23

Why.... Be very careful, you're entering dangerous ground. It is fairly difficult ask a "why" question that is a good fit for SE. "Why..." questions tend to: Require a book to answer. Generate lots of discussion and comments, which reduce the value of SE. rely on false premises. If you must If you must ask a "Why" question, please check that: ...


22

I'm Grace Note. I'm a Community Manager for Stack Exchange. At the end of the day, a vote represents the opinion of a user, to identify whether a question is useful or not useful in addition to points about clarity and research and whatnot. Voting is the tool for the community as a whole to judge posts. It is as much to identify when a question is poorly ...


20

If you doubt the existing narrative, the burden is on you. e.g. I read on Wikipedia that the Pryce baronets went extinct with the seventh baronet. Is that true? First, thank you for having done at least some preliminary research. I appreciate that you've made an effort. That said, unless you have a reason to doubt the fact in question, why are you ...


19

Short Version We are aware this is a tougher topic than most to ask interesting and unique questions about. This factors into our graduation decision. Of the 115 sites, History.SE is currently ranked at 72 by questions per day. It's ranked 74 by number of users and 67 by traffic. So it's right around where we'd expect it to be by the numbers. The ...


16

Coming up with history questions is more difficult than say coming up with questions for StackExchange for a couple of reasons. The relative size of the historian market v. the programmer market, where there are far less people that are engaged in "history" than "programming." The lack of immediacy of problems in the field of history. For example, rarely ...


15

Please document your preliminary research Some questions seem to have come out of a beer and pretzels' discussion with no research. Please do basic research before you post here; check Wikipedia and Google, and document that research in your question. Tell us why Google and Wikipedia fell short. Tell us what you searched on and why the results didn't ...


14

I think it's wrong to downvote because it's a subject you don't find interesting. If it contains incorrect information, is trivial, can't be answered properly, these are all good reasons. But "Meh, I wish people would ask less about vikings and more about Mayans" is not a good reason to downvote, IMO.


13

Someone once said . . . . Or I have heard... or I read that... I will downvote any question that includes this phrase. This is effectively the rhetorical fallacy Appeal to Authority without going to the effort to invent the authority. There are two problems with this question, and I'll wish for the ability to downvote twice. First, cite your source. It ...


13

What evidence is there that the historical individual that I'm thinking of fits a historical theory that I read one time.? If the question relies on information that is only available to the OP, then the question shows no research effort, and I would argue is a bad fit for the site. I'm going to downvote because it is an insult to the community. Questions ...


12

Quoting known Hitler apologists and/or Holocaust deniers as your primary/only source Questions or answers like this one which rely on the theories of Hitler apologists and/or Holocaust deniers like David Irving as their primary or only source are likely to be down-voted. Particularly when the claim being made fails the "existing narrative" test discussed ...


11

I blame Wikipedia. Almost every time I wanted to ask a question here, I found the answer (in 5 minutes or less) simply by searching Wikipedia. This, I think, is the main reason we don't get more questions.


10

I'm personally on the side of answering that there is (or perhaps can be) no known answer, with an explanation of why. The theory here is that if its otherwise a legit question, someone else is liable to come here wondering about it too. It would be nice to have an answer for them. Not that I'm casting aspersions on the closers of the linked question. I can ...


10

The best way may be to search inside our chatroom, The Time Machine. Our Historian bot automatically link new questions to the chat feed as they appear, and this is preserved even when the post itself got deleted by community, barring moderator intervention in exceptional cases. In fact, the bot link includes the author of the question, so you can find all ...


9

Is this true that... Questions that guide answers to only two possible options ("yes" or "no") should be avoided. A question like this usually does not show even a minimal effort of its poster and will not provide no information for the people who will read the question and who will read answers. As history is not technical science, we do ...


9

I will downvote any question that misuses the term genocide. Genocide is recognized as a crime against humanity; modern cultures jointly condemn the practice. Asking or answering questions about genocide should be accompanied by clear, respectful thought. Transforming the noun genocide into a verb "genocided" is sloppy and imprecise and undermines ...


