Moderators have a blue diamond next to their user names. Can we get like an orange square to match the logo for users that are experts in the field such as those from academia or industry?

It would award no privileges or anything. Just to let users know this is someone actively working in the field and most likely a good source of information.

For example, I’d nominate Wootton (Basel), de Beaudrap (Oxford), and Stern(Waterloo) to receive one just from looking through the first few users.

Daniel Sank (Google), whurley (Strangeworks), Salvatore Mandra (NASA), Bo Ewald (DWAve) etc

  • $\begingroup$ Everyone is free to list their affiliation in their profile or attached to posts where the affiliation is relevant. There is no need for additional features. Be aware that after 1K rep on a site, a 'expandable card' , which can contain affiliation, is unlocked that can appear when a user 'hovers' over the image of the user. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 9:01

4 Answers 4


I can understand the appeal of "identifying experts" as a means of identifying which posts are trustworthy and which should be viewed through a lens of skepticism — but the foundational premise of Stack Exchange is that solutions are crowd-sourced through the widespread vetting of content by a larger peer group. Another way to express that is "It's what you say, not who said it."

That is why there is a strong ethos of wiki-style editing, community-lead moderation, and an appeal to subjects of specific expertise. For that reason and the other reasons described in this thread, trying to find, verify, trust, and compartmentalize certified experts as a method of curating content is not how Stack Exchange is designed to work.


Adding to MEE's answer

I think your proposal is a bad idea for the following reasons:

  • Verifying a person's credentials is a difficult task, online. Anybody on the net could claim to be Vazirani, Preskill or Shor. For what you're wanting, Stack Exchange would have to implement something like the "blue tick" feature on Quora or Twitter, which I don't see happening anytime soon. Also, many people here prefer to keep their real-life identity a secret, which Stack Exchange respects.

  • Implementing that feature would give tend to give content posted by such people (with special badges) more weight-age (in terms of upvotes, visibility, etc.) than other users' who aren't necessarily experts but who might be working as hard or even harder to produce good quality Q&A for the site. It would be unfair and I can already sense some discrimination. That itself goes against the whole Stack Exchange model of judging questions and answers based completely on their own merit without looking at who is posting them.

    And, that is exactly what makes Stack Exchange different from other sites like Quora or Reddit. Just pop into Quora sometime and you'll notice some very low quality attention-seeking content getting upvoted heavily and rising to the front pages, while there are much more informative answers hidden within the bulk. Posts by celebrities with the "blue ticks" get upvoted like crazy even if the content is absolute rubbish. No offense to Quora. They simply have a different model, which is suited for a different purpose and serves a different category of people. But, I wouldn't want SE to ever emulate that model, ever!

  • Working in a field is amazing... it doesn't mean you know how to convey that information well in an answer! [Credits: @Catija]

I personally feel that Stack Exchange is better off as the "meritocracy" it is. Content is judged purely on the basis of quality and accuracy. Tag badges show that you have expertise in an area. Reputation shows that you've proven to the community that you know what you're talking about. So that's good enough already I guess.


The rep system is supposed to handle this. It also gets us closer to meritocracy, just because you are some no-name high school student from backwoods America or small town college professor in an unknown country doesn't stop you from being acknowledged for your competence, and helping people in the process.

Moreover, its not reputation in any matter, but quality of the answer that users should actively seek and that the community should prioritize. But perhaps i'm being a little naive, I am after all quite inexperienced in building long sustained cultures and am hardly an academia insider.


I don't really think this is neccessary. There is already some tool for this: the about-me text every user can edit. I think this feature-request is similiar to this one and I agree with the decline-reasons given there:

  • change would be non-trivial

And by the way, wouldn't it be problematic if we say one user is an expert or not? I think every user can decide whether he/she wants to write it in his about me section or not.


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