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What kind of subjects in chemistry are considered “too easy”?

Congratulations to all, on getting the site out of private beta and into public beta.

Is it now OK to ask more basic questions, than the expert level set out in the initial email?

Where's the lower limit?

This transition from private to public, has, at other sites, been associated with a change in level of appropriate question.

Which means that this is not a duplicate of the question asked in private beta.

But if Nick T's answer on the question about the private beta still stands, then this question can be closed.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, no: that was about the private beta, where the explicit recommendation was for expert-level questions. We're now out of private beta, and in public beta. $\endgroup$
    – 410 gone
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 20:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here is an example of a question which I find too easy… $\endgroup$
    – F'x
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


I believe both private and public beta aim for the same level. The FAQ is the same: “Chemistry - Stack Exchange is for scientists, academics, teachers and students”. I also believe Nick T’s answer during private beta is still a very good criterion for judging whether a question is too easy for us.

To expand on this a bit, we want to strike the right balance between:

  • “experts only” (in which case, we can hardly gain any traction… see theoretical physics and astronomy and lessons to be learnt there)
  • popular science (cue “mentos + coke”, “mentos + sprite”, “mentos + Dr.Pepper”, … questions),
  • students’ tavern (“how do I know if a ligand is classified as strong ligand field or weak ligand field?”)

Nick T's criterion can be formulated in other alternative ways. For example, I'd be more tempted to describe it as a “no general reference” policy. Also, we should not that this is in addition to other important and more generic criteria, such as questions being fact-based (as opposed to argumentative) and not being overly broad.


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