Questions tagged [discussion]

The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus.

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28
votes
4answers
480 views

Updating statement on closed reason for no work shown

The statement for closing based on no work shown I believe shouldn't include the word homework. Not everyone posting a PSQ (problem statement question) is actually doing homework. When they read: ...
7
votes
2answers
151 views

What should be done with questions of low or poor quality?

I have only really been active here for about 3 months, so I’m not very familiar with this site’s policies and ambitions. My main site is EL&U. I often come across questions that exhibit no ...
23
votes
8answers
527 views

Are questions about creationism or intelligent design on-topic here?

Our first creationism/intelligent design question https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/649/is-cell-division-irreducibly-complex#question has received a lot of downvotes, some close votes and a ...
22
votes
1answer
260 views

Voting to close a question as off-topic because it is based on a faulty presupposition

Over the last maybe 6 months or so (I haven't really been keeping track), I've noticed a number of questions either nominated for closure or actually closed with some variant of this custom close ...
27
votes
6answers
454 views

Biology.SE and professional biologists?

@Terdon made an interesting observation in the chat room recently: The simple truth is that we've never been a site for biologists. Those of us who answer are usually biologists or in similar ...
21
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4answers
2k views

What are some good, informative comments I can leave for new users?

Many questions on this site are from new/low-reputation users who may not know all of the common rules and expectations of Biology and SE sites in general. Compounding this is the fact that users ...
27
votes
3answers
445 views

Shouldn't we be more tolerant with newcomers and non-biologists?

I am often disturbed by how easily the community of Biology.SE close and down vote questions asked by newcomers and layman. When I go on other SE websites, I often have to ask unclear questions or ...
19
votes
5answers
337 views

Should we worry about the amount of non-expert content on the site?

We're nearly 100 days into the beta now, and we have accumulated some nice content here on the site. But one aspect I'm a bit concerned about is the amount of laymen questions compared to expert ...
13
votes
8answers
246 views

What is to be done with questions that have no answers yet?

The issue of unanswered question fraction is always in discussion (and it being a factor for site graduation). In my opinion a lot of mechanisms are unknown in biology (even for some commonly ...
17
votes
1answer
205 views

Rethinking the "Homework" close reason

Reading through Meta after seeing a lot of homework-related closures, I found quite a few questions that address our community's confusion with the homework close reason: Is it right to close “easy ...
16
votes
2answers
204 views

Where do we draw the line for questions about medicine?

There is a large overlap between medicine and biology, a lot of medical questions are in the end questions about human biology. Where do we want to draw the line on medical questions, when are they ...
13
votes
5answers
339 views

Should we [always] ask for references?

I have possibly spent too much time on Skeptics.SE... but I think we should be a bit more strict in requiring good references for answers. Take for instance these questions (I hope the answerers do ...
13
votes
4answers
427 views

When are citations needed in an answer?

With the site's graduation and increase in low-rep visitors, some of whom are beginning to answer, I (and many others) have had to comment a number of times that answers need to be supported by ...
12
votes
21answers
871 views

Redesigning Biology Stack Exchange (extended)

Recently I (and some others in chat) realised that there is some scope for improvement in the site's structure, graphics, fidgets, etc. So we have decided to give it a shot. But since Stack Exchange ...
18
votes
6answers
634 views

Should we encourange the relevant questions from non-professionals?

There are already a couple of questions from non-professionals, like this question about action potental, for example. This question is likely to be closed soon, there are already some closing votes ...
14
votes
1answer
902 views

Homework Policy for FAQ

The answer to this question explains how to ask your homework question here on Biology and have it well received by the community. Related: What is the policy regarding homework questions? (Old) Are ...
10
votes
1answer
173 views

When will Biology SE become a "full' SE site?

I've checked Biology SE on the area51 site and it's been in beta phase for 1196 day as of today. I was wondering when will this site become a full site? What are the requirements?
17
votes
3answers
294 views

General quality of BioSE questions vs other SEs

At the risk of this being the very thing I'm kind of moaning about, I'm wondering what others think of the general quality of BioSE questions? My contributions to SE outside of Bio are mostly ...
10
votes
2answers
132 views

Inadequate moderation by the community

Recently, I have been observing that moderation by community is not happening adequately and hence the review queue becomes quite long. Sometimes I have seen close to 80 items in the review queue (...
9
votes
2answers
136 views

Should bioinformatics related questions be considered off-topic?

I know there is biostar, which is specific to bioinformatics questions. However, I feel that there are quite a few parts of bioinformatics that have a lot of biological relevance. Perhaps we should ...
43
votes
15answers
2k views

Site design for Biology community

EDIT 02: Here is the updated main illustration including most of your feedback. EDIT 01: Thanks for your great feedback! This is exactly what I needed, it's hard to know some of the details when ...
11
votes
4answers
247 views

Plant Identification Questions

Regarding this question: Help identifying the following plants, it seems like we should set a meta precedent for dealing with such posts should they arise in the future. Update The question was moved ...
8
votes
5answers
165 views

An effective measure to counter unreferenced answers

One of the big problems we are having is the number of poorly referenced answers on the site. They often make unsubstantiated and contentious claims without any supporting material, and that's not the ...
36
votes
3answers
281 views

"Vote early, vote often"

This is a reproduction of Scott Morrison's post on meta.tex.SE; I believe it is very much applicable to this community as well: I'm a moderator from MathOverflow, and this "question" is ...
19
votes
3answers
208 views

Clarifying our scope with regards to medical questions

There is a rather large amount of overlap between biology and medicine, and as we get more questions that are rather far on the medical site it is time to revisit the issue and clarify where exactly ...
9
votes
1answer
146 views

Can we find a better way to support users who ask questions based on a flawed concept of evolution?

