While doing some cleanup on the home page just now, I noticed that we have a new community specific reason to close.

The second option in the list is new, and leaves me slightly confused. While I understand that we don't generally welcome 'hey ckeck my paoer' or 'is this result new and groundbreaking' type questions, the wording of the last sentence in the new close reason leaves me wondering if it's now forbidden to post attempts at work and ask if we're on the right track.

For example, I frequently see people asking questions about excercises or definitions in Lurie's HTT -- things like

'I'm trying to construct the blorp from Def X.XXX.XXXXXXX and see that it satisfies Lem XXX.XXX, but I think there's a missing hypothesis in the statement of Lem XXX.XXX. Am I going crazy?'

together with the attempted blorp construction and an attempt at proving that it satisfies some lemma (I don't have any specific examples off hand, but I'm confident that a search for 'Lurie HTT' on the main site would produce several).

These questions have historically been well-received, but seem like they might fall under the purview of the new close reason -- this is a persons attempted proof that we are being asked to verify. Is this done with intent, i.e. did the moderator team decide that these questions didn't fit at MO and change the close reasons accordingly, or am I misinterpreting the new close reason and applying it too broadly?

I'm also curious about (admittedly much less common) situations where some question starts out on MO, the questioner writes a paper about the question that doesn't 'answer' it but is relevant to the question, and then comes back and adds a link to the paper in the question. Would this run afoul of the new close reason?

I recently asked a question that got a good amount of views and some positive feedback but no real progress on the question asked. I've written a short (16 page) note on the content of the question that will appear on the arxiv tonight, and was planning on adding a footnote to the question mentioning this fact whenever the note went live, but seeing the new close reason makes me wonder if I'll be violating new community norms by linking in the paper.

Put more concisely,

How should we interpret the new close reason as it pertains to questions that are about checking someones work when that work is itself an attempt at reproducing some tricky lemma etc. from a well known paper/research monograph? How should we interpret it as it pertains to linking in papers written about MO questions by the MO asker after the question was originally asked?

Any relevant opinions are appreciated.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I don't think your example should come under this. It is, I assume, aimed squarely at checking proof claims of famous open conjectures, or oversimplistic attempts on hard theorems (eg 4ct, flt...). The "check this preprint" description doesn't work if the argument is typed directly on MO, hence the last clause. I do think the wording could be improved slightly. (PS Looking forward to your note when it lands!) $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented Jun 7, 2022 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRoberts That was the other possible interpretation I walked away with; I totally support adding a close reason for questions of that nature, and also think it could be worded a bit more clearly. (That is very kind, thank you!) $\endgroup$
    – Alec Rhea
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 3:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Since some people might have missed those discussions, perhaps it is worth including links to: Revamping the closure reasons in 2022 and Could we add another reason for closing that's more appropriate for "check this (dis)proof of RH"-type questions? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 4:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Based on the comments by the moderators posted on my recent question, it seems that they are still working on the modifications of the close reasons: Was the custom close reason mentioning Math.SE removed? (One of the comments suggests that they plan to change the first reasons form your screenshot.) I assume that they might make some kind of announcement on meta about these changes at some point. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 4:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It seems that the mods finished the changes to the custom close reasons - and the they did not change this one since your post. The details can be seen in Tim Campion's answer: Revamping the closure reasons in 2022 $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 12:28


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