Chatter: How To Post Science Articles on Ask FitEyes?
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3.1 years ago
david 4.2k
@david_fe

A FitEyes member offered some good suggestions for Ask FitEyes. I will respond and offer a few comments and some examples below. At this time, Ask FitEyes is new and we, as a community, are deciding how we want to use it. Therefore, I am posting this topic in the Chatter section so everyone can respond with any kinds of comments.

Is it possible to add dates to the posts?  I know it says things like “5 days ago” but I feel posts, or some at least, would benefit from specific dating.

OK, I will put in a feature request with the developer.

When such a post would have been sent through the email group in the past, we would have got a specific date and also a link to the study.

I agree that we should link to the studies -- and preferably link to the full text version when it is available (and not behind a paywall).

However, in this case, that post was not a study. It was a news release. I posted it to demonstrate the use of the news section of Ask FitEyes. (Based on this feedback, I see that it wasn't the best example of a news post.)

What I suggest we do in this case is post the actual scientific article in the science section of Ask FitEyes. Actually, I think I already posted it here:

https://ask.fiteyes.com/p/973/

If anyone found a different study related to that news release, please posts that in the science section. (If you don't have permission to post there, please ask us for it.)

I would like feedback from everyone on this particular science post:

The effect of daily life activities on intraocular pressure related variations in open-angle glaucoma | Ask FitEyes

I did that as an example of a scientific article where I extensively commented on the original content. Is that a good format?

In contrast to that, here is an example I posted without any commentary:

Citicoline Modulates Glaucomatous Neurodegeneration Through Intraocular Pressure-Independent Control | Ask FitEyes

In that case, I could only post the abstract, because that is all that is available. However, I did link both the journal's page and PubMed.

Here's yet another example. In this one, I posted the entire article, including images -- without any commentary:

Scientists show that even small amounts of the plasticisers BPA and BPS disrupt the transmission of signals between nerve cells in the brain | Ask FitEyes

I thought that was relevant to glaucoma because we are all exposed to BPA and anything that disrupts the transmission of signals between nerve cells in the brain could impact vision, both at the optic nerve (which is part of the CNS) and at the visual cortex.

More about using Ask FitEyes:

Each section of Ask FitEyes is intended for slightly different purposes. The main purpose of this site is to find clear answers to specific questions. (See this tutorial.) However, in the Chatter section, you can have any kinds of discussions (like a typical forum). The rules between those sections are very different. We want the main Questions section to consist of very clear questions and direct answers (not other questions, etc.).

News is intended for sharing news articles and then adding any types of comments in the replies.

The tutorials section is obviously for "How To" posts. Replies to those posts should generally add info to the tutorial (such as a clarification). (If you have a questions about something mentioned in a tutorial, ask a new question.)

Notice that when I discuss how to use Ask FitEyes, I usually post tutorials. But this post is in the Chatter section instead. I put it here because it is a request for your feedback. It's not a typical tutorial. In this case I am inviting extended open discussion on this topic, so it belongs in Chatter.

Now, as to the science section...

As a community, let's decide on the approaches we like best for publishing scientific articles on Ask FitEyes (in the science section).

I gave three different examples. My favorite of those would be to post the key parts of the scientific article along with some informed commentary (similar to my first example above). I'd like to know if you all agree.

In addition to my examples, there are other good options to share and discuss scientific articles. Please make any suggestions you have.

However, I do have a clear idea in mind for the overall site that will impact science discussions. I see the science section being used for posting knowledge, not for asking questions. All questions about scientific articles should be asked as a new question in the main section of the site. (As the tutorials show, asking a question in the main section is automatic if you make a post with the default options.)

If you want to regularly post in science, let us know and we will give you permission. What you post there should be credible (and ideally peer-reviewed, although that is not a requirement). Almost everything in that section should be an "answer" (i.e., knowledge). Don't use the "Add your answer" feature to ask a question. Ask a new question with a new post.

The main idea of Ask FitEyes is that if you have a question (whether it comes up from reading a scientific article, talking to your doctor, reading a news article, or just in the course of your daily life), you can ask a new question on Ask FitEyes.

You may read a science article and come away with ten questions. If so, ask each one as a free-standing and clear question on Ask FitEyes. Ask as many separate questions as you like. But don't combine multiple questions into one. We are building a knowledge base. I encourage us to use discipline on Ask FitEyes. Ask good questions. Give direct answers. If you are not asking a question or answering one, then use one of the other sections (such as Chatter) or use the email list.

Those are my thoughts. What do you think is best?

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Entering edit mode
3.1 years ago
david 4.2k
@david_fe

I am adding comments from the FitEyes email discussion and responding to them below.

[My concern] is that information and discussion will become fragmented.  I acknowledge that posters can link to the original science/news article in their question/chatter post but I still feel a loss of cohesion may result.  There will be lots of bits instead of one thread.

What may be lost in terms of cohesion can be overcome with links, as you mention. Tags will be very useful as well. If we use tags well, a single tag could recreate the cohesion of a discussion thread without the downsides. Furthermore, the site has the capability of finding related content. Here's an example:

Similar Posts Feature

Notice that when I clicked on the citicoline news item, Ask FitEyes tells me (on the right) that there is a similar post: Citicoline Modulates Glaucomatous Neurodegeneration Through Intraocular Pressure-Independent Control

This automatic cohesion-creating feature will continue to improve. In my experience with question-answer sites, it will actually lead to different but better cohesion than what you are used to with other types of discussions. Longer discussions tend to wander. The Ask FitEyes site will allow you to do a focused exploration of your question. Forums and emails cannot do that.

