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Questions tagged [best-practices]

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Should I delete and repost my question if the only answer to my question was deleted?

So I had asked this Question a few days ago and I had received an answer which I had a few doubts in. I tried to clarify my doubts by posting them in the comments section but the answer is no longer ...
Madly_Maths's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
84 views

How should I flag link-only answers?

I noticed this link-only answer and thought I should flag it, but discovered that "link-only" is not in the criteria under the "I am flagging to report this answer as... " "...
David Bailey's user avatar
  • 11.4k
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

How can I flag an off-topic post?

How do I flag posts for being off topic? There isn't any option for that when I try to flag a post. Is it appropriate to use the custom flagging option (I think it is the moderator intervention one..)?...
Albertus Magnus's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
132 views

Preventing acts of spam

I came across a number of posts being sabotaged by a couple of new users. How do we prevent such indecent acts?
TheCuriousOne's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
140 views

How can I fix an accidental downvote?

I recently downvoted a post by accident, but I didn't realize my mistake until some 3o minutes or so later when I noticed the downvote in my reputation log. I meant to upvote the post. Is there a way ...
Albertus Magnus's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
257 views

Problem with new user

A new user has been asking questions (mostly) about Newtonian Mechanics from time to time (which happens to be my top tag). Said user generally begins questions with "I aspire to become like you ...
Stuti's user avatar
  • 702
3 votes
1 answer
234 views

What to do with a horrible question haunting my question record?

The third question I posted to this site was, in retrospect, awful. I deleted it after an hour of it being posted and learned to pose better questions since. Anyway, I’ve become aware that a deleted ...
Hokon's user avatar
  • 293
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

What to do about old unanswered questions? [duplicate]

I am relatively new to SE and I am wondering what is the best thing to do when I ask a question that remains unanswered (not even through comments) for a long time? Is it allowed to re-ask the same ...
Redirectk's user avatar
  • 357
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

Do you have to be responsive to comments on your question to get good answers?

Do you have to keep looking at the site to look at the comments and respond to them?
PP's here's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
101 views

Cite documents rather than linking only

We should tell people to cite from documentation when they use link. I always look at old posts to learn something new, but some answerers give some link, but they are dead now (e.g., this). His first ...
Billy Istiak's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
273 views

What to do when duplicate targets disagree?

There are several questions on Physics S.E. which have been marked as duplicate targets, yet their answers disagree with another. Two such examples would be Is energy conserved in an expanding ...
user400188's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Once a question has retained one net upvote, is it undesirable for each answerer to upvote it?

I've been in the habit of upvoting each question I'm answering, but it has recently occurred to me that this may be counter-productive in a collective enterprise such as PSE, since whoever posted the ...
Edouard's user avatar
  • 848
5 votes
4 answers
363 views

Helping out in comments, when the question is too weak

I encounter quite often questions that are based on poor research, misunderstanding basic definitions, and likewise. In my opinion such questions should be closed rather than answered. Nevertheless, ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 59.2k
2 votes
0 answers
103 views

Do we have a policy or guidance for questions with no one right answer?

This question does not seem to have a single correct answer posted. Which of the following are true: Assume that there will never be one right answer posted (i.e. because there is not in principle a ...
DanielSank's user avatar
  • 24.5k
4 votes
0 answers
100 views

What should I flag as duplicate? New question or old question?

Someone asked this question: Why linear displacement is length of the arc? which is similar to this question: Confused about linear displacement in circular motion. The second question has been ...
ACB's user avatar
  • 2,578
11 votes
3 answers
316 views

When I post a self-answer, is it expected that in the question I should pretend I don't know the answer?

Stack Exchange explicitly encourages writing a self-answer, when appropriate. Derek Muller posted a video about a wind-powered vehicle that can go downwind faster than that downwind itself. (The ...
Cleonis's user avatar
  • 21.1k
7 votes
2 answers
161 views

Should I refrain from marking a question as a duplicate of my question or of a question that I answered?

Clearly, marking a question as a duplicate of either my own question or of a question that I answered is not against the rules. But, there seems to be a conflict of interest in the context of the &...
user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
322 views

Is it okay to edit your answer to make it better after seeing some point that is addressed in another answer or is this bad etiquette/stealing?

