Questions tagged [best-practices]

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11 votes
9 answers
1k views

Discouraging the use of personal attacks and epithets such as "crackpot"

While some have noticed an apparent increase in the "noise-to-signal" ratio on this site, what concerns me is the rise in the "incivility-to-civility" ratio. Let us be clear about one thing - the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
210 views

Should I post a question if I know the answer? Should I answer my own questions?

Recently I had some questions and was going to post them here. While trying to find the best formulation for them I've found the answers. Posting questions with immediate answers is welcome e.g. on ...
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30 votes
4 answers
1k views

Let's not have posts look like revision histories

Inspired by this meta post on RPG.SE: I think we should keep in mind that posts with lots of "Edit:" and "Update:" sections are a bit hard to read from beginning to end, and we should strive to avoid ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
145 views

Explicit references matter!

I know that this forum should not replace a good bibliographic research, but... It is quite useful to know which book or paper or tutorial or any other external source of information that people have ...
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  • 137
19 votes
2 answers
410 views

Answering old questions

Should I answer old questions (over a year), even if they have been already answered? I think that this practice is correct, but since in many forums it is discouraged I'm not sure.
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  • 11.9k
9 votes
4 answers
293 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 ...
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  • 1
9 votes
3 answers
435 views

old questions with incorrect answers

What is the best way to handle a case where a question was asked a long time ago and received several incorrect answers but no correct ones? To be more concrete, this was the situation with this ...
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7 votes
2 answers
249 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 ...
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  • 3,567
2 votes
2 answers
419 views

What can I do if I note that answers are abused to troll, flame, and/or advertise personal nonsense theories?

Just as a most recent example (I could give many more posted by other users too), this "answer" does not answer the question, brings up confused rhetoric intended to troll about fundamental physics ...
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  • 9,213
13 votes
1 answer
388 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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
553 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....
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  • 22.9k
-7 votes
1 answer
105 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 ...
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16 votes
2 answers
500 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
59 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 ...
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  • 66k
2 votes
2 answers
108 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 ...
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  • 14.9k