I think we should all take up this comment with a reasonable portion of self-criticism. Everyone should be aware of the fact that internet based communication channels have shaped and are shaping the way we are communicating. Communication has become more direct, as an example in an email to an email list I might start of with a Hi all, Dear list, or something, end with Thank you very much, Kind regards, some say cheers, and after a while some don't use that, one wouldn't normally open such email with "Dear Sir or Madam", and close with "Yours very truly" as it is common for a letter. More so with chats. None of these communications are considered rude. However, communication on the internet has its rude corners, look at 4chan for an extreme example. I think we all can agree that we don't want to get drawn into that direction.
Now, often when I am on the bus on the way to work, using an unstable mobile internet connection, I am trying to go through the early morning posts. I find a duplicate or badly written post. What I actually want to say is something about the lines:
Dear User, welcome to BioStar and thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I have got the impression that your question has been asked here before/ does not fully meet the quality standards of this site and that makes it very hard for people to understand or answer it. I regret I had to close it, but put a link to the correct answer. / Please try improve your question so we can help you better and keep the BioStar shining. Please do not take this personally, hope to see you again.
But, while the bus is approaching the next tunnel where my connection is surely going to break down (and there are a lot of tunnels in Norway), this will shorten to:
Possible duplicate of .... / Your question is hard to understand, please improve it.
Is it rude?
I assume we could all agree on:
- we should try to be more polite
- and less rude
This should include no more "Let me google that for you", "RTFM" (because not everyone seems to know that this refers to a FINE manual), links to "whathaveyoutried" (even though that post is very reasonable in general) , etc. I will try to post a gentle reminder to such comments.
There, are other things that I personally find rude as well, like the notorious "Im doing the bioinformatics cours, can u plz send teh codez". These, should be closed without any extra politeness because they don't deserve it, honestly I do not care if such people ever visit the site again, possibly they better don't. (Yes, chat-style typos I personally consider rude in the context of an academic environment). I sometimes find it also rude, to ask broad questions ("Can u pls explain me the field"), where a correct answer would require a lot of research, while the OP hasn't invested minimal time and consideration before posting.
Such discussions can and should be held in public, forum is the right place for this. I think though that we need some more examples. Also, IMO Stackoverflow is much more strict when it comes to closing posts or down voting, we do not even have down votes any more.
I personally think that this one is a very good example: Should Fasta be capitalized?, including lmgtfy, mockery of the question, and closing of the question...
Ooh, wow, that's really harsh. Especially since it really looks like the poster went to a lot of trouble with the original question - it's very polite, posts links to existing sources, etc. And I do think it's a relevant question for publications.
From lurking, using, moderating, posting, answering and asking on this forum for a bit more than 3 years, I have to agree that some behaviours have not been up to par for their friendliness (including some of mine), but I believe that the question you refer to is more of a very rare exception than a good example and that globally this is a friendly place to post questions (at least as friendly as online forums I know about). Thanks to open and honest discussions about politeness on the forum, I feel that the tone has improved in the last months.
i think there is some of that - my most upvoted comment of all time was a dismissive comment i made while extremely tired. for context i have at times spent well over an hour crafting a careful response to a question.
at any rate, my suggestion for what would help alleviate that is this: a small number of individuals answer a great deal of the questions here. as a result, they tend to answer the same, or at least similar, questions over and over, which gets legitimately frustrating. i think what might do most to help is to actively recruit knowledgeable bioinformaticians, such that the burden falls less heavily on the few.
TL; DR, I think we need a bit of outreach to our colleagues who are very knowledgeable.