This is part of the second step into an attempted reboot of this community: Rebooting Cognitive Sciences: a Suggested Approach
- Assessing what is too basic relies on expertise. This community is very much divided on what is a too basic question. For example, one of our top users also struggles with making this distinction himself. Also expert users are prone to asking questions which do not suit the given format. However, we do seem to agree on what makes a good question: based on literature, assumptions made clear and backed up.
- Non-technical questions can be interesting, regardless of the lack of expertise. Their answers can still teach you something new. Furthermore, they can address common misconceptions (for example on 'insanity').
- Basic questions scare away experts. E.g., one of our very own mods.
- Initial research should be encouraged, but deciding what is sufficient research first requires answering what is too basic. However, any research at all would already be considered an improvement.
- We should mainly strive to not have invalid content on the site.
- Adjust your answer to the level of initial research. When no initial research was done, the OP is likely not to understand the answer in the first place.
- Without researchers, a research-level site cannot be created from the ground up.
- Chasing away users we do not want might be a good thing. Putting questions on hold is one strategy to this end, which still allows them to fix it.
- More important than initial research, is whether a question is answerable. SE generally speaking supports answering questions even when easily answered by a google search.
- No clear decision has been made on what to do with homework questions. Should we welcome students at all?
- We need to critically rethink who our target audience is. This topic has resurfaced several times now.
The next step now is to collect concrete proposals for a potential different (or same) target audience, addressing how to tackle the issues mentioned above. Besides an argumentation clarifying a new vision for Cognitive Sciences, a proposal would do well by including the following:
- An updated welcome message, focusing on expertise: "Cognitive Sciences is a question and answer site for researchers, academics, students, and enthusiasts needing expert answers to advanced questions in the "cognitive sciences": I.e., TO BE DISCUSSED IN SCOPE. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about cognitive sciences."
- An updated don't ask about, currently: "(1) Anything not directly related to cognitive sciences; (2) "Self Help" questions which are personal in nature; (3) Questions that are primarily opinion-based; (4) Questions seeking medical or professional advice; (5) Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer"
- A suggested close reason to handle questions no longer in scope due to the refined target audience. For inspiration, look at efforts towards this goal so far. Keep in mind that this close reason should be disambiguated from the other close reasons currently in place.
Please discuss this process as comments to this post (e.g., to mention other things which need to be mentioned in the proposals), and post proposals as answers.