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Moving a discussion from comments over to Meta, as requested. This is in reference to: Where can I post my rough drafts for peer evaluations?

SUMMARY:

A new user asked: "Where can I post my rough drafts for peer evaluations?" The community quickly marked it as a duplicate. I see two separate issues arising from this that I would like to discuss.

1) IS THIS QUESTION A DUPLICATE?

The duplicate tag points to another post that does indeed ask the same question and that had substantial answers. The problem is that the older question is 8 years old and was locked 5 years ago.

For some recurrent questions, it is reasonable to point to an ongoing (even if paused) discussion. For others, a pointer to a locked question can be appropriate if it is a non time-sensitive question with answers that don't need additions and won't change over time.

In this case though, the question is time-sensitive as it's about online resources. 5-8 years is a very long time on the internet. Most resources from back then no longer exist or have moved or morphed. And many new resources have come into being. Even if the older question were not locked, finding current resources would require wading through multiple expired answers.

I argue that the new question is not a duplicate of the old one, even though the topics are identical. Time has made the old answers obsolete. My vote is for a reboot.

2) IS THIS QUESTION OFF TOPIC?

The question got 5 votes for being a duplicate but none for being off topic. And the latter is really the question we should be asking.

The question is not a request to give writing feedback (something that is indeed off topic) but rather a request for writing resources that provide feedback. We allow posts asking for other writing resources, such as sites to find lists/reviews of publishers.

Some examples of recent posts here that are open:
How to research publishers by subject
What resources are available for amateur writers who need an editor and can’t afford one?

I would say that a question asking for resources for critique is just as valid as asking for resources for editors or publishers.

My vote is to reopen the question.

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There is a sort of consensus on Stack Exchange that list questions are bad. Here and here are two prominent discussions of the subjects on Meta.SE. Drawing on those discussions, the two main problems with list questions are:

  1. Those questions cannot, by their very definition, have one "correct" answer. All answers would be adding sources, all are equally good. There can be a potentially infinite number of good answers. Some answers might be partial duplicates of others, but who has the patience to go over all the answers and check? Which is not how Stack Exchange is supposed to work.
  2. As you yourself have pointed out, the answers get outdated. Unlike other questions, which will stay useful in ten and twenty years, answers to the kind of question you're asking for would need to be constantly moderated - dead resources removed, new resources added. Nobody is going to do that. So we're doomed to having more and more dated, no-longer-relevant questions, that would need to be asked anew.

(Having done this research in the past hour, I now understand better why the old question got locked. Didn't actually know the why when we started the discussion.)

  • I'd be more convinced if we didn't already have all sorts of list questions that are open. Granted, I see more on Worldbuilding than here. That said, this is a very common question and it's worth looking into whether there is a way to provide up-to-date answers. Perhaps in a sandbox-style thread run by moderators. – Cyn says make Monica whole Nov 15 '18 at 17:52
  • Can we at least agree that the question in question is not really a duplicate? – Cyn says make Monica whole Nov 15 '18 at 17:52
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    @Cyn Is it a duplicate? It's exactly the same question, but the answers would be all different. I don't know how to categorise it. But that's part of the problem, I think. – Galastel supports GoFundMonica Nov 15 '18 at 17:57
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    I'd call a question a duplicate if the original we point people to is one that answers the question. In this case it doesn't. Even if it meets the technical definition of duplicate because it's more or less the same question. I guess what we want to know is if this is a question we want on Writing.SE at all. – Cyn says make Monica whole Nov 15 '18 at 17:59

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