2014 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!


This election ended May 20 '14 at 20:00.

The results of this election can be viewed online via OpaVote. Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution


1,009 voters were eligible, 541 visited the site during the election, 349 visited the election page, and 229 voted

Hello all! Having been a part of this site right from the initial stages, I thought I should throw my hat into the ring. Some points about me, in no particular order.

I come second in the list of users who have asked the most number of questions, and most of my questions came during the early beta phase. I helped new users understand what's kosher to ask and how to frame questions.

I voted a lot during the initial days in the beta, thus building the critical mass of reputation necessary for a healthy stack exchange site. As of today, I stand 11th among voters with 1517 votes, 97% of which are upvotes.

I also stand fifth in the list of editors with a total of 176 edits. Besides, being an Indian, I have used my specific knowledge to help the community.

I am a second-year doctorate student and I feel student representation in moderator-ship could offer a fresh perspective to potential issues.

One of my favourite quotes on governance is this one by Thoreau: "That government is best which governs least". I'd love the community to be largely self-governing.

Kind regards

  • One thing that could weigh against me is that I have been less than active in the last few months. I promise to correct this if I am chosen to be a moderator. – Bravo May 11 '14 at 1:21
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    We've barely seen you on meta in the last year, and you don't seem to have flagged much either. While the community is indeeed largely self-governing, there still remains a fair bit of janitorial work, as well as community engagement on chat and on meta. Do you think you're ready to do more? If so, please do bear in mind that you don't need a mod to do those, and they are good practice for being a mod in the future. – EnergyNumbers May 11 '14 at 12:41
  • @EnergyNumbers: As I said in the first comment, I concede my recent activity levels are quite low. Yet I have nominated myself on the premise of having done a fair bit of janitorial work in the past. I promise to correct my shortcomings in future. – Bravo May 11 '14 at 16:29

I've been part of this site since it was proposed, and was one of the most active users during the private and public beta. As a pro tempore mod, I've been handling moderation duties for a few months now, and I've helped out with many different kinds of issues that can come up. I'm active on chat and meta, as well as answering questions as best I can.

As a mod, I've learned that this community strongly values light-handed moderation, but also appreciates quick and decisive action when necessary. We also feel deeply that we should set our own community standards—differing from the rest of the Stack Exchange network, if necessary—and I've participated in many discussions on meta helping define who we are. I believe that, thus far, I've moderated towards these standards, and I would love to continue into the future.

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    It's been really nice working with you in the pro-tempore mod team, and I'm glad to see you nominating. You've been very active in discussing with the community, especially on Meta, highlighting the differences (were there any) between your opinion as a user and your position as a mod. (And, in one occasion where your temper got the best of you in a Meta answer, you owned up to it!) – F'x May 8 '14 at 19:16
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    "As a mod, I've learned that this community strongly values light-handed moderation, but also appreciates quick and decisive action when necessary. We also feel deeply that we should set our own community standards—differing from the rest of the Stack Exchange network, if necessary—and I've participated in many discussions on meta helping define who we are." Sounds good to me. – Pete L. Clark May 11 '14 at 20:47

I am tremendously grateful to all of the mentors I have had so far in my academic career, and I am always looking for ways to pay this debt forward. For this reason, I am interested in volunteering my time as a mod on Academia.SE. This site is an unprecedented resource for academics that don't have mentors, or need information and advice outside their mentors' areas of expertise, and I would love to help it keep growing.

Unlike the other nominees (so far!), I have only been a part of this site for a few months. However, in that time, I think I have contributed some high-quality questions and answers. I also do my part towards improving the quality of other questions and answers on this site: flagging spam and not-an-answer posts, commenting on answers when I think they can be improved, downvoting answers that I think give misleading information, retagging, fixing unclear question titles, and casting close votes with comments. I think this history speaks towards my ability and willingness to engage with this site as a moderator.

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    As discussed in the chat, I support your nomination. You have been insanely active on this site since I joined, and contributed a few very interesting questions on rather controversial topics (academia.stackexchange.com/questions/17739/…). – xLeitix May 7 '14 at 15:37
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    Glad to see you putting your name in for consideration - I know I value your voice on this site a great deal. – Fomite May 7 '14 at 17:05
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    Very hard to get to 11k without being extremely active :). And I notice you've done a lot of the 'dirty work' as well. – Suresh May 7 '14 at 17:24
  • btw can you also mention your time zone (as per the meta question) ? – Suresh May 7 '14 at 17:24
  • For what it's worth, I am based in NYC, which is UTC-05:00 (standard) or UTC-04:00 (daylight savings). But I keep very odd hours. – ff524 May 7 '14 at 17:49
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    It's very nice to see recent and active members step forward! – user102 May 8 '14 at 12:29

I will throw myself into the moderator ring. I am a top 25 user in terms of reputation, number of votes cast and number of edits. According to Area 51 I was one of the top ten beta users. I have both up voted and down voted questions and cast 115 helpful flags (and a few unhelpful ones to). In addition to asking, answering, and commenting on questions, I try and use the review queues and participate in meta and chat on a regular basis. During beta as a regular user I often expressed strong opinions which I think are useful for forming a site. As a moderator, moderation is key. I am currently also active on TeX.SE and am a moderator at the new Expats.SE beta.

