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Is there anything wrong with this question? In particular, is there anything wrong in asking about an educated guess about the possible future impact factor of a new journal?

What niche is PRResearch supposed to fill that the other APS journals don’t already cover?

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    Please read the shopping-question FAQ and edit this meta question to be based on this. If you disagree with anything in that FAQ or fail to understand that FAQ, we can discuss this. But if you do not give us anything to work with, we can only close this meta question as a duplicate of the FAQ. – Wrzlprmft Sep 16 '20 at 7:25
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    The problem is that future readers will learn nothing out of this except the direct answer. They will not learn sth. which applies to other journals, and thus, this would not give broadly applicable answers. Think conversely: If this question would be asked for every new journal, there would be a rather large number of questions only about that topic! – user151413 Sep 16 '20 at 9:23
  • As an aside, journals.aps.org/prl/edannounce/PhysRevLett.102.060001 indicates that the editors at Physical Review know full well how to change their impact factor should they choose to do so. Of course, this makes predicting the IF a difficult thing... – Jon Custer Sep 17 '20 at 18:33
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The post in its original form contained the following question:

Moreover, PRResearch is rather new and does not have an impact factor yet. Do you expect the impact factor would be comparable to the PRA/B/C/D/E journals, or to PRL/PRX?

Such a question asks thus for an assessment of a journal, and can be thus considered a shopping question, but since it asks about our expectations on the future impact factor of a journal it can also be considered as opinion based. In both cases, it's not a question we can answer and should be closed as off-topic according to our current policies.

However, the post contains another question that can be answered and the edit from Wrzlprmft removed the unanswarable part, keeping and fixing the answerable one. In this way, the question can be salvaged and kept open.

So, you can essentially choose to have a closed question in its original form or an open question in the edited form.

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  • I think it's very hard to try and make this not be a shopping question. – Anonymous Physicist Sep 16 '20 at 9:51
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    @AnonymousPhysicist: What exactly is this referring to? The question without the impact-factor aspect or the question for the impact factor. – Wrzlprmft Sep 16 '20 at 11:07
  • It is not an assessment of the journal. It is not about good or bad or advantages/disadvantages. It is about an objective quantity, a number. I already rewrote the question once because Wrzlprmft censored it, so appreciate my effort. – sintetico Sep 16 '20 at 11:17
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    @sintetico But would you agree that a question "What is the impact factor of journal X" would be problematic, since there are thousands of journals, and if journal X is allowed, all journals are allowed, and this site would be flooded in those questions - you could ask one for each journal? – user151413 Sep 16 '20 at 11:53
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    @sintetico: The definition of shopping questions (as per the FAQ) explicitly includes ones with completely objective evaluation criteria. Such questions still have problems, which are explained in the FAQ. One of them is the one mentioned in the above comment namely that this site is not suited to be a database for this kind of information. – Wrzlprmft Sep 16 '20 at 12:16
  • @user151413 Of course, asking for the IF of a journal is problematic, because one can answer this question just using google. But now we are talking about the future IF of a journal. This is different from "database questions". You are making a wrong judgement, and you are not willing to listen to my arguments. You are just ignoring my arguments. – sintetico Sep 16 '20 at 12:30
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    @sintetico It's worse than a database question. It's a database question with opinions that will rapidly be out of date. – Anonymous Physicist Sep 16 '20 at 12:33
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    @AnonymousPhysicist Please articulate your thoughts. It is clearly not a database question because the answer is not contained in any database in the world! – sintetico Sep 16 '20 at 12:34
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    @sintetico The existence or nonexistence of the database is irrelevant; we won't be creating it for you. It's an inappropriate question because there are a very large number of journals about which you could ask it; for each question the answer would be different "individual circumstances". It is also off topic for being "opinion-based." Further, it's a poorly disguised request for an assessment, which is off-topic as "shopping." Don't expect me to debate the rules with you. – Anonymous Physicist Sep 16 '20 at 12:42
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    @sintetico One problem with these questions is simply that there are lots of new journals. So you could flood the site with questions like that - which, moreover, would be out of date very soon, as soon as there is actual data available. This is simply not the idea behind SE sites (you don't have to think this is good, I'm not saying I do, but that's how it is). – user151413 Sep 16 '20 at 12:45
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First of all, a little foreword. I do not think that people who closed my answer have secret agendas, or malicious intentions. But I think that it is enforcing a policy in an extreme strict way, beyond the scope of the rules. I decided to answer my question because all other answers are pinpointing some issues, but not offering a solution. The point is, rules are here for a reason, but they should allow a genuine question to be asked. One should not forget that the first reason of existence this website is to ask questions. If (man-made) laws prevent any meaningful question to be asked, what is the whole point? So, as everybody seem to agree, the original (non meta) question is legitimate, but there is discussion about whether the part about the IF is legitimate or not.

