I have had a SE account for some time now so forgive me if this policy is already in place.

I am curious if the tour is mandatory prior to asking questions? If not, has this ever been considered? Is there any consideration for also putting the MathJax tutorial in with the tour?

I've had the opportunity to get a good solid hour chunk here and there to watch questions get posted to the MSE in real time. What I've observed is that a significant portion of posts do not include the most basic aspects of what's expected, e.g. context/attempt, use mathjax, or ever accept answers. The impression this gave me is that people don't know how to use the site and maybe are not aware of the resources provided for understanding how SE sites work in general. In short, it may be a problem of education and not laziness. So are these policies in place or being considered?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The immediate thought is that mandatory tours can also be ignored by simply clicking "next" until it all goes away, so I am not sure if this would really help if users are no interested in finding out what the site expects from them. On the other hand, I do not remember what happened when I posted my first question, and maybe there is a "mandatory" tutorial at the moment. $\endgroup$
    – Pedro Mod
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 16:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @PedroTamaroff I agree that there will be those that just click through but it at least exposes them to the info. Also, I am new to the review queue and I know in there it sometimes tests you to see if you can distinguish a good question/answer from one of low quality. So building something like that into the tour may help combat people simply clicking through. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 16:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, I agree. In fact, one of the main issues at the moment is many users are blissfully unaware of the quality standards of the site, leading to us sending a lot of messages merely informing people that they are not following site policy when producing low quality questions/answers, etc. It would be of course good if users were duly informed of what we expect from them. :) $\endgroup$
    – Pedro Mod
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 16:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To your 2nd question, yes, there have been some requests asking for that since years ago (AFAIK, the most recent is from February), so far, we're still waiting for that to happen some day :) ........Although, before asking a question, the new user sees a small windows (don't confuse this to the RHS bulletin, which IIRC contains similar info) where some helpful links are displayed, and among them is the MathJax tutorial. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 16:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ See for example for the MathJax request: Adding the link of the MathJax tutorial in the Tour and/or the sidebar (bulletin) displayed when one is going to ask a question and for the displayed windows for 1st time askers: Change the link to search in modal window for the first-time askers. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


I am not certain that it is currently shown but for some time the following was displayed for new users when asking a question


Note that there is a box to tick.

Many users ignored this. The problem is not one of information but one of enforcement. Many users intentionally ignore the rules of the site as long as they get away with it.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Indeed. And many users first find (for the first or second time) math.se via a google search, when they are searching for a solution to an assigned problem, or occasionally, a test question. When they click on a link to this site, their sole focus is where can I ask, asap? "Ask a question" (click), they see the question field, and immediately type their questions. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 18:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .