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Home » General discussion » What to expect and do when Physics Overflow goes online for it’s public beta?

What to expect and do when Physics Overflow goes online for it’s public beta?


What to Expect?

When I posted my last post, we were under the impression that when going online, we will bring both the Q&A category and the Reviews (paper refereeing) category online together. However, we later realised that this is not possible, as bringing Q&A online will be (relatively) less work than bringing Reviews online. For bringing the reviews section online, we need to have a plugin for a new species of questions with 2 voting criteria. Then the ArXiV papers need to be imported by a bot (which means basically every ArXiV paper has a question with a link to the paper). Polarkernel’s first estimate for all this is about 3 months.

After this, we need to sort all these imported ArXiV papers into a hierarchical categorial system. If about 3 or 4 people help out in this during their weekends, giving it 6 hours a day, this will take around 2 months. Of course, I hope that more people than 3 or 4 could volunteer. Anyway, the development of the plugin and the recategorisation will together take about 5 months, so we expect the reviews section to go online around mid- or late- August.

But Q&A is going to go online sooner than that. We have to do the following things before we can bring Q&A online:

  • Elect our first moderators. (we just need Ron to agree to become a moderator)
  • Exclude the reviews section from the percentage of answered questions etc. (even though reviews is not going online so soon)
  • Expand the FAQ a bit, and mark the parts that can be expanded later. (simple)
  • Fix a bug with our notification box.
  • Have a plugin for community wiki posts. (may not be so essential)
  • Hide post revisions from search engines and other bots (simple)
  • Install a plugin that increases SEO.  (simple

Import of SE questions will go on for a while in the background.

So when we go online for our public, expect to see the Q&A and meta categories ready!

What to do?

If you participated on the Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or the Physics Stack Exchange, then your posts may already have been imported, so you may already have an account on Physics Overflow.  Please search for your account to check if this is the case.

Search to see if your account already exists

Enter your username, and press “Search”.

Enter your username

If you are lead to your profile, your account exists. Then you can regain access to your imported account. To do so, click on “Regain SE account” in the sidebar sidebox. Enter the email, username, and password that you used on TheoreticalPhysics.SE or Physics.SE.

Regain Stack Exchange account

Then press “Register”. You will then be logged in to your account, where you are recommended to change your password.

If your SE account is deleted, you can register as a new user and ask for your imported posts to be assigned to your account as described in the sidebar sidebox.

If you accidentally register as a new user, even though you have posