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Questions tagged [policy]

for questions on Mathematics Stack Exchange policies

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19
votes
8answers
3k views

How can I ask a good question? [duplicate]

MathOverflow has an excellent guide on how to write a good question. Another great guide exists on meta.stackoverflow. We will probably want our own site-specific guide on how to ask good questions. ...
12
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5answers
793 views

Should rings be considered non commutative if the question doesn't imply they are commutative?

A debate in comments was raised by the question Showing that the only idempotents in $R$ are zero and one the relevant part of which is Let $R$ be a ring with $1$ and suppose $R$ has no zero ...
0
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3answers
215 views

Personal contacts with users

Is it alright if I maintain a personal contact with a specific user? There is a user who I've found to be particularly meticulous in writing proofs. I am learning a couple of disciplines on my own and ...
3
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3answers
162 views

Should I delete my answer if it is identical to others

I found a couple of similar questions. But don't think any of it answers my query. But if this is a duplicate I apologise and please point me towards the original. On a couple of occasions now I ...
-19
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2answers
774 views

Should we allow moderators to unilaterally close questions?

At least one moderator has been unilaterally closing questions (e.g. with the first vote, for "missing context"). In the past, it has always been agreed that moderators should only use unilateral ...
5
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1answer
123 views

Clarification on what to do if I am seeking feedback on a solution

I am currently studying a couple of disciplines on my own through reading. Have a couple of queries regarding he usage of this site.. $Q_1$: What is the site policy on posting solutions to exercises ...
2
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1answer
131 views

What is the purpose of the community wiki?

There seem to be 2 conflicting ideas about community wiki Questions and answers: They are low value questions: you don't earn any reputation for answering / editing they are difficult to find (more ...
32
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2answers
465 views

Add “teaching math” to the on-topic list

The following transpired in the comments to the (currently closed) Stopping the "Will I need this for the test" question (emphasis added). robjohn notes that "teaching math" is not listed in ...
18
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1answer
662 views

Can an answer be confusing?

By answering the question Does $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{1}{n}$ diverge using an argument of Cauchy sequence I received several downvotes (and of course my question isn't about the downvote but just to ...
3
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0answers
242 views

Where should I put this question?

I submitted this question: Difference between dynamic system and complex system And it was noted to me that this didn't belong to the site, so the first thing I ask is: why? and the second is: Where ...
6
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1answer
915 views

Is it our responsibility to police for competition/exam/etc questions?

The recent posts about assisting organizations to help hindering cheaters in competitions / tests (e.g. PRIMES and a Polish Math Olympiad) made me think: Is it our responsibility to police for ...
1
vote
1answer
353 views

building a platform for building books using math.SXE content

I'm working together with PlanetMath contributor Raymond Puzio on a proposal that would improve the PlanetMath platform, making it useful for remixing contents from math.stackexchange.com and other ...
17
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2answers
626 views

The “off-topic” close reason about homework questions

EDIT: There is now a new standard close reason that doesn't mention homework. (No TL;DR, please just read the question.) Background The new close reasons contain a designated option for homework ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Centralized solutions to textbook problems considered harmful?

Recently I've been toying with the idea of going through Crandall and Pomerance's Prime Numbers: A Computational Perspective cover-to-cover, to the best of my ability. However, it's a very difficult ...
4
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1answer
123 views

What is the preferred way to link references to published material?

I'm asking this since I've already found myself in two minds a couple times about how to refer to a book when answering a question. I've seen many people link to Google Books previews, when available,...
28
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10answers
2k views

How “civil” should we be?

Our FAQ states: Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Recently I've come across a user flag complaining about a potentially "rude" post. The post in question included ...
7
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3answers
630 views

Is there a certain policy with yes/no questions?

I always feel weird posting yes or no questions because in short someone ultimately answers the question with a simple 2 or 3 letter word and then I'm choosing a correct answer that didn't really give ...
3
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1answer
143 views

A question on formal citation

I could not find a question on this topic. I was hoping although audience may range from professionals, students to laymen, should we push for readers to cite formally following MLA, Chicago or any ...
22
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3answers
632 views

Require proper citation for verbatim quoted questions, answers, proofs?

Recently I had the displeasure of seeing a famous ingenious proof quoted here without any attribution whatsoever. Some readers could have easily been misled to believe that the proof was due to the ...
8
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3answers
368 views

Questions about motivations of a given mathematical view

This is closely related to, but I don't think a duplicate of, this meta-question. Is it appropriate to ask questions about why, e.g., a constructive mathematician might believe classical mathematics ...
17
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2answers
1k views

Book recommendations

There are quite a few soft questions asking for book recommendations. Reading some of these threads one might notice that there are answers containing several books at once. As such this might not ...
8
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2answers
385 views

On approvals of suggested edits

The following edit should not have been approved. It gives 2 points of reputation to some random dude adding absolutely nothing to an already accepted answer. This is a request: please do not just ...
35
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6answers
3k views

Why was “Rational numbers - sticks and stones” deleted?

Could some 10k or ♦ mod shed some light on why this question was deleted? I understand that there may have been a good reason for it, but the error page I'm getting doesn't really explain it, beyond ...
18
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5answers
1k views

Contest questions on math.SE

This is related to this post, please read the comments. What is the usual way of dealing with that kind of problems on math.SE? (By "that kind of problems" I mean someone posting tasks from an ...
1
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5answers
770 views

Proposing a definite policy on contest questions

There has been a lot of heated debate on this issue lately and as a user, I decided to propose a definite policy on such matters: The following is my proposed policy 1) When a problem from an ...
12
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3answers
1k views

math.SE policy on question from ongoing contests

Triangle Geometry Question That is a question from the Online Math Open which is currently in progress.I would be grateful to know about math.stackexchange's policy on such matters. Please see ...
21
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3answers
992 views

Are we answering questions or teaching people how to answer their own questions?

