A few days ago, this question was asked. While the author is somewhat unclear about what he is actually looking for, he is certainly looking for an individual journal or a list of journals as an answer. Thus the question would be a shopping question in my opinion as by the help center’s on-topic section:

However, please do not ask questions about

  • […]

  • Suggestions or recommendations for a […] journal […] (a "shopping question")

Consequently I voted to close this question but apparently nobody agreed with my close vote (or even voted to close the question as unclear what you are asking). Thus my question is: What did I miss here?

Note that I did answer the question almost two days after my close vote.

Edit: The question was deleted by author, original text of question (titled "Physics research journal for undergraduates") follows:

I'm currently working on a new approach to understanding rotational motion and am anticipating promising results. I'm looking forward to publishing it in an undergraduate physics journal that is open to all submissions from around the globe. I would be pleased to obtain information about a few.

  • 2
    Also of interest: three reviewers explicitly voted to leave open, as seen in the review history. Perhaps one of them could chime in here explaining the rationale behind that decision..
    – ff524
    Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


I am one of the people who voted to lead the question open. My reasoning was as follows:

  1. This might be closed as an undergraduate-only question, but since it is explicitly about publishing research I think it still arguable within a "big tent" interpretation of academia.

  2. This might be closed as a shopping question, since it is asking for recommendations. However, it seemed like the final question could just as easily have been "Does a good such journal exist?" rather than "I would be pleased to obtain information about a few", and the question might be reasonably answered in this way.

"Does X exist?" is a question this community often seems comfortable with. I think this is because it can be cleanly and succinctly answered with one good example. The big problem with shopping questions, in my opinion, is that they are not generally answerable: they invite open-ended lists and are often bad-subjective. This question was still borderline, in my opinion, but I tend toward inclusionism in such cases, and thus voted to leave it open.

  • 4
    Thank you for sharing your reasoning. However, I think that “Does a good such journal exist?” eventually has the same problems as a regular shopping question. Even if the question is theoretically answered with one example, people will try to list every possible journal or argue why some journal is the best for the asker. And it’s not easy to tell before an answer, how many such possible answers exist. Also compare to a question “Is there any university in the US that offers a PhD programme in llama wrangling with no restriction on your previous grades?”
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 13:19
  • 2
    @Wrzlprmft Like I said, borderline. I'd have had no objection if the final judgement went against my opinion.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 13:51
  • @Wrzlprmft I agree: the question is asking for a list, even if it turns out that the list has only one item. Also, "a good X" is an opinion question. Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 9:16

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