I was thinking when are You upvoting a question.

Obvious aspects (remainded at each upvote) which can be taken under consideration are:

  • question shows research effort,
  • is useful
  • is clear

I would add another criterion

  • is well formatted

I will upvote any question which is useful (IMO) and clear. In case of really bad formatting I will probably wait for improvement.

Why I do not care about research effort? Because there are not many questions which show all of above so I would have to upvote only couple. Community (statistically) does not care of it too and I do not want interesting topics to drown in sea of or .

A little bit tilting at windmills.


So, do You agree with my way of deciding if the question should be upvoted? I mean:

I will upvote any question which is useful (IMO) and clear. In case of really bad formatting I will probably wait for improvement.

  • IMO, proper formatting is a prerequisite for clarity. And I would argue that "research effort" is demonstrated in any question where the asker displays a reasonable familiarity with what they're doing and Mathematica itself. So, the questions that violate this requirement are those where it's obvious the asker hasn't looked at the documentation and is posting the question here mainly in the hope of having their problem solved without having to think about it. It doesn't mean that each question is required to contain an exhaustive literature survey before being worthy of consideration. Jul 13, 2013 at 19:55
  • @OleksandrR. I agree, but here I do not care if author deserves the +5rep reward. I will upvote because question deserves this :) and because many plotting are over-upvoted. It is against the idea of SE but SE does not work well in this case, We have to be flexible to create good database :). Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to +1 crap, I'm only lowering the bar for less popular tags.
    – Kuba Mod
    Jul 13, 2013 at 22:49
  • I think it is good to make this kind of consideration. That makes me wonder: I suppose more upvotes means that a question can be more easily found using the SE search engine. But I don't suppose google treats such pages differently. I guess that is one part of the "drowning" of questions. The other being that they don't show up on active/hot/week/month pages. I wonder if those things can be configurable, (for example per SE site). Probably not. I would like to see the questions sorted by (SortBy) 5*newNessInDays + 5*numberOfTagsILike + ParticipationByUsersILike + Votes :P Jul 14, 2013 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


It is hard to vote on your post because it is not well-focused on one yes-no issue.

  1. You suggest a new criterion, good formatting, for up-voting questions.
  2. You suggest it is more important 'useful' and, maybe 'clear'.
  3. You argue that research effort should not be a criterion for up-voting.
  4. You assert you are 'tilting at windmills'

I certainly agree with your fourth point. I also think good formatting is important (I spend a lot of time reformatting code posted by newbies), but think, as Oleksandr has noted, that 'clarity' covers 'good formatting'.

So how should I vote given I don't fully agree or disagree with you?

  • ah, You are right I should focus more on stating precise questions. Please take a look on my edit.
    – Kuba Mod
    Jul 14, 2013 at 14:50
  • Btw. You can only fully agree or disagree otherwise :)
    – Kuba Mod
    Jul 14, 2013 at 15:05

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