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SF.SE has a (hotly debated) story-identification tag, used for questions about speculative fiction works which the querent vaguely recalls but can't find on their own.

We could help people track down Isaac Asimov's essays on magic and science, Willy Ley's Exotic Zoology, various speculative documentary series on "edutainment" channels, and other helpful sources of worldbuilding information they've lost track of: "I saw a documentary about flying shark-raptors a few years ago, but I can't remember what channel or what it's called. I do remember it was narrated by a guy with an Australian accent and there was a bit with an exploding whale."

Would we be amenable to fielding similar questions about locating half-remembered world-building resources?

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Yes, I think this is a good idea.

Resource ID questions fit easily into the Stack scope. There'd be a pretty definitive "right" answer to resource ID questions, its draws on expertise and experience with the field at hand, and the topic is certainly within the "practical answers to real problems" scope of the Stack.

Questions of this type would be held to all the standards of our site, and so would get closed if they're too vague for voters to be able to tell if an answer is likely useful. Good answers will be more than a link or a title: they'll justify why the suggested material is the work the querent is looking for, based on the information provided, just like any answer for any question would explain why it's a good solution to the querent's problem.

It won't open the door for shopping questions or lists of recommended reading: it'd be using our experience with world-building resources to help people track down a specific resource they know of but can't locate on their own.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't have a problem with it. I'm not sure how much real use it would see but I agree that it seems on topic. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 18 '15 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ Seems reasonable to me. Since it sounds like you've got some experience with these kinds of questions, once someone creates the tag could you write up a wiki with suitable guidance (like what you said here about question standards)? $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Feb 18 '15 at 15:02
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BESW knows what s/he's talking about when it comes to story identification questions, so it's good that you're the one to bring this up. But I have to partially disagree for this idea on Worldbuilding.

Story identification is good on Science Fiction & Fantasy. I've seen a lot of good questions there. The thing is, they have to relate to the science fiction/fantasy aspect of the story/book/movie/comic. This meta post discusses a case where the question wasn't really about the proper aspect of the movie/comic.

So if we decide these are on-topic (and I think that's how it will go, if all goes well), then we need to make sure that the questions we get are about worldbuilding. It seems that a lot of the ones you've brought up are just about (really awesome) science topics. A documentary about flying shark-raptors doesn't seem to it's directly about world building.

Awesome idea, though. I hope we get these questions.

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Anything you saw would be on-topic at Movies & TV.

I would vie for this for the fact that it would be the only place you could even think to ask Identify this (Non-SciFi) BOOK.

Are you prepared to field these kind of questions that would essentially be off-topic, save for this new tag? E.g.,

What's that [John Grisham] novel where all the world's computers stop working because of some virus? I'm looking to do something similar in my world. [actually I'm just trying to find the name of the book, 'casue I'm too lazy to Google and I finally found somewhere on SE to get away with asking this.]

Don't get me wrong, I'd love a place to ask about books, I just don't think it should be here. There seems to be enough questionably-on-topic material here already. Worldbuiling would be my first stop to try asking questions that would be off-topic everywhere else. You guys seem nice ;p

TL:DR

World building has enough on its plate. Other than books, Identify this can be answered elsewhere.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the question is about resources, like biology references and stuff, not about stories. I agree the latter would not benefit the site. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Mar 15 '15 at 3:28

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