2

The goal of this post is to have the Community decide which ideas should be tested on this site. Please participate!

If you do not find the time to type an extensive answer, comment, write short answers or upvote.


I preface this with my sincere desire for the quality improvement of our HealthSE community.

This is a springboard off of the posts:

As discussed, our question base is easily diluted with low quality questions and answers, especially medical advice requests and "diagnose me" questions.

The uniqueness of HealthSE is the standard for quality, evidence-based answers and well-considered questions. But MANY users don't understand the reasons, or even realize that this is a rule.

Why does it happen:

  • It's understandable. Most of these are from new posters, whether new to SE or just to HealthSE - and we really are a different kind of Q&A site than others like Answer.com, Quora, Reddit without standards -OR- actual medical advice sites like Healthtap with certified physicians.

What's not working:

  • We've written disclaimers and tour things, but it hasn't done much to slow down advice requests and other poor quality questions.

  • It is blatantly obvious most of the time that the writer didn't actually read (or at most glanced at) the disclaimers or tour etc.

  • So it ends up with experienced users policing questions and answers to exhaustion, manually writing or coping the disclaimers etc into comments.

  • This is supposed to be a backup, not the norm.

How do we improve?

As proposed, we need to discuss options for mandatory quality control stops.

How this discussion works:

I am going to list examples here, and then in an answer, discuss my suggestions and pros/cons of each.

Then I invite you to copy one into an answer and add your thoughts, or propose a new idea. We can keep adding them to the list in this question stem.

  • Those who have invested significant time/work into this site to also answer in a similar format with their suggestions and thoughts.
  • Those who are newer posters to explain what might helped them understand the guidelines for how to ask and answer questions on this site.

When we're close to deciding, we could do a poll or voting system of some sort.


Idea Examples:

  • A pop-up that happens AFTER writing the question but BEFORE submission is complete. It reminds of the most important rules and links to more info.
  • A mandatory tutorial before being able to post any q or a. It could require more than just clicking "I understand" by forcing them to answer multiple choice questions or something.
  • Code built into the SE system that at time of question submission, identifies repeated use of trigger words like "I" "my" and others that are more likely to be medical advice requests. It then alerts or stops the user, provides rules/links, and recommends or requires revision.
  • Code built into the SE system that at time of question submission, identifies SHORT posts or posts without links, and recommends quality standards with links to references etc.
  • Hold new user posts and new user answers until approved by mods/high rep users (not in the spirit of SE, though)
  • Have the "Similar Questions" be a popup to help reduce duplicates
  • 3 close votes needed to close a question, 3 re-open votes needed to reopen a question

This is not an exhaustive list; I will continue to update and edit this as we go.

  • Please feel free to give me suggestions on how I could better phrase all this! – DoctorWhom Aug 11 '17 at 7:03
  • Edit proposal (for some reason, I don't have the option to edit a question on Meta, maybe a bug of the App): include a sentence that participation is vital and if one does not want to invest time to write an answer, comments or votes are always an option to make the process more democratic and more engaging with the community – Narusan Aug 13 '17 at 18:50
  • I don't think I should go with a link only answer, but I feel like my answer/question here actually cover this, and the single link requirement might be an objective argument worth considering for this site in particular. – Atl LED Aug 14 '17 at 21:09
  • Hi @AtlLED! I read the q/a you linked and the meta it linked to. I like the logic tree and think it would be good to bring out in this discussion. I did want to clarify what you meant but the comment above. You feel that it would be sufficient to do this manually with posts after they are posted? I'm wondering if there are enough active users involved in editing/voting/closing etc to do that for every question that comes in in a timeline manner. I myself come and go depending on my residency schedule. – DoctorWhom Aug 15 '17 at 1:34
  • 1
    I've edited the post a bit. Feel free to rollback or accept. – Narusan Aug 16 '17 at 8:26
  • 1
    I agree with them, thanks for refining it! – DoctorWhom Aug 16 '17 at 9:15
  • 1
    @DoctorWhom See The Waiting Room (Main Chatroom) for updates on this. The mod team has contacted Community Managers. – Narusan Aug 21 '17 at 21:56
3

These are my suggestions and pros/cons of proposed methods.

A mandatory tutorial before being able to post any q or a. It could require more than just clicking "I understand" by forcing them to answer multiple choice questions or something.

  • I think this should absolutely happen, one way or another. Doing this prior to writing your question or answer helps you write a better one. This is similar to the pop-up, but pre-preemptive. I think it's valid for a site like this. It's almost too easy to submit a question here for a new user.

A pop-up hard stop that happens AFTER writing the question but BEFORE submission is complete. It reminds the most important rules and links to more info.

  • Pro: I like this, and perhaps regardless of what we choose, this should still be implemented. It exists on numerous other Q&A sites.

  • Con: People have popup and click-for-confirmation fatigue. People usually click "I agree" on everything without even reading it. Then it's pointless and annoying.

  • Solution/Ideas: adding a delay and/or multiple choice questions that they must answer about the guidelines in order to proceed. It could be something that only happens the first several times a user posts (including those who have 100 rep from another site!), or until a certain rep is attained.

Code built into the SE system that at time of question submission, identifies repeated use of trigger words like "I" "my" and others that are more likely to be medical advice requests. It then alerts or stops the user, provides rules/links, and recommends or requires revision.

