Back in the Definition stage in Area 51, Literature attracted a total of 84 example questions, 40 of which received at least ten upvotes. But not all of these questions have yet been asked here on the site now that we've entered beta phase.

I've seen people in chat suggest posting some of those questions on the site even though they weren't the person who originally posted them as suggestions on Area 51. But I personally would feel a little uncomfortable about doing so - it feels like stealing someone else's work. On the other hand, it feels like a real shame to let any of those questions go to waste.

Is it kosher to use ideas from other people's Area 51 questions and post them here yourself?

1 Answer 1


First, note that most example questions on Area 51 don't actually make good questions in practice, so be careful about which ones you try to bring over. This is a little counter-intuitive, and is knowledge I've only gained through experience. I'm not sure I could explain exactly why this is, but I think it's likely because trying to convert Area 51 questions into on-site questions usually results in poorly-motivated, under-researched questions.

However, when they would make good on-site questions, they're very valuable, and it's worthwhile to do so. It'd be a shame for information to be lost this way.

What I'd recommend is to ping the author of the question, if they registered for Literature.SE. If they don't respond, or if they didn't commit to Lit.SE, I'd say you're welcome to post them here, with attribution to the original source. As long as you attribute it to them, things should work out okay.

  • +1 for the last paragraph.
    – Skooba
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 13:21
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    I'm not even sure attribution is really required. Afterall, all those Area51 questions have is a title stub without any content. Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 14:59
  • @ChristianRau - legally required, no. Ethically suggested, yes. Hat-tipping is good manners.
    – DVK
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:35
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    @DVK Sure, it can't hurt, I guess. What I would want to avoid is a bunch of questions full of disclaimers and quote blocks, though. Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:36
  • @Christian It doesn't need to be much. "Question idea from [user]'s Area51 proposal." Just a little recognition would help a ton.
    – user80
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 20:48
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    @ChristianRau I tend to agree. Personally, I dislike being sent off to read "this question from {x}" links, unless reading it provides a bit of relevant context. But in the case of an Area 51 question stub, there's no additional context to be gained at all; certainly no attribution required. There's no need to fill this site with fluff, so if you actually have that question, go ahead and ask it. Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 21:44

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