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I read a few (OK, too many) academic blogs. Often, readers write in asking the author of the blog to post a question they have about academia. Then the readers of the blog answer and discuss in the comments.

These are often very interesting questions that are on-topic for academic.SE, and I think that this community would have useful answers that I'd like to hear. However, the help center says that

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

Is it appropriate to ask questions here that I've read on a blog, to find out what this community has to say?

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Personally, I say yes.

The problem with asking questions you don't face is that you end up with many philosophical questions that don't actually occur in real life. However, what you describe is events that do happen in real life, and are practical issues, but happened to other people instead of you. (I once posted a question on behalf of my wife, who was a first-year graduate student at the time, and didn't worry that I was violating the site guidelines.) So long as the problem is practical and something that you (or others) have faced, I say go ahead.

I'm very curious to hear an opposing viewpoint.

  • 3
    Not an opposing viewpoint, but an emendation: if you are basing your question off another source, that's fine—but make sure to cite it with a link! – aeismail Feb 28 '14 at 14:23
  • Also, write it in your own words - DO NOT COPY/PASTE, as in most cases that would be a copyright violation. – Flyto Mar 3 '14 at 15:12
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I agree with eykanal, I don't see any problem in asking questions you found on a blog. To some extent, the problem is similar to: Are realistic hypothetical situation based questions permitted?

So as long as the question itself fits the scope of the site, it should be fine. One reminder: it's ok to answer your own question, so if the blog provides an interesting answer, please feel free to post it as well.

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