HomeworkFilter November 26, 2006 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Since when is it okay for a user to ask Mefi to do his research for him? (or her) This person wants studies and research as opposed to personal stories... so isn't that just asking us to google it for him/her?
posted by IndigoRain to Etiquette/Policy at 6:40 PM (39 comments total)

*mind boggles*

What is the point to this callout?
posted by mediareport at 6:42 PM on November 26, 2006


I've noticed a bunch of these in the past few weeks. Looks like somebody's looking for help with their semester-final paper!
posted by schroedinger at 6:42 PM on November 26, 2006


Ah shit, I told myself I wouldn't be mean in MeTa anymore. Look, there were lots of excellent answers in that thread, IndigoRain, posted hours before you wrote this callout. I honestly don't see the point to your gripe about a certain kind of perfectly legitimate AskMe question. Are you seriously suggesting that research questions don't belong in AskMe? Because from here, it sure looks like one of the things AskMe is *best* at.
posted by mediareport at 6:47 PM on November 26, 2006


I'm asking, not griping. My post got deleted. What Schroedinger said.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2006


You get the distinct impression a lotta askme's are written by folks either a) doing their homework or b) conducting market research.

Are either of these a problem? Meh, probably not if sufficiently craftily crafted to avoid over-obviousness.
posted by scheptech at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2006


I think these questions are OK. If you asked a question about something I'm actively researching and studying myself then I'm going to give you a much better range of references and overview of current thinking than someone else might get by googling. Data alone isn't everything, interpretation and context are also important and that's where askme can shine.

Except, of course, I'm fairly lazy and unlikely to answer something that looks like someones homework (e.g the question linked) or makes me feel like I'm doing homework (e.g. questions about the area I actually am researching and studying right now). But my deciding not to answer a question doesn't make it a bad question.

This particular question could be better worded. But I think the only downfall of that is that they'll get less good answers, not that it needs to be deleted.
posted by shelleycat at 7:14 PM on November 26, 2006


Since when is it okay for a user to ask Mefi to do his research for him? (or her) This person wants studies and research as opposed to personal stories... so isn't that just asking us to google it for him/her?

Wha!? Since when is AskMe for "Personal Stories"?

What a ridiculous callout
posted by delmoi at 7:29 PM on November 26, 2006


I've noticed a bunch of these in the past few weeks. Looks like somebody's looking for help with their semester-final paper!

and since when was querying the hive mind for professional advice a bad thing? there are tons of people using this for work too. we're all in this together, remember?


noone's asked anyone to write their paper; asking for advice on the best places to find information seems to be in the better half of legitimate uses of askme.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 7:34 PM on November 26, 2006


My post got deleted.

Which one?
posted by mediareport at 7:48 PM on November 26, 2006


I think it's okay as long as it's not an obvious "do my homework/job" question. The guidelines are specifically set up so that we don't have to make too many judgement calls about why people need the info as long as it fits the loose guidelines for that part of the site.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:51 PM on November 26, 2006


Since forever.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:03 PM on November 26, 2006


One should be careful in requesting homework help over the internets. Bad things can happen.
posted by caddis at 8:11 PM on November 26, 2006


It's not easy to find good statistics for things like sex abuse, so Googling isn't going to give a definitive answer. It sure sounds like a fine use of Ask Mefi.

I believe you are reading too much into the question, trying to figure out the person's motivation for asking and coming up with "other people need to do my homework for me" and clearly, not many others are coming to that conclusion.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:20 PM on November 26, 2006


I would have found the quesiton more palatable had the asker said "My google-fu is failing me..." or something to that effect. The way it is asked makes it sound like AskMeFi was their first stop.
posted by tkolar at 8:23 PM on November 26, 2006


I would have found the quesiton more palatable had the asker said "My google-fu is failing me..." or something to that effect.

After, of course, another im in ur X verbing your Y, a reference to pancakes, cameras, or objects vibrating, a Metafilter:X tagline, declaring that they'd just shot coffee out of their nose (or hilarious variant), followed by, of course, the requisite clever play on [more inside], which keeps us all in stitches, every single time.

*takes off crankypants*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:22 PM on November 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


*sees stavrosthewonderchicken de-pantsed*

*wonders whether that's a fish?*

*dies*
posted by cgc373 at 9:29 PM on November 26, 2006


Since forever.

Er, I mean since when is it only for personal stories. I mean is the oxygen network or something?
posted by delmoi at 9:37 PM on November 26, 2006


God, I mean you I pumped an entire Master's thesis out of you guys, so one paper can't hurt, no?
posted by Quartermass at 9:44 PM on November 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


by the way, the answer is 46%.

Exactly 46%.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:05 PM on November 26, 2006


stavrosthewonderchicken writes...
After, of course, another...

