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24
votes
1answer
4k views

FAQ: Must all answers be referenced?

How strict should we be about references? When someone makes a claim, should we require them to support that claim with a source? If so, to what extent should we go? Must all claims be referenced or ...
154
votes
1answer
7k views

FAQ: Welcome to New Users

I am a new user here on Skeptics.SE. What do I need to know?
43
votes
3answers
3k views

FAQ: Must all questions be notable?

One of the key themes of Stack Exchange right from the start has been that you can't have a site about everything. Each SE site has a topic, users who are devoted to that topic, and who will ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

FAQ: What are the attributes of a good question?

What does a good Skeptics.SE question look like? What are the qualities that a perfect Skeptics.SE question would have? Ground rules for answering this meta-question: One quality per answer Provide ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

FAQ: What constitutes original research?

Answers which are wholly based on "original research" are generally downvoted and may be deleted. What are the characteristics that (dis-)qualify an answer as original research? How should these ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a 'notable' claim?

Throughout the Skeptics.SE site, there are demands for claims to be 'notable'. For example: in Close Reasons, and in several places in the FAQ. 'Notable' isn't a common word and isn't always clear. ...
8
votes
9answers
721 views

Discussion on FAQ Question: What are the attributes of a good answer?

What does a good Skeptics.SE answer look like? What are the qualities that a perfect Skeptics.SE answer would have? Ground rules: One quality per answer Provide a brief explanation of why it is ...
32
votes
1answer
829 views

List of useful sources for Skeptics.SE

The goal of this post is to contain a long number of sources, sorted by topic, to help users find sources for their answers. It's Community Wiki so that everyone can edit add new sources.
54
votes
4answers
3k views

FAQ: When is it appropriate to “be a dick” on Skeptics?

There has been a long-standing issue in the Skeptics community that has been recently re-raised and re-branded by Phil Plait's TAM8 talk. It concerns traditionally hostile and/or mocking responses to ...
20
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1answer
3k views

FAQ: What are theoretical answers?

Answers which are wholly based on a theoretical model are generally downvoted and may be deleted. What are the characteristics that (dis-)qualify an answer as theoretical?
11
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1answer
685 views

How should we enforce notability?

We require questions here on Skeptics to be about notable claims. This restriction is necessary to keep the site somewhat focused, despite the fact that we essentially accept questions about pretty ...
18
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6answers
1k views

Pseudo-answers are the enemy

From time to time, the best answer will be decent, but not outstanding. It answers the question, but the question could have been answered in much greater depth. That's alright. You can't win them all....
0
votes
0answers
371 views

Guidelines for Inadequately Referenced Answers

The Skeptics.SE community has had high expectations of its answers; that they be based on science and not conjecture. In particular, this means providing references to empirical evidence (that can be ...
6
votes
2answers
275 views

May I cite a single article?

If I think a single research is meticulous enough to clarify a subject, is it right to only cite that one article? The one I'm interested in references previous work, so there would be different ...
9
votes
6answers
530 views

Should we expect original research to occur on this site?

Is it acceptable for users of this site to post un-referenced responses to questions which can be answered objectively? That is, are responses along the lines of "based on my experience and research, ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Politics, beliefs and motivations questions should not be allowed here.

These questions should be made off-topic because they are not answerable based on available evidence. In other words, there is nothing scientific in the investigation of the evidence. Also, they may ...
4
votes
1answer
327 views

FAQ: What makes an answer good on Skeptics.SE?

What does a good Skeptics.stackexchange.com answer look like? What are the qualities that a perfect Skeptics.SE answer would have?
18
votes
3answers
1k views

If a claim is commonly accepted, does questioning it require a notable counter-claim?

When there is no doubt that a claim exists and is widely accepted/believed is it necessary to find an example of a notable counter-claim to question it? For example, it is widely accepted and ...
35
votes
4answers
628 views

Is there *really* a reason why so many questions *really* need to include the word 'really'?

This issue has been pointed out before--someone noted in a comment that any question can be made into a "skeptic's" question with the inclusion of "really". Right now, in the list of the 15 active ...
15
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2answers
495 views

How notable does a claim have to be for questions about it to be considered on-topic? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: FAQ: Must all questions be notable? I know there have been a bunch of Meta discussions about whether answers to questions need to be referenced, and how good the references ...
3
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12answers
352 views

Discussion about requiring references for all claims

Our current policy on requiring references can be found at the following link: FAQ - Must all claims be referenced? This question contains the discussion that lead to the adoption of the current ...
8
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2answers
569 views

Random claims from fantasy stories and movies

Here is a question from a TV-series, if I read the comments right: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/q/6058/24 (Charmed). Well - we can ask whether it is possible to dive into a bath of golden ...
118
votes
2answers
6k views

Sorry, but we don't care about your political opinions

This is a reminder of an issue that has come up before - around the last US election: Are political comments a problem? If your comment is little more than tribal markings to indicate the US ...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

What is minimum notability of claims for this site?

Recently there was a question that asked if a certain twitter quote was attributable to Adria Richards. In the comments do that question I raised the question of it was even a notable claim for the ...
2
votes
1answer
271 views

Must every questioned 'notable claim' include a referenced citation with a quote?

FAQ: Welcome to New Users links to How should we enforce notability? in which the accepted answer includes the following: It is not required to have an explicit cite for a claim in questions, ...
10
votes
1answer
209 views

How to cite books?

