The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Academia Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election next week, 2021-08-09. In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until 2021-08-09 at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into currently.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The following two questions are guaranteed to be included:

    • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
    • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
  • The community team may also include the following three questions if the community doesn’t supply enough questions.

    • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
    • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
    • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
  • At the start of the nomination phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. We exclude any suggested questions that are negatively scored.

    • We will post the final questionnaire on the Election page. Candidates will have the option to fill out the questionnaire, and their answers will appear beneath their intro statements.
    • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

  • 3
    For those who missed the reason for this election, here's the reference. Aug 2, 2021 at 20:21
  • 3
    For those who want to know more about the mechanics of the vote counting in a moderator election, this Q&A from MathOverflow Meta provides the details. Aug 3, 2021 at 7:32
  • I appreciate the work that mods here do, but I don't think that mods asking this many questions (at the moment all the questions) on the very first day of this being posted is likely to be helpful in terms of other members of the community stepping up to ask questions. It also gives the impression that potential new mods primarily need the approval of existing mods as opposed to the approval of the wider community.
    – user96809
    Aug 7, 2021 at 22:44
  • BTW, in relation to my comment above, that doesn't mean I don't think those questions are useful and apposite. It's just that for future reference maybe it would be better for mods to hold off for a wee while.
    – user96809
    Aug 7, 2021 at 22:50
  • 3
    @Araucaria I think the note that these questions are from the last election indicates these are not really questions asked by moderators but rather some previously upvoted election questions. There is still room for more!
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Aug 8, 2021 at 1:03
  • @BryanKrause Well, one was yours, but the other three were from mods during the last election.
    – user96809
    Aug 9, 2021 at 21:15

7 Answers 7


[Imported from the last election question collection]

What is your stance about the current scope of Academia Stack Exchange and how this is enforced?

  • Should we close any question that does not strictly comply with the current scope?
  • Should we be lenient and keep open questions that can potentially generate good answers even if borderline off-topic?
  • Should we narrow or broaden the scope?

[Imported from the last election question collection]

As a moderator, I find that comments are a tricky thing to deal with. Under what circumstances will you delete comments?

Note that there are lots of flags that comments are obsolete/no longer needed.


How do you view the balance between "trying to be helpful to an OP" and "strict adherence to the stated rules"?


[Imported from the last election question collection]

Academia.SE frequently has questions rise high on the Hot Network Questions (HNQ); often these questions are on more controversial topics than the mean question here and attract visitors from across the SE community who otherwise don't participate here.

What do you think the moderators' role should be with respect to HNQ list questions? How do you think presence on the HNQ list should affect moderation decisions?


[Imported from the last election question collection]

What question or answer of yours on meta best exemplifies your philosophy on moderation? Why do you feel this is the best example?


How will you handle a disagreement with another moderator over an action one of you has taken (or will be taking) on a post that requires moderator attention?


Have you ever made a mistake posting on this site? If so, how did you react?

  • 1
    Too late: the election is already under way and the questionnaire has been consolidated. Aug 10, 2021 at 5:19
  • 1
    @MassimoOrtolano Thanks, it looks like I made a mistake! Aug 10, 2021 at 12:48

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