Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What's the deal with the forced prefix?

  1. Aug 12, 2015 #1
    Frankly I don't like it, it puts labels on people and causes a divide.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What forced prefix are you talking about. Clearly I'm missing something.
  4. Aug 12, 2015 #3
  5. Aug 12, 2015 #4
    They are intended to help the thread starter express their personal level and the level of their thread. This helps the thread starter receive replies geared towards their level and for repliers to gauge how interested they are in checking it out.
  6. Aug 12, 2015 #5
  7. Aug 12, 2015 #6
    Well, I can say from my experience that putting labels on students based on where they are it in their education will inhibit discussion. I work with many graduate students and it didn't take long for the Professors to realize those I have the best communication with were not initially aware of my 'undergrad' status.
  8. Aug 12, 2015 #7


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    mesa started the thread in a physics forum, I moved it to engineering as making sheets of BN is not particle physics.

    We had several threads where the discussion was either way too basic for the OP, or way over their head. Both are not helpful, so the prefixes indicate at which level an answer should be.
  9. Aug 12, 2015 #8
    There is no perfect solution. We are trying this program because we've seen a spike in members being frustrated when receiving advanced replies in which they can't begin to understand.
  10. Aug 12, 2015 #9

    I am all for trying new ideas and I can see your point, but this will also have a negative impact on undergrads/high school students that are capable of having these discussions. I would suggest making the 'prefix' voluntary.

    Either way it will be interesting to see the results. Things will change and hopefully for the better; at least so long as people leave their predispositions about hierarchy in academia out of it, although now we all have labels ;)
  11. Aug 12, 2015 #10
    We can't verify member's abilities, so if an udergrad wants to ask an advanced question and thinks they can handle the advanced responses, then by all means that member should label it as advanced.
  12. Aug 12, 2015 #11


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    We aren't labelling the student, we're labelling the thread. If you have a graduate-level question about quantum field theory and want a thread at the graduate level... You can mark it A even if you're still an undergraduate.

    Indeed, that's one of the advantages of an internet forum - if you have the background to handle an advanced discussion, you're in - your posts and not your resume are speaking for you.
  13. Aug 12, 2015 #12
    Wait a second, perhaps I am mis-understanding the 'prefix' system. The assumption I made is that this is supposed to show what level of education we have as they are labeled 'high school', 'undergrad', etc., etc.

    I am okay with that, but the first time using it (before having a nice discussion with you three about it) it seems we are supposed to put our level of education. Duly noted, although this will cause similar confusion in the future as people begin to use this new system.

    I would like to add, I do like the idea of having more custom tailored answers.
  14. Aug 12, 2015 #13


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    No, it refers to the level of answers the user is looking for.
  15. Aug 12, 2015 #14
    I get that now, the labels could make someone think otherwise (like me for example;)

    Thank you all for the quick and informative responses!
  16. Aug 12, 2015 #15
    I tried to make this clear by describing the prefixes "Thread Level: Undergrad" etc rather than "Your Level: Undergrad".
  17. Aug 12, 2015 #16
    A noble attempt, but it didn't work this time around :)
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: What's the deal with the forced prefix?
  1. Title letter prefixes (Replies: 1)

  2. What are these prefixs (Replies: 5)