A very example for this: Anti-inflammatory painkillers and healing

I don't refute the fact that this is a scientific - based site, and it should encourage professional to answer, and should answer high quality answers.

"To attract experts, you need a site where people are asking very interesting and challenging questions, not the basic questions found on every other Q&A site. Remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around!"1

Is the above question interesting, challenging and not the basic question? I would say yes. Is its answer a pro, high quality answer? Yes too. But it contains so many term. A lot. I love to expand my knowledge, but facing this answer, it just makes me lost. Using a text analyser will illustrate this (the left column is for the question, the right column is the for answer):

pain      7      use        6
ibuprofen 2      cox        5
now       2      nsaids     4
week      2      selective  4

I think if the answer is so hard to understand, it will go against the spirit of answering a question: help the asker shorten the research time.

The best solution I can think of is having another answer. One answer explains the problem in full detail, another one is a simple version of it. This is good too, as in SE we encourage multiple answers for a question. There is a good example for this in Physics SE; I made a simple answer and the OP accepted it2. If a professional doesn't have time to make an easy-to-digest answer, then leaving it for another one is fine. But if they have time, I think they should make a simple one by themself.

TLDR: I think every answerer should be aware of "the curse of knowledge"3.

1 Are professional-to-professional questions within the site scope?

2 How exactly does gravity work?

3 Why Bad Doctors Are Like Bad Writers: The Curse Of Knowledge


You state

I think if the answer is so hard to understand, it will go against the spirit of answering a question: help the asker shorten the research time.

I guess I disagree pretty strongly that our main purpose here is to help the OP shorten their research time. That's the idea on Biology.SE to closing a question as homework.

I feel that our man purpose here is to help the OP. The answer given in your example is a good answer. It is informative, helpful, and has good references.

  • 1
    Why is our main purpose here not to help the OP shorten their research time? What's the difference between "help the OP" and "help the OP shorten their research time"? I agree that that answer is informative and has good references. I also agree that it is helpful, I just argue that it can be much more helpful, if it doesn't fall into the curse of knowledge.
    – Ooker
    Aug 7 '15 at 18:05
  • 1
    Also, this maybe different between fields, but in Physics, homework questions are acceptable, as long as it is "useful even to someone who isn't looking at the problem you happen to be working on".
    – Ooker
    Aug 7 '15 at 18:07
  • 1
    @Ooker there are lots of ways to help people, and not all of them are equal. Asking for and receiving health information on the internet is an exercise which often goes badly because it becomes generalizable and subjective. Keeping the terminology scientific makes it harder to misinterpret, which helps ensure the information is not misused.
    – Ana
    Aug 12 '15 at 15:03
  • @Ana good point. You should make that to an answer. However, as a SE blog have said, asking and answering in SE also help us improving our writing. I believe that there is a way to keep both scientific accuracy and the understandableness in answer. And there are many such answers in Health specifically. This one is a such.
    – Ooker
    Aug 12 '15 at 16:50
  • @anongoodnurse: I don't think your answer has really answered my question in any how, as my two first comments have stated. If you still hold your point, I love to know why.
    – Ooker
    Sep 10 '15 at 10:23

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