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I wonder if not-so-academic questions about academic institutions are allowed here.

For example, there are such questions like:

Why is the logo of DBLP (a computer science bibliography) written in Cyrillic letters?

or

Why is the nickname of Stanford sports teams written singular 'Cardinal' rather than Cardinals?

2 Answers 2

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Trivia are unimportant pieces of information. Often when you are asking about something, its importance is part of the answer. Therefore we cannot say whether the question was about trivia before there is a generally accepted answer.

To take your first example, I don’t know the answer and thus from my perspective the usage of Cyrillic letters may be an irrelevant quirk or it may reveal something non-trivial about academic history. Conversely, we sometimes receive questions where the answer would reveal that the question was about trivia, but it was by no means obvious from the beginning.

Thus, irrespectively what we think about the value of trivia, I do not think that we can base a reasonable criterion of closure on it.

On top I don’t see anything wrong with questions about trivia as long as they do not disturb the site and this community is the best to answer them.

All that being said, I consider your second example off-topic, but not because it’s about trivia, but because it is about the English language or perhaps sports instead of academia. Our community simply has no expertise on this particular matter. Sports teams being attached to universities are a historic oddity in some countries. That question is as much about academia as a question about Bayer Leverkusen is about chemistry.

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Based on the on-topic page in the Help section, I see:

If you have a question about ...

  • academic careers,
  • requirements and expectations of students, postdocs, or professors,
  • inner workings of research departments,
  • academic writing and publishing,
  • studying and teaching at institutions of higher education (universities, colleges, …),
  • the academic research process,

... then you're in the right place!

I don't see how the examples above fit in here. This site is about being a human in academia, not trivia about academic institutions. I would vote to close as not in scope for the site.

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