to have arbitrary 'level' specifications, it spawns an unchecked granularization that renders them useless. Thus, if you allow "books about rotational kinematics for undergraduates" in addition to "books about rotational kinematics" in general, why not "books about rotational kinematics if I'm halfway through my analytical mechanics" or "books about rotational kinematics for undergraduates but don't use fancy math", or.... . This makes all of the questions less useful, and it takes a definite toll on the signal-to-noise ratio of the site in general.

Thus, we tend to err on the side of making questions as coarse-grained as possible. If you don't like it, sorry: this site is not meant to be (and cannot be) all things to all people, and when some class of questions directly harms the site's ability to fulfill its core aspects, then those questions get restricted.

For your specific question, my feeling is that the proposed duplicate contains plenty of resources that address what you're looking for (and thus your new question would be harmful fragmentation of the existing lists). If you feel this isn't the case, you can offer a bounty on the old question asking specifically for answers that emphasize a certain subtopic.

If you want to propose a change in policy, you're welcome to do it, and this meta is the place to do it. However, as always, if you do it without understanding the problems that the existing structures were meant to solve, and providing alternative mechanisms to cope with those problems (or arguing conclusively that they're not actually problems), then your policy proposals will be of very little use indeed.

  • $\begingroup$ I will consider your response in detail later. For now, as the old question is not exactly my question how exactly do I offer a bounty? How do I make known what sort of response am I offering a bounty to? (I wish to ask for recommendations on gyroscopes and the old question is on the whole theory of rotational dynamics kinetmatics up). $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ @A.Melkani Frankly, I'm on the fence with your question. If you sharpen it a bit at make it a good bit more specific (which I think is your real intent) then it can maybe/probably be made distinct enough for reopening - try that first, I'd say. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 12:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .