This question arises from the discussion on OpenScience and Academia Q&A sites. In particular, looking at the possibility of migrating some questions from OpenScience to Academia, one could ask which questions from OpenScience would be off-topic in Academia (or would have no home at StackExchange at all).

It happened that "Receiving comments on one's article" was not received well on Academia and was put on hold as a shopping question. That's why I'd like to ask whether the policy with respect to shopping questions may be revised.

For example, Math.SE has a tag big-list for similar questions, many of which perhaps would be viewed as "Shopping" here, and it's quite common on Math.SE to mark those questions as community wiki.

Maybe Academia's guidelines on what's considered shopping and what not could be revised to be more tolerant to "big-list" questions (if they are not asking for lists of individual universities, academic programs, etc. of course)?

1 Answer 1


From what I have observed, this community has developed significant cultural antibodies against requests for lists of options because our equivalent of "plz send me teh codez" appears to be "plz tell me teh choices."

Good versions of such questions, however, tend to not really be about getting a list. Instead, they are often looking for some functionality, and can generally be rephrased from "Can you list options for X?" to something like "Is there a good way to do X?" This also tends to improve answer quality, because then people focus in on the best ways of doing what the question asker is looking for, rather than a scavenger hunt to see how many half-abandoned artifacts originally intended to do so.

For the linked question, I think it's a perfectly good question if it can be rephrased in such a manner. I did not do so myself because Franck is a regular poster here and I figured that I would give time for him to modify it himself as he thought best.

  • Thanks, it's a good explanation - this makes more sense to me now. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 11:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .