I had asked a question a few days ago on the main site. However, it was downvoted. I'd edited the answer to fit what the comments wanted me to clarify but it was downvoted yet again. I'd also requested in comments to specify why it was being downvoted, but there was no response. It currently has 2 upvotes and 5 downvotes. I've noticed that whenever someone sees a downvote, they go on to downvote it more. On other StackExchange sites, I've been helped by the comments and downvoters to help improve my question(s). I'm new to this site but while I cannot actually contribute by answers, I want to make sure that I'm asking the right questions in the right way.

  • 7
    meta.stackexchange.com/questions/325416/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135/… - in summary, comments are available for people to explain downvotes, but nothing requires people to explain votes. When people do explain them, often people argue with them, sometimes rudely, which may discourage them from commenting in the future.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Nov 11, 2020 at 18:34
  • 1
    My impression is that votes don't mean so much - they are correlated with the question contents, but a very large role seems to play if the user has a good reputation here (not neccessarily measured in reputation points) or if they are new.
    – user111388
    Nov 12, 2020 at 11:07
  • @Iceberry I wouldn’t pay too much attention too up voting and down voting. Feb 19, 2021 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


I didn't vote on this question, but I can report that you currently have four close votes: two for "needs more details / clarity", and two for "opinion-based." I am not sure if the down-voters followed similar logic to the close-voters, but it seems likely.

I would not have predicted that this post would be so poorly received. But, I can make some comments:

  • You ask about India, Europe, and the US, in both research roles / other positions. That's a bit broad. I realize you may be open to considering a wide variety of options, but you would probably get better answers if you limited your scope to, say, grad schools in the US. You can then look around a bit to see how the requirements for grad schools and industry positions generally differ.

  • At essence, your question is "how much will grades matter for those who went to school during the pandemic?"

    • This is hard to say, since the pandemic isn't over yet and the last pandemic was before the digital era. So, some may feel that it's impossible to answer your question at this stage. (Others may feel that even speculation from those with experience doing graduate admissions would be valuable).
    • Further, I think you raise the uncomfortable truth that even though committees might be empathetic to the difficulties of the pandemic, there is still a need to choose X students from N applicants (with X << N), and grades are one of the few available metrics. (This doesn't justify downvoting you, but it may be that our downvoters don't "like" the question because there is no good answer).
  • Your title has no question mark, and your first paragraph makes several "empty" statements about education during the pandemic. In some sense, this shouldn't matter, since you do clearly enumerate your specific questions. But it is a fact of life (on this site and elsewhere) that questions with unnecessary verbiage tend to not be received as well.

  • Mostly I'm in the 'hard to say' camp. For example, I know how much the pandemic impacted my then high-school senior. Talking with a co-worker about their now-senior child I realized there are way more issues for them, and that any lessons to be learned last spring have almost no bearing on what is happening now. And that is for undergraduate admissions which is more formulaic than graduate admissions. We are truly in the WHO KNOWS??? phase still.
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 11, 2020 at 20:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .