For the reasons above, I have locked this question. If anyone wishes to dispute the lock please feel free to discuss on Academia Meta. – eykanal♦

In reference to this thread.

A couple questions regarding this lock:

  • "For the reasons above" - is above the lock notice, or the comments. Because the lock notice is just "this isn't considered a good, on topic question". That isn't really a reason. And the comments are fairly vauge in terms of actually figuring out a reason - the largest one, for example, is a suggestion that was incorporated into the question.
  • How is this question distinct enough from this question or this one which have been protected, rather than locked?
  • There are answers that provide solid, non-opinion information (admittedly not my answer, which is somewhat more opinion based). The question got 19 upvotes, 4 favorites, and a substantial number of upvoted answers. While I understand that's not in and of itself evidence that the thread is good, it does seem to show that the community thought this question was worth looking at - it's well above the mean and median number of votes for questions on the front page, etc. At the very least, even if it wasn't left open, shouldn't this have been posed as a vote to close rather than a unilateral moderator decision?

I'll say for my part I found this question to be much more interesting and potentially useful to the community than a number of other types of questions we get and answer on a daily basis, such as the "I have no idea how to interact with my supervisor in this surreal edge case..."

  • 2
    I agree strongly enough that I have unlocked the question in the interim. If eykanal or someone else comes by and makes a good case for locking it that gets community support, we can lock it again. Especially since someone spent some reputation on a bounty for this question, it seems fair to err on the side of leaving it unlocked until the issue is resolved.
    – ff524
    Sep 11, 2015 at 16:43
  • Thank you for bringing this to meta! I was very taken aback that the question was closed having been following it to see what answers it received.
    – Aru Ray
    Sep 11, 2015 at 16:57
  • 2
    It may not need to be locked, but I think it certainly needs to be protected --- I have set that bit.
    – jakebeal
    Sep 12, 2015 at 1:42

2 Answers 2


If I had to guess, I would speculate that it was locked in an attempt to protect it from getting highly polemic answers that don't directly address the question. (This tends to happen in the tag.)

I don't think locking the question is the correct response, as this also prevents it from getting good answers.

Personally, I think the appropriate response to those answers is to downvote and leave a comment if you disagree with it or believe it doesn't answer the question. I don't like deleting the answers that contain unpopular or slightly tangential content, because:

  • Leaving a strongly-downvoted answer in place is a useful signal to readers showing what the community apparently thinks is a wrong or bad approach to the question. Leaving the comments in place (as long as they don't get personal) shows the community's counter-arguments to the answer.
  • If the answer is deleted, other users with the same approach see the question, don't see their viewpoint represented in the answers, and post a new answer expressing this view. Deleting the answer leads to more of them being posted.
  • 2
    Wouldn't the 'protect' option be the appropriate way to address questions that attract such polemical answers?
    – Aru Ray
    Sep 11, 2015 at 16:56
  • 2
    @AruRay Protection only prevents it from getting answers from brand-new users. It's useful for e.g. preventing hot network questions from getting non-answers from people who don't even realize they're posting on Academia.SE, for example, or for preventing spam, but not much else.
    – ff524
    Sep 11, 2015 at 17:07

Sorry for making a (small) mess! My concerns is that the question is very old; it's actually from when the site was still in very early beta. We've since defined policies around questions, and if that was asked today, would be closed almost immediately as one of "too vague/unanswerable in current form/too discussion-like in nature". There isn't even a direct question present, it's a "what can we do about X" question, thinly hiding behind "what is being done".

The lock was because it has good content. I didn't want to delete, but I didn't want it to continue to garner new responses, particularly likely it seemed (to me) that it would just generate lots of discussion (as it has; there are many deleted tangential comments).

The "for the reasons above" was intended to point to the three existing comments directly preceding mine. I guess that wasn't clear; my fault.

  • 4
    Actually, if you look at the revision history, the trend shows the community feeling more favorably towards this question over time. It was asked and immediately closed by a SE moderator in 2012; un-deleted by community vote in 2014; and re-opened by community vote in 2015.
    – ff524
    Sep 11, 2015 at 17:05
  • 4
    It was very old, but that's because we advised someone to put a bounty on it rather than asking a duplicate of an old question: meta.academia.stackexchange.com/questions/1926/…
    – Fomite
    Sep 11, 2015 at 17:16
  • 9
    +1 for moderator transparency! Sep 14, 2015 at 23:36
  • I was drafting the exact same question when I noticed the question already existed but was stuck on an inaccessible dusty shelf. So I thought, Here's an opportunity to try to resuscitate a failure-to-thrive question! (Which I had never done before.) This, I think, was only partially successful. The answers have been good but I think we could do better. // The skimpiness of the number of answers to the resuscitated question tells me something about the site, sigh.... Sep 19, 2015 at 5:17

You must log in to answer this question.

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