I wrote this question: How should academics handle communication with the media? and think it would benefit from people editing it by adding their personal experience so that we can cover more aspects of this issue.

Is it a candidate to become a community wiki? If yes, what is the procedure for a low-rep worm like me to suggest it might be?

  • Why would the question need to be community wiki for users to add their experiences? Those belong in answers, not in the question. Commented May 14, 2014 at 10:02
  • @MadScientist I think answers should answer the question, not expand it.
    – Cape Code
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:42

2 Answers 2


To answer the why, there isn't much of a reason anymore; the added feature of "suggested edits" made it mostly superfluous (source). Nowadays, questions almost never would be marked community wiki (CW), and only the very rare answer that truly requires the community to comprehensively answer would be converted.

To answer the how, just flag a question and a mod can convert it. But we would probably decline the flag as it would not almost certainly not be necessary.

To address the specific question at hand, the question is highly relevant to Academia, and the answers are all very appropriate and stand on their own. I don't think that should be marked CW.

  • I see. It feels like no one ever edit questions to add information in them, probably out of respect for the OP. So the wiki-like questions are not really the way this site works I guess. Thanks for the explanations.
    – Cape Code
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 21:05
  • 1
    @Jigg - Not exactly. People can edit questions, and do so all the time. The real difference is that people with >2k reputation can make edits as they wish, and people with <2k rep can suggest edits that other experienced users (and mods) can approve. Because of that new(er) functionality, CW doesn't really serve much of a purpose anymore.
    – eykanal
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 21:25
  • I understand, thanks for the additional info. I see people editing questions to correct typos and formatting, but not to e.g add items to a bullet list (which would be what I would see as wiki-like behavior). I get a better sense at how this site works now.
    – Cape Code
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 21:45

The accepted answer neglects an important feature of community-wiki questions: they do not confer reputation on the asker. This is an important feature, because some users do not want to gain lots of reputation for questions which tend to be high-traffic and highly upvoted but (often) convey less subject-area acumen.

On many other sites, questions are routinely made CW. For the first several years of SE's existence, on SE sites one had the option of making a question CW upon asking it. Many longtime SE users (like me) view the removal of this feature as slightly obnoxious. It was slightly obnoxious provided that requests to convert questions to CW were routinely granted. If they are not being granted, then I at least view the change as a very obnoxious loss of functionality. For a platform whose motto is "We don't run XXXX, you do!", SE has been slowly but steadily moving towards a model which micro-manages user contributions. I would welcome moderators who push back against this a bit, as do most or all of the moderators on the other SE sites I frequent.

Added: There are further nuances of CW which are not discussed in the accepted answer. A non-CW question is attached to a single user. Although high rep users can edit the question, in the culture of many sites -- including this one -- edits to questions are done sparingly, mostly at the level of copyediting, adding links and removing obviously problematic content. There is the sense that a question is still being asked by a specific person and that one should not mess with it too much without their consent. Making a question CW is a clear signal that everyone is encouraged to edit it as much as possible. Losing this feature is...is a loss. I can't understand why that would not be desirable on a site like this.

  • Although I understand the reasoning, I think that users should be encourage to edit all posts, and not only CW ones. Using the CW feature could implicitly split posts into two categories: those which can be edited and those which cannot. I would rather change the culture and encourage people to edit more, rather than keep the CW feature.
    – user102
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 9:35
  • You seem to be leading a crusade for marking questions as CW, and ignoring the three-year-old Stack Exchange blog post to the contraray that has been pointed out a few times now. I'm having a difficult time understanding your continued insistence that CW is a current feature given this post.
    – eykanal
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 12:09
  • @eykanal: I am currently trying to take a short break from this site to gain perspective (and await the outcome of the current election). But you implicitly asked me for clarification, so I don't want to be rude by not responding at all. On the other hand, I am getting a strong defensive vibe from you and the other moderators: for instance, it has been suggested to me that expressing criticism and vocalizing my own disappointment is not "civil". Commented May 15, 2014 at 4:45
  • You used the word "crusade" to describe this behavior of mine: asking a question and flagging it for CW, then responding to your critical comments about the question by leaving two answers on the meta site. Thus I have reason to believe that a full engagement with your comments is not something that you want to receive. But here is a brief preview: what you claim I have "ignored" was explicitly pointed out in the answer above. My "continued insistence that CW is a current feature" is justified by this recently asked CW question:academia.stackexchange.com/questions/20901. Commented May 15, 2014 at 4:49
  • Also, the post that you link to says: "Community wiki is like a cheese knife: it is a specialized tool to be used sparingly." I have asked exactly one CW question on this site: this seems wonderfully consistent with sparing use. Also I explained why cultural specific features on sites frequented by academics -- like academia.SE -- makes CW a more useful feature. Finally, in another post you write that CW is commonly used on some other SE sites but not this one. When the topic of discussion is whether CW should be used on this site, that is not a strong argument. Commented May 15, 2014 at 4:55

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