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Are we allowed to ask questions about books?

+ 3 like - 0 dislike
92 views

Are we allowed to ask for references on books? For instance, I would really like to ask for good books on topology that are "friendly" enough that physicists can follow them.

I'm aware some users have mentioned that this will potentially result in a lot of up-votes, and so I'm wondering if it possible to ask these questions without gaining unjustified reputation?

asked Apr 17, 2014 in Support by Hunter (510 points) [ no revision ]
recategorized Apr 24, 2014 by dimension10

@Dilaton I removed the "allowed-questions" tag because that is a duplicate of scope.  

Thats ok ...

@Dimension10 support ...? I always thought that the support category is rather meant to be for technical support questions?

@Dilaton Why would it be for only technical support? That doesn't make sense to me. I think should just mean "Questions about how the site works". Even in the category description, there is a line saying that "in any situation in which you need help with using the site" or something like that.  

Is not the whole meta category to for questions about different aspects of how the site works? At least on Physics SE, I got the impression that the support tag is used for difficulties with technical things, such as how to use the features of the software for example ...

Anyway, this question contains at least some kind of a support aspect as I always understood it too, as books questions are expected to use the community wiki category ... 
Generally, I would put questions about the scope of PhysicsOverflow rather into the discussion category.

@Dilaton Meta doesn't necessarily mean support. I also don't see why it is necessary to separate technical support from other support. They mean the same to a normal user. It doesn't matter what Physics.SE does. And non-technical support is very different from discussion, I have no idea how you thought of that.  

2 Answers

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

In my personal opinion, Books, study material, and reference request questions specific enough should be are allowed, as they have been on Theoretical Physics SE and still are on MathOverflow.

http://mathoverflow.net/questions/tagged/books

http://mathoverflow.net/questions/tagged/reference-request

Some of the questions in the relevant tags are (or have even been) highly appreciated by these two communities. When looking at the main page of MathOverflow (and the same was true for Theoretical Physics SE), there was never any problem with such questions overwhelming the site or flooding down "normal" questions, as for example has often been claimed on Physics SE...

However,  There are  have been  concerns about too much rep gained from such questions, but they can easily be alleviated by some kind of community wiki feature as discussed for example here or here. Properly implementing community wiki similar as it is available on SE might be complicated, but a cheaper work around would be to have a community wiki category which allows to zero the rep sililar as it has been done for meta.

Anyway, So as such questions are very useful for people who want to newly dig into a new (advanced) topic or learn about what is the current cutting edge concerning a specific issue, I think specific enough books/study material/reference questions should be  are generally allowed.
 

answered Apr 17, 2014 by Dilaton (4,295 points) [ revision history ]
edited Apr 18, 2014 by Dilaton
+ 3 like - 0 dislike

Of course they are! I have no idea why Dilaton has written his answer in such a doubtful manner.  

A no-reputation "Community Wiki" will be established through a meta-like category and this feature has already been requested here.   

So, go ahead with your resource request! You don't need to post it in "Community Wiki" now. There will be a mass-recategorisation once the feature is implemented.  

answered Apr 18, 2014 by dimension10 (1,950 points) [ revision history ]

Thanks, that is just awesome!

@Dimension10 yes it seems I was in a strange weak mode, maybe because I violated the rule "Thou shalt not post after midnignt" ... ;-)

Going to proof read now ...

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