The Ask FitEyes site is designed to be a large collection of clear answers and direct questions. It's something new and different for most of us. There was no such thing for glaucoma or eye health until now. FitEyes had a regular forum about 15 years ago and we took it down because it wasn't adding enough value. This site can add tremendous value -- and that value will increase over time because of the site's unique features.

Forums and email lists are good for open-ended and less focused discussions. These discussions can be very good while they are unfolding, but they are usually terrible as a source of knowledge we can refer to later. It is too hard to go back through a discussion to find a specific answer. Ask FitEyes will solve that problem.

How many of you have tried to read through a long forum thread to find your answer? It's a terrible experience. It can waste huge amounts of time and lead to a lot of frustration.

Likewise for email discussions. How many of you are frustrated that you cannot search on the 15+ years of knowledge that exists in the FitEyes email discussions?

None of the alternatives build the kind of lasting and growing value that Ask FitEyes is capable of due to its unique features -- and a community that learns how to use those features.

The number of rules/preferences around how to post, comment, answer, etc,  can seem a bit daunting, at least initially.

Yes, this is true. It will take time for all of us to find out how we want to make best use of Ask FitEyes. While that is happening, please feel comfortable with not knowing the rules -- or with breaking the rules if you want to try doing something differently. I assume the rules will evolve as we go. We will learn together. Once the culture is established, new users will be able to pick up on what to do by example.

As I mentioned above, Ask FitEyes has unique features that will allow us to build a knowledge base of lasting and growing value. But the rules around questions and answers may be the most valuable part of it. Without these rules, the site features would be misused, causing us to lose the unique value of the site's features (such as the ability to select the best answer to your question, or the ability to vote on answers, etc.)

Above I said, "I assume the rules will evolve as we go." However, some things about the new site will not change. Ask FitEyes (other than Chatter and News) is a very organized site. It's a knowledge-base. It needs us to ask clear questions.

In contrast, email is very "disorganized" and low effort. The FitEyes mailing list is one of the best I have ever seen in terms of people following rules that make the list helpful to everyone. Our email list includes rules such as proper use of subject lines, including links, and a whole slew of other rules everyone appreciates. Those rules are part of our culture now and they take very little effort to uphold (although it is far from zero effort, as the moderator and myself are constantly working to keep the email discussions organized).

Ask FitEyes will establish its culture. People will learn how to ask good questions. Most of all, everyone will grow to appreciate the clear and distinct questions and the direct answers.

If I give feedback and/or answer your questions, I’d think of that as an “answer” but I remain unsure, in this case, whether I should use “Add your answer” or “Add Comment”.  Am I answering or commenting…..or both?  

Your example was referring to the Chatter section. There, it doesn't much matter. However, for the main sections of Ask FitEyes, here are my proposed rules:

  • Use "Add Comment” on a question to clarify the question (such as asking for more info). Don't have extended discussions in comments. Keep them short.
  • Use "Add Comment” on an answer to point out shortcomings in the answer or to ask for clarification. (If you have a better answer, post it as a new answer to the same question.)
  • Only use “Add your answer” to directly answer the main question (if it is a Question. Again, if it is Chatter, do whatever you would do on a forum.)

 It probably doesn’t matter too much as probably a moderator will fix it but just pointing out the complexities and worries people might initially have until they get used to it and the use of the site becomes a breeze.

Correct! 

Eventually you all will find the site easier to use than a forum. I have been using question-answer sites such as Stack Exchange for more than a decade. The advantages I am describing for Ask FitEyes are very real. I prefer using question-answer sites 1000-to-1 over forums. I believe most of you will feel the same way as you gain experience with Ask FitEyes.

In regard to Tutorial:Introduction to Ask FitEyes: How to Participate By Asking Questions, Answering Questions or Finding Answers You Seek

you said:

This does seem like duplication, extra work, effort and time, and fragmentation.  Again, I’m sure we’ll get used to it.

Yes to part of that. I mentioned why I don't think fragmention is anything we need to be concerned about on this site. We also will not have duplication of questions. (We will have a free-standing science article and then any number of related questions that are each asked as a new question -- and that is an advantage.)

As to "extra work": Ask FitEyes requires a little extra work initially but that saves a ton of wasted effort at every other stage of use. I believe all good communication (even between friends or family) requires some effort, some work. Online communication can be most challenging of all. I suggest that the effort is worth it because your reward is a great resource for finding the best answers.

When asking a question that little extra effort will pay off for the asker with better answers. It will also pay off for all those who can answer by making it easier. It is always easier and more enjoyable to answer a clear, well-phrased question. So step one is that we have to learn how to ask good questions on Ask FitEyes. It's a new skill for our community, but it does become automatic with more exposure to it.

The huge payoff from good questions and focused answers is that we will create a knowledge base for the entire glaucoma community. The little extra effort we put in to ask and answer questions clearly will make it far easier for everyone (including us) to find answers for years to come.

A separate point, is that, at the moment, if I’ve gone into a particular post, I’m exiting it by either using my back arrow or by clicking on the FitEyes coloured logo.  Is this how we should be returning to the forum list?  Sometimes on forums there’s a back/return-to-forum-list option?

The browser back-arrow is often discouraged on modern websites. It will generally work OK on Ask FitEyes, but I click on the colored logo. I think that's best.

Please be assured I think there are immense positives and the above is merely a mention of the few difficulties when getting used to a change. Thanks again, for the enormous amount of time and effort you put into all this.

Thank you. It's great feedback. Please continue offering these kinds of details thoughts, suggestions and questions.

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