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63 votes
Accepted

Asking questions with out answering any one else’s question

It's fine in my opinion just to ask and not answer questions, and conversely I think it's fine just to answer and and not ask questions. In time you will probably acquire enough knowledge to feel ...
Todd Trimble's user avatar
  • 52.6k
33 votes
Accepted

Are "has this been studied before" questions on topic?

I think that questions of the form "has this been studied before" are generally acceptable. It can be hard to search for this information if you do not know the terminology that has been ...
Neil Strickland's user avatar
19 votes

Revising the help page on "What topics can I ask around here?"

The vast majority of people who write the most common low-quality questions are not going to read this page at all. I think the people much more likely to read this page are those, especially graduate ...
Will Sawin's user avatar
  • 141k
15 votes
Accepted

Should MathOverflow require registration to ask a question?

I do not see how registration will decrease the number of poor quality questions. From time to time I look at MathSE, and the number of poor quality questions there is larger than here, despite the ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Limiting the length of questions?

I'm sorry, but this idea seems completely wrong to me. Not just because 500 characters (less than a comment box) is too parsimonious, but because most questions could actually stand more in the way of ...
Todd Trimble's user avatar
  • 52.6k
10 votes

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

The new Custom Ask Advice that is shown to new users is now live. Here is what it looks like right now on the site:
Yaakov Ellis's user avatar
10 votes

Writing a proper MathOverflow question

To write a good MO question, it helps to get into the heads of people answering questions - what attracts and motivates them, and what repels and discourages them. The best way to do that is to try ...
Paul Siegel's user avatar
  • 28.9k
9 votes

Editing a question admitting a trivial example

Let me copy the discussion in the comments of Dominic's linked question. The pre-history of this discussion was Dominic's question posted March 6 6:02, 2018 (all times are GMT+1), followed by ...
YCor's user avatar
  • 62.3k
8 votes
Accepted

How to ask the same question with additional hypothesis

It is OK, if you attribute appropriately and you are not a hog about it. Although you can update a question, unless done very carefully, it can invalidate previous answers. One of the times I've ...
Gerhard Paseman's user avatar
7 votes

Should MathOverflow require registration to ask a question?

Let me rephrase the suggestion as I see it. The problem: too many undesired questions asked by new users; suggested tactic: require new users to register before asking a question; the post asks for ...
Gerhard Paseman's user avatar
7 votes

Why MO community forbide me and discourage me to do my research and to post my questions?

It's quite difficult to give an answer to your question. (At least to the part about reinstating the question ban after a positively received question.) One thing is that the algorithm for ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Asking questions later

It doesn't matter when you ask the question. Yes, at 4am US time less people will visit the site, but there are less questions to compete with visibility as well. So deleting and undeleting 'at a ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 2,741
7 votes
Accepted

How can the question ban be removed:

Let's start again. The OP asks whether this question (which can be viewed at Mathematics) can be asked here, again. (There are two questions that OP asked at MO main that concern the function the OP ...
Todd Trimble's user avatar
  • 52.6k
7 votes

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers

We used to have a page about how to ask a question on MO back on MO 1.0 that was quite good. The current one is kinda crap. I would suggest bringing back the old text explaining how to ask a ...
Harry Gindi's user avatar
  • 19.5k
7 votes

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

Vote up / down if you think Martin Sleziak's proposal should / should not be modified to use the phrase "research-level mathematics" rather than "mathematics at graduate level or higher&...
Tim Campion's user avatar
  • 62.7k
7 votes

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

Vote up / down if you would / would not prefer to add to Martin Sleziak's proposal some language about cross-posting. Voting for this change does not preclude voting for any other change as well; we ...
Tim Campion's user avatar
  • 62.7k
6 votes

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers

Let me give some initial suggestion. (I hope that somebody proposes a better version - seeing many well-written posts both on main and on meta, clearly many MO users are able to do so.) I have tried ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Are questions about whether a type of work/problem/solution or (one's own) arxiv paper is publishable on topic?

As Andy Putman mentioned in a comment, requests for feedback on your work (including preprints) are generally off-topic at MathOverflow. So such a question would not be appropriate here.
5 votes
Accepted

"Scope" of being blocked from asking

The FAQ post "What can I do when getting “We are no longer accepting questions/answers from this account”?" contains the following paragraph: Will a ban on one Stack Exchange site affect my ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
5 votes

Editing a question admitting a trivial example

In my opinion the best way to handle this is usually to accept the trivial answer and ask a new version question containing the correction. My arguments: If you didn't think of the trivial example ...
Paul Siegel's user avatar
  • 28.9k
5 votes

Editing a question admitting a trivial example

Sometimes an interesting question is spoiled because the poster forgets an important detail, or explains it ambiguously. Sometimes there is no mistake, but it simply happens that the first answers or ...
Pietro Majer's user avatar
  • 58.1k
5 votes

Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question?

Maybe we could go in a similar way as on Mathematics where the How to Ask page1 is shown to a user who asks their first question. But on Mathematics the How to Ask page is slightly modified to include ...
5 votes

Revising the help page on "What topics can I ask around here?"

Concerning the first proposed edit, its modifications are unlikely to make things more clear for users asking low-quality questions. In particular, such users rarely have any exposure to graduate ...
Dmitri Pavlov's user avatar
4 votes

Revising the help page on "What topics can I ask around here?"

With apologies for the long delay, we've now spruced up this help page a bit. You can see it here. We tried to take into account some of the excellent ideas in this discussion, and also had an eye ...
Tim Campion's user avatar
  • 62.7k
4 votes

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers

Perhaps the following ideas are outside the scope or the original question. But in an ideal world, I think it would be useful to make the question editing window a bit more interactive for first time ...
Igor Khavkine's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

Okay, after several days with no further substantive discussion on this question, it appears that both changes which I suggested as answers are supported by the community. After tinkering with a ...
Tim Campion's user avatar
  • 62.7k
4 votes

Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question?

Regardless of any advice pages, perhaps mandatory before 1st question by new user, how about getting the attention of everyone who views any math overflow page? Include a prominent banner on the top ...
Mark L. Stone's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible