32

Notes: This nominee would be a good choice because (1) Devon is a highly experienced bioinformatician; (2) he is one of the top contributors at BioStar as well as at this SE; (3) he is a long-time moderator at BioStar; (4) he is friendly to both experienced bioinformaticians and fresh newcomers, which I think is critical to build up the community here. ...


32

Notes: This nominee would be a good choice because (1) Konrad is a highly experienced bioinformatician and a top-tier programmer; (2) he is a very active SO user and familiar with general SE rules and features; (3) he has played an important role in publicly advocating this SE and pushing it to beta. EDIT: I accept the nomination. I’m in the UK and ...


31

You need more users. Then make the site public. It’s as simple as that. Unlike other Beta SE sites, there are already large, competing Bioinformatics Q&A sites on the internet1, so unlike for other sites people won’t go out of their way to subscribe to a private site here. There’s simply not enough demand. Now, I’ll be the first to say that the ...


26

Notes: I suggest this user as nominee because I think his view on not closing questions too harshly shows a welcoming and constructive attitude that could make this site avoid some of the criticism that stackoverflow has attracted. Besides, this user has been reasonably active here and in stackoverflow and has shown his interest in this site's development ...


20

Regarding licensing for biostars posts, they're Creative Commons (version 4 if that matters). I'm personally of the opinion that biostars posts should at least be linked to so people can see where the information comes from and the original author there can get recognised. Others are, of course, free to disagree with that, but regardless I fully support your ...


19

I think we should indeed explain biological concepts as long as those are clearly relevant to the work of a bioinformatician. So, a general question about transcription should be off topic, but a question about the biological interpretation of computational data (blast output, for example) should be allowed. A simple example would be a question about ...


16

I believe that that molecular dynamics and protemics are as well bioinformatics as well. it is only that we (sequencing people) dominate by numbers, therefore sequencing questions will be always predominant on any bioinformics site. It would be awesome if there would be a community of bioinformatians doing protemics. There are even more obscure fields that ...


16

Notes: I have been very active on Bioinformatics SE, encouraging it through the nomination process via publicity on twitter and reddit, and participating in asking and answering questions, as well as participating in reviews throughout the private beta. I live in Wellington, New Zealand and work professionally as a bioinformatician at the Malaghan Institute ...


16

I would say we should allow these, yes. I opened a similar discussion about questions pertaining to biology and the consensus there seems to be clearly in favor of allowing them. I feel this site only makes sense if our scope is essentially "Any question that a bioinformatician might face in the process of doing their job". We should aim to be a one-stop ...


15

Notes: I really want this site to succeed, and I would happily serve as a pro-tem mod. I am already a moderator on two other sites of the SE network so am quite familiar with the SE system and what it means to be a mod here. I am generally active and online between around 10 AM and 1 AM EEST (GMT+2).


13

I don't think we're getting a good representation of questioners among the people who are able to participate in the private beta. Bioinformatics is too broad for a small private beta to work well. You're asking for more users among the people who have already committed to participate in the site, which is only a bit over 200. 100 of those users have a high ...


13

Please don't prod users into accepting answers. The system already prompts users to accept an answer at an appropriate time, but accepting an answer is a completely voluntary activity, and it is up to the user to decide when (and if) they choose to accept an answer at all. Such comments might seem like a harmless reminder of a feature a user may simply ...


12

I think that presenting/visualising data is very significant part of bioinformatcs and it should be questioned (and answered). So the example of yours I find completely fine. However, I would try to cut questions like "What languages should bioinformatian learn?", "How to apply for a grant in bioinformatics?" or "Where to publish good bioinformatics ...


12

As far as I understand, posting questions Q&A style is encouraged. That's probably why now you can even post the question and the answer at the same time through the website interface. I was doing it myself here, and for one of two questions, there was a better answer proposed, which in my opinion is really cool.


12

Yes, obsolete comments should be removed. Always. We even have a flag to clear out 'obsolete' comments that may have been missed. Comments were included with every post for a purpose — to ask for clarifications or otherwise help improve the post. Comments are there to help facilitate the wiki-style editing in Stack Exchange that helps assure every ...


12

Yes, but only if you: Post a question asking how to do something that your tool can serve as an answer to. This is strictly a Q&A site so everything needs to be posted as either a question or an answer. Post an answer explaining how to install your tool, where to find it and an example that shows how to do whatever the question asked. Clearly state that ...


12

Allow software-recommendation questions As mentioned in the question, I do see the appeal. And just because Stack Overflow banned them doesn’t mean we have to follow the same hard line. There are certainly both pros and cons to allowing them, and maybe Stack Overflow actually got it wrong, and the pros outweigh the cons?


11

There's no reason to require that titles be questions. That's just going to make them longer than always needed.


11

I vote yes, since I totally agree that some of these are a real nightmare to install (I'm not laying blame, I'm also responsible for this). As always, as certain amount of, "Here's what I've tried" should be expected. At least if we answer these here they'll be picked up by search engines, the same can't always be said for other random forums.


10

I don't think that there would be any problem asking very basic questions, so long as they are asked in a way that follows the site guidelines. StackOverflow is full of 'Hello World' questions, and there is nothing wrong with that, so long as the questions are not duplicated. Once this site has matured, it should hopefully be able to cover even the most ...


10

First of all, we can't migrate questions older than 60 days. Moreover, the general rule across all SE sites is that we don't migrate away things that are on topic. So assuming the questions were indeed on topic where they were asked, there is no reason to migrate them. Instead, what we should do is when we find an interesting bioinformatics question on ...


10

I also don't think that "What is the best foo" can ever be a good question. I would instead suggest something like: Is there a comprehensive review and benchmark of the various tools for FOO? What tools had the best results? Something like that can be answered by citing a specific review paper and the measurements there. In any case, the "best" usually ...


10

Probably for the same reasons why "Ask Ubuntu" is not part of "Unix & Linux", or "Data Science" (and "Theoretical Computer Science") is not part of "Computational Science" (or "Computer Science"). The fields are simply distinct enough, and having them in different Q&A site would benefit both groups without swamping either with unrelated topics. A ...


10

I think this is a little bit the wrong question, it should be "Is there a large enough community to support two almost identical sites." The core of the problem is that there is a community already on biostars and in principle all the users you want are already here: https://www.biostars.org/user/list/?sort=reputation&limit=all%20time&q= Some have ...


10

I generally agree with @Ian Sudbery, but I would phrase this as I would prefer that the site's purview be "anything an expert bioinformatician might reasonably know that has at least a tangential relationship to bioinformatics". This would include statistics, biology, and some more general CS related questions provided they have some clear relationship to ...


9

I don't understand why there should be a high activity for the site to be useful. I get that no activity at all can be a problem, but so far, this site has been useful to me: I asked questions and got relevant answers in a reasonable time. That's what stack exchange is all about, isn't it? I see that 90% of questions have answers so far, and that there are ...


9

My only caution is to urge you not to trade in good moderation practices for the sake of holding onto more questions. That will reflect poorly on a site more so than having a few less questions — but otherwise a good balance to consider.


9

This is an excellent point. The goal of a private beta is to seed the site with some questions, answers, and members. Everyone here is interested in having this site succeed. Let's not ruin those chances. StackExchange wants to see activity. If you really hate the question, downvote it, so at least everyone else has a chance to see it. Don't close it unless ...


9

Here's my take on each of the points you raise: Unfriendly community, questions are received with down-votes I know many people feel this way but my experience in the SE network has been the exact opposite. Downvotes are not bad. Let me repeat that. Downvotes are not bad. They are in fact precisely what makes the SE sites so useful. We need bad posts to be ...


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