24

Yes, they should be on topic. (This is my personal point of view; if you agree, please up-vote it to make it consensus.) Obviously questions about gas laws are also on topic on physics, but that has never been (nor will ever be) a reason to make it off-topic on another site of the network. Since gas laws are almost everywhere also part of the chemical ...


17

In short: I'm strictly against any policy that would ban such questions as off-topic! As I mentioned before in a comment in the original thread, personal and technical safety aspects are on topic on Chemistry.SE. You're definitely right in that things get more difficult upon upscaling. This envolves both technical and legal aspects. In this particular ...


16

TL;DR: We should downvote and flag/close as off-topic. We do not need to add rules to cover these questions. The existing ones work fine. These "questions" are off topic because they are not asking about chemistry. They are asking about using a specific compound for some bizarre purpose. We do not need to add to our off-topic list unless this behavior ...


16

I don't think the question is a good enough duplicate to be closed, but I also don't think it's a very good question either. The case is pretty clear: hybridisation is wrong, therefore any explanation using this theory will be wrong. I'd be the first to down-vote any attempt invoking this concept. It's like brushing your teeth with a broom, you'll get a ...


15

Questions about instrument maintenance might be on topic, especially if they involve a problem that cannot be easily solved by using the manual or contacting the manufacturer. Not so good questions: What is the maximum recommended temperature of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) column? After how many injections should I clean/check my autosampler syringe? What is ...


15

The Problem As I See It I would argue that the underlying reason for the dynamics on the site leading to this question, as well as more than one other recent meta question (here and here too), is: The scope of the Chemistry.SE site is improperly defined. In some cases, the scope may be ill-defined; in others, it may be well defined, but badly so. ...


15

Basic questions are completely allowed here (so long as they're in keeping with the homework policy), and indeed there are many really great examples of basic questions that have provided great discussion and answers. I think what you need to keep in mind is that writing answers is slow, especially when they're MathJax heavy, and as such people cherry ...


14

I'm going to come at this from a slightly different perspective, by quoting from David Sirlin's Playing To Win. In the chapter "What Should Be Banned?" Sirlin makes the case that A ban must be enforceable, discrete, and warranted. (emphasis mine) We certainly have the enforceable part: if it violates the rule, we close the question and downvote it to ...


12

I think defect chemistry is an excellent topic for Chemistry.SE! Don't be discouraged by the fact that there is little relevant content right now; that is entirely natural for any topic at some point of the site's development. You just came relatively early on! The speed at which content for a field appears on Chem.SE is dependent on several factors, such ...


12

In my imagination, there are only a few reasons why one would think of asking that type of question: It is a homework assignment, so basic homework rules should apply; It is part of a person’s research work in which case they should know how to look up stuff; Someone is trying to write up an exercise and needs a realistic value. But that means that they are ...


12

My stand on those raised points: These are questions we should decide the ultimate fate of: Easily Google-able questions Why does oil float in water? Questions of this kind should be (currently) closed as too broad, i.e. the answer is either incomplete or too long. One example from today is: Solubility of gases (deleted, 10k+), ...


12

This issue has likely been raised before, either on meta or in chat, but I'm on a bus now so am lazy to look for it. Our stance on this is that, it is much better to have a clear answer saying DO NOT DO THIS and explaining why, rather than simply closing it. Echoing chipbuster's comment, this may simply lead to people getting advice from less scrupulous ...


11

I might as well get things started, to prove that others care too, you know... My opinion can be summed up with a single image. This is not going to be a well-reasoned or well-organized argument, but a "me first" 5-espresso-fueled tiny rant. Nuke them. Nuke them with extreme prejudice. The questions themselves may be well-researched or show lots of "...


10

Questions about dimensional analysis that do not refer to a specific chemistry question or problem should be closed. They can be migrated to mathematics.se as they allow such kinds of questions in their homework policy. For example: https://math.stackexchange.com/q/929376 https://math.stackexchange.com/q/920980 https://math.stackexchange.com/q/917007 The ...


