A while ago we made an attempt at creating a list for resources to learn chemistry. And while we have come a long way already, I think we are still far from complete. In the past it served us very well in referring (especially new) users to an extensive list of (text)books and other resources, especially about the main branches inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. However, when it comes to some more niche subjects, like the recently asked question about chemical engineering the list offers nothing. In principle the main directive of closing as a duplicate is violated.

In these cases, and especially keeping in mind that we may want to amend the list, I think we should keep these question open, and later (with sufficient answers) incorporate the results into the list. (We can then still close it as duplicate to direct new users to the main post.)
Additionally, it is a nice way to allow encouraging answers via bounties, which is not possible for the community wiki post, in order to extend the list.

Therefore I propose the following:

If the community wiki post "Resources for learning Chemistry" doesn't cover resources for learning specific chemistry, we allow questions for resource requests about that specific field of chemistry.
When sufficient answers are available the goal is to implement them into the community wiki post and close the daughter post as a duplicate to direct new users to the big list.

Editorial Notice:
Voting on this proposal is closed, i.e. if you cast your vote now it will not be considered any more. If you disagree, or would like to amend this proposal please make a new meta discussion.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Sensible proposal, I think this is the obvious way to go, +1 $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ Please if you see one that is not covered in the main post do not forget to comment so I know what to do if it turns up in the review queue! $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 12:18
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Jan It is your responsibility to know what you are voting on. If you do not have the patience or time to check the target post then click skip! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ I definitely agree with this proposal. I think in general we shouldn't close something as a duplicate if the prior question doesn't have answers. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Tyberius Normal users usually can't do that for precisely that reason. As moderators we can do it, but only use that option if the questions really are exactly the same (often asked by the same user). $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I can see quite a problem with this. Like how question asking about good textbooks from a major chemical discipline could not be too-broad/opinion based? When not closed as duplicates such questions fall under these reason for closing, so why should they be left open? $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 17:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ From my pov it is more of a spirit-of-the-law thing; yes, such questions can be too broad, but then the resources question is just as broad and we're seemingly fine with it. Let's not have a separate standard for 1-rep users. (@Mithoron) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 17:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ People should not mark questions duplicates if they are not, in general. Just because two question have similar titles doesn't mean they are duplicates. People who do this regularly should be penalised. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol I don't see why we should be OK with resource recommendation. There's quite a bit of SE sites which have special close reason for them, for example "Questions asking for list of works or reading recommendations are off-topic, as they generate opinion-based answers. Try to adapt your question to fit to our Q&A format, or feel free to ask for recommendations in chat or elsewhere. " $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron I welcome any and all criticism of what I have proposed. In order to have it more visible and to discuss this a little further I would like to encourage you to write it as an answer. We previously discussed the latter point you have long time ago, but maybe it is time to revisit this point again. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 3:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Mithoron Would you cite a couple of these (science-related) SE networks that have this close reason, and do not concurrently have lists of recommendations? Physics and Maths both have tons of these lists. A contradiction? Perhaps; but based on the amount of upvotes (agreed, not a 1-to-1 parameter for fitness of a topic) they are very useful to the respective communities. In this sense, our resources thread lags behind with a handful of votes and less attention and exposure. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 11:51
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @LinearChristmas I suspect that the lack of upvotes is mostly attributable to the fact that the post is locked. It's 5 upvotes vs 41 favourites! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 11:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @LinearChristmas the votes are lacking because we froze it quite early, but exposure is another matter, I agree. I suppose we should put more effort into it, but that's a matter of time... (Which no-one seems to have) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 11:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hmm, that seems a reasonable explanation. Though slightly off topic, why can't locked posts be voted on? (I think I realise most reasons why a post should be locked but the banning of votes doesn't conform with my current understanding.) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 22:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LinearChristmas I don't think it is the intention in this case, but I imagine locked posts don't allow voting to protect certain questions from spam down/up votes. Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/22228/what-is-a-locked-post $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


At the time of writing, the question had 17 up-votes, 1 down-vote, no answers.

The proposal is accepted.

I have further edited and reopened the linked post and additionally placed a bounty on it. I hope this is a further motivation to extend the resources post.

  • $\begingroup$ I would like to be able to extend it, but I feel that I also don't really have that much expertise in other fields; maybe I can write about graduate-level organic books, but I'm not sure whether that's useful... $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 21:36

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