This is the central repository for how we do things on History.StackExchange.

This complements and extends our Help-Centre, which is limited in space and slow to change.

Welcome to new users

FAQ: History:Stack Exchange

General Site Policy

(Looks like we're on our own here How is consensus determined on Meta sites? But we might divert from the model set by SE and orient our policies along the lines of Skeptics or Academia?)

Site policy for very heavily-trolled topics

Are requests for references appropriate on History Stack Exchange?(revisited)

History of *what* exactly?

Do we have or need a policy concerning publication of information which may involve living individuals?

Are recent political history questions on topic?

How can you tell "political questions" apart from "historical questions"?

What is History?

Are questions about the history of politics on-topic here?

Is recent history on topic?

Do questions about current events of historic significance belong here?

On Asking Questions

How much research should one do before asking a question?

Etiquette of breaking down a large question into a series of smaller ones

How are questions migrated?

Wikipedia Versus S.E History

Is there a notability criterion or not?

FAQ: My question has been 'closed', what does it mean?

Are questions about hypothetical events off topic?

How should H:SE deal with questions about race?

Requests for references

On Writing Answers

What is the typically preferred length of an HistorySE answer and what factors influence that?

Adding answers to old questions which already have good answers

Is it OK to answer old questions?

On Voting

Why did my question get a downvote?

Why did I get an upvote?

Why did my answer get a downvote?

Is it OK to vote down on question when I just don't like the topic?

+1 is *not* a 'traditional welcoming gift'

On Commenting

Standard comment situations: suggestions for close votes and down votes

Unanswered questions with answers or partial answers in comments

On Flagging

Can we flag answers because they lack sources?

When should a comment be flagged?

On editing

What's the policy on 'bump' edits?

When are tag edits acceptable because the question is mis-tagged?

  • 1
    If this is seen as a good idea, please revise and expand. The list should become somewhat authoritative (and currently is not, for sure)… Dec 4, 2019 at 12:33
  • 1
    Love it! Makes it easier to find, discuss, agree on and reference our site norms. Very good.
    – MCW Mod
    Dec 4, 2019 at 14:59
  • 2
    @MarkC.Wallace there is a faq tag that can only be added by mods, if you think this question worths it :)
    – Andrew T.
    Dec 7, 2019 at 21:52
  • 1
    I do; I have; I thank!
    – MCW Mod
    Dec 7, 2019 at 22:47
  • My only concern here is that this presents 'Site policy' as if it is something that has already been agreed, whereas - in fact - we have yet to even figure out how we reach consensus in order to agree those policies! Dec 7, 2019 at 22:58
  • @sempaiscuba We have to start somewhere… And I listed "#General Site Policy" with corresponding link and Q first on purpose. Alas, that seems to not have too much traction. If you see a more legitimate way of " Bootstrapping policy"? Dec 7, 2019 at 23:02
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    No. Like I said before, I don't have answers, only questions. I think this question is a good start, but this is probably something that should have been tackled a long time ago. Dec 7, 2019 at 23:10
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    I think we already have more than one 'sub-culture' here on History:SE. At least one of those (based on observing some user votes in review queues) appears to be at variance with what most of us consider to be agreed site policy, for example, in terms of what questions are on-topic on this site.. Dec 7, 2019 at 23:11
  • @sempaiscuba Not sure I follow. (Going through that 'history' of reviews is often quite the puzzle for me, (concluding: I am quite at odds far too often). If you have insight of patterns or relationshjps between oddly UVs and strange matter reviews: I implore you to write an analysis of that (mods are allowed to do that? Wear your H:SE user-hat). In time, if need be. The chicken-egg-consensus thing is really sth I want to set down to go forward before editing this much further. Dec 7, 2019 at 23:23
  • @LаngLаngС If people are voting to leave questions open, even when they are clearly off-topic, then that is at variance with what most of us consider to be agreed site policy, no? If they are doing it regularly (which is, nevertheless, their right if they have sufficient reputation), then we clearly do not have universal agreement on 'Site policy' even at that basic level. Dec 7, 2019 at 23:29
  • Exactly. Except: do 'they' know, 'violating' on purpose, unknowingly, ignorant, or just 'own minded'? I think the ignorant part could and should be addressed by this thing here. And the 'own.minded' about this should also be dragged in: voicing 'their' opinion, in order to convince them otherwise, or documenting why 'some' deviate? "Clear" is opinion— I often agree with— but the main problem seems to me: what is what I*(*you) see as site policy, do I differ on site policy or how to apply it, or do I oppose site-policy? Dec 7, 2019 at 23:39
  • In the case of close / reopen votes on review queues, I don't think that it's ignorance. So it does appear we have 'sub-cultures' (it would probably be too harsh to call them 'factions'). Beyond that, who knows? Like I said, no answers. Just questions. And things that should probably have been settled a long time ago. Dec 7, 2019 at 23:44
  • I am just the sucker for hard data. Why not cal them factions in the explorative phase? I'd really like to take this beyond mere personal impressions, even SEDE queries I feel quite burned to appear on MSE on such a level, but is there any mod channel I do not know to exploit for such an inquiry? (or if you have access to data I'm not privy to. I have theories on queues and voting, but they're ad-hoc, on data scarcity/sample bias). Dec 7, 2019 at 23:52
  • If you want hard data, just copy and paste the page from the review queue into a spreadsheet (it's just a table). Repeat for as many pages as you like and you have review data for that queue to analyse. Depending on how you sort the data, you can look for robo-voting, 'factions' or 'sub-cultures' or whatever you want to call them, ('faction' implies a degree of organisation that is not evident imo), and even just participation in the review process. Dec 8, 2019 at 0:04


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