You forgot to tell us to stay the hell off your lawn.
posted by tkolar at 10:18 PM on November 26, 2006


Thank you to the vast majority of you for not being rude. Maybe I should have phrased my "callout" differently, but I was really asking and not griping angrily.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:27 PM on November 26, 2006


Now get the hell offa my lawn, damn it!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:20 PM on November 26, 2006


metafilter: i'm in ur lawn de-pantsing ur vibrating camera fish
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:07 AM on November 27, 2006


The hive mind pules.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:40 AM on November 27, 2006


[catWithHeadInShotGlass.png]
posted by econous at 4:54 AM on November 27, 2006


I was under the impression that it was always OK.
posted by Bugbread at 6:00 AM on November 27, 2006


I'm ok, you're ok.
posted by Kwine at 6:15 AM on November 27, 2006


People use ask me all the time to get answers to stuff for work -- "My boss needs me to do X, but I can't figure it out."
posted by empath at 6:34 AM on November 27, 2006


de-pantsing ur vibrating camera fish

That was the BBC post, right?
posted by found missing at 7:18 AM on November 27, 2006


Since when is it okay for a user to ask Mefi to do his research for him? (or her)

Since day one. This is what AskMe is for. If you suspect that the poster may be just trying to get out of doing his or her homework, then don't answer the question.
posted by orange swan at 7:52 AM on November 27, 2006


Thank you to the vast majority of you for not being rude.

i dont think the point is about your sensitive feelings.. the point is that ask metafilter is a website where anyone can get answers to hard-to-find-out questions from knowledgeable people from all walks of life. if a question doesnt interest you or isnt up your alley, dont answer it. dont come on here complaining about someone else looking for answers
posted by petsounds at 8:47 AM on November 27, 2006


There is no rule that every research source must be wrested with sweat and toil from the stacks of a library by fingers bloody from hours of punching keywords into Google Scholar, Ebsco, and Medline in the sysyphian quest for the philosophers stone that returns just the right number of relevant results including the answer to your question.

Instead, real scholars get many of their citations through the even more masochistic mechanisms of weekly staff meetings, conferences laden with overpriced food, and plundering the biblographies of other writers.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:55 AM on November 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


IndigoRain's post here made me read that thread, which I'd decided to skip, and I found meehawl's densely excellent answer, which has advanced my understanding quite a bit.

So, thanks all around.
posted by jamjam at 11:17 AM on November 27, 2006


That was the BBC post, right?

I thought it was channel 5.
posted by timeistight at 1:53 PM on November 27, 2006


After, of course, another im in ur X verbing your Y, a reference to pancakes, cameras, or objects vibrating, a Metafilter:X tagline, declaring that they'd just shot coffee out of their nose (or hilarious variant), followed by, of course, the requisite clever play on [more inside], which keeps us all in stitches, every single time.

Dude, you forgot:

*pulls up chair, gets popcorn*
posted by tristeza at 3:49 PM on November 27, 2006


I think it's okay as long as it's not an obvious "do my homework/job" question.

Then how come "name my business / website / project" questions are okay? I see those all the time. People pay good money for naming services.

I ask this because I got roundly slammed on metatalk for daring to think of asking if it would be okay for askme people to design a logo for me. (I agreed it was a bad idea and refrained, but due to the meta thread dear loquacious contacted me and I had him design the most excellent logo with which I am very pleased. And I paid him for it!). That was indeed too much to ask someone to do for free, and I'm glad I asked in meta instead of charging into askme and getting slammed worse.

So asking for creative work is too much when it's a logo, but not too much when it's a name. Honestly curious where the line is drawn and why.

And I think naming a kid or pet is not problematic since as far as I know people don't pay multiple thousands of dollars for services to do that.

Anyhow I need a name for my new business. It involves going into "name my business / project / website" askme threads and squatting the domains for all the suggested responses (of course I will have to reload the page frequently). As part of my nefarious plan I will post in the thread "ohhhh X is the best one, it fits perfectly, you should really use that one! Pay whatever the domain squatter asks, it's fucking golden". If all works out well, ransoming the best domain should pay for all the superfluous registrations I make, and net me a tidy profit.
posted by beth at 4:59 PM on November 27, 2006


Petsounds - my point was there is no need to be rude in answering any thread - you can be polite in answering any thread. e.g. "I think this thread is pointless because X" vs "you stupid idiot, your thread sucks because X."
posted by IndigoRain at 2:25 AM on November 28, 2006


beth : "So asking for creative work is too much when it's a logo, but not too much when it's a name. Honestly curious where the line is drawn and why."

My guess is that some people (not me, and not you, but some) draw the line, essentially, at "what can be answered in text in the AskMe page". So names, answers, links, etc., would be accepted by those folks, but drawings, logos, songs, etc. would not.
posted by Bugbread at 4:29 AM on November 28, 2006


Bad callout.
posted by dead_ at 7:08 AM on November 28, 2006


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