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21

I think that question about how use comp chem software should be on topic. For example, the question about how to set up the geometry in Gaussian can be compared on how to set up all the glass ware and whatever else reaction stuff in an actual lab. Those questions then would probably be on topic and receive an answer. My PC is my lab and up to a certain ...


16

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

TL;DR: Provide the best answer that you can to the question. If you feel that someone else's answer is at too high of a level and you can provide one at a lower level, do so. If you feel that there is a higher level answer that can help other users in addition to the questioner and you can provide it, do so. Let the questioner accept the answer that is most ...


11

Thanks for asking here before posting. Unfortunately it's probably off-topic since it isn't exactly chemistry-related. In fact, it probably wouldn't go over well on any of the Stack Exchange sites (Stack Overflow, Unix & Linux, Superuser, ...). I can't remember where the relevant posts are, but I think it was decided that installation-type questions ...


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

Let's burn breaking-bad. Some things are okay-ish to do when we're a small community, not so okay-ish when our community grows bigger. Now that we're in the bigger phase, we should be consistent with a lot of what we do. IMO burninating breaking-bad is a must. Let me (AKA the rest of the community) know whether you'd like an alternative tag instead in the ...


9

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 ...


9

On the other hand, it might just be more trouble than it's worth. In my opinion you actually answered your own question in this last sentence: it more likely to do harm than good. In general, I totally agree with what Ben Norris said in the linked thread: More importantly, providing multiple answers is true to the Stack Exchange model! So I always look ...


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, ...


9

Prompted by Martin, and as a purely synthetic chemist which is potentially against the overall trend here. But my $0.01 (or £0.01 as may be more appropriate now). I'd argue that there should be a distinction between conceptual questions and how-to questions. To give two examples on what I would consider to be opposite sides of the spectrum of on-topic-ness....


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

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 ...


7

(Transferred from the comments above for the sake of moving this out of unanswered status) I don't think anyone will start asking plot related questions, and if they do, we can take care of it when the time comes. For better or worse, the show is portraying chemistry concepts which may prompt "popular science" type questions (and some in-depth ones as in ...


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 ...


7

Having been the deciding vote on this, I'd like to expand a little on my reasoning. While I can see that the question could be considered broad, there is an interesting concept behind it. Additionally it does not ask for a list of chemicals that do the trick - that was something that came up in them damn comments all by itself - but rather if it was ...


7

The Stack Exchange way to propose new sites is to head over to Area 51 and start a proposal there. It will have to make its way through three phases: Definition, commitment and private beta before it becomes open to the general public. Everything else you need to know about the process is highlighted in the FAQ of Area 51. However, your chances for ...


7

In principle, I don't agree with it, because of the idea of SE aiming towards being a complete repository of information, blah blah. In practice, I've long given up on being idealistic, especially when it comes to close reasons; and it's not as if 'homework' is perfect in that regard either. The thing about 'general resources' in chemistry is that they are ...


6

These sorts of questions touch on the fundamental identity of the community. What do we want to be on- and off-topic here? Do we want to be a resource that extends to educating raw beginners? Do we choose to take on the responsibility to guide every misinformed, misguided, or confused individual that comes our way to a sound path of chemistry knowledge? Or,...


6

That is essentially what self-answers are for. The Stack Exchange model allows you to immediately add an answer to your question and post those two together. This is the preferred way to pass on knowledge. However, Stack Exchange remains a Q&A site, so all such knowledge passers must fit the question-and-answer model. If you want an example, please ...


6

Here's my perspective on tweaking the policy. I've tried to work it from the very fundamentals, rather than carry-forward the three categories you defined. To be honest, the current homework close reason as it is defined, bending on "effort" as a metric, is not good at all. Effort as a criterion is too vague to implement properly in any way possible, as we ...


6

This answer was converted from a comment on pH13's answer per Martin's request. Good questions ask: How do I go about setting up this computational experiment I'm interested in? Bad questions ask: I tried to make this input, why is it broken? Or: My computation had an error; what's wrong? Questions of the first kind are okay for the site, I ...


6

It's been about a month since I posed the question and before going into action I'd like to summarise a bit and add my own thoughts. First and foremost, questions relating to computational methods and the understanding thereof have been on-topic and they will always be. That in general is true for all conceptual questions pertaining to chemistry. Since this ...


5

Basically, if a question asks I’m looking for a substance that … should be closed as too broad. It is either unanswerable because such a substance would need to be invented/discovered or it has too many possible answers. In the first case, that’s an entire research proposal. We would either be doing that person’s research (how about no?) or they want to ...


4

The good thing about the stackexchange network is, that if a question is well asked, but not in the right place, It can be migrated to a more appropriate site. If your question has a link to chemistry it will most likely be on topic. If the community has a few experts on the topic you will find an answer. If no-one can give an answer it is wise to think ...


3

To some extent, I think this question (especially after the various edits) is different because it is much more of a reference-request than a What should I study? question. It is still somewhat a soft-question (though I'm fine with it not being tagged as such), and responses (comments and answers) have reflected the opinions, interests, and preferences of ...


3

I read the question few more times and I still think it should kept closed: it is still unclear to me what OP is asking. I don't quite understand how @Martin inferred that the question is about pure chemical substances consisting of just a single element. The phrase "all periodic table element molecules" can be interpreted differently which makes the ...


3

I think there is another method of handling pronunciation questions. While there are some abbreviations that probably shouldn’t be pronounced in any way other than letter-by-letter (NONOate being one of them), there are some legitimate concerns about pronunciations that are not adequately addressed in education — remember that English is one of the languages ...


3

Since I am unable to comment... General questions relating to methods and understanding seem great. However, program specific questions probably have better outlets. There are typically active forums, mailing lists, for most (all?) software; if it is commercial software the company typically supports it in some fashion. A list could fairly easily be put ...


3

Do we still consider questions about the use of chemical software off-topic? As a blanket statement, I think questions about the use of chemical software should be on-topic, so no. If no, should we establish a few guidelines for such questions to prevent them from cluttering our site? For this to work, we definitely need guidelines. I wanted to take a ...


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