I'm deleting my academia stackexchange account so I don't really care if this my last question will be marked as duplicate or off-topic. The reason why I'm asking this question is that I feel the academia stackexhange community right now heavily focused on hierarchy of this forum such as preventing duplicate, off-topics, etc. rather than actually answer the people's questions. I think every-time if someone, whom specially is new in this forum, asks a question a lot of experienced people will rush to the newly posted question in order to edit its content and discuss its relevance and find duplicates when it is applicable. I think this rush created a censorship, which does not allow new users to express their questions or ideas. Furthermore, I believe every question, which is asked by unique person, has some originality even if it shares its topic with other similar questions and I think it's not fair to mark every question as duplicate or off-topic because his/her questioner is not an experienced user in this forum. I know, even this my last question will be marked as duplicate, off-topic and will be closed, on hold, or even deleted. But, I'm happy that I just expressed my ideas and I don't really care if even I don't receive any response because my account will be deleted anyway.

  • 2
    Note that your last question has four of five votes needed to reopen it (i.e., not consider it as a duplicate anymore). Also please note some answers to this question.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Sep 16, 2018 at 18:00
  • My experience is not formed solely based on my personal experience, which I had for my last question. I saw in many other questions, which is asked by new users, despite of originality of the question, people did not answer it or at least not in the satisfactory way, because the question has a little chance to get high views count and high reputation for those who answered this question. That's really sad when some (not all) educated people are thinking about answering questions in this forum as a game to get more reputation or privileges.
    – user97402
    Sep 16, 2018 at 18:05
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    I don’t think our users are as motivated by views and reputation as you think. It is just that the things that are interesting to new users are not necessarily what is interesting to longstanding users who have seen many of these questions before.
    – Dawn
    Sep 17, 2018 at 0:54

4 Answers 4


The goal of Academia.SE (similar to the other stack exchange sites) is to develop a useful Q&A that applies to a broader audience than the individuals asking questions. This is why we close questions that are too specific to a single individual, or mark as duplicates questions that have already been answered.

These approaches filter out the messy individual circumstances and give the best chances for other people to find answers here without having to ask their own question.

Closing a question as duplicate is never an attempt to censor a particular question or questioner, it seeks to point you toward information already here. Additionally, we can't really answer "what should I do?" questions: you have to make your own decisions based on what you value. Your advisor is likely to be a better place to get information when you need to make a particular decision, because they know you and your circumstances better (though even then you may disagree).


I'm sorry you feel that way, and thank you for taking the time to post your experience. Looking over your posts, I'm not sure I understand why you feel that way... your last question (>10k users) was pretty well received and good discussion helped improve the question even more.

There is a well-recognized phenomenon of older users rushing to close questions, but try to view it from their side... many new users post without checking history, and in many cases the answer has already been discussed. This site has been around for over six years at this point, we have quite a body of knowledge built up. Sometimes mistakes happen, but overall it tends to work fairly well.

That said, as you point out, it's not perfect. I'm sorry you're not feeling welcome, and I really would urge you to reconsider your decision. You've only been a member for a few weeks now, but in that short time you've contributed a few pretty interesting questions. Don't let one bad experience ruin that for you.

  • Thank you for your kind answer! At the beginning, I really liked this forum and I thought it serves research community as a problem solver. But, I think like many other communities the goal of this forum is buried under rush for editing or marking questions as duplicate or off-topic and people don't answer questions, when there is a little chance for getting high reputation or views, which in my opinion it is really sad for adult and educated people to behave like this. I'm not saying all the people here behave in the same way but always bad reputations have more impacts unfortunately...
    – user97402
    Sep 16, 2018 at 17:51
  • @MehrdadYousefi Why did you delete the linked question? I have now no chance of evaluating the general context of this situation. That, for me, is a total opportunity-killer of adding a more personal answer.
    – Scientist
    Sep 17, 2018 at 16:59
  • @Scientist - I just re-opened the question.
    – eykanal
    Sep 17, 2018 at 17:03
  • Thanks! Now I see and can add an answer. I have personally voted to close this linked question. Clearly a duplicate. Can't see why someone would take some kind of personal offence in being directed to FAQ?.. And I couldn't care less care about reputation (e.g. getting downvoted) as several of my answers demonstrate.
    – Scientist
    Sep 17, 2018 at 17:09

I suspect by the time I post this answer here, you will be gone already. Still, my answer might serve someone else feeling likewise.

I am a regular SE user. I think the main objective of the database is to provide a Q&A search interface for specialists in different fields. Meaning that if one has a problem, there might be a dedicated SE discussion for it, freely available and still open for additional discussion. I follow and participate different topics in SE, and I can say this website has helped me beyond measure.

Now, there is the matter of the main goal of users in SE Academia. I believe your question was meant to highlight a distance between what I wrote in the paragraph above and what users are actually seeking here. You seem believe most users are just selfishly hunting for reputation, and one of their strategies is nitpicking at selected questions what won't bring them any more views or points. My answer here is based on this personal interpretation, and I am afraid you won't be here to reply or edit the question anymore.

I do not seek reputation in SE Academia. My profile is anonymous, and many of my answers oscillate between controversial and unpopular. Perhaps I often state facts and opinions many academics engaged here don't want to see or be seen in public? I don't know, and I don't care. Because my main personal objective here is (in answering) to contribute to colleagues here who seem to need help in situations I may know about, and also (in questioning) learning what colleagues elsewhere think/advise about a certain topic or situation.

I should state I have voted to close one of your questions, linked in another answer here. It seemed and still looks like a duplicate of another, Frequently Asked Question (FAQ). I did not seek to censor you, not understand why anyone would do that on such a trivial question. Being directed to FAQ is a very helpful outcome, as you may find a suitable answer among many other discussed aspects, or else reformulate your question more specifically on a details you still quite don't understand.

I do believe some users may occasionally misuse this platform on occasion, mostly by passive-aggressively attacking others in comments (or even edits) and by downvoting and voting to delete material they personally disagree with without clear technical or objective reasons. This may be interpreted as a form of censorship, and is unfortunately very common everyone in the real world as well. However I do not think this is widespread in SE Academia (and I would say if I did) and I do not think you seem to have been a victim of such situation.


I agree with you again!!! Nothing is more frustrating then literally having a question and being in need of help and the first responses on your account are people editing your original content, and making it something else entirely by changing your tone and diction, and/or people saying your post is irrelevant. It is rare that you will actually get help.

Try to go reddit. I'm thinking of going there when I need help now.

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    Hi! This looks like a comment, not an answer. I know, rules are a pain, but this is how more structured places work. Try living in Switzerland. Now, on your feelings, I think you can seek help in different places at same time. These are different communities, and I am sure SE has a lot to offer. I've found a lot of help here. And a few scumbags. Good luck!
    – Scientist
    Nov 22, 2018 at 13:25

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