28

I think that there is probably a lot of selection bias in the questions that we see. There are a lot of depressed people out there, and people who are struggling with something (depression or otherwise) are a lot more likely to come and ask a question on this site. I'm not surprised that depression is one of our themes. I agree with ff524 that health-...


18

I don't think this is academia-specific. Depression is a common human condition. Evidence: Google search for Workplace.SE mentions of depression (10 pages of results). I don't think we need a separate tag; health-issues seems adequate to me. I also don't think we need to handle it differently than we currently do: close questions that are about depression ...


16

You should ask a question on Reddit whenever you feel like it, regardless of whether you ask the question on Academia.SE. Academia.SE doesn't make any claim to be the only site you should ask a question on. It only asks that you not ask the same question on any other SE site, because that is general SE policy.


13

There are three main paths by which a question can be deleted. Flags: If a question receives enough spam or abusive flags, the community bot will automatically delete the question and feed the spam/abusive detection algorithms. While this question is not spam, the abusive flag can be used for trolling. The question has only received a single abusive flag, ...


12

For what it's worth, my own opinion on migration has not changed since I wrote: I would prefer to see a gray-area question be closed (and possibly migrated a little later) rather than migrated immediately. Migration is qualitatively different from other kinds of closure. Assuming we don't have accounts on the target site, Closed Questions ...


12

I think the question shows utter incompetence as a lecturer, but it's a valid question and should not be removed because I've had lecturers who were actually this socially incompetent, and as such it's a legitimate question. Hopefully someone will learn from some of the excellent answers it's attracting.


12

Converted from a comment on the main site question (which I now have deleted): I am European so I probably know very little about this movement and the controversies that surround it, but I am strongly against the deletion of this question. In my view, merely discussing a topic in a civil way should never be censored because someone finds it offensive.


12

We should make it clear that the scope is "academia" rather rather than "academics." It's hard to concisely define academia, perhaps something like: "academic careers, research, teaching, and publishing." Based on the number of homework help questions we get, the existing wording still gives the impression that questions related ...


11

I think the real question is this: why aren't you satisfied with the answers to the original question? If you think that the original question would receive good answers if people paid more attention to it, then set a bounty. If you think that the original question didn't receive the answers you're looking for because it wasn't focused on the particular ...


10

From the help center: Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much. There are entire books that (attempt to) answer this question. For example: Steven Krantz's A Mathematician's Survival Guide: Graduate School and Early Career Development.


10

Does anyone else finds it surprising? Is it just an artifact, or does our site somehow attract depressed peoples? Not surprising at all. You get rants and voices of frustration on most Internet places. And I don't think that A.SE attracts more of such than other places for people related to academia. I'm unconvinced that the prevalence of clinical ...


10

Questions with outlier level of attention are almost always a result of the "hot network questions" or HNQ. This has been a topic of a lot of discussion on the main meta as well as the meta for individual stacks. HNQ are great for attracting attention to stacks, but sometimes that attention is a bit unwanted, including votes and answers on questions that ...


9

Not off topic at all, but you could also ask at expats.se.


8

While I would certainly love to see a higher level of quality in the writing here, I'm not in favor of an approach that places more restrictions on the form of the question, in addition to the content-related restrictions that are already difficult for newcomers to navigate. To quote from a related answer on main meta: If you start telling people what ...


8

Based on your sample, most of these questions seem to be coming from students in graduate programs, not from faculty. In my mind, this rules out the pressure due to publish-or-perish hypothesis. However, getting through an advanced degree program can be hard, particularly at the PhD level. Something else may be at play, too: take your average PhD ...


8

Can someone please explain the philosophy of stackoverflow and why such questions get upvotes? Whatever the philosophy, questions and answers are upvoted and downvoted by whoever wish to do so, for whatever reason they fancy. I can upvote a question just because I like the way it is written; or simply because the poster is new to the website and I can give ...


8

There are limited rules regarding how users can use their votes. The only constraints I can think of are that the system prevents, or at least tries to prevent, systematic down voting of a user and sock puppet accounts. This means that if a user can down vote whatever they want for whatever reason they want and there is nothing the mods can do about it. Any "...


8

No. Though your opinion is different, I believe it is addressing something that is highly relevant to academia: note that answers and comments from other women back this up. Just because it would also be on-topic in another venue does not mean it is off-topic here. The academic workplace is different from the general workplace for several reasons, including ...


7

In contrast with the other answers, I think there's often actually a good reason that "bad" questions get voted up. I tend to vote for a question when I think that the answers are likely to be interesting or useful, whether or not the question appears to come from a bizarre or foolish place. It's very easy for us, looking back from many years distance, to ...


7

I think there could be another factor. Academia (especially in the US, I guess, but everywhere) is an highly competitive industry. There is publish or perish, seeking grants, fast moving disciplines, an overwhelming tide of new papers and results everyday. Research is hard. There are many people who struggle in academia. This site is specific. It regards ...


7

As in every StackExchange site, the rules are pretty simple. You should downvote bad questions. You could read this blog post by Jon Skeet referring to this issue (it's a bit more focused on programming, but the general rules apply everywhere). If you downvote a question because the user who asked has done something reprehensible, this is not desirable in ...


7

No, this question would not be on topic here, because it is asking about preparation for a non-academic, non-research career. As stated in the help center: However, please do not ask questions about ... Preparation for a non-academic career ("What graduate degree will help me get a job as X?") Thanks for checking with us first :)


7

Encourage askers to put a question mark in the top-level question. Beyond grammar, this will discourage questions of the form "here is a 20 page description of my problem; what do I do?"


7

Let’s remove the initial sentence “You’re ready to ask your first question [...]”. Even though it’s welcoming, the shorter the text the likelier that it gets read.


6

I think that the push-back you are getting may have to do with the fact that you ask a lot of questions of this type. Of the 41 questions currently marked as reference-request on the site as a whole, 19 were asked by you over the last few months, and you've only accepted an answer on one of them. These are also nearly half of the questions that you have ...


6

I think that Writers.SE is a better place to ask about general style and grammar, while Academia.SE is a better place to ask about substance and academic customs. There's a big grey area where a question might legitimately be asked on either (e.g., these two questions on active vs. passive voice). Do not however, post a question on both: that is considered ...


6

In its current form, I do think this question is too broad/opinion based. You write Of course, I am not looking for general things like "work hard everyday"; ideally, it would be more specific and helpful things. But in order to avoid answers like that, you need to draft a more specific, focused question.


6

Reddit Born for open-ended discussions After 6 months posts are automatically locked so discussions are "fossilized" to reflect what happened in that time No way for users to improve others' posts Downvotes can (and usually?) mean "I don't like this" or "this is uninteresting" The only way to have links to relevant posts within ...


6

Most legal-issues questions on Academia.SE are not about the law per se, but rather about the de facto interaction of academic standards and practices with issues regarding the law. That sort of thing is completely within scope of this site. Your linked question, on the other hand, explicitly says that it is: "ignoring ethical/political/any other non-...


6

That's not what this site is about; we're about the culture, ethics, procedures, etiquette, etc of academia. Not about the contents of every field of study. In general, questions about something that is unclear in a book about a specific topic may be posed on the Stack Exchange site for that topic. For example, a question about something that is unclear in ...


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