Let's say i have written an answer to a question. I feel like i have done a good job of answering it and covered all the points that needed to be covered. Now, if i see some another answer that i feel ...
silverrahul's user avatar
  • 4,446
2 votes
2 answers
119 views

How much editing of a question is acceptable? (e.g. Chicken Question)

In regard to the chicken question meta post one of the answers included this paragraph: This opinion is based purely on the actual question, and ignores the silly story. Surely the silly story can be ...
Bill N's user avatar
  • 15.4k
-7 votes
1 answer
108 views

Is it okay to edit a question (on the main site) to downvote it after you initially upvoted it?

On the PSE main site (so not on this site), I normally never downvote a question or answer, but sometimes you change your thought about this (after upvoting). Is it okay to edit (when I wanted to ...
Deschele Schilder's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
137 views

Languages of references

I understand that Physics Stack Exchange "is an English language site", but I'm wondering whether it's acceptable to provide a generic reference (such as a link) to a source, written in a ...
Edouard's user avatar
  • 848
0 votes
3 answers
340 views

Language that can be perceived as sexist

I consider the phrase “you guys” to be sexist and unwelcoming (even though I am well-aware that many people don’t). I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this. After a back-and-forth in comments with ...
G. Smith's user avatar
  • 51.6k
3 votes
1 answer
85 views

What are the principles for editing another person's question?

If I wish to edit a question to improve its quality, what are the general guidelines to keep in mind? Sometimes I feel I deviate from the OP's original style when I use formatting. So, what all ...
Babu's user avatar
  • 7,960
3 votes
2 answers
198 views

Do we need to delete informative, off-topic comments under old questions?

When I read old posts, I come across some informative comments below the questions which are off-topic, i.e., not aimed at asking for clarification, but they do add some value. I have noticed such ...
Vishnu's user avatar
  • 5,286
-2 votes
1 answer
130 views

Why isn't it the norm to put a "TL;DR" one-line answer at the top of an answer?

It's worth to mention that I'm still a newbie on Physics SE and SE in general, but during this year or so I found that different sites have different "standard" ways of answering (and there'...
Mauro Giliberti's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
254 views

Should comments trying to answer a question be deleted?

Note: I do in no way want to say that the current moderators somehow do a "bad job" at moderating Physics SE. I think that they do a great work at, well, moderating this network and my full ...
jng224's user avatar
  • 3,768
3 votes
1 answer
241 views

Answering question with multiple parts?

Suppose a user post a question with multiple parts.I know it's not recommended but suppose he does. Ex: A question with multiple parts I know it's a closed question but it's enough to illustrate my ...
Bhavay's user avatar
  • 1,701
9 votes
2 answers
246 views

Is mass editing of old posts encouraged?

There are badges awarded ("excavator" and "archaeologist") for editing old posts; it is clear that encouraging this can improve the site by ensuring that as many posts as possible ...
DavidH's user avatar
  • 3,275
13 votes
2 answers
350 views

Can I correct grammar in questions/answers even if the message is clear?

I am talking about stuff like principle/principal, its/it's, your/you're, effect/affect. Can I correct these things even though the meaning of the question/answer is clear? Would it come across as ...
SuperCiocia's user avatar
  • 24.8k
1 vote
1 answer
106 views

Acceptability of soliciting comments from participants familiar with a major but untagged theory in PSE

Shortly after a very mild online altercation with an extremely high-reputation user who had overlooked the fact that Einstein-Cartan theory (ECT) requires (as I was obligated to point out, vis-a-vis ...
Edouard's user avatar
  • 848
3 votes
2 answers
182 views

What should be done about a user asking the same question 5 times in two days?

A user has asked five almost identical questions about a misunderstanding of rope tension during the past two days. They are receiving similar answers, but don't agree with or accept any of them. ...
James's user avatar
  • 1,881
2 votes
2 answers
104 views

Flagging vandalism

If I see a post which is vandalism (like this one, only visible to 10k users -- consisting of random characters), what am I supposed to flag it as? (Concretely, I remember both "spam" and "rude or ...
Norbert Schuch's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
74 views

Completely changing a question vs asking a new question [duplicate]

When a OP has one of their questions closed one of the main desirable outcomes is for the OP to edit the question to address the issues that led to the closure. However, where should we draw the line ...
Dale's user avatar
  • 102k
17 votes
2 answers
526 views

Can we do better at reducing bike-shedding?

