I noticed that some of the MO questions that get closed are clear-cut going against the MO-guidelines eg. "here is the link to my new result" or "here is the jpg file of my homework question".

In https://mathoverflow.net/questions/ask, on the right, there is a pane with a link to https://mathoverflow.net/help/how-to-ask, but I was wondering maybe we can also do something similar to the Reddit-format of editing questions: basically have a short list of guidelines listed on the right of the editor so that they are clearly visible as the person is editing their question.

There is a beautiful list here https://mathoverflow.net/help/on-topic, under "What kind of questions should I not ask here?" that we can include a shortened version

So that while the OP is editing their question, they can't help but stare at the "do not" rules.

Here is the reddit/math page to get an idea

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I think that the tag (asking-questions) would be suitable here. The content of the sidebar on the right is customizable, one can read more details here: The new ask page is now live on the network! Perhaps it is worth mentioning that user is shown some basic information when they ask their first question - this part was created and customized after the discussion here: What should the modal window for first-time askers say? $\endgroup$ Oct 22 at 6:13
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    $\begingroup$ I see. Thank you. Then my feature request is to add a "second layer" of defense. $\endgroup$ Oct 22 at 6:45
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    $\begingroup$ So that while the OP is editing their question, they can't help but stare at the "do not" rules. $\endgroup$ Oct 22 at 6:45
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    $\begingroup$ On Mathematics, the sidebar text was modified back in 2015, see Shog9's answer here: Show "how to ask" advice before a new user asks a question. (Just in case looking at the text on other sites could help when discussing what should be used here on MO.) $\endgroup$ Oct 22 at 7:22
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    $\begingroup$ I think that adding the tag (discussion) might improve chances that some users might notice this question and provide thier input on the content of the sidebar. (Without that tag, the question doesn't get into the community bulletin. The other conditions are score at least +3 and not older than 14 days. Still, the moderators could add the question into the CB simply by adding the (featured) tag.) $\endgroup$ Oct 22 at 9:42
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that the MO-specific (as opposed to generic SE question-asking advice) question guidelines are not as easy to find as they could be. When I want to link to them in commenting on a well-meaning but off-topic question, it's always a bunch of clicks, and I have to figure out how to get there every time, since it's not that often. Yes, I could bookmark, but it shows how hard they are to find the first time from the front page, as opposed to during asking a question. Once people are writing their question, rather than thinking about whether this is the place for it, is almost too late. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Oct 22 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRoberts In some cases, one could create such a comment faster using the templates collected here: Comment template for questions more appropriate for MSE. More to the point, do you think that perhaps this question could be featured (in order to gain more attention and gather more input from the MO users) - as suggested in the above comment and in the MO chatroom? $\endgroup$ Oct 23 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ Personally, I think some additional clarity regarding what kind of questions we’re looking for would be nice; judging by the amount of obviously out-of-place questions (as highlighted by Thomas), the current infrastructure leaves people ambiguous on what belongs here and what doesn’t. $\endgroup$
    – Alec Rhea
    Oct 25 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRoberts Is there anything else I can do to promote this feature-request? I just saw yet another question "here is my homework". People can always revert back to not having any short-list of rules, if it is not helping filter. $\endgroup$ Nov 17 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ I can try to write some suggested shorthand-list of the existing MO-guidelines. $\endgroup$ Nov 20 at 4:33
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    $\begingroup$ @ThomasKojar I suggest writing as comprehensive answer as you reasonably can, and see what people think of it via votes. If there seems to be some support then that would be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Nov 20 at 23:00


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