Questions tagged [discussion]

The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus.

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41
votes
26answers
4k views

Why did my question get a downvote?

Another in my aperiodic, quixotic rants intended to improve the quality of H:SE posts. I've seen a few questions on meta that resemble "why did I get a downvote?". It struck me that I can't be the ...
13
votes
8answers
397 views

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

Arguments to treat references in scope By declaring requests for references out of scope, we discourage some legitimate and - interesting history questions. History is unusual for H:SE; a large ...
18
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6answers
232 views

Should we include sources in answers?

As a historian I know that while information (or in this case answers) are vital, but perhaps more important to good historical research are the sources consulted. Should we, as History.SE'rs, include ...
6
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2answers
704 views

When comments are flagged, are related comments looked at by moderators?

If a comment is flagged, do moderators normally look at only the comment, or also the general context of the comment such as what the comment was replying to? EDIT: Bump this to get new input from the ...
7
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10answers
387 views

Weekly Topic Challenge

A few years back we tried a question asking contest on History and Philosophy. The format was somewhat flawed, but I think the basic concept is sound. Having a specific suggestion of a type of ...
7
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2answers
126 views

Proposal for Accepting Reference List Requests

I'd like to present for comment a process by which we might productively handle requests for lists of reference material on the History stack using the current StackExchange software. Requests for ...
28
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5answers
383 views

Warning about answers that just copy online sources

If anyone remembers the How it Works beta, it had a major issue with people copying from online sources without citing. I am worried this is starting here as I've already seen 3 answers copied ...
15
votes
5answers
358 views

Site policy for very heavily-trolled topics

What is the site policy for dealing with questions on very heavily-trolled topics, like Hitler and The Holocaust? We've long had problems with these particular topics, as they seem to be magnets for ...
10
votes
4answers
264 views

How are we doing?

I understand the betas for Literature.SE and a whole mess of others are shutting down in a few days. Now clearly we didn't get the axe. However, comparing our stats on Area51 with theirs, frankly the ...
13
votes
7answers
319 views

What Can We Do To Improve the Site

I recently read T.E.D.'s post on the recent cancellation of quite a few sites here at SE. I was wondering what we could do to improve the site's performance. Here are some thoughts: We seem to be ...
16
votes
5answers
361 views

Are we sufficiently supportive towards new users?

I was prompted to ask this by a couple of recent posts by new users and the response they received. I also took a look at some of the available data on the site, and I suspect we might have a problem. ...
9
votes
4answers
281 views

Why did my answer get a downvote?

This question is intended to assist with providing feedback on answers. Every answer to this question should include all of the following: 1) An explanation for the downvote, 2) An recommendation to ...
8
votes
2answers
554 views

How do we determine site policy, how do we reach consensus about it?

It is unclear to me and others how we determine 'official' site policy. We have a lot of questions and answers surrounding our site policy here on meta. Some have a lot of views, some have a lot of ...
12
votes
3answers
251 views

Do we need more explicit policies regarding editing posts?

When users reach 1000 rep they gain the Edit questions and answers privilege. Before that, users can suggest edits, but these need to be approved by higher-rep users via the review queues (or by the ...
9
votes
6answers
462 views

Standard comment situations: suggestions for close votes and down votes

Downvotes and close votes should always be accompanied by a comment. While not strictly required as per SE policy this is especially important for new users. We should direct our criticism at bad or ...
18
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5answers
496 views

Do we need a History site? What are YOU getting out of this?

Update: Due largely to the feedback provided below and the proliferation of increasingly intriguing questions on this site, History SE is now public. Congratulations! Thank you for your feedback — ...
13
votes
1answer
261 views

Please don't push controversy in comments

In the last few months we've received a number of email from users who complain about altercations on this site's comment sections. If the problem revolved around just one or two people, I'd contact ...
6
votes
3answers
173 views

What to do about questions with no answers?

Or rather, questions where the answer is, "there is no answer". Inspired by the comments of this recent question. Some members of the community wants to close the question, others think it is better ...
32
votes
2answers
304 views

Our answers need to be more like skeptic.SE's answers

History is a field where there's a lot of commonly held misconceptions and water-cooler anecdotal information/analysis. As participants in this site, we need to be sure to carefully source our answers ...
28
votes
3answers
272 views

Please avoid asking Wikipedia questions

I suggest that for this site and particularly in the private beta that we avoid asking questions that can be answered by Wikipedia e.g. 'Which groups arrived in Australia before the arrival of the ...
15
votes
10answers
378 views

Should we allow Wikipedia to be referenced as an academic source in answers?

Everyone is familiar with Wikipedia and its abundant use in today's society, academically and in casual life. The question I posit here is should we allow it as a reference when answering questions? ...
9
votes
5answers
436 views

A plea to down voters

Someone (singular or plural) seem to be down voting a lot of my answers. I do not really care that much about a meaningless reputation number. However, I do care about the overall quality of this ...
5
votes
3answers
153 views

Is it appropriate to ask questions about mythology here?

Is mythology considered on-topic for this site? I'd like to how the History.SE community feels about this (personally, I think it's off-topic).
3
votes
4answers
114 views

Could questions here be too localized?

On other sites, such as gamedev.se or stackoverflow, questions can be too localized. example. But on a site that is all about history, what could be too localized? Because history is all about detail.
10
votes
3answers
135 views

Are questions asking for reference material off topic?

For example, would "I want to know of good first hand sources and academic texts about the Templars military tactics" be on or off topic?
8
votes
1answer
162 views

Poll - how many among the users are “professional” historians?

I'm a bit curious how many people active on this site identify themselves as professional historians. I know there are some statistics available from when the site entered private BETA, but I assume ...
14
votes
4answers
182 views

Is there any way we can improve the quality of questions on this site?

I have no idea whether this question is even answerable, but I have noticed we have a positive plethora of questions closed or put on hold by the community, either for being too basic, speculative, or ...
12
votes
4answers
190 views

Dealing with newbie questions - again

I know we have discussed this on numerous occasions, but this question and the responses suggest to me that we still have a problem. I admit, it is one of the worst phrased questions ever, but later ...
10
votes
3answers
173 views

Feedback from a newbie

As someone who works in IT myself, I know it's hard to see the newbie's perspective; I thought some feedback about my experience would help. You can see my post here. As I said, my expertise is in IT,...
9
votes
8answers
407 views

“What if” questions

I would say that questions that look at the "what if" of historical events are off topic. Is there a consensus on this? Note that this comes from the World War II - Could The Axis Powers have won ...
9
votes
4answers
211 views

Does anyone use any offline tools to help compose their answers?

I recently posted a fairly long (for me at least) answer, which took quite a while to compose in the editor window. I was fearful the entire time that a mis-click and I would loose it all. I checked ...
4
votes
4answers
532 views

New wording for our message: “What research have you done?”

This is a follow up to my prior question about the harsh treatment we give to newcomers: Shouldn't we be less harsh with respect to asking for prior research? In spirit there seems to be a ...
3
votes
3answers
284 views

How should we deal with sensitive historical questions?

By sensitive questions, I refer specifically to questions about Adolf Hitler, or topics (e.g. Nazism) derived from him. (One might plausibly substitute Josef Stalin, and his dealing with the ...
3
votes
3answers
126 views

When do we consider a question to be easily answered by “a simple search”?

Our help-center lists explicitly one symptom that makes a question "off-topic": It is not about: Questions answered by a simple Google search or to be found in a Wikipedia page I see 'a ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

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

Why are some questions closed? Is it like deletion?
17
votes
4answers
242 views

Shouldn't we be less harsh with respect to asking for prior research?

Prompted by this question: Are there any examples of California gold rush prospectors becoming exceedingly wealthy due to their claim(s)? There's a twice upvoted comment in 12 minutes as I write, ...
14
votes
5answers
233 views

Do we expect answers to cite sources?

Long-time occasional browser, first-time poster here. I recently asked How much did it cost to attend events at the ancient Roman colosseum? and have gotten (so far) two answers, upvoted by the ...
13
votes
4answers
184 views

Are recent political history questions on topic?

Are questions about political history of President Bush or Operation Enduring Freedom and the like on topic here? How recent is too recent? Where is the political science and political history line ...
12
votes
3answers
482 views

Holocaust/Nazi/WW2 trivia questions - what to do?

It seems to me there are a lot of low-quality questions being asked about the trio of topics above. I'm not referring to holocaust denial questions, which should obviously be killed with fire. I ...
11
votes
7answers
396 views

Is it time to update our custom close reasons?

There are three slots of custom close reasons. Currently, we only use two: Questions on social sciences other than History are off-topic here, unless they also involve history in some fashion. While ...
9
votes
4answers
128 views

Should answerers be held responsible for updating their answers when the questions are revised?

Here's a typical situation. I see a question. I write an answer that draws upvotes. Then the OP revises the question. My answer starts getting downvotes. The critical comments are generally that the ...
8
votes
5answers
184 views

Concerns about the future utility of this site

I am concerned that this site is devolving into question after question of bickering over perspectives. I think that this endless bickering is distracting us from focusing on improving the quality of ...
8
votes
3answers
163 views

The Comments Sections on Questions are NOT for Discussions

Recently there has been a lot of activity in the comments section of questions. The activity is great! The location of the activity is less so. The best place for extended discussions about topics ...
7
votes
5answers
233 views

What was wrong in the question about Jesus' family?

This question was closed because "it is primarily opinion-based". At the moment it is much edited so it has lost its original content. I don't understand why this is "opinion based". It refers to the ...
7
votes
5answers
255 views

What constitutes a request for a “List”

Many of my questions are criticized as being requests for 'lists' with no 'one best answer'. Does this mean that the site is dedicated only to the discussion of certain singular and peculiar ...
7
votes
5answers
197 views

Should we allow easy to answer questions?

I know that we want to encourage people to do some research before asking their question, but what is the harm in allowing relatively easy to answer questions to be asked on here? It seems that would ...
7
votes
2answers
155 views

Can we flag answers because they lack sources?

A few hours ago, I flagged an answer because it had no sources. The contents seemed plausible in part, but without sources an uninformed reader cannot quickly check for him/herself or dig deeper ...
6
votes
2answers
132 views

Is there a notability criterion or not?

Did Lisa Chester miss her father's funeral? I hate to have to ask, as the question is not worth much to me, but it's so unpleasant to see a question closed for an ambiguous reason. Commenters ...
6
votes
5answers
200 views

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

I was reading the "Plea to downvoters" discussion and I have similar question. I generally agree that a downvoter should explain what is wrong. Should (s)he also do if he just doesn't like the topic? ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Flagging holocaust denial

Holocaust denial is both factually incorrect, and offensive. How should it be flagged? Should it be flagged as "rude and abusive", or should I use "other" and say "lacks citations"? I'm worried that ...