Layla has asked a question on advice for starting a research group. While such a question at first does seem too broad, it also strikes me as exactly the kind of question that should be a "community wiki" question. It's a very pertinent and relevant question, but it should be a crowd-sourced solution, not an individual writing a single all-encompassing answer.

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    I thought I remembered seeing something somewhere once (I doubt I can be any more vague than that) suggesting that we shouldn't intentionally look to create CW questions. Can't seem to find that now, though.
    – eykanal
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 20:13
  • What I meant here was that since the question is already there, it could be promoted to that status. . . .
    – aeismail
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 20:53
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    Personally, since the question has no answers, I would close it as OT. If it was an old Q with lots of answers already I would convert to CW and leave it that way.
    – eykanal
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 21:47

2 Answers 2


Just asked about this in the mod chat room, they linked to this blog post, which pretty clearly states that posts like this should not be converted to CW. The whole post is pretty interesting, actually.

  • Yeah, Community Wiki was never meant to be a back door for subjective questions, although the Stack Overflow community did use it for exactly that purpose for awhile. It was the cause of much conflict and a great deal of discussion before it was finally eliminated (it is mod-only on questions now).
    – user8762
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 21:56
  • But I don't see a question as: "What are important pieces of advice for new faculty members" as a subjective question.
    – aeismail
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 22:42
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    @aeismail - I imagine that what you think is important is not necessarily what someone else thinks is important.
    – eykanal
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 4:17
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    @aeismail , eykanal - i thought there was only one important piece of advice for new faculty members. Can't remember where I read this: an anecdote from someone's first fellows' dinner at their new Oxbridge college "Don't try to be clever. We're all clever fellows here. Just try to be a little kind"
    – 410 gone
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 15:32

I don't think it is a good question for CW. Any specific advice is going to be too localized. For example, if you are teaching at an undergrad only institute, your lab is going to be filled with RAs and postdocs while if you have access to strong PhD or MSc students you will want those in your lab. Same thing for equipment and resources. It depends on the existing departmental resources, your startup package, and needs.

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