I suspect people can farm reputation points off of book reference requests, I would like to propose a system where one asks for a book reference they would not gain any reputation when upvoted on the specific question asked. I am not sure how this system would be implemented, Moderators or Staff could manually do it. The same could apply for Rock-Identification and etc. Please let me know through Answer/Comment about the plausibility of this proposal.
This could be implemented as follows:
We could have a policy in which people should mark reference requests as community wiki. For community wiki questions, no reputation is earned. If a reference request is not marked as community wiki, then anyone could flag the question for moderator assistance and ask a moderator to turn the question into community wiki.
Is this what we want?
Rock identification requests are off topic (as far as I know reference requests are valid).
If users start farming points with repetitive softball questions, I would think it would be addressed (perhaps by the voting of users becoming wise to it, as has occurred a bit in the past with answerers who tended to make up/fluff answers without knowing the topic well, such that their answers wound up fraught with errors... or perhaps by new rules).
But as of current, I don't know that I've seen users regularly attempting to do this, so don't think this needs any proposal/change as of now?