"Bike-shedding" is a phenomenon where there is excessive discussion of a topic because it seems easy, so everyone feels that they are competent to discuss it. We seem to have a couple of recent ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
78 views

Can I present an answer in the form of a leading question? [duplicate]

Like "Jeopardy" presents answers in the form of questions can I post a physics question and post my own answer to it? The presentation I want to make is a new type of math method to calculate and ...
ralfcis's user avatar
  • 462
4 votes
1 answer
73 views

Should we flag all comments that are no longer needed?

Parent question: Erasing comments for questionable reasons I am trying to get a general policy. My initial concern was about comments to answers that asked for details and/or corrections, and were ...
Winston's user avatar
  • 3,236
2 votes
2 answers
161 views

Question unilaterally closed by a moderator without any chance of editing

I had recently asked the following question: Uniform discrete physical theories (now closed and auto-deleted as RemoveAbandonedClosed; screenshot). And the question was closed without any comments ...
Squirtle's user avatar
  • 249
14 votes
1 answer
640 views

What is the policy for linking? E.g.: Why should we link to abstract pages rather than pdf files? How do we cite arXiv preprints?

As a comment to one of my contributions, I received the comment: In the future please link to abstract pages rather than pdf files. Fine. I am happy to follow up on this suggestion. Can anybody ...
7 votes
2 answers
313 views

Cases in which self-edits are an unethical mean to generate attention

I made 6 minor edits to my latest answers. The last edit (addition of a link to a lecture on the topic) I did 2 days after I gave the answer. I noticed that the question received a lot of new ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
97 views

Referring people with SR-questions to test-bodies in the Schwarzschild solution? [closed]

I guess mostly because of how relativity is taught in schools, with a strong focus on exercises in special relativity where gravity is totally ignored and then maybe a little bit of info on general ...
Agerhell's user avatar
  • 729
1 vote
1 answer
91 views

Ask to have questionable activity reviewed

I have seen some similar questions answered by a certain same person. And when I post my answer, it immediately get voted down by that person before even enough time for them to see it. They may be ...
kamran's user avatar
  • 1,659
6 votes
2 answers
173 views

How to respond to an answer to a clearly duplicate question?

I have often noticed that even when a question is an obvious duplicate and it has been pointed out in the comments, some of us are posting answers to such questions without clarifying as to why they ...
user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
462 views

Should a rude comment be deleted if the addressed user doesn't mind?

On the linked post, a comment was made addressing me with words that might be considered mildly rude by some. I had absolutely no issues with the comment (and thus, I didn't flag it). And yet, the ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
413 views

Cascade of mostly trivial edits by a user

Example today . Many times I cannot see any real changes between the left and right side, but it might be my browser or his/her browser. Are people increasing their reputation by corrections? It ...
anna v's user avatar
  • 234k
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Dealing with edited questions/answers

While it's not something usual, I've noticed that sometimes people edit my question or answer with a more complex notation or incorrect information/formulas. While I don't think this is done with ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 1,172
9 votes
4 answers
306 views

Should I not edit my old questions on a spree?

I recently visited a couple of old questions that I had posted and there were a lot of edits (mainly grammatical but not all) that I wanted to make. I edited a couple of them and went back to the ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
128 views

Should I prefer the most up-voted answer or the accepted answer?

I came across this question, where the accepted answer had a score of $-7$, but there was also an answer with a score of $31$. As a student who has absolutely no idea about quantum mechanics, or the"...
Eagle's user avatar
  • 580
5 votes
2 answers
229 views

Should One Downvote a Question While Voting to Close It?

The title pretty much conveys what I want to ask but I would elaborate a bit. If a question is appropriate to be closed due to either of the listed reasons for a question to be closed, should one also ...
user avatar
-8 votes
3 answers
176 views

A "Requires Expertise" Notice?

The Problem I was going to write a question here asking what the appropriate response is to incorrect upvoted answers, but I realized that I'm far from the first person to ask this, e.g. How should ...
aquirdturtle's user avatar
  • 2,085
11 votes
1 answer
634 views

Straight $\mathrm{d}$ or italic $d$ for differentials?

I have had comments on my questions and answers questioning my use of $$ \int \mathrm{d}r \qquad \text{or} \qquad \int dr.$$ I have always thought that it should not be italiced as it is an operator....
SuperCiocia's user avatar
  • 24.8k