My observation of the Stack Exchange (SE) Beta Sites, is they need as much consolidated support from user to get them launched, up and out of Beta. Many fail. Once a site has become a thriving success, as the established SE sites people can then consider the wisdom of proposing more specified subset sites of existing sites.

Some examples:

Proposal: Medicine
Proposal: Medical

Proposal: Cognitive Sciences
Proposal: Neuroscience
Proposal: Psychology

Given that there is no guarantee that any site will make it out of Beta and long term support is needed, I do not understand why people keep trying to create new, duplicated sites, or subset sites, when the larger, more supported site hasn't made it out of the woods, in terms of being successful.

Why do people insist on trying to reinvent the wheel, when the car isn't up and running?


4 Answers 4


Neuroscience and Psychology proposals cover content that would be suitable for the existing cognitive science site. This can be seen in the FAQ:

Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It's 100% free, no registration required.

One of the challenges in this area is naming conventions. The "Cognitive Sciences" is intended to be inclusive and is inclusive, but people proposing a site may not immediately realise this.

Medicine and Medical proposals seem distinct from anything that I have seen on StackExchange.

  • 3
    I am not meaning that medical and medicine belong on cogsci, rather than medical is duplicating medicine
    – user94064
    Oct 8, 2013 at 11:05
  • 2
    With only one follower on the "medical" proposal, I guess it is just a matter of time before it would be merged in or closed, unless of course they are clearly differentiating their proposal. Oct 8, 2013 at 11:08
  • totally agree, I was just picking out some examples, as this seems to be a recurring feature. Please feel free to edit the title of my cogsci post about this, I can't make it succinct and yet descriptive enough of what I am asking
    – user94064
    Oct 8, 2013 at 11:09

In the case of Medicine/Medical,

the Medicine proposal got closed at around the time that Medical got started up, and This topic advocates re-creating such proposals to get a running start.

And yes, it's a shame that so many duplicate proposals exist at the same time, but there's nothing wrong with subscribing to all of the proposals if you really want to see one make it to beta.


I am going to answer this question from a different point of view.

  1. It's not because they don't search enough. They only want to see that their idea is the first and the best.

  2. Starting up an SE branch and commitment to it, will guarantee your reputation. Because you think its your expert field.

  • 2
    I can be because they don't search enough / at all. Apr 15, 2014 at 1:07


We should be encouraging individuals to push for their proposals and reach out to more people outside of the current Stack Exchange demographics, so the Q&A community grows bigger, instead of just ignorantly criticizing their endeavors. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean ignorance as an 'ad hominem' offense, we can all be ignorant on some subjects even if very proficient on some others.

Although I consider myself a person who knows a lot of things, one of which is programming and also making money out of that, but let's keep it simple and say...

I'm a programmer... but I'd love there to be a site to make questions about health, a site for that very purpose, but I wouldn't want to ask in a site where doctors are talking in higher abstractions of medicine research, I'd be totally confused and rejected by the community for being out of place or "off topic".

If you are a programmer and can't tell the difference of medicine and health vs medical practice & researh, or cognitive studies vs psychology practice, that's ok but you shouldn't suggest decisions to be made based on ignorance. For example suggestions of merging sites and complains about duplicates. I see plentiful of such rushed suggestions that display ignorance, maybe I've even make a couple mistakes of those.

If we are not going to help, lets at least not be an obstacle.

Many doctors can't tell the difference of server vs web apps (a few do), and even if you are a cryptographer some people may ask you to fix their computer... most programmers get upset or at least a bit offended when that happens, for good reason.

I think you see the point now.

I don't think the problem is so much the different proposals. A few are more fragmented than they should, sure... but the ones you are pointing out are not, I think starting with an overly broad scope could actually hurt a site more than it could help.

The real challenge (not problem) -IMHO-, is the fact that StackExchange was born from a Programmers' culture and Computer Sciences.

Observe, most of the successful SE communities are either:

  • Closely related in some way to IT
    Example: StackOverflow, Programmers, Server Fault, etc.
  • Benefit from the use of a computer on a daily basis (or at least weekly basis)
    Example: Theoretical Math, Physics.
  • Even Videogames (Arcade) are computers (modified to fit a single purpose).

...the communities are different and so are the questions, the same should apply to Health and other sciences, people are just having a hard time circumventing that inertia and acting accordingly.

I find it short sighted to try and force all different aspects of other sciences and fields of knowledge to be in just one single site for each.

My advice for all people trying to start new SE sites would be:

There are way too many "computer people" in here, we need more diversity!

Go out there and talk about your new proposal to your colleagues!!!!

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