Biology Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election starting next week, February 18th. In connection with that election as we have done in previous years, we will be hosting a Q&A here for 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.

Unlike the previous iteration of this system, this time the Q&A question collection will be provided one week in advance of the actual elections. This will allow users some extra time to evaluate their decision on whether to nominate, as well as let them provide answers to the questionnaire during the nomination phase itself.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, February 18th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 3:00 pm EST 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.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • At the end of the collection 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 (up to) 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 process, feel free to post as a comment here.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for initiating this election. Should we announce the election is for two mod positions? (At least, that was what we requested) $\endgroup$
    – AliceD Mod
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 20:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Slot count is no secret, and aye, it's 2. It's visible on the election page. In general, pending special circumstances, I usually leave it to the mod team to decide how in-depth they want to go on info for an upcoming election from their request. $\endgroup$
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 22:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Please go upvote the 2019 election promotion ad $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 22:05

4 Answers 4


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?

Under what circumstances (if any) should a moderator close a question with too few close votes without letting the community decide via voting?

(I.e., Under what circumstances (if any) should a mod use the close hammer?)


Biology experiences a large volume of poor homework questions. As a moderator, how would you deal with this sort of question? How much would you unilaterally close, and how much would you tolerate?


Have you previously held a moderator-like position for another community, and if so, what aspect did you find most challenging?

(old question from the 2015 and 2017 election, originally posted by user dd3 (now named blep)


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