This question essentially asks: In my country we do things like X, how do they do them in your country. That seems like the definition of a big list question to me. I have wanted to ask a similar type question, and I asked for input in chat.

To me it seems that these "country poll" questions are not a good fit for academia.se.

Do you think we should keep these type of questions open?

2 Answers 2


This question turned into a big list of "In my field we do X, what is done in your field?"

The question I linked has become a Community Wiki. There are four such community wiki questions at Academia.SE now. For at least three of them, the answers for each instance in the big list are important to the individuals in that category, and having the list in one place seems to benefit the community. The question I linked shows up as the first Google hit for a related search "First authorship by discipline". In these community wikis, where there is no single correct answer, the big list in aggregate is the definitive answer.

The post linked in the question could become a similar community wiki. The addressing of individuals with doctoral degrees (especially research vs. professional) is confusing, especially in France. However, in researching this answer, I stumbled on a Wikipedia page which essentially answers the question in the original post, meaning that question may not be suitable.

I think criteria for keeping big list questions should be:

  1. Will the big list in aggregate form the definitive answer to the question?
  2. Is this a big list that does not exist elsewhere (or is not easy to find if it does exist)?
  3. Will a reasonable Google search for one part of the list find the question?
  • This view seems to go against how SE thinks of CW. At a minimum these types of questions should not be CW, but instead have a single CW answer.
    – StrongBad
    May 5, 2013 at 11:25
  • 1
    I agree. One answer containing the big list in a logical (e.g. alphabetic) order would be preferred. It is not how the big list questions are being answered right now. A big list question which has a single collaboratively edited answer containing the big list would side-step the whole issue.
    – Ben Norris
    May 5, 2013 at 11:34
  • I think there is a difference between traditional big list questions and these country/field questions. If the question is what software should I use for X, the idea is for each item to be an answer so they can be voted on individually. In these country/field questions, it is not clear what an up voted answer means ... The bigger issue, is that I don't believe these list question are a good fit.
    – StrongBad
    May 5, 2013 at 11:37

No, they are not a good fit. There is no single objective answer to such questions, and so they're a really bad fit. They're big-list questions.

Closure as NARQ or Not Constructive, followed by deletion, is the appropriate solution.

Thanks to the link in Ben Norris's answer, it's easy to find a list of similar questions for voting to close & delete.

Someone may want to salvage some of the content of those answers for tag-wikis, which is the one place where this sort of content could find an appropriate home on StackExchange.

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