Would the Conversation be better served by having distinct sections for different disciplines?

Posted by Brian Cody, community karma 160912

The Conversation was originally created to allow scholars of all disciplines to share knowledge. It could be general questions that other academics could relate to. It could also be questions related to things that are discipline-centric. The reputation points earned from discipline-centric questions and answers are intended to give a journal a nice little shorthand to assess one's abilities as a potential reviewer.

Since the Conversation has become dominated by very general questions and answers, I think the time may have come where we need to branch out and create different sections for different disciplines.

Of course, there are disciplines that already have Q&A forums. For instance, there's already a MathOverflow for mathematicians and a CSTheory site for computer scientists. Though, to my knowledge, there are plenty of other disciplines that would be well served by having access to a Q&A forum.

So - what do you all think about the Conversation being broken up into discipline specific chunks?

almost 12 years ago

1 Comment

C. Sean Burns, community karma 149

What if instead of breaking up the Conversation, the starting poster is able to categorize her post by the name of her field? Basically, have the ability to select from a set of pre-defined (hyperlinked) categories to specify the discipline (include also a 'general' category). Perhaps these categories could be listed in the sidebar as navigational links. Thus if someone wanted to catch up on all sociology posts, biology posts, etc., it would be a simple click to do so. This way the Conversation is not divided up a priori, and users can drill down if they like. My worry with breaking up the Conversation is that it would lead to an isolation (or ivory tower) effect. Plus it might reduce participation if some disciplines have less representatives here.

almost 12 years ago
Hey Sean, Those are some great suggestions and we're taking them under advisement as we move forward. Thanks a ton!
Rob Walsh – almost 12 years ago
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