After having been away overnight and then scrolling through the list of active questions since my last visit I came across this one. If I try to boil this down to its bare essences, it would be one of the following:

Which research area would fit these criteria?

What can I study doing X and Y?

How can I connect my preferences into a research project?

All of those would normally — in my opinion — get hammered down pretty quickly as too broad or primarily opinion-based. Yet the question is open, counts a whopping 11 upvotes as of now, and the close vote review I induced with an opinion-based vote was completed after three leave open votes.

What am I missing?

Note: the question has since been heavily edited. For the sake of this post, please consider this old version of the question.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I'll be brutally honest: I upvoted it and did not VTC because the person who posted it is a longtime chem.SE presence. I admit to being absolutely biased because the OP isn't doing a drive-by, and has been around for a while, and I think the question has solicited good answers. I also admit that I don't normally go this way, but made an exception. $\endgroup$ Oct 12, 2016 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ A brief discussion of this occurred here, in chat. It's all likely my fault that the Q remains open: I saw an opportunity to prattle on about something I'm interested in. A chat invitation would probably have been more appropriate, in retrospect. $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Oct 13, 2016 at 2:40
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    $\begingroup$ As I said in chat, we might close it after a couple of days, when we make sure nothing of the value will be added to it in the form of answers. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 13, 2016 at 6:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubisco I'm fuzzy on the details -- will it get deleted eventually, if closed? Or will it stick around since it's upvoted and has upvoted answers and/or an accepted answer? $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Oct 13, 2016 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ @hBy2Py no, it won't. What you refer to is called roomba, deletion by Community, and no question with a positive score is eligible for roomba. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 13, 2016 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ I understand your point and I've heavily edited the question. I guess, I just don't see how it fits in the above three categories. I don't want career advice nor help selecting a project. I'm just wondering what's been done that combines both comp and o-chem. Or basically looking at the relationship between comp and o-chem. I hope that makes sense. $\endgroup$ Oct 15, 2016 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ For example, why isn't this question garnering "close votes"?chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/6720/… How can I word mine differently? I feel like it's similar to that question. $\endgroup$ Oct 15, 2016 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ @MelanieShebel I don’t think I ever saw that question live (i.e. when it was fresh) $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Oct 15, 2016 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Melanie it's a very old but ineffective argument that since a question slipped, yours should too. Both are too broad and should ideally be closed as such, but if no one wants to do it, well. I don't think it's unclear that they are; they're basically asking for overlap between two very large fields, and that's not info an SE answer should/can contain. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 15, 2016 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not saying that if one question slips, mine should too. I was just wondering what that question contained (or did not contain) that made it allowable whereas mine isn't. I didn't know that the other question had slipped through the cracks, I thought it was somehow an "okay" question whereas mine wasn't. $\endgroup$ Oct 15, 2016 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


To some extent, I think this question (especially after the various edits) is different because it is much more of a than a What should I study? question.

It is still somewhat a (though I'm fine with it not being tagged as such), and responses (comments and answers) have reflected the opinions, interests, and preferences of the respondents, but the responses themselves are objective: subject areas within chemistry, literature pertaining to those subject areas, and current researchers studying those subject areas.

The answers will age, however, so eventual closure or somesuch for that reason will probably be warranted.

  • $\begingroup$ It's interesting to me that there's this fuzzy sense of community disapproval of these questions, but no one actually wants to VTC them. Sort of: "Officially, I feel like I'm supposed to disapprove of these questions, but unofficially/anonymously I actually like having them around" ? Maybe our closure criteria / site policy in this area need some attention? $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Oct 18, 2016 at 13:36

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