Disclosure: I recently posted a question on software recommendations on Academia SE, and got it marked as a "shopping question" perhaps quite justifiably based on the guidelines. I appreciate the in depth explanations on it.

However I see software and workflow solutions as a frequently occurring problems in academia, ranging from the choices and experience with citation management and workflow, calendar systems suitable for academics, online presentations, down to even creation and maintaining a personal webpage.

I understand that most of these questions don't have one correct answer but are a matter of taste, and therefore don't quite fit the SE format. At the same time I find that these are very useful issues to discuss. Unless you are at a very good university with excellent tech support that is constantly up to date and has the right priorities, these choices involve a lot of trial and error discovery.

Where and how could we perhaps best share our experience with different software and workflows? We will always be dependent on what is currently being offered, and what are our options (though personally I feel that there are reasons to take "free and open source" solutions as most fitting for academia contexts), so potentially these questions deserve periodic updates and may benefit at unpredictable intervals from new experience.

Is there some place or solution nowadays on the internet to discuss these questions. For SE I quite see that they might legitimately be 'shopping questions'. Perhaps there is a way to phrase them that it is more about the 'why' and 'how' instead of particular tasks. At the same time, recommendations for particular software would often be a really good thing to have!

Just thought I would propose the question. Thanks for your thoughts!

1 Answer 1


If you want to discuss something on Stack Exchange, there is only chat.

However, there is a specific Stack Exchange for software recommendations, which also has an academia and research tag.

  • Indeed, maybe this topic doesn't fit with SE then. I do imagine that the discussion results deserve a bit more permanent storage and access options. I didn't know about "academia" on "software recommendations" though. Thanks! Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be too active though.
    – puslet88
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 11:02
  • @puslet88: Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be too active though. – Well, it’s just a tag. Also, it may not be even applied to all fitting questions yet.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 11:13
  • 2
    @puslet88 there is also softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/research Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 20:02

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