I've only just joined this StackExchange community, but browsing through some questions (particularly tagged as [bodybuilding]) I'm seeing a lot of advice that could be classified as "broscience", or is questionable at best. I'm not sure if it's the nature of the site itself, the often somewhat deplorable state of exercise and nutrition research (and even worse popular media representation of it) or a combination thereof.

Is it the opinion of well-established members here that this is the case or do you feel it might be the skewed perspective of a newer member? And what could actually be done to improve reliability? Require links to reputable resources? On a site like StackOverflow someone might post an answer with code and it can be quickly verified whether it works or not, but the subject here operates at a fundamentally different level.

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It's a tough one, and there are some rather low quality answers. But there are also a lot of high quality gems with high scores. I think in large part the scoring is the way of figuring out what's good and bad.

Some questions are just bro-science in nature "how can i make my bicep bigger?" As much as you'd want to shake them into awareness of the bad focus, they are asking that question so the bro-science will be heavy.

I don't see a lot of bro-science answers with high points, ditto for the questions.

One thing I do agree that's tough is some of the dated information that has high scores. The official theory around here is to just go write a new answer, but no one will ever see it, it will never get the upvotes, and the accepted answer will likely never change.

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  • If you add a new answer, it will at least get seen, as any change will bump it to the top of the front page "active" list. Agreed though, it may not be seen by the original asker, etc. – JohnP Apr 7 '16 at 17:20
  • Even if an answer doesn't have a high score, if it gets accepted then the asker might still consider it reliable information. – G_H Apr 7 '16 at 18:04
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    @G_H I hear you on that, but the reality is that most people don't come back three years later. A lot of folks come on here to get an answer, then bail forever, or they stick around for a few weeks and then bail. The accepted answers just don't change much. – Eric Apr 7 '16 at 18:24
  • @EricKaufman The same problem occurs on other SE sites. On StackOverflow many people only come to ask one question and bail after getting their answer. Many also do not bother to then accept it or don't even seem to know this is expected of them. – G_H Apr 8 '16 at 7:11
  • @G_H Since the asker does the accepting, no worry that they are going to misinterpret the fact of it being accepted. – G__ Apr 29 '16 at 20:22
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    IN general, agree that the voting system theoretically helps sort better answers to the top, but it's difficult in that there is plenty in this field where there isn't a definitive, rigorous, the-science-always-works answer. – G__ Apr 29 '16 at 20:23

Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that a minority of us are experts, and even among the experts, there's some disagreement and, in a minority of cases, outright self-promotion (I'm not going to call out names, but I think anyone who's been here over a year has seen the occasional new user who owns a supplement website who starts responding to everything with their answer as an "expert" which suggests more supplements). So, for most of us, it's what we know, and hopefully, with enough answers, the truth will out.

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  • Fortunately, the supplement spammers tend to be pretty easy to spot! – G__ Apr 29 '16 at 20:24

I was considering this today. There are a lot of bad questions that are asked and these lead to bad answers. Reddit r/fitness uses their Wiki for new users which has a large number of often-asked questions and their well researched answers.

Is there a way we can have a "commonly asked questions & researched answers" on the introduction for new users?

Could we use the Tags?

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