  • If we implement the other two things, this could just be a hard stop popup with links, since those were mandatory training. On its own, it only addresses the medical advice one, but that's still improvement!

  • Con: Requires programming that goes beyond popups and such; I'm unsure if this is an option. But it's worth considering.

Code built into the SE system that at time of question submission, identifies SHORT posts or posts without links, and recommends quality standards with links to references etc.

  • Same as above, requires programming. But very useful and straightforward!

Hold new user posts and new user answers until approved by mods/high rep users

  • As mentioned, this is not in the spirit of SE. I don't like it from a poster's perspective, nor as someone who would have to approve and edit them. But it's an extreme measure that could be implemented if the site is at risk of failing.

Have the "Similar Questions" be a popup you have to click on to help reduce duplicates

  • I like this for new users too. It could be a hard stop before they are able to click out of the box of the title or something. It adds another layer, yes. But it helps reduce the need to police.

Thoughts on all of them:

Yes these make it harder to ask a question. We don't want to discourage questions.

But we DO want to encourage GOOD questions/answers; sometimes this can only be done by discouraging BAD questions/answers.

These measures discourage people from just shooting quick impulse questions without consideration of the guidelines. It's easy to just see "Q&A site" and not put thought into the guidelines unless you're forced to.

It's actually maybe too easy to post a question on this site - easier than some of the other Q&A sites that don't have as many guidelines! This is evidenced by a quick look at the questions, and how many of them have to be reminded/edited/closed etc.

  • 1
    I think there is something similar to your last suggestion - when you type the title of the question (if I remember correctly) the system does display questions it recognises as similar. The other ideas are great, but they would all require changes of the SE features. I'm not sure if it can be done only for one site on SE, but even if it can it will require people outside this community (SE programmers, moderators etc) - therefore I think the ideas might need to be discussed on SE meta or if there is a consensus here our mods would need to reach out to the SE people who can make the changes. – Lucky Aug 20 '17 at 20:30
1

A pop-up that happens AFTER writing the question but BEFORE submission is complete. It reminds of the most important rules and links to more info.

AGREEMENT

Absolutely a good idea. Pop-Ups can be automatically clicked away, but with a time penalty of 3s and a very short text like this:

Welcome to Health.SE. We would like to inform you that if you have a question about you and your health, it is off-topic. You can try to rephrase the question to make it more general and apply to everyone.

it is almost impossible not to read the short sentence. With my previous proposal of only making the pop-up show up before 3 posts with score > 0 have been posted by the user, it will not be too mundane for experienced users.


A mandatory tutorial before being able to post any q or a. It could require more than just clicking "I understand" by forcing them to answer multiple choice questions or something.

OBJECTION

This seems more like user harassment to me. As I admitted before, I haven't fully read the tour, and making everyone read the tour and answer questions about it seems improper to me.


Code built into the SE system that at time of question submission, identifies repeated use of trigger words like "I" "my" and others that are more likely to be medical advice requests. It then alerts or stops the user, provides rules/links, and recommends or requires revision.

TESTING NEEDED

If this is possible, it would be great if we could treat this feature to see whether it has the desired effect and whether it works at all.


Code built into the SE system that at time of question submission, identifies SHORT posts or posts without links, and recommends quality standards with links to references etc.

AGREEMENT

Definitely. Answers without links should simply not be able to be published (like the code-only answers on other SE sites). This will immediately prevent new users from unintentionally abusing the system.


Hold new user posts and new user answers until approved by mods/high rep users (not in the spirit of SE, though)

OBJECTION

The problem is that review processes are not completed quickly. If all new posts must be approved, the new-post-queue will quickly be filled with so many questions that high rep users can't cope with the amount anymore.


Have the "Similar Questions" be a popup to help reduce duplicates

OBJECTION

I haven't seen many duplicate questions here. This also is more user harassment than actually helping us reduce the garbage posts.


3 close votes needed to close a question, 3 re-open votes needed to reopen a question

AGREEMENT

Because there are only 7 high rep users active, it's difficult to get questions closed. This will make it easier to close them. Similarly, it makes it easier to reopen questions.

  • Love. But for the popup, I'm still concerned with people just clicking "accept" without processing the sentence and thinking about whether it applies to them, even if they read it. I didn't read the entire tour either, since I'd been active on other SE and thought I knew how to do it. And I asked/answered quite a few questions the wrong way for a while. I'm not sure "user harassment" really applies; if it's brief and instructional, is really that big of a deal? I've posted on sites that have a LOT of hoops to jump through... Is a little "user bother" might be worth it for a stronger site. – DoctorWhom Aug 13 '17 at 4:39
  • 2
    Regarding the pop-up. If they have to wait a few seconds and all there is on the screen is the text, chances are they are going to read it. Quizzing people on the tour would even take out hardliners that still haven't read anything, but deter normal users with good intentions. Every SE site has some bad questions and answers. Thieves why there is a review queue. I think we can deal with a few on Health.SE as well. Quizzing would go to the point that massive amount of good users will stay away. I'd suggest quizzing to be the somewhat last option before the official death of the site. – Narusan Aug 13 '17 at 6:07
  • 1
    I see your point! We can put it in the lifejacket closet then for if the ship starts going under. – DoctorWhom Aug 13 '17 at 7:05
  • I like the metaphor! ;) – Narusan Aug 13 '17 at 7:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .