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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40
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 ...
18
votes
6answers
230 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 ...
7
votes
10answers
377 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 ...
6
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2answers
120 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
votes
5answers
375 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 ...
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
318 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
399 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?
12
votes
8answers
371 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
votes
5answers
489 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 &...
14
votes
5answers
348 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. ...
14
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
172 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
292 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
358 views

Questions concerning non-written history

It is unclear to me whether events not involving written history are considered on topic. For example, various questions recently, such as Thule people migrating to Greenland, ask questions before ...
27
votes
3answers
263 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
273 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
433 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
149 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.
8
votes
6answers
396 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
132 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
158 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
186 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
172 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
404 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
210 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
235 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
279 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 ...
15
votes
10answers
346 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? ...
14
votes
5answers
229 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
183 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
442 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
379 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
123 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
183 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
160 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
225 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
195 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
246 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

When is a duplicate not a duplicate?

We have a question that has been marked as a duplicate. The question is: When did the “Great War” become “World War 1”? The suggested duplicate is here: When was the term for WW2 first used and ...
5
votes
3answers
169 views

What is an academic historical question?

My question: Was the Granny Smith Apple the first green skinned apple widely propagated? Discusses something that is considered a large part of our local history and something that we celebrate every ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

What is a trivial question?

SE is stronger and more interesting if we discourage trivial questions. I've repeated multiple times that I will downvote and Vote to Close any question that is answered by google or by Wikipedia. I ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

Does History.SE want Skeptics.SE's attribution questions?

I am a moderator on Skeptics.SE. Normally, I would direct this question straight to the moderators of History.SE, but they haven't been decided yet... We occasionally get "Did X really say Y?" ...
2
votes
4answers
110 views

Let's get critical: Jan 2014 Site Self-Evaluation

We all love History Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what ...
12
votes
1answer
329 views

Should i resign from this site?

I came onto this site with the understanding that it had a scholarly orientation. Unfortunately I have discovered that it is as much a popularity, 'who got there first', and elbowing contest. ...
9
votes
6answers
278 views

Why does this Beta have a problem with question frequency?

It's at about 2 questions per day when it should be at 15. From my experience in academia, history is one of the most dense academic fields in exactly the kind of questions that this site is designed ...
8
votes
2answers
170 views

Is this site for purely Geo-Political History questions?

Today I asked a question on this site which was local history and discussed in this meta discussion. In that discussion Robert from Stack Exchange provided this answer: I assumed that History SE ...
7
votes
1answer
82 views

Would you be interested in a “war week” contest?

Expanding on this post about potential contest ideas, what do you think about having a "war week"? We did something similar on Philosophy, where we designate one philosopher each week, and each person ...