In terms of academic experience I am an American who did my undergraduate and graduate studies and a post doc in the US before moving to the UK to be a lecturer in a Russell Group University (i.e., research active). I was trained as an Engineer but work in a Psychology department.

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    I'm glad to see you nominate. I would like to highlight your good participation in the Meta, as I think it talks to your interest in building the site and community, as a power user already (examples: 1, 2, 3). – F'x May 7 '14 at 14:18
  • I agree with F'x, you've been a very active and helpful member for the community. I really liked your question meta.academia.stackexchange.com/questions/603/…, and my position has evolved over time on it (I'd be definitely supporting a "Citation Needed" tag). – user102 May 8 '14 at 12:42

I remember being excited about this site when it was first released into beta, and I've watched it grow rather proudly. I've been active in trying to maintain the site's quality and content since I unlocked the moderator tools (and then, to my chagrin, lost them when we exited beta).

I'd like to think I'm a productive member of the community, and especially try to provide answers for areas that aren't as well represented by the CS/Math/etc. fields that understandably provide a lot of StackExchange's user base. I'd like to continue to do this as a moderator to help this site reach its potential.

To address some comments: I visit Academia as a user ~ once/day. During that time, I always check my review panel, and before we left beta, the moderator tools. Often, there'd be two or three things to address, and then I'd be off. When I encounter questions when reading the site as a user that need closing/flagging I do so, but generally it's in support of people who previously flagged the post. As a mod, I'd expect I'd be on a great deal more. And generally speaking, no, I don't downvote often - I much prefer to comment to see if a question can be improved before I pass judgement on it.

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    You've done very little down-voting, next-to-no flagging, and have quite low participation here on meta. Moderatorship won't make any difference to your powers in answering questions: it just gives you the key to the janitor's closet. But you have barely used the janitor's tools that you already have access to. Are you sure you want the responsibilities of being a mod? – EnergyNumbers May 6 '14 at 10:32
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    @EnergyNumbers If someone want to be a moderator, let him be. After all, the community takes the final decision. If you believe you can be a better moderator, by all means "apply" for the position as well. – Alexandros May 6 '14 at 13:27
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    @EnergyNumbers You are, of course, welcome not to vote for me. I flag things when I find them - I tend to only check the site as a user about once per day, which means people are often faster on the draw, but do check over my review tools every time I visit the site. I'd do more as a mod, especially out of the scope of "Questions that interest Fomite-the-User". – Fomite May 6 '14 at 14:21
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    @EnergyNumbers More importantly, I do believe a healthy election is one for which there are many candidates to choose from. There are several other candidates I'd look forward to seeing on the nominations list. – Fomite May 6 '14 at 14:27
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    @Fomite - I guess I share the concerns EnergyNumbers raises. You seem to make good use of the tools you have, but I don't see a demonstration of commitment to community engagement that embodies mod duties, or the janitorial-type tasks that take up most of a mods time. I don't doubt you could be a fine mod, but looking at history, there's no evidence either way. – eykanal May 6 '14 at 18:14
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    @eykanal Honestly, I don't think the nomination panel is the appropriate place to hash out this particular discussion. – Fomite May 6 '14 at 18:17
  • @Fomite - OK, taking it to chat. – eykanal May 6 '14 at 18:32

As a participant on this site since the earliest part of the beta phase, I have watched this site grow from nascence to full-fledged "adulthood." As part of the moderator team during this transition, I have tried to leave things to community decisions as much as possible, although I, just like every other aspiring academic, can be strongly opinionated. However, I believe that my experience thus far as a moderator and as a member of this site has provided the background needed to continue to be a moderator in the future.

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    You're is not only the most active user on the site by a long shot, but you've also been a fantastic moderator, dealing with flags, spam, unruly users, the works. You've dedicated a tremendous amount of effort into the site, and it's a better place because of it. If anyone should be a mod, it's you. – eykanal May 5 '14 at 23:33
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    I have learned a lot about academia by reading Ismail's answers. The answers almost always carry a neutral and moderate tone, but are quite enlightening. Besides, both eykanal and aeismail have been great moderators in the beta phase. – Bravo May 6 '14 at 10:02
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    @eykanal I hope you'll be nominating yourself too. – EnergyNumbers May 6 '14 at 10:36

This election is complete.