Well, this site's off to a roaring start!
Kudos to everyone who has participated thus far; lotta great information here, and some promising signs of life from folks who are interested in helping each other learn more about human health.
But, there are some rough areas...
- Answers that don't have sources or which do not note their sources
- Answers that consist of nothing but copy-paste text from external sources
- Questions asking for personal medical advice
- Bane-of-Skeptics "does X really Y?" questions
As Robert noted when the private beta kicked off, this is an excellent opportunity for folks from many backgrounds to share information regarding health, but that cannot be an excuse to accept or encourage a careless attitude toward answering. Whether your background is in medicine or you're an avid student of the topic, you should approach asking and answering here with the same rigor and seriousness.
Right now, there are too many questions, too many answers, that scream "Yahoo! Answers!" - speculative, no references, composed entirely of references or quotations from outside sources without any attempt at interpretation... Questions that are impossible to answer effectively in this format and answers that are not necessarily wrong but completely useless.
It's not fair to let a few bad apples spoil the bunch here. So let's not take the site public looking like this...
So... It's time for some cleanup. We'll appoint moderators to help with this shortly, but first let's start by sifting the wheat from the chaff, using flags to identify the latter:
Flag answers that do not attempt to answer the question. Interesting tangents may be interesting, but an answer needs to make its point, back it up, and wrap it up.
Flag answers that speculate but don't back it up. Any good answer here should be able to draw on a wealth of available sources; failure to do so casts doubt on its validity and creates more work for anyone reading.
Flag answers that consist entirely of links / quotes / or references without bringing any knowledge or expertise to relate them to the question. It's awesome to draw heavily from (trusted) sources, but be sure to pull out the key relevant parts and tie them back to the specific question at hand.
Flag plagiarism. 'Nuff said.
When you see questions that are attracting poor answers, partial answers, speculation, or guessing because they're extremely broad, then flag or vote to close them as such.
When you see questions that are attracting dangerous answers because they're asking for personal medical advice for serious health issues, close them as off-topic and leave a comment urging the author to see a doctor. (Note: it's not necessary to worry every time a question starts with, "I have..."; look for dangerous answers as the red flag.)
Of course, don't forget to downvote incorrect or poorly-written posts, and especially upvote well-researched and helpful posts.
Finally, if you're unsure or encounter problems, discuss them here on meta. We have plenty of fodder for productive discussions that will be invaluable as the site grows - so let's make the most of it!