Imagine a graduate student who is struggling to complete a thesis. The subject of his/her thesis is a relatively new subject in the field and is yet to be discussed widely. It even lacks a scientific model. Is it alright for him/her to turn to Academia.SE to ask for guidance on where to begin the research.
Is it OK for him/her to ask for resources?

  • How is your comment related to the process of research and not the content of your research? The question you will be asking It will be only useful to other researchers if you can answer this question. Jun 22, 2016 at 3:00

2 Answers 2


Going by your description I find it quite likely that your question is a typical off-topic question. However, without knowing your question, it’s impossible to be sure and there is a small chance (let’s say 10 %) that your question is a good fit for this site. Even then, I consider it very likely that you will obtain better results by asking your supervisor.

Please consider the following:

  • If your question requires any knowledge about your specific field, it is off-topic.

  • Question on this site should be requests for information. If your question is asking for a decision, it is not a good fit for this site. So, instead of asking “Where should I begin?”, rather ask, e.g.,: “What are possible approaches?”

  • If your question can be expected to have plenty of answers, it is too broad. “What are possible approaches?” is very likely to fall into this category, if you do not narrow it down.


Yes, questions about the process of doing research are allowed, while questions about the content of your research are not allowed. When you ask about the process of performing graduate level research, this will be applicable to many newcomers who may have the same question. Questions about the content of your research will be of little value to most people, and this is the type of question to work with your advisor.

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