As informed during tour of Academia site of stack exchange, we can ask questions about actual problems faced in Life as a graduate student, postdoctoral researcher, university professor.

But some times we don't face problem but want to know about some topics, like

  • Where can we find impact factor of journals?

  • Why recently some books have their acknowledgement in the back as opposed the common practice of having acknowledgement in the front pages?

for which we don't find a dependable answer online.

So is it valid ask such questions on Academia site??

1 Answer 1

  1. "Where can we find impact factor of journals?" has a chance of being qualified as off-topic; it could qualify as a shopping question. Reason: https://academia.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic advises against asking for "Suggestions or recommendations for a ... journal ...". Indeed, that's what you ultimately want to find. On the one hand, you could make your question slightly less "shopping" by asking how instead of where. On the other hand, "how" could qualify as "too broad".

  2. "Why recently some books have their acknowledgement in the back as opposed the common practice of having acknowledgement in the front pages?" has a chance of being not a valid question either: it could be flagged as both "unclear" and "too broad". Reason: logically, before stating this question, you need to prove first that putting the acknowledgments at the end has not been done before and also specify "recently".

In any case make sure that your questions have not been asked earlier, otherwise they risk to be qualified as duplicates of some older ones.

In summary, you have a high chance of being doomed, completely and irrevocably. No matter how you put it, your questions will have a chance of running against the opinion of some mod (or sufficiently many users), who then may choose a corresponding reason and kill your question in one of many available ways. Once your question is closed, you would not be able to create and maintain a duplicate: the folks here would likely say "it's essentially the same question as the previous one" and kill it. Once you start complaining to the mods, they kill you. Sorry about that.

  • 1
    I didn't get the reason of saying "shopping question". Can you please elaborate? Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 4:28
  • @thepurpleowl, perhaps Abra is suggesting the scope of your question is too broad. Maybe: Is there a ranking of journals in field X, or are the impact factors of journals in field X listed somewhere? (I have to confess, I'm unsure whether that is sufficiently narrow.)
    – user2768
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 10:41
  • @thepurpleowl clarified. Please don't take it personally; I'm simply describing the moderation practices I've seen here. If you don't like them, please do complain with the moderators...
    – user80454
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 15:09
  • The reason we take a strict view towards shopping questions is because we don’t want the site overrun with “where should I apply/submit” type questions. That said, I’m starting to think that there is room to maneuver when the question is generic enough. A question that asks “What is an impact factor, and where can I find it listed?” would be OK, “What journals have the biggest impact factors in field X?” would not.
    – aeismail
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 20:56
  • @aeismail I'm under the impression that posts with the first type of questions have been killed often enough, even if you state the contrary.
    – user80454
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 0:25
  • @Abra: Note the "I'm starting to think." I may have closed such questions in the past, but would not do so now. (Note that it's not just mods who can close questions—five users with closing priveleges can do so.) But again, it would have to be a generic question.
    – aeismail
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 0:47
  • @aeismail There are other moderators and users thinking now the same way you thought earlier, and I think I see the closing pattern every once in a while. Note that I'm also not saying "will be qualified as off-topic" but "has a chance of being qualified as off-topic". After all, it's your interpretation and the interpretation of the other moderators and users.
    – user80454
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 0:51

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