In this question, my answer references dead tree books. In at least one important case, the book is listed on Google Books with no preview. In all cases, the author and title will be enough to ...
6
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1answer
305 views

FAQ: My question was put 'on hold' or has been 'closed', what does it mean?

Why are some questions closed? Is it like deletion?
4
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5answers
320 views

Are a lot of comments being deleted on this SE?

I suspect that comments are being deleted more frequently here than at other sites. Can anyone confirm whether there used to be a comment in this answer alleging that @Borror0 was guilty of ...
44
votes
3answers
2k views

How to proceed when implicit and explicit claims diverge

I have seen a number of instances of the following pattern. Someone says something that absolutely explicitly states X and also clearly implies Y. Y, of course, is more outrageous than X. In typical ...
21
votes
3answers
615 views

Downvoting is good for you (and for the site)!

High quality answers are the life and blood of our site. If we continually produce high quality content, we'll attract more experts who will want to help fellow skeptics. On the other hand, if low ...
14
votes
4answers
468 views

Are religious questions on-topic?

At some point we will have to decide if religious questions are on-topic, and where exactly we will draw the line to off-topic questions. There is a significant overlap between the skeptic and atheist ...
3
votes
3answers
163 views

How do I know that the information posted in this site is reliable?

Skeptics from Stack Exchange is a site used to correct or validate ideas, facts or knowledge in some form. How do I know that any post there (here) are not adulterated by any kind of organization ...
17
votes
11answers
426 views

New Skeptics Design Has Launched!

Welcome to the new Skeptics site! I've had an awesome time learning and designing for you! Thanks for all of your feedback and communication. :) If you're still seeing the old favicons, please load ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Is Wikipedia a valid reference?

Wikipedia is a very useful resource, but: sometimes it has unreliable information. sometimes it changes. Should Wikipedia be used as a reference to support claims in answers?
5
votes
6answers
194 views

What should be in our FAQ

We should start thinking about how our FAQ should look like. It would be nice to have a preliminary FAQ shortly after the start of the public beta. The general structure (from The 7 Essential Meta ...
4
votes
4answers
234 views

Do claims on this site need to be explicit? [closed]

I based a question on what I considered to be an implicit claim. What's more my question was based on a widespread assumption. In a discussion with Sklivvz in chat, he stated that a claim cannot be ...
31
votes
9answers
468 views

Do you guys think “Citation Needed” would be a great name for this site?

During private beta, many of us realized that Citation Needed would make a really awesome name for this site. It illustrates well out desire for evidence, our affinity with references, and it's a ...
21
votes
4answers
734 views

Non notable claims, made only on hate and or conspiracy sites, should be deleted

The question Did Benjamin Netanyahu say this about Christian Zionists? cites as the sources of the claim sites/blogs which are straight up from the darkest corners of the web. All those sites are ...
12
votes
4answers
727 views

How to handle answers based on «logic»?

There are a few answers popping up regularly based on «logic». The problem is obviously not the logic part, it is that the logic depends on uncited facts. Using logic to follow the consequences of ...
18
votes
9answers
810 views

Skeptics Brand Concept and Site design

my Name is Sean Gallagher and... I am the Art Director that works with Jin @ Stack Exchange, and I'm excited to announce the Skeptics brand and site design, done while quietly observing the community ...
6
votes
1answer
329 views

How do we know that our references are reliable?

I fail to understand how other people know what sites are reliable or not and how much. Making a sort of example, let's think in percentages: how do I know if a site is 50% reliable and another one ...
10
votes
2answers
210 views

Should we ask questions that don't have answers?

Our FAQ states: You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Yet there are many questions that fall into our domain whose correct answer is: there is ...
10
votes
4answers
283 views

Under what conditions is “original research” problematic on community-mediated sites?

Wikipedia (strongly) and Skeptics.StackExchange (weakly) have adopted a policy of "no original research" for their articles; since this is a policy, one would assume that original research is ...
8
votes
3answers
246 views

Do moderators delete too many answers?

I noticed that all answers to this question have been deleted. IMO at least one of those answers was better than nothing (i.e. arguably imperfect but shouldn't/needn't have been deleted). Assuming ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

How much can we trust peer reviewed scientific literature?

One of the distinguishing characteristics of skeptics.SE is that we expect answers to be referenced preferably to peer reviews scientific publications. But do we also need to differentiate among good ...
8
votes
5answers
342 views

Shoutout to moderators: stop deleting flawed, downvoted and wrong on-topic answers

Note: This question does not aim to devalue the hard work and time moderators are devoting for this site. Moderators will always have my respect (and this community's); however this question aim to ...
22
votes
1answer
198 views

Support for citations

One feature that I would like to see on this site would be some explicit support for citing scientific papers in the markdown syntax. In the simplest form this might be something like footnotes, in a ...
18
votes
9answers
655 views

Handling news questions about current events

We keep on getting asked questions on ISIS. I have no problem with the subject, but most of these questions are about current news, have little-to-no evidence and are all around receiving weak or ...
10
votes
4answers
480 views

Why is the mass-shooting question locked/closed?

The following question is currently under a temporary lock, and I expect it to be closed soon. https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/28146/what-are-the-rates-of-mass-shootings-in-various-...
8
votes
6answers
814 views

Topic of the Week - Discontinued

Discontinued :-) Thank you all for participating. We did succeed in raising the questions per day over 5, so the "topic of the week" was useful! The data is fake. I made it up. Original question ...

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