My answer is: The question about the new journal future IF can be formulated in a more general way. It is totally legit to ask about, what are the reasons why an established publishing company is starting a new journal? Does this publishing company have the power to predict, or to manipulate the future importance, impact, broad diffusion (eg., number of readers), reputation, and acceptance in the scientific community?

As a side note: I do not understand why this meta question is downvoted. The meta question is a totally legitimate question and does not violate any of the rules of Acedemia Meta stack exchange, even if there is a debate about whether the original (non meta) question is legitimate.

As a final word. Please be reasonable. Offering or suggesting a way of asking a similar but closely related question in a legitimate way is more welcome than just saying that a question and not legitimate and to close it.

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    rules are here for a reason, but they should allow a genuine question to be asked. – Nobody doubt that your question (for the IF) is genuine or meaningful. It’s just a question that is well suited for the format of this site for reasons that we have explained several times. (It has also the more general problem that every answer to it would be a very wild guess right now.) The rules in question were not created in a vacuum, but we noticed that a certain type of question consistently leads to problems. If you want an exception, you must argue that these problems do not arise. – Wrzlprmft Sep 17 '20 at 9:05
  • It is totally legit to ask about, what are the reasons why an established publishing company is starting a new journal? Does this publishing company have the power to predict, or to manipulate the future importance, impact, broad diffusion (eg., number of readers), reputation, and acceptance in the scientific community? – I am mostly fine with those questions, but they are completely different from your question about the IF. To somewhat boil it down: “What does the APS expects the IF of PRResearch to be?” is fine (though possibly unanswerable); “What will the IF of PRResearch be?” is not. – Wrzlprmft Sep 17 '20 at 9:07
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    @Wrzlprmft “What does the APS expects the IF of PRResearch to be?” is fine Then I will update accordingly, also including perhaps "Does APS (or other publishing companis) have the power to predict, or to manipulate the future importance, impact, broad diffusion (eg., number of readers), reputation, and acceptance in the scientific community?" – sintetico Sep 17 '20 at 9:41
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    Downvotes in Meta imply disagreement with the question. And I have to agree - speculating on what the impact factor of some new journal is really not in scope. – Jon Custer Sep 17 '20 at 16:23
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    @JonCuster "Downvotes in Meta imply disagreement with the question" is this your personal opinion? What does it mean actually? If I ask "A means B or C?" what it means disagreeing? You can disagree with a statement, but you cannot disagree with a question. – sintetico Sep 17 '20 at 16:41
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    @sintetico - votes on Meta sites are different. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/47634/… – Jon Custer Sep 17 '20 at 16:48
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    @JonCuster "voting indicates agreement or disagreement with the proposed change". I did not propose any change. Again, one can disagree with a statement, but one cannot disagree with a question. This is basic logic. – sintetico Sep 17 '20 at 18:10
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    @sintetico The mouseover says "this question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful". That's why I downvoted. – Bryan Krause Sep 17 '20 at 18:17
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    @sintetico it is disagreement with the premise of the question. Don't be so literal - this is how it is used on all the Meta sites I am familiar with. And, to be clear, your question in essence proposes that we change this site's policies on what is on topic. So, yes, you did propose a change. – Jon Custer Sep 17 '20 at 18:17
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    @JonCuster Nope, I never argued about a change, I did not even thought about that. I actually agree on the policy of forbidding shopping questions, I just think that mine isn't one. I am not being literal. But you are reading something that it is not there! – sintetico Sep 18 '20 at 2:34

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