Hot answers tagged

72

I know the stated goal of the site is to provide a knowledge base, and I know that every time I rant on about the importance of teaching I get told that isn't the main purpose of the site. Nevertheless I think teaching is important, and doing worked examples is an important part of teaching. I'm not saying I want the site to fill up with posts asking how to ...


25

Check my work question should always be off-topic. Those that can be rephrased should be rephrased. "Am I right?", "Is this correct?" or something else is always only of use to people who did the exact same derivation, and this is definitely too localized. To answer the bullet points in order: The level of the question should be utterly irrelevant. I have ...


20

Recently I've noticed a few people posting questions in rapid succession, each with a screenshot of a problem. If you look at the questions as a whole, it's obvious they've split their entire problem set or take-home exam into tiny pieces and asked us how to do the whole thing. This sort of behavior, which is undesirable but not necessarily obvious to ...


19

To discourage rapid postings of the type alluded to in the question, methinks screenshots of text should be outright banned. I can understand a screenshot of a figure, but if it can be easily done with LaTeX/MathJax, there’s no place for a screenshot. If anything, the time and effort going to typesetting makes it easier to justify that the OP has done some ...


16

The main place for this is How do you cite yourself? It's perfectly OK to use text from previously-published own work in your answers, so long as you (i) cite the source, and (ii) make it clear that it's your work. As mentioned in the comments, a simple "This analysis is taken from my book " is more than enough. Regarding the answer you've linked to, from ...


15

Thus, my question: do we, as a community, want to discourage gendered language? Or should we just leave it to the discretion of users what kind of language to use? As I understand it, this proposal is not suggesting using moderator action to enforce the use of ungendered language. Nevertheless I would like to clarify that we won't do that, not unless people ...


14

Unacknowledged or unmarked quotes are plagiarism, plain and simple, and they deserve the full weight of community displeasure to be heaved on them: comments, downvotes, and eventual deletion. On the other hand, if an answer consists completely of well-acknowledged quotations then it deserves to stay on the site - it's not doing anything against the rules, ...


14

Questions about perpetual-motion machines should meet a stricter-than-usual bar in terms of clarity and prior research to get on HNQ. Questions about perpetual-motion seem to have a particularly easy time hitching a ride on the HNQ list (this is one recent example), and it's easy to see why: they are instantly appealing to a lot of people, they are ...


13

Good idea to make this a question so I can post my comment there as an answer: yes, this is fine. Actually, in order to avoid arguments over whether it does constitute an answer or not, I'll say this: The fact that the content of an answer is taken from someone else's comment is not, itself, a problem. This means that you can post the content of someone ...


13

I don't think we need any additional policies about referring to or questioning about papers published through predatory journals. Assuming the paper is mainstream... Well, we don't really need to do anything. Maybe, in the case that the post is written by the author of the paper, we could provide a link indicating that journal is predatory, but nothing ...


13

As mentioned in the comments, the Stack Exchange terms of service speficy that: You retain the copyright of any content you post to Stack Exchange When you post, you are making the content available to the public (and within that, to Stack Exchange) under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (with the precise version depending on when the ...


13

Yes, while the language of the main body of a SE post should be in English, non-English references are acceptable for various reasons: A non-English reference is better than no reference. It is unfair to not recognize a scientific contribution just because it is not written in English.


12

There's a subtlety to the guidelines for editing here that many people (even some aged, veteran users) don't quite pick up on... So I'll try a different approach here There's a famous interview with Richard Feynman, where he was asked the question, "how do two magnets attract or repel each other?" To which he responded, I can't explain that ...


11

If you're not satisfied with my answer, you're under no obligation or expectation to accept it. We all write answers that aren't accepted all the time, and I've also written many questions to which I didn't accept answers. It's fine! The features of this site are centered around providing lasting value to future users. Meta-commentary is not useful, since ...


11

Both of the existing answers seem to be based on a mischaracterization of how migration and off-topic closures are related, particularly with things like I would like to see Astronomy SE added to the list of options to migrate a question to, but not to make questions like this completely off-topic here. [...] I don't think having astronomy off-topic helps ...


