I saw a question on the ethic of googling one's homework. The questioner, though having posted it on Math.SE, asks about the "pedagogical" merit of doing the same. This question has been closed as not constructive on Math.SE, but many would opine it is off-topic as well.

Does the question belong here? The way it is phrased may refer to math problems, but it is an issue that is certainly faced by most professors and students. A (kind of) compelementary question on how a professor should keep himself ahead of the homework-googling menace has been asked by Dave here.


2 Answers 2


Funny you bring this one up; they had asked us whether we wanted it, and I turned it down as being too pedagogical. This is becoming a recurring issue here; do we want to focus exclusively on research-level academia questions, or do we want to branch out to all aspects of university-level education. We're definitely solidly in the first branch now, but as more users join I'm seeing more and more questions that relate to the second. Personally, I think that, given that we're still in Beta, we should bring this question back up.

Given the current focus of the site, though, it's pretty clear to me that this question is off-topic here.

  • 1
    Thanks @eykanal. Personally I am for including such questions in our site. The question I'd ask myself is who in all SE sites is best placed to address such issues - for which the answer is us, most likely. Moreover ours is a pretty narrow scope in itself, do we really need to limit further?
    – Bravo
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 13:27
  • 1
    @Bravo - You're correct, we're the ones who define our scope. I'm not sure what you mean by "narrowing it further"; I'm in favor of expanding the scope to include university-level teaching questions. This has been discussed before, and the community seemed to be in favor of including teaching questions on the site.
    – eykanal
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 13:50
  • Oops sorry. I had misread your last statement on para 1...
    – Bravo
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 14:30

As it currently stands I do not think that question belongs here and I would rather not see the go that way. It is an "undergrad" question about how to be a student. A question about how to deal with students who google homework problems might also be "off topic", based on our current focus, but I think it would be a reasonable way to expand the site.

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