Most users of this site subscribe to the evolutionary origin of species as opposed to intelligent design - but some of them seem to operate from a wrong mental model of evolution which supposes it ...
9
votes
1answer
208 views

What's the point of closing well answered and well received questions?

It's about What are the advantages of forgetting? I just do not see any benefit of close voting a question that received an accepted answer 5 days before question closure; was well received by the ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

The "Homework Questions" page needs to be updated

The question What metric is used when quantifying muscle tightness? was put on hold on the grounds that, given that it is a homework question, the OP should show their attempt at an answer. In the ...
10
votes
3answers
196 views

Species Identification Questions

Similarly to the discussion of plant identification questions, we now have examples of identify this animal type questions. What should the position be as to whether such discussions are on topic?
8
votes
4answers
134 views

Proposal for rephrasing the “homework” off-topic explanation

There are various problems with ‘homework’ questions, several of which have been discussed before. I am addressing just one problem, focussing on this because I have what I think is a practical ...
6
votes
4answers
190 views

Community Promotion Ads — 2019 [duplicate]

2019 is here! And with the new year, as usual, comes a new iteration of Community Promotion Ads! Let’s refresh these for the coming year :) What are Community Promotion Ads? Community Promotion Ads ...
23
votes
8answers
258 views

Do we need to change voting patterns?

It is obvious that voting patterns differ dramatically between topics. From my personal experience, answers that lie closer to my own work and the ones I put most effort into receive relatively few ...
11
votes
1answer
110 views

Questions about teaching biology: Off-limits?

Are questions about how to teach/explain biology (so called soft questions) on topic here. I've noticed that some sites allow it. As an example I've noticed that Math SE allow question like, how to ...
10
votes
2answers
680 views

Should "let-me-google-it-for-you" questions be tolerated?

There was a simple question about the initiation of gut flora, asked by an undergrad student. I just googled it and pasted a simple wiki explanation. On one hand, this site could be a good compilation ...
9
votes
3answers
137 views

Why aren't people answering their own questions?

Given the lack of questions being asked here on Bio.SE, I was wondering whether or not we should be encouraging all members to be answering their own questions. It's certainly encouraged by Stack ...
8
votes
2answers
139 views

Creationist "canard" refutation type questions?

Let's just say that proponents of creationism and "intelligent design" have a ready stable of canards and distortions out there. Would it be appropriate to post such canards here as questions, and ...
8
votes
3answers
229 views

Should we be concerned about the lack of quality answers?

I've been making an effort to ask quality questions regarding actual biological problems. I'm sure people have been able to figure out what type of experiments I'm doing on a regular basis. I am ...
5
votes
2answers
104 views

Is it on-topic to ask for the identification of any living organism?

Is it on-topic here to ask for the identification of any living organism? If not, on what site would this be accepted as a good question?
5
votes
4answers
272 views

Are users only asking for homework help welcome?

Following up the post about homework question policies, this user has asked 11 questions, all homework in nature, and has not attempted to answer at least some of them, nor tried answering any other ...
4
votes
2answers
155 views

Flagging incorrect answers

Related post What is wrong with flagging answers that are grossly incorrect? Why should flags "not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer"? I understand that it is ...
3
votes
3answers
111 views

On answers that are basically "extended comments"

Answers should ideally not be "extended comments" but in certain cases they seem to be useful. I am reluctant to remove such answers for being "not an answer" which as per strict SE rules should be ...
1
vote
3answers
169 views

Why are medical questions inherently off topic here?

I did a search of the meta posts and I couldn't find anything on this. In fact, what I found suggests that questions about things related to medicine or medical procedures are ok, as long as they ask ...
20
votes
4answers
320 views

Why are we STILL in Beta? How can we fix this?

I asked this question more than two years ago: What are the chances that we make it out of Beta? One of my favorite "quotes" from that question: It is mid-September and things don't seem to ...
21
votes
2answers
251 views

Why don't many of 'us' users vote more often?

A comment by Rover Eye which can be found here got me thinking. I'll have to agree with @canadianer on this one. Bio SE has a bit of a lower voting and acceptance rate, in the SE ecosystem. – ...
12
votes
3answers
252 views

How to link to scientific articles on Biology.SE

This FAQ covers how best to link to scientific articles when answering and posting questions on Bio.SE. How can I easily include a table of references at the end of my answer? How do I use the DOI ...
15
votes
4answers
284 views

Is this SE site / community dead?

I'm new to this SE site and as a geneticist i liked the idea to be able to help newbies and explain simple genetic facts to the community. But after one week following this site activities, I found ...
7
votes
4answers
100 views

Comments with Answers

I've seen a few questions now that have 0 answers, but have long comments that for all intents are trying to answer rather than clarify the question. For example, this post. When I see a comment ...
15
votes
3answers
260 views

Permanent Off-Topic criterion: Questions based on religious/mythical stories and intelligent design

This has been discussed before but these types of questions keep coming. Should we add questions about creationism/mythical stories/intelligent design as one of the permanently listed off topic ...
13
votes
20answers
718 views

Community Promotion Ads - 2015

Congratulations on receiving a new design! Included with your new design is the Community Promotion Ads system. For those who are unfamiliar with how this works, please read onwards! What are ...
12
votes
4answers
250 views

What are the chances that we make it out of Beta? [duplicate]

I'm asking because of the general lack of activity on this site. If things stay the way they are, it doesn't seem likely to make it out of Beta, considering the depressing asking rate (or is it just ...