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Yesterday I asked a question seeking published references studying popular games, to start building up an undergraduate research program. Today I woke up to find it had been made community wiki. Now, I don't actually care about reputation, and I don't want this to sound like sour grapes, but it made me curious. I googled "what is community wiki" and found another meta thread: What are "Community Wiki" posts?

Seems like the point of community wiki is to make the post "owned" by the community, in case it's going to be edited a lot. But mine is not going to be edited. Sometimes it seems we use CW on "soft" questions without mathematical content, but this seems clearly research related to me, since it's producing lots of references about published papers. On the other hand, there won't be one unique correct answer...does that affect CW status?

Can anyone clarify for me when something should/should not be CW, maybe with an eye towards this example?

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  • $\begingroup$ I have added (community-wiki) tag to your question - since you are asking about CW. I was a bit hesitant whether to add (specific-question) or not - but the end of your post suggests that you are asking about more general question and this particular question serves just an example, so probably this tag is not needed. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 10 '18 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ Historically, posts on MO calling for big lists have been made CW. This tradition goes back to the days of MO.1. Perhaps I can locate the tea post(s) documenting this. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jan 10 '18 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yeah, I remember that. Ok, thanks for reminding me! $\endgroup$ – David White Jan 10 '18 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ here is a discussion from 2010; The CW switch for "big lists" allows the voting system to be used more effectively to rank the list without damaging the reputation of users who give bad responses. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Beenakker Jan 10 '18 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Todd But I also remember that we asked for exceptions to be allowed (for instance, resulting in this question not being CW). Perhaps it would be best to inform the person asking the question a few minutes before making the switch to CW, to give them the chance to appeal the decision, should they feel it is not appropriate for the question at hand. (I mean this in general, rather than for the specific question that prompted this thread.) $\endgroup$ – Andrés E. Caicedo Jan 10 '18 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ "Perhaps it would be best to inform the person asking the question a few minutes before making the switch to CW...." That's great, @Andrés, if the person asking the question checks the website every few minutes. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jan 11 '18 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Gerry Doesn't everybody? :-) More seriously, though, I think the important bit is that they are informed ahead of time. Whether the moderators decide to wait for a reply or just go ahead with their decision is another matter. I believe that if it can be argued that the post should not be CW, it is still the case that the decision can be reversed (at least, that's how it used to be). But people may feel less comfortable asking for it if the moderators didn't at least try to contact them before proceeding. $\endgroup$ – Andrés E. Caicedo Jan 11 '18 at 12:38

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