10

The main mechanism for the reversal of serial voting is automated, because the moderators have access only to summaries of inter-user voting, (not to detailed records) even when our tools alert us to the existence of unusual patterns in voting. Alleging that the moderators aren't doing their job on this is simply silly: it's mostly not our job because the ...


10

Although it is related to physics, I don't think such questions and answers are really useful to the purpose of this site, which is to share knowledge of physics concepts; not to share physics humor. I will say that the question itself doesn't point to it being a joke. And as I've seen many people discuss on meta before, a question should be judged on its ...


10

We don't really have a policy around jokes - they are, for better or worse, mostly irrelevant. Some users like to include humor in their posts, others don't. In general, this falls squarely under the domain of authorial intent and I'd reject any edit removing or adding jokes as being counter to the author's intent. However, in your particular case, I'd ...


10

Any time one finds language that could be considered unwelcoming, I think the right course of action is to edit the post to change or remove it. The usual editing guidelines still apply, so: Make sure the post is still just as clear, if not more clear, after the change is made; Try to improve other areas of the post at the same time; Update the post to ...


9

Resource recommendation questions should be on-topic, but community wiki (and with the same expectation for the content of the answers as currently set in the faq post). The faq post should be altered to reflect that both old and new resource-recommendation questions should be turned into community wiki posts, as indicated in the top-voted answer of "Good ...


9

Yeah, this looks terrible. Not only does it waste the preview, it gets in the way of the question, and can easily end up being longer than the question itself. Fortunately, we have a system for attaching permanent banners to posts that doesn't get in the way of viewing the question. I've added one for book recommendations based on your template; if you see ...


9

I'll offer up my other view on this since I am undecided in some respects. Checking of mathematical derivations only should always be off topic. We're not TA's here, we shouldn't need to hold office hours for people. Having said that, when people ask a question that really can be rephrased as "Did I include all of the relevant physics?" then I think it's ...


9

I would say that moderators get it right most of the times. But sometimes they err, in which case I can think of four routes you can take: Vote to reopen. If the question is very clearly on-topic, it should get reopened rather fast. I agree with your point that it is much less likely to happen than it being closed by Reviewers, because there is an ...


9

Discussions on meta Stack Exchange sites are discussions, but they are still expected to have some structure. If you post an answer, then just as on the main site, it is expected to address the question itself, not another post. If your answer is not an answer, it may be deleted, as per site policy. It is also possible that a moderator with convert the ...


9

This question is based on a bit of a false premise. Errata related to the concepts seems to be accepted as on-topic. See here. The difference in this post is that you're not asking about a concept, you're asking about "what's happening" with the lack of mention of "$^{(4)} R$ in Box 8.4 (pg 202)". It's not clear what conceptual difficulty you're having....


9

You seem to think that fluid-dynamics questions get closed as homework more often than threads in other tags. This is wildly inconsistent with my observations of the site (as well as many others', from what I can tell). Luckily, however, this is a testable hypothesis, as all of that data is directly available in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer. Go and ...


9

@tpg2114's answer is the right one from a policy standpoint, but it's worth making an extended comment to observe that "guys," specifically, occupies a strange place at the intersection of formal vs. informal language and gender. It's totally true that, at least in the US, "hey guys" or "you guys" is commonly used as a ...


9

Thank you for your thoughtful replies. In view of the current (3) answers and comments let me spell out my suggestion and perhaps clarify a few points first: Emilio Pisanty already provided an important clarification, namely that adding Astronomy SE as a migration option isn't possible as long as the site is in beta; this is unfortunate, as it'd be my ...


9

There is no automatic consequence for repeated flags for rudeness or abuse. However, there are automatic flags raised when particular users accrue a number of these flags in a certain timeframe, prompting moderators to review the behaviour in question. This system is not perfect, so if you observe a pattern of rudeness and you want to make certain the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible