Discussion on a recommendation question found here.

Generally, "recommend me X" type questions are currently off topic on almost every SE site (With the obvious exceptions of software and hardware recommendations). Mostly because they turn into never ending lists of "Well I like X" and "I really like Y", without a consensus being reached.

Do we as a community want to allow these?


No, echoing everything in Carey's answer above. I agree that 99% of recommendation questions are just not well suited for this type of site.

But, and I apologize if it perhaps added confusion to our redefinition stage, I made an exception for that question and answered it for several reasons. I felt there was a root question there about how to approach trying to understand a complex medical topic by a layperson in a situation where (1) they have a great deal of motivation, time, and (self-reported) confidence in their ability to study, given the right material and (2) are in a situation where a beloved family member has the disease in a medical system with limited access to care, in which case someone with the knowledge to better understand discussions on treatment risks/benefits, survival rates, and progression of the disease could significantly help that person. I also wanted to provide some realistic limitations on what they should expect to gain from reading.

I just edited the Q to be a liiiiiitle closer to what we might consider on topic, and to better reflect the root question the OP had.


No, and for all the same reasons they're off topic virtually everywhere else. They're almost always little more than an opinion poll and rarely have value to anyone other than the OP. Although DoctorWhom gave a great answer to the example question, I think that's actually a rarity. Most get no answers at all, or they draw spam and low-quality answers that end up being deleted. And, ultimately, how do you even write a recommendation that meets site requirements for factual, referenced answers? By definition a recommendation is largely just opinion.

  • In my experience, recommendation questions are virtually on-topic everywhere else, especially academic sites: Physics, Math, Computer Science, Psychology & Neurosciences. Yes they are opinion polls, but they have value to everyone. I don't understand why this site is an exception – Ooker Mar 9 '19 at 4:50

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