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Many of the current answers begin with "It depends on your field" / "There is no one answer". Indeed, each field is unique, although they share common grounds.

For questions that depend on the specific field, I would expect to see many answers, each for its own field, rather than having an answer that says "it varies" and that only gives a brief description of the common grounds.

For instance, for the question

Should I publish my recent result in a journal or a conference?

I would expect to see

  • Anser A: "In CS, conferences are very important and you should publish there (and then submit the ful version to a journal"
  • Answer B: "In our field, , there are no serious conferences, thus one should aim for journals..."

(see also this related question)

Do you agree with this paradigm? How do we lead the community to avoid "it depends on your field" kind of answers and replace them with "In field XXXX, the answer is.."?

  • As a comment I would add that a different option is to have "field dependent questions", that is Q1:"In CS, should I submit to conferences"; Q2:"In MATH, should I submit"... Personally, I believe this option is not good since it leads to many duplications. – Ran G. Mar 4 '12 at 4:04
  • See this suggestion of mine, which is related but not identical. – eykanal Mar 4 '12 at 5:54
  • @eykanal: thanks for pointing this out. I believe that tagging the question with a specific field might backfire and lead to the second "paradigm" described in my comment above. This might be helpful to the one asking the question, but less useful to the community. – Ran G. Mar 4 '12 at 8:13
  • 2
    I'm not sure this is a big of problem as people seem to be making it out to be. Can you find any examples where there are more than say 2 or 3 major paradigms across academic disciplines in regards to any particular question? We already have a good variety of disciplines asking and answering questions, so any obvious differences should be represented. I agree it would be bad if every question needed a dozen answers to be sufficient, but that isn't the case so far (more common ground than different ground). – Andy W Mar 4 '12 at 13:11
  • Ran G.: I would also recommend avoiding the second operation there. @Andy W: This is also where my position is: there are very rarely so many different paradigms that a few answers can't cover the whole spectrum. – aeismail Mar 4 '12 at 14:14
  • @AndyW I guess you are right and most of the questions will have 2-3 answers, except for the "big-list" questions (such as this one). Maybe it should be clarified (in the FAQ?) that it is acceptable to answer according to one specific field, and expect multiple answers. – Ran G. Mar 4 '12 at 19:42
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I think we should allow domain specific questions and cultivate domains within this server.

we should delineate the domain in the question title and use tags

e.g., tag medicine, life-sciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, etc...

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IMHO there are two things:

  • questions explicitly related to a selected discipline,
  • questions where it is implicit or not well defined.

In the first case we may consider migration to a dedicated SE site (especially if it is technical; if not - it may stay here).

In the second case when the asking person may be not aware if a specific issue works in the same way in every country, in every field etc.

So my approach is the following:

  • encourage to add some additional data (e.g. field, country),
  • encourage general answers if they make sense,
  • then, post factum, change the question title e.g. to How to blah-blah in CS in EU? (if the later are affecting the answers).

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