Definition of Cognitive Sciences from area51.

Beta Q&A site for practitioners and research professionals of the cognitive sciences

Given that all questions are supposed to be scientific, what is the benefit of explicitly asking for scientific material in questions?

Questions like this I found so far:

  • Good point. I've generally edited my questions to remove mention of "request for research" from the question title. Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 5:45
  • Note: the titles of the examples listed here have since been updated and therefore no longer reflect the problem I originally highlighted.
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 11:00

3 Answers 3


I agree with you Steven... but not necessarily because of the Area51 proposal...

I think it's important to state that you're looking for research studies in the question body if that's your intent. For example, in my first question, i specifically asked what research had been done on the topic, because I wanted more than just an explanation of the phenomenon.

Where I agree with you is question titles should be short and to the point. As an example,

Are there any research studies showing that expert computer gamers (like SC2 players) have unusual physiological/mental characteristics?

Could be better worded (IMHO) as:

Do expert computer gamers have unusual physiological/mental characteristics?

The question body should give the other details.

  • This solves the 'google problem' I stated in my answer as well! I think I'll accept this answer, but first I'll wait to see what others think.
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 15:40
  • So far everybody agrees and there haven't been any counter arguments. Some people already started changing titles. If somebody feels different afterwards, be sure to revolt! ;p
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 10:15

When posting a question a user is expected to know which questions are valid on the site. They are expected to follow the guidelines as explained in the FAQ.

If this site will become a scientific resource, than all questions are supposed to be answered scientifically. This effectively makes asking for scientific resources redundant.

Advantage: removing this redundancy makes titles shorter.

Possible disadvantage: perhaps questions are harder to find through google?

As I agree with Piotr's comment I add it in this answer as well:

Of course when it comes to the content, it may be good to point what exactly one needs (e.g. any studies, a standard reference, mathematical model, ...)

  • 3
    +1 I think it is good to have titles short and concise. In particular, the phrase ...some research studies that show... is at best redundant (for now the titles on CogSci.SE are ridiculously long). Of course when it comes to the content, it may be good to point what exactly one needs (e.g. any studies, a standard reference, mathematical model, ...). Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 14:53
  • I doubt this aids SEO. No one (estimation) googles "research studies showing how children learn" they search "how do children learn" or maybe (if we're lucky) "children learn cognitive psychology"
    – Zelda
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 16:57

I would hate to see a bunch of "has there ever been a study about x influencing y" questions- which is already happening. A quick search of the journal databases or even Google scholar can answer most of these.

  • 4
    +1 This topic is worth a meta post in its own right.
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 18:33
  • 1
    +-0 Seth, if Google Scholar was enough then people wouldn't need to ask about research. But sometimes you need to know the right keywords, or the paper or the answer uses things from many publications. However (I guess it is your point), sometimes people show lack of their own effort and in fact could Google (Scholar) it from themselves. Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 21:26
  • 1
    An important thing about SE sites is we're found in Google, not Google Scholar. I think we can provide a lot of value if we can provide well researched answers to questions common people, not researchers, have as well. Plus sometimes research is hard to find in Google Scholar as well...lack of naming conventions often makes finding topic-specific HCI research a massive pain.
    – Zelda
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 3:01

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