10

Note: The FAQ/on-topic has been updated to include the two points mentioned below. Note: The tour has been updated accordingly. TL;DR - We should add to our "off-topic" list in a way that does not ban questions about chemical principles. Note that my list includes personal medical questions, which are in the close question UI, but not the FAQ. Personal ...


10

"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" springs to mind. Most homework questions I see fall into one of two categories: the first category is questions like the photo in your question. These are often dealt with very rapidly, and we already have a policy in place (even taking into account the fact that the homework close reason has now ...


9

Backstory I suppose that I'm the one to blame for all of this. On Worldbuilding, I asked How can I liquefy my enemies?, which was one of our pseudo-open-ended weapon-design questions. I was looking for some sort of process that would take a human being a reduce him or her to a liquid-y state within sixty seconds, give or take. There, Aify answered first, ...


9

These days, Google tends to provide at the least a starting point for most 'what is the value' questions. For example, Googling 'specific heat capacity of liquid iron' returns first of all the Chemistry SE question listed (!), and the second hit is to the NIST database which has the answer. I don't think Chemistry SE aspires to having a complete listing of ...


9

From my understanding of the current guidelines here: If the question you are asking is directly related to the chemical/physical theory behind a calculation, it is perfectly fine to ask here. Examples: Canonical MOs vs. Localized MOs: Do both represent reality in the same way? What's the difference between PBE and B3LYP methods? If your question is ...


9

I'm going to set aside the issues with the linked question and explain, very briefly, the modus operandi we generally adhere to. We should only decide whether a question is on topic or not. Just because a question is also on topic on another site is not a ground to migrate it, even if it was better suited there. If you think a question would be fine here, ...


8

From the FAQ, valid questions for Chemistry.SE include: Questions asking for explanation of a chemistry concept Questions relating to observed chemical phenomena Questions about experimental techniques and technology Questions about nomenclature, standards, etcetera pertaining to chemistry. A "Chemical Request" question could fall under one of the first ...


8

Should we or should we not allow (and answer questions) that ask how to acquire a certain chemical? No, we should neither allow, nor answer questions about how to acquire a specific chemical.* But why? With any question we are adding to our scope. We always should ask ourselves, how helpful is it in the (1) immediate, (2) intermediate, and (3) long time to ...


8

The good thing about asking in chat is that there is no closing questions in chat. So if you can chat (i.e. have gained 20 reputation on at least one site in the network), and if you are not sure whether a question is suited for the main site, you can always ask it there with no negative side-effects. Other users in chat will often have a pretty good idea ...


8

TL;DR Close under HW policy So, my stance is in the comment section. My first thought is: close the question, but in the spirit of friendliness, we can still leave a comment saying "yes, you're right". What exactly do we want to close the question as? That depends on whether we want to dedicate a custom close reason to this, or whether we want to expand ...


8

Turn them into canonical questions, close as duplicates. I personally am not a big fan of these kinds of questions, as they basically already violate our homework policy, which clearly states that a question shall be conceptual. (One of the points I would like to highlight in a revised version.) If it is already fully answered, then there is not much to be ...


8

In principle, there is nothing wrong with basic questions. They should not be classifiable as homework as per the current homework policy, and there have been some reservations against amirite (am I right?) questions because they feel so … Well, just check out the discussion. That having said, I have also noticed that this site has a relatively poor (by ...


8

Especially in the context of cheminformatics we have had questions about databases before, which were considered on topic. (Data mining questions using databases are not on topic.) See for some example Free chemical reactions database and linked questions. We also had a question about structural representations, e.g. Algorithm used by PubChem to determine ...


7

Should we or should we not allow (and answer questions) that ask how to acquire a certain chemical? Ignoring the legal/safety issue for a moment, it seems to me that this kind of question is a little like questions asking for textbook suggestions, i.e. they can generally be quite interesting and spark a debate, but ultimately don't yield answers that will ...


7

Re-write the question to be more general (or at the least answer as if it was). In your example question, it's somewhat clear the general realm where the underlying sticking point is - the questioner doesn't know how to write chemical formulas. You can probably salvage the question by bringing that fundamental question (e.g. "What are the principles of ...


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