In the website description it says:

Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students.

Does it mean that people who are not biology researchers, academics or students, and are just curious about something related to biology should not ask questions?


The website description follows the guidelines from Stack Exchange, which strives to create and support expert communities. They say:

We're creating sites for experts.

Your site should focus on pilots, not passengers; lawyers, not lawbreakers; professional photographers, not Uncle Marv with his digital point-n-shoot.

If the site can attract the experts, the amateur enthusiasts will follow!

So, the idea is that "just curious" people will ask anyway, because they are curious: they don't need an invitation. On the other hand, when a site gets dominated by "just curious" category early on, Stack Exchange may well shut it down (recent examples: Gamification, Deep Web, Artificial Intelligence, etc).


Of course anyone can ask a question, regardless of whether they are researchers, academics, students, or just curious. The important point is that the material on the site should be of interest to experts, rather than trivial material. This helps to keep experts coming back. Often trivial questions get closed (or at least downvoted), and it is important that they do because the target audience of SE gets put off using the site.

Here is a meta stack exchange thread about experts.

… eventually the experts (i.e. people who are teaching you stuff) get drowned out and you are left with an experience that looks more like the magazine rack at a grocery store than a book shelf at Harvard. — Robert Scoble


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