Recently my question here was put on hold due to "shopping-question", but I have the following reasons to claim that this is not:

In the first paragraph, I mentioned a school and I am having a hard time making a decision on my career path, but I didn't ask anything on these. My question is on the second paragraph (I actually followed the logic of advises given by the comment, which suggested me to ask something like what to look for to know if my prospective advisor is a good fit). Similarly, I asked what qualities to look for to know whether a graduate program (not especially for a specific one but generally speaking) prepared me well for getting an academic job in future, which will make it easier for me to make a decision myself.

Therefore, I am not seeking help choosing or finding an individual journal, publisher, university, academic program, field, research topic, funding agency etc.

Also, according to line 13-15 from this guideline on shopping question which stating "Note that questions about how to make such a choice in general – that do not involve naming any of the above – are not considered shopping questions and may be welcome here" this question may not be regarded as shopping.

  • Welcome to AC.SE. Please take a look at our help center. Thank you for bringing this to meta. You can also try and use Academia Chat to try and get your question into a state that we can help you get an answer.
    – StrongBad
    May 14, 2018 at 16:00
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    Sidenote only three of the five close voters voted as shopping (you can see their names next to the close reason). The others voted to close as primarily opinion-based and depending on individual factors, respectively.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    May 14, 2018 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


It takes 5 votes to close a question. looking at the history of your question: https://academia.stackexchange.com/review/close/63297 we see that the question accumulated 4 close votes while it read:

Especially any comments or thoughts on the math graduate program on that university?

The final close vote came after your edits that made the question much less of a shopping question. Sometimes users do not always choose the best close reason from the limited list of choices.

The edits to your question improved it a lot. In its current form, I wouldn't describe your question as a shopping question, but it is still not a great question for our community. Don't be put off, it is really hard to ask a question that works well on the first go. The issue I see is that there are multiple questions in your question and it is not really clear to me what the underlying point is.

I am not quite sure what kinds of quality I need to look for in a graduate program to make me more well-prepared to look for a academic position in colleges.

I think this has the makings of a good question. the back story does not really drive to this question so leads the reader (i.e., potential answerer) off track

The research topics my prospective advisor do match my interest very well, but does the prestige of the school play a very big role also?

This seems like two questions, both of which I bet we have answered here a bunch of times.

Or the no. of publications is more important?

Again, this is a good question, but probably has been answered before. Maybe if you provided more details it would make it clear what is unique about your question (possibly your desire to teach and not do research).

I could imagine you splitting the question into 4. Hopefully that will lead to better answers (and more rep) for you.

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    Also important to note: edits to a question do not clear close votes, but time does.
    – aeismail
    May 14, 2018 at 16:28
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    @aeismail I actually had an option - retract the close vote. However, the OP still had the comparison between the PhD program and high school teacher position question in the first paragraph. So, I did not retract the vote.
    – Nobody
    May 15, 2018 at 4:58
  • @scaaahu I think he was refering to the natural aging away of close votes and not that you had the option to remove it (which I think you always have the option to do: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/915/…)
    – StrongBad
    May 15, 2018 at 21:21
  • @scaaahu The questions asks about the qualities of a graduate program in general I should look for, not to compare the choice. The mention of the PhD program and high school teacher position is reflecting the struggle in my mind only.
    – Alan Lao
    May 18, 2018 at 3:57

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