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In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, June 15th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • At the end of the phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this new process, feel free to post as a comment here.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for all your work! I was just wondering; If the selected questions are posted, will the answering by the candidates be open for everyone to see (and edit)? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 10 '15 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, as noted the actual questionnaire will be posted as a separate question and you'll all be able to see the answers (it'd be kinda weird if you couldn't, that'd defeat the purpose of being a resource for people trying to determine who to vote for). As for editing, if you had enough rep you could, but there's very little reason that anyone should need to edit a candidate's response. $\endgroup$ – Grace Note Jun 10 '15 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ I asked because the contestants can sneak-peak to each other's answers. For example, nominees were absent in the first 24h, but after the first appeared, 3 others followed within 24 hours. So the first to answer may have the hardest call. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 10 '15 at 12:47
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How would you deal with a controversial question based on an incorrect biological presupposition?

(inspired by this question on Meta)

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  • $\begingroup$ I really like this one. $\endgroup$ – blep Jun 9 '15 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ In my mind this is probably the most recurrent and pressing issue. $\endgroup$ – Amory Jun 15 '15 at 17:03
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Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
  • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
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Have you previously held a moderator-like position for another community, and if so, what aspect did you find most challenging?

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What skills do you have that would make you a good moderator, independent of your knowledge of biology?

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  • $\begingroup$ This is another way of asking candidates what they think a moderator does, but shifts the focus to what they can do in their capacity as a moderator. $\endgroup$ – blep Jun 8 '15 at 21:13
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What would you do in your position as moderator, to correct and encourage more quality questions, and do you think downvoting can be a good way to achieve these goals?

(thanks fileunderwater for the question rewording)

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  • $\begingroup$ You should split this into several questions, see above ("Please only post one question per answer."). $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Jun 10 '15 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater I personally felt that this was an extended question under the voting system, along the lines of what have you done before, and what would you do. Perhaps I can split the third question off, but I feel that the first two questions should remain connected. What do you think ? $\endgroup$ – Rover Eye Jun 10 '15 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ I just wanted to highlight the "rules" set by the Community Team - your question might not be chosen if it deviates from the guidelines. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Jun 10 '15 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater sorted $\endgroup$ – Rover Eye Jun 10 '15 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ You could merge the two first ones by: "What would you do in your position as moderator, to correct and encourage more quality questions, and do you think downvoting can be a good way to achieve these goals?" $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Jun 10 '15 at 13:21
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There has been a fair amount of discussion relating to our policy on "homework" questions and those with little/no independent effort.

What do you think the best course of action should be for Biology SE regarding these related but separate issues?

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  • $\begingroup$ I was going to ask this as well. Good question $\endgroup$ – Luigi Jun 10 '15 at 22:04
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Considering that biology is such a vast field, and most questions are from non biologists, Would you prefer to close a question if it appears too broad, or would you rather let the question ferment, and let the community edit and/or vote to close the question ?

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How would you describe Biology SE as it stands right now? Now that the site has graduated, what, if anything, would you like to see change during the next year? (How would you implement or encourage any changes?)

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