We all love Academia Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

2 Answers 2


In general, I like shape of Academia.SE. And I am still being surprised, that with so many subjective questions, this site is a nice resource.

However, in my personal opinion:

  • Too much of life-story/life-choices/coaching/etc
    • often associated with ) - just please, no (I understand that newcomers may treat SE as a forum, but it is our job to help them shaping their issues into questions which work well in SE system)
    • quote: In this site I have seen questions that sound like "what should I do with my career" with little or no "question-ness". (@Thanatos)
    • examples:
    • why it is a problem?
      • hard to generalize,
      • hard to answer (as there are many treads, which is the one most important to the OP?),
      • hard to compare answers,
      • not much re-use value,
      • even hard to read the original question,
      • it is harder to find answer (as someone can ask question with the same title, but different - background)
  • Too much of soft answers
    • I mean, if someone asks a question about chances of being admitted somewhere (or anything else) I think that we, as the community, should put more value on at least trying to use any data, objective references, links to other materials, etc. Sure, sometimes answer is "yes" (or "no"), which is obvious for any insider; but it many cases it isn't.
    • example:

IMHO we should have much stricter comments and moderation for questions:

  • capturing one's life story,
  • asking a few questions at the same time,
  • too long (IMHO they can be as long as one wishes, but the question, or the overview, should in in the first paragraphs).

And for answers (just comment-bugging may suffice), when:

  • it seems that some data, research papers or essays can be linked,
  • the answer seems to be specific for a given region or discipline.

(And less strict for the comments :).)


Final Results

Net Score: 19 (Excellent: 19, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 16 (Excellent: 16, Satisfactory: 10, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 13 (Excellent: 14, Satisfactory: 11, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 13 (Excellent: 13, Satisfactory: 12, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 9 (Excellent: 10, Satisfactory: 16, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 3 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 15, Needs Improvement: 3)

Net Score: -1 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 11, Needs Improvement: 8)

Net Score: -1 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 18, Needs Improvement: 4)

Net Score: -2 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 10, Needs Improvement: 9)

Net Score: -9 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 12, Needs Improvement: 10)

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