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Other sites include list-questions, but many of those questions are old and policies have changed. For example, would a (community wiki) question on a literary canon for a particular field within the earth sciences be on-topic? It seems the equivalent question on Space Exploration was moved to its meta site.

What is our policy?

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Community wiki would not be necessary, as SE is trying to limit its use to very narrow cases: The Future of Community Wiki.

Finely constrained list questions on literary canon should be fine. However, I don't know if they are good questions for while we are still in private beta.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 I think it is preferred to set up the site with a policy of frowning upon these questions. Once the site is running smoothly, the (by then strong) community can better decide what is good for the site. $\endgroup$ – yo' Apr 16 '14 at 9:49
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You know, I'd say if we were to have a question on literary works on Earth Science, it would be on meta, with no community wiki. But first, let me explain a bit:

Stack Exchange really isn't meant for list questions. It's been brought up time and time again. This really isn't a question meant for the main site.

However, it is a very useful question to people. Want to know where to learn about earth science? Point people to that post.

Right now, as we're in private beta, I'd say hold off for a bit. It takes a community to build and maintain a list such as this. But right now, we're building that community. It's just too soon, as we're still getting people, determining our scope, and starting as a baby site.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'd just add to that third paragraph, that stats.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/… contains ample evidence that list questions can work well. $\endgroup$ – naught101 Apr 21 '14 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ @naught101 Indeed: also on Stack Overflow there's also the C++ FAQ which has worked, but it's only because the community came together and made it work. $\endgroup$ – hichris123 Apr 21 '14 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting that they (presumably) deleted all the other answers there. Usually, I think those questions work the best when there are lots of answers, that can be voted on, and then one accepted wiki answer that lists the best of the others in a standard format, and links to the answer for more detail. Then people can quickly view the whole list, and go into detail if they need it. Once the question stabilises, I suppose there might be some reason for deleting all the answers other than the main one, and replacing all the links. $\endgroup$ – naught101 Apr 21 '14 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ @naught101 They mostly got deleted to put it into one community-wiki post, instead of tons of separate answers (trivia: there were apparently 105 answers total, and 104 are now deleted). $\endgroup$ – hichris123 Apr 21 '14 at 23:38
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As far as the issue of maintaining a list of resources that will change from time to time are concerned, I would like to quote an older answer of mine from a relevant discussion.

Each one of these has its merits and demerits, however I believe that Tag Wikis are a great feature of the site, and can be used very effectively to help new users for general topics and intermediate users for other tougher topics, thus reducing a lot of the noise that may be generated on the site. They are one of the most underused features of the platform (in my experience), and we should try to use them effectively from the beginning itself.

Tag Wikis are a very powerful feature of the site that is meant for exactly such lists and community maintained resources.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you point to an example of a tag wiki being used in this way? In particular, I wouldn't think that new users would easily be able to find such information by themselves (click tag, click "learn more..." isn't a process I'd think to go through to find a list of resources). $\endgroup$ – naught101 Apr 21 '14 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ @naught101 I have been trying to get those problems resolved: meta.reverseengineering.stackexchange.com/q/144/189 meta.stackexchange.com/q/179500/200868 meta.stackexchange.com/q/188197/200868 $\endgroup$ – asheeshr Apr 22 '14 at 1:33
  • $\begingroup$ @naught101 Here is the most popular example stackoverflow.com/tags/c/info There are others as well. $\endgroup$ – asheeshr Apr 22 '14 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ Nice work. I think there's also the problem that people can't comment on them or discuss them. I that could happen in meta, but there's no explicit official link to a discussion. $\endgroup$ – naught101 Apr 22 '14 at 2:38
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What is our policy?

Well, if you read the help center, in the don't ask section, it will say:

every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”

List questions are questions that do not work with the SE model of QA. They become incessantly popular but by the wrong motives. If you see a salvageable answer into a list question is better to edit the question so it fits the model or write a Q/A yourself.

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