Some of the important points are already well documented on the help/how-to-ask page of the Help Center. However, there are a few issues which haven't emphasized there but are particularly relevant for Quantum Computing SE. I'll be summarizing those in an answer below and will probably keep updating it with time. Please feel free to make further suggestions in form of answers or comments.


2 Answers 2


Guidance for new contributors:

Read through the help/on-topic and help/how-to-ask pages to make sure your question is answerable and on-topic for our site, in the first place. Also review the Q&As in the list to quickly get acquainted with the Quantum Computing SE.

General guidelines for all askers:

Apart from the points mentioned in help/how-to-ask and help/on-topic, you must keep these in mind when asking a question on Quantum Computing SE:

  1. Images or screenshots of text, code and mathematical expressions in Q&As is discouraged all over Stack Exchange (c.f. this Meta SE post).
  2. Format your posts well; almost everything you might need is summarized in the editing-help page. Please avoid using bare URLs in your question (this applies for answers and comments as well). It's good internet etiquette to dress up bare links mentioning where they point to.
  3. It's mandatory to use MathJax to properly typeset mathematical expressions when writing Q&As here. Please go through this short MathJax tutorial.
  4. Use appropriate tags for your questions. Read through What are tags, and how should I use them?
  5. Use correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar to the best of your ability. It's a good idea to check your post for grammar and spelling errors, using an application like Grammarly, before hitting the submit button.
  6. State the exact source when citing text or images, with attribution. Don't plagiarize. Carefully go through the How to reference material written by others? page in the help center.
  7. Write good and descriptive titles for your questions. Descriptive titles make it easier to search for old questions and find duplicates. This takes some mental effort but is absolutely worth it.
  8. Always link to the abstract of a paper rather than its PDF. That's helpful for future visitors because:

    • it always leads to the latest version of the paper.
    • it lets them decide whether it is worth their time to download the PDF.
    • a lot of users browse this site on mobile and it's not always convenient for them to download large PDFs.
  9. Questions should be self-contained as far as possible. Don't expect us to read through a linked textbook or article to answer your question. In other words: you're unlikely to get helpful answers if you're being lazy!

You may consider dropping into main chat before asking a question, or in case your question gets put on hold so that the regular users can guide you appropriately.

Note: For using chat you need a minimum of 20 rep points. In case, you have less rep than, you may request the moderators to give you Explicit write access in chat, after asking your question, in the comment section of that question. Remember that you can always comment on your questions and answers, and any answers to questions you've asked, even with 1 rep.

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    $\begingroup$ Note that chat requires a minimum rep of 20 to talk. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 3:23

Some other random points I can think of:

  • Search before asking

    Perform at least 5 different searches on Google, this Stack Exchange and https://arxiv.org.
  • Read your post loud.

    This might help you to find mistakes, especially when you are not an English native speaker (like me).
    Remember: Something that sounds awkward is often wrong
  • Have a goal

    Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your question: What do you want to learn? what problem do you want to solve?
  • Use appropriate tags

    Imagine you have to give up to five one-word answers to complete the sentence My question is about ...

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