(I don't know if it fits better to meta or nor meta.)

As we see very often, many problems in/about academia are not suitable for close-ended questions. Also, some important things involve polling questions, like software, university, scholarship, conference or journal recommendations.

(For example, I'm involved in projects about creating new software for new ways for collaboration and discovery sharing, https://gist.github.com/4540942, and I have a lot of related questions, but all of them are open-ended.)


  • do we have a good place to redirect people asking such open-ended question?
  • or: should we start one?
  • or: maybe we should start a blog on Academia.SE?
  • I think this question fits better here on meta rather than main: on main, it would (for me) definitely be a candidate for closure & deletion
    – 410 gone
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 17:33
  • It's called a "campus" and they're all closed this year. Commented Nov 3, 2020 at 8:34
  • Have you considered this place called Reddit? (reddit.com/r/academia) Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 17:06
  • Very good question. In fact I feel that this forum can work more or less what you are asking about but sadly the rules are over-enforced. The rules are good in themselves but like any society, when they are over-done they become burdensome and destructive to higher-potential. New contributors also are discouraged once they walk into the wall of rules and the peculiar culture thereby creating a top-heavy organization. Which is why we run into heavy resistance when suggesting this very change--which is a valid suggestion.
    – Ootagu
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 0:12

3 Answers 3


Quora accept open-ended questions about academia. You could redirect there.

  • Whenever I go to Quora, the site seems kind of silly to me.
    – user111388
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 17:12
  • @user111388 definitely a lot of low-quality content and other issues on Quora. Another option with a fair amount of crap content is Reddit. Commented May 25, 2020 at 17:25
  • While Reddit has a lot of crap, my impression is that there are good and crap forums (unlike in Quora, where the crap is all over the place).
    – user111388
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 18:03
  • @user111388 Good point, there is some content quality variability between different subreddits. Which sub would you say is a good sub? Just curious as on my side I can't think of any sub that I find decent. But I don't go there often. Perhaps small specialized subs may attract a more useful crowd. Commented May 25, 2020 at 18:08
  • I like the subs on beekeeping, Ultimate and mostly Academia. Also Data Science and Geocaching.
    – user111388
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 18:12

Chat is as close as we've got to a place for open-ended discussion. But it sounds like wht you're after is a forum. We don't do that round here (and I've hugely scaled down my contribution to forums since getting active here: they just seem so archaic and pointless now, and suffer from Eternal September syndrome much more than we do here)

  • 2
    For me chat(s) rarely work - as there is no structure at all; maybe except for trivial questions. When it comes to forums - implicitly, I referred to such; but for some reason there are not as active as they used to be + maybe something in between (blog + discussions in comments) may look more appropriate. Commented Jan 20, 2013 at 20:44
  • Unfortunately, chat is the appropriate forum for that sort of thing, and our chat—like most beta chats—is too slow to be useful. SE does allow sites to have a blog, but it's a lot of effort, and we have to demonstrate that we are committed to maintaining the blog in the long-term. If you're interested, though, start a post and we can see whether there's interest.
    – eykanal
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 4:19
  • I think chat is the way to go. Not the general chat room, but a "private" room with an appropriate title.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 8:55

I would recommend thefora.org, which is an offshoot of the forums formerly hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

(But - warning - it is fairly snarky, and it is (just because of the participants and maybe the origin) US and humanities oriented.)

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