I don’t agree that academic writing Q. like How do I implement a scholarly citation style in an online format? should be in writing SE.

They bring nothing to any other types of writing and should belong to the Academia SE.

Obviously, I can just avoid them, but is there a way to vote on the issue of migrating them elsewhere?

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  • "is there a way to vote on the issue of migrating them elsewhere" - If you have enough rep, you'll be able to vote on closures and migrations when these come up for questions. Also, regarding the larger ussue, you can post a meta question such as this one; if other users agree, they'll vote your suggestion up (or down) and this it change the policy here. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jul 21 '15 at 15:00
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    @NeilFein I don't think we should vote to close against current consensus, as this will drive away users that the majority wants to have here. In my opinion we should arrive at an agreement backstage and then all adhere to this agreement. That's how democracy works: abiding by an agreement, even if you disagree. – user5645 Jul 24 '15 at 17:00
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    @what Democratic processes can vote on general policies (like this) but also on specific issues (i.e., specific questions). Academic writing is currently on-topic here - decided here in meta, through a thread such as this - but it's perfectly valid for users to vote to close a particular question they think will be better-suited for Academia. This is another way that democracy works. Personally, I'm in favor of having different flavors of the same questions on multiple sites, where possible. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jul 24 '15 at 23:11

Some questions are on-topic on more than one site, and that's fine. If these are on-topic on Academia and somebody asks them there, that's fine. But since they are also on-topic here, it's not fair to the asker to migrate a question away just because it also fits somewhere else. Even if it would get a better answer elsewhere (I'm not saying this would; I don't know their site), the person brought it here. Leave a comment suggesting he also look at Academia; that's fine.

This isn't the only case of overlapping scope. There is some overlap among Writers, English Language & Usage, and English Language Learners. There is overlap among Writers, RPG, Worldbuilding, and Sci-Fi. There is overlap among Worldbuilding, Physics, Chemistry, Space, and Health. There is overlap between Community Building and The Workplace. There is overlap between Beer and Seasoned Advice. This list is just off the top of my head.

The focus of this site is writing -- all kinds. Let's help people with questions about academic writing get the best answers they can, instead of avoiding them because they could have asked somewhere else.

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  • this is not about overlaping, but that Q such as "can-you-use-et-al-in-a-bibliography" writers.stackexchange.com/questions/18289/… ... bring absolutly nothing to writings outside academia and should consequenty be off topic. – Reed -SE is a Fish on Dry Land Jul 21 '15 at 4:13
  • And they are also questions that should get you to fail your degree if you ask them here instead of reading them up in the relevant style guide as you were taught in introductory seminar in your first semester. – user5645 Jul 24 '15 at 18:51

I totally agree with Reed on this and vote to move academic writing to Academia.SE.

A writer who writes a novel is a writer, and nothing else, at least not in relation to his novel writing. All he does in relation to writing his novel is writing his novel.

An academic author on the other hand is first and foremost a researcher and scholar, and his writing is only a necessity like taking care of administrative duties, finding funding, hiring a new secretary, etc. All these activities don't make the scholar a financial expert or a HR manager, and neither does publishing his research make him a writer. In fact, many academic authors (note the word "author" here, instead of writer) deeply dislike writing, and a majority are extremely bad at it. And neither their dislike for writing nor the low quality of their writing really matter, because those texts are not read because they are well-written (althought that does help), nor are they written out of joy in writing. Their sole purpose is the transportation of information, and their stereotypical, monotone and uncreative structure – which is a must! – reflects that.

So, academic writing is writing, surely, but it is fundamentally different from journalistic and fiction writing and certainly more closely related to other questions about academic practises than to writing a poem.

I don't mind that academic writing is on topic here, but I find it doesn't really fit.

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    So do you think that journalism and technical writing also don't belong here? There, too, in some (not all!!) cases conveying information is a higher priority than writing craft. Personally, I think if somebody who is "not very good" at academic writing wants to do better, we should help him with that, not tell him that a site for writers won't help him improve his writing. – Monica Cellio Jul 24 '15 at 17:55
  • I would say that journalism belongs here – I also think that craft is of prime importance there! –, but I have not seen any questions related to journalism. I don't know enough about technical writing. What I find relevant in the case of academic writing is that (a) there is a site for academic questions (I don't think there are sites for journalism and – what? – technology in general) and (b) many questions about academic writing are closely related to other aspects of academic work that a person not an academic has no idea about. – user5645 Jul 24 '15 at 18:44
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    The form as well as the content of academic writing are informed by academic conventions, scientific standards and so on, that you learn when you study a science. Academic writing is not aimed at the general public (as are fiction or journalism), but at an academic audience. I can't read most texts outside my own discipline. I don't really think anyone not an academic can advise an academic author on how to write academic texts, while anyone familiar with books or newspapers may have something helpful to say on those fields of writing. – user5645 Jul 24 '15 at 18:47

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