In this answer to another meta thread, Bill Dubuque raises the following point: We should strive not only to give solutions to problems but also to teach how to solve problems. One of the important ...
28
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4answers
1k views

Should we ask for Question Quotas like those that have been available for the big three?

Our site is growing quite rapidly: currently each day there are about 150 new questions asked about 250 new answers posted about 150 edits made to posts. Each of the above actions changes the front ...
34
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4answers
3k views

Rude and Sarcastic comments

I find the comments made by a moderator here to be rude and sarcastic. Though what the OP asks might not make complete sense and needs to rephrase his question in a better way, I believe that it does ...
6
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3answers
451 views

Unearthing ancient «not an answer»s

There has been a strike recently of users flagging answers in very old posts as «not an answer». While I appreciate the intent of cleaning up -- in most cases the answers flagged are not actual ...
28
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1answer
627 views

CFV: Proposal for standardized meta-comments, to avoid main-site meta discussions

Below is a sketch of a proposal I devised for handling the problem of rambling contentious meta-level discussions on the main site. The basic idea is to have a list of standardized community-elected ...
0
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2answers
283 views

An interesting question that deserves to be reopened

I think that this question deserves to be reopened. Hopefully now that we have more meta members, enough others will agree. Please vote to reopen if you agree. Edit $\ $ The question is now reopened. ...
11
votes
1answer
226 views

A questionably closed question on characterizations of primes.

I'm puzzled why this question on characterizations of primes was closed as "nonconstructive" or "not a real question". I cast the first vote to reopen and I encourage others to do so. Please note ...
13
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0answers
270 views

Are teaching/applications off-topic? Vote off-topic only if community consensus?

Recently I was a bit disappointed by the closure as off-topic various questions on teaching and applications of mathematics, e.g. today: this question on why the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra is not ...
-10
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3answers
428 views

Sponsoring answers.

Recently, I have posted many thourough answers (ex. Differential equations and Fourier and Laplace transforms) on math.stackexchange but felt many were ignored or weren't noticed by users. Conversely, ...
20
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1answer
450 views

«Not an answer» / «very low quality» flags

There is a significant number of answers flagged «not an answer» and/or «very low quality». What exactly do flaggers expect from those flags? I have deleted some answers which were flagged in that ...
11
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3answers
303 views

Should we allow ads for sites that aren't necessarily completely free?

One of my ads is subject to contention due to the fact that the site it's an ad for (Wolfram Alpha) isn't based off a free engine, though the site itself is free. Do we allow ads for commercial ...
2
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0answers
259 views

On deleting vs. closing duplicate questions.

Recently a question was deleted by the OP after it was pointed out in comments that it was a duplicate. I was in the process of composing an answer, but I was not able to post it when I finished since ...
23
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0answers
506 views

Administrative Note on Moderator Rolls

We are in the process of implementing a policy for "absentee moderators" — Any moderator who is not active on the site for a period of six months is subject to removal of their moderator ...
23
votes
1answer
860 views

Mark all locked questions as [​locked​] or [​closed​] in the title

Some discussions, such as the one on annoyingness-of-CAPTCHA, are being locked without this being indicated in the titles. Closed threads seem to acquire the word "[closed]" automatically or by ...
16
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3answers
1k views

Can a down/up votes be accompanied by a comment?

Having been here for a while now, I understand the futility/meaninglessness of this question. Becoming accustomed to how this place works and how much and fast I have learned from the people here, I ...
34
votes
1answer
1k views

Proposal for a plagiarism policy

I have come to believe that math.SE needs a formal policy against plagiarism. I think this should include: 1) An explanation of what plagiarism means in the context of mathematics: roughly it means ...
23
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3answers
2k views

How should we deal with differences of opinion about things like homework and tests?

(This is not a duplicate of questions like Homework questions - avoiding giving a complete solution or How do we enforce the homework policy?; it's about handling differences of opinion, not about the ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Community Wiki?

Every so often I run into a question which I think should be community wiki. I am usually not sure about flagging since some of them have been around for a while and the question of why did noone ...
11
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1answer
221 views

How To Avoid A Retag War?

The layman often thinks that logic is meant for anything solved using good logical thinking. Many newcomers would think that set-theory fits any question involving sets of numbers. Obviously other ...
19
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1answer
675 views

How self-contained should questions be?

Every once in a while, someone posts a question that relies on an image or a Wolfram|Alpha link with a formula or the like. In the case of images, it's often because they don't have sufficient ...
22
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4answers
1k views

math.SE is no reddit… or is it?

I'm surprised and worried by the fact that the question about Collatz conjecture stays opened. Let me explain myself. There were many cases, when different people couldn't agree whether some ...
10
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2answers
473 views

Policy guidelines on asking homework questions

Hi, I have noticed recently the big debate going on here about homework questions. On our student support site, for each course that a student is enrolled in there is a forum specific to the course. ...
-13
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2answers
243 views

Asking an amusing, but only very loosely on-topic question?

I've got a question which is only loosely related to mathematics, and I don't know the proper place in which to ask. While it's a question I've previously posed on Twitter (in 2009); I think with it ...
34
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5answers
3k views

What do we do with users who post numerous unlabeled homework questions?

User student has, quite impressively, recognized that all of user6560's questions are homework questions from the ongoing course Math 620 at the University of Buffalo. I just went through, downvoted ...