I was wondering if we could have a community wiki (pre-approved) for questions pertaining to reference requests. Before that, let me define "reference requests". In Math.SE, SciComp.SE or SO or wherever, a frequently used tag is the "reference request" tag wherein the users ask for books or other reference material to learn a certain topic.

Within the scope of academia as well, there are many "topics" one may wish to learn about through reading.

In the same spirit as this, could we have a community wiki for topics like

  • Pre-Grad School
  • Grad School (Like This)
  • Grad School > Professorship (Like This or This)
  • As a professor (Like This)
  • Academic Writing (Like This)
  • Public Speaking (Like This)

This will serve 2 purposes:

  1. It will check the number of "Can you suggest a place where I can improve my writing skills" type questions.

  2. It will be a great resource at 1 place. (In true CW spirit?)

I apologize for all the "This" links but the titles of the books are rather off putting to be put here.

This might be a bad idea but I just wanted to try suggesting it.

1 Answer 1


Sorry for the downvote, but I just don't feel like the organization of the question/answer format these types of lists work very well. They don't age well, keep maintenance to make links up to date, need forum moderation to prevent trivial, late add on answers, the voting doesn't work very well, etc...

I do think they have value to the community though (although to make them excellent takes alot of work, and you have quite a list yourself you have made).

Other venues that people from this site can contribute lists in such a way;

  • Lists on meta for FAQ's. Examples are the meta.SO FAQ or the list of support for statistical software linked at the stats site. Such lists are useful when questions arise of off-topic (e.g. This is off-topic but look at this Question for help).
  • Tag wiki's. People can list suggested readings in tag-wiki's as far as I'm concerned (or other useful information).
  • Blog posts (if the community wants to start a blog in the future).

List type questions can be useful if done well (see Robert Cartaino's post on said topic). They are just IMO more work than they are worth on the main site.

  • 1
    Fair Enough. I agree with the fact that maintenance will be a major pain for such posts.
    – user107
    Feb 21, 2012 at 12:26

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