What exactly is a shopping question?
A shopping question is a question that appears to seek help choosing, finding or assessing
an individual journal,
an individual publisher,
an individual university,
an individual academic program,
an individual field,
an individual research topic,
an individual funding agency,
a commercial online service,
Historically, this community has had a strong policy of staying away from assessments of (most) specific organizations, commercial or otherwise. I believe that this is a good policy for several reasons:
Assessments are often highly relative and based on perspective
There is a temptation for advocacy, whether for personal ("Go Tech! Beat State!") or ...
(Disclaimer: I am the author of Alternatives to big-name proprietary remote-lecturing tools )
First of all: we make the rules
We are free to consider on-topic whichever questions we deem answerable or useful to academics. The fact that "no shopping questions" is a thing, in general, should not prevent us from accepting these questions. If we believe they ...
Often times once the first person chooses a close reason everyone jumps on that reason even if it is not the best. The original version of the question was not worded in the best way and I would have been inclined to vote to close it as either unclear or depending on "individual factors", but I would not have called it a "shopping question". The edited ...
There has never been a clear consensus whether shopping questions extend to software.
Hence it is missing from the shopping FAQ.
Having a policy for this is long overdue.
Do not close questions on how to solve a practical problem that is specific to academia or teaching. If the answer is to use a software (commercial ...
I agree that this question is not a shopping question as no reasonable person would choose conferences by that criterion and hence the close reason was badly chosen. Note that I consider it irrelevant that the criterion for answers is objective; “What is the most visited conference for theoretical underwater basket weaving?” still is a shopping question. (...
I would like to focus on 2 out of the 3 debated questions, as I believe that 2 of them fall into the same category: "Software to live-stream presentations" and "Creating a secure test environment for a programming lab practical". The first, I voted to close as shopping question and the second I voted to leave open.
The guiding principle for me is what would ...
As you say, two of these questions are closed. The third seems like it might be salvageable: the title text (Creating a secure test environment for a lab practical) does not ask for a specific "shopping" recommendation, but the second paragraph does seem like it is asking for either a software solution (which is shopping) or technical help (which is off-...
To expand on StrongBad's answer, the original question was not a "shopping" question. It wasn't asking directly about what university to attend; rather, it was asking about the impact of a particular phenomenon on people studying in a particular country.
The problems with the original question are that
the actual impact of boycotts is mostly a matter of ...