8

"Should.... If your question includes the words "Should" or "...feel..." or "...seems...", or ". . . neglected. . . " then it is very likely that your question is subjective. (There are exceptions to this rule; I'll read the question before I determine whether or not to downvote). I will downvote subjective questions and usually vote to close. If your ...


8

Why were the majority of the population X at the time Y ok with Z when we know that Z is wrong? Is it true that Person S from time Y really did/believed in Z??! Horrendous! For sake of clarity: The genocides in modern times are not an example because the people knew that killing people is not ok. For example: Slavery. How could ancient Greeks&Romans ...


8

Is your question in scope? Why are major streets in urban regions not build tunnel like? If your question begins, "I dont know where this question might belong in stackexchange, so i put it in history. " then STOP and read [help]. Then check these two resources history and not history; if you cannot detect the subtle differences between those two terms, ...


8

Questions about race "race" is not a word that has a precise meaning; it is, if you will, not a cromulent word. The vast majority of questions about race or genetics rely on assumptions that are incompatible with good historiography. Different cultures define race differently, and there is no objective definition. If you ask a question about race and don'...


8

Out of scope questions a.k.a. Sir, this is an Arbys A parable Person walks into a Starbucks and says, "I'd like an appendectomy please. I don't react well to standard anesthetics, and I'm diabetic, so....." The barista interrupted the customer, "Excuse me - I'm committed to providing the best possible customer service that I can, but this is ...


8

Excellent question and I appreciate that you've approached this problem professionally. T.E.D proposes that we imagine a math stack question beginning, "It is commonly known that 1=0" - which is an excellent thought experiment. Today I re-encountered a question that is perhaps a better illustration. How and when was Portugal created? As I said in my ...


7

I tend to view my voting process as a balancing of interests. Is the question interesting? Is the question well researched? Is the question coherent? Is the question similar to other questions? Etc., etc., etc. Looking at the question through those different lenses I then weigh them against each other to decide how to vote. "The question is really well-...


7

There is a reason for anonymous voting. People vote anonymously because they can express their opinions without fear of retribution. H:SE is doing better, but explanations still invite as much personal abuse as they do changes to questions. I'll continue to strongly advocate anonymous voting; public voting is an incentive to abuse.


7

Wikipedia's eaten the trivium end out. Which leaves the causative questions (Why did... How did...?), and historiographical questions (Why can we say that...? What makes it legitimate to say that...?). These questions are hard to write, harder to write well; hard to answer, and harder to answer well.


7

If you're aware that the source is dubious (and you make that clear in the question) that would seem to be reasonable grounds to question the truth of the statement. I would add that you'd be expected to show some preliminary research beyond the game, i.e. you've checked Wikipedia, done a Google search and they don't yield an obvious answer. A dubious ...


7

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a notability requirement as such on History.SE. There is, however, a requirement that a question should be answerable using historical methods, and a longstanding consensus against genealogical questions. Together this tend to rule out questions on life events of obscure individuals who do not otherwise leave ...


7

Welcome @a_sid! I didn't vote to close, so I can't answer why people voted as they did. I can offer a few observations that might be useful. No preliminary research. Like most SE sites, we expect questions to contain evidence that the poster has made an effort to solve the problem; we're looking for preliminary research. This isn't a hard and fast rule (...


7

My 2 cents (as a Stack Exchange user with many interests, including the network itself, I'm not a History.SE specialist as my reputation shows): A question isn't off-topic on History Stack Exchange because it's on-topic, or even better suited, on another site in the network; it's normal that Stack Exchange sites have some overlap. IMHO the best indicator is ...


6

I don't downvote that much and do try to provide an explanation when I do, but when I see that my reason for downvoting is already in there, I generally don't add a "+1" post. It's not helpful and I think that in its own way it encourages more comment-argument. It's also against SE guidelines to do so.


6

I have to read the comment string to understand the question If I have to read a comment string to understand your question, I am significantly less likely to do the research to answer the question. (I may or may not downvote you depending on how egregious the comment string is). SE is not a place for discussion. Discussion is fun; we all like a discussion....


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