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I saw several questions over the time that ask for:

"Looking for web sites/databases serving as genre-wide compendiums of XXX"

On one hand, these are, by form, arguably off-topic due to being "list" questions (there may be >1 resource, none "100% correct").

On the other hand, since any single answer is basically a pointer to an entire resource, I think that even as a list, such Q/As provide extremely valuable and on-topic information about SFF genres.

Therefore I propose that such questions as a class are expressly declared on-topic as an exception to "no lists"/"poor fit for Q/A format rules" (mind you, specific cases of such can still be extremely poor and not generate useful content and therefore should be closed).

As a made-up but realistic example, when I was looking for answers to Tango's recent question, I was faced with the need to ask:

Are there any database resources on the web listing LGBT-themed SF&F movies/TV shows?

I found such resource myself and therefore was spared having to fight against my question being off-topic, BUT... personally I think that this question - and its answer - would be valuable addition to SFF.SE content, despite it arguably being a list question.

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  • As a side note: I'm aware that my made-up question is can be de-listified by asking for "database resource with biggest # of records" - and similarly, can be most such questions as long as effort is made. Feb 11 '12 at 14:05
  • Did you find your answer after 30 seconds on Google?
    – user1027
    Feb 11 '12 at 16:26
  • @Keen - No. 10 mins of research, and I didn't find a GOOD answer. At least none that would satisfy me as a permanent go-to resource. Also, I don't see how 30 seconds on Google is relevant - we explicitly reject "30 seconds on Google" as a sole reason to deem something as a General reference. Otherwise 50% of our questions should be deleted immediately :) Feb 11 '12 at 17:43
  • @Keen - also, a GOOD answer would be based on expert evaluation of resource - e.g. does it contain expected seminal works? Does it have proper categorisation? Feb 11 '12 at 17:44
  • That's why I asked about your research, I sought to ensure we're setting aside General Reference questions in this discussion.
    – user1027
    Feb 11 '12 at 18:04
  • @Keen - As usual, when talking about on-topic and closing reasons, I prefer to isolate the reasons. Yes, a list question MAY be general reference, or it may not be. Being general reference has nothing to do with closing as list, other than being a separate extra reason for some REALLY bad questions :) In other words, when asking "Should category X be on-topic despite being a list question", there is an un-written assumption of "We are ONLY talking about questions from category X that aren't closable for other, non-list-related reasons" Feb 11 '12 at 18:46

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