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I was about to post a question about whether links to standard references could be included in the tag wikis, but I discovered that such references are available via the "tag info" link (at the bottom in an "External links" section--though the story-identification tag wiki does not have any such links). This seems like a potentially very useful feature, but I suspect a significant number of users are not aware of this feature.

Is there some way that the availability of this research aid could be made more obvious? (I do not recall it being mentioned in the FAQ, e.g.)

Note: my main concern is to facilitate answering questions. Reading some of the answers here has exposed me to web resources that I had not idea existed (and I suspect I am not entirely alone in my ignorance). Before "researching" in preparation to ask this question, I thought the tag wiki summary was the totality of the tag wiki content. I may be odd in lack of exploration of the site (especially for SFF fans), but the little "info" link (it is kind of like an about link--other than obsessive-compulsives and those with more-than-cat-level curiosity who follows such links? :-) did not seem to even hint at the potential information available. (Perhaps using "details" might be more enticing?) I think it would be useful to somehow make prospective posters of answers and questions more aware of how information can be discovered.

Or would it be appropriate to have a header link (like "faq") linking to a research aid wiki? (That seems like a questionable feature request, but some research aids are more generic [Don't Repeat Yourself] and might better fit a "research" wiki.)

With respect to a research wiki (and note that I am not certain that such would be even a decent idea), I suppose the main page could give general research tips that tend to apply to most questions as well as information on how to use the tag wikis. Perhaps the bottom of the main page could be similar to the Tags page (e.g., defaulting to showing the most popular subjects and providing a search box). (Again, I think ideally the content itself would not be duplicated but somehow transcluded.)

While many people are aware of wikipedia and search engines (though experienced researchers here might be able to give guidelines on query optimization), some might be less aware of wikia.com sites covering specific programs, movies, et al. much less some of the other resources. (Perhaps I am just speaking of my own ignorance and everyone else already has more than a quarter of a clue.)

While making such research aids (which to some extent already exist) more available/visible might not reduce the number of "no research effort" questions, it might help less experienced scifi.se participants feel (and be) more able to answer some questions.

Again, perhaps I am odd in my (slowly diminishing but growingly apparent) ignorance of both web resources and Stack Exchange features, but I thought this would be a good question for Meta.

  • but the little "info" link - There's an "info" link in the popout when you mouse over a tag, which I can see a person skipping over, but if you click on a tag, there are sub-tabs on the resulting page (in the same format used all over the entire rest of the site) that includes "info". They go to the same place, and that one should be obvious that it contains more information, rather than an additional small "about" section – Izkata Jul 31 '13 at 2:14
  • A lot of the questions which show absolutely zip prior research, I doubt would find these regardless of how much more visible they're made. They just zero in on "Ask Question" and ignore the rest of the site... – Izkata Jul 31 '13 at 2:17
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    @Izkata Some questions show minimal research (some that seem to show minimal research may just be missing the right search terms or familiarity with advanced search engine features), but even then a good wiki resource might help answerers. (However, there seem to be a lot of users who are already good at finding answers. Some of the story-identification answers are amazing.) – Paul A. Clayton Jul 31 '13 at 2:46
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What kind of research aid wiki are you thinking of? Your question isn't too clear on what type of information you'd want in one.

The way tag wikis work is that people in the community write them (link). So the entire content of any tag wikis you see we're written by people who use the site. Some of them included the External Links sections you mention. It's not a built-in feature of tag wikis, they're just blank text boxes that accept markdown-enhanced text.

In terms of awareness, the privilege page I linked is my usual go to resource on how to use various feature of the site, I highly recommend browsing the different privileges to get information on how to use the site.

  • I was aware that they are just wiki articles (without standard format constraints), but informal community standards can be effective (even if communicated only by example--most people have some desire to conform to the behavior they observe). I had not really thought deeply about the what and how, hoping that discussion would uncover ideas. I will try to flesh out the questions later (probably not for at least 12 hours). – Paul A. Clayton May 14 '13 at 10:36
  • I added a bit to my question, but I really do not know specifically how things could be improved. I was only aware that I was ignorant of the extent of the tag wikis and see answers referencing common sources that I was not aware existed. – Paul A. Clayton May 15 '13 at 0:24

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