Would it be possible to progress from a Q&A forum to a collaborative research ground ?

I am sure this idea may not be fully practicable immediately and there may be lot of issues with conflicts of interest, but I think the power of connectivity should be fully harnessed.

Some of the questions asked in the forums are quite interesting and the discussions can be transformed into a proper article.

I am just curious to know if this is even a good idea?

  • $\begingroup$ I like "the idea", but there' absolutely no way that StackExchange would accomodate for that feature. It would have to be some sort of external site imo. Nonetheless, I'd definitely be interested/would contribute. $\endgroup$ – LanceLafontaine Apr 13 '13 at 23:47
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    $\begingroup$ I apologize for my ignorance: what exactly is a "collaborate research ground" and how would it/does it function? $\endgroup$ – Aarthi Apr 14 '13 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Aarthi: for an example lets say i pose a question for which answer is not known. You, lets say, have some idea about how to solve a part that problem and then you and I together solve the complete problem. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 15 '13 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ There are other platforms which aim to do this. ResearchGate have 'Projects', which can be open or closed spaces for discussion and collaboration. I have not used the functionality myself though. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater May 28 '13 at 10:00

Your goal is a worthy one… unfortunately, it's just not the type of problem Stack Exchange was designed to solve. A Stack Exchange-style Q&A is not a think tank forum which can facilitate collaborative research to solve the world's problems in Biology. It simply was not designed for that purpose.

Instead, we hope to use the expertise gathered here compile a well-vetted, reliable canon of knowledge about the subject, and to (hopefully) displace the misinformation rampant on the Internet. That is the goal for this site.

It's not that we don't find these discussions worthwhile — they're integral to the field of biology — but it is just not part of what WE do. Those type of talking-point and deliberative questions require a style of back-and-forth discussion that Stack Exchange was explicitly designed to avoid (i.e. post your best answer, not a discussion forum, no chit chat, etc). It's a good idea, but it would have to be an entirely different product than what we provide today.

  • $\begingroup$ can that product be designed ?? :) $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 15 '13 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG I'm sure it could. Whether that product exists or if it's something we would ever develop is impossible for me to speculate. Like I said, it would be an entirely different product from what we offer now. $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Apr 15 '13 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ Robert, this is not directly related to SE but I want to know if you can develop a site in which people can share their experimental/analytical observations that otherwise cannot be published because they lack a story. For example a figure/table and explanation of the technique used. Such small observations may be useful to others $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 26 '13 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ by lacking a story i meant examples such as the lab in general chose to abandon the project or no new leads related to that observation, technical problems leading to termination of the project etc $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 26 '13 at 6:01
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG It doesn't seem very likely. A site like that is simply far outside our core competencies and Stack Exchange will keep us quite busy for the foreseeable future. $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Apr 26 '13 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG Today it is very simple to set up semi-professional websites using Content Management Systems of some sort (Drupal, Wordpress) or even just to publish a spreadsheet in google docs. This doesn't even involve spending a dime and - given that an email address is supplied to request additional information and some proper keywords to find it with search engines - would be an excellent source of knowledge. Unfortunately it is rarely used and most knowledge just rots in some shelves. $\endgroup$ – Stockfisch May 17 '13 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ @wisywig DataOne facilitates sharing unpublished results. Is that what you are looking for? $\endgroup$ – Abe Jul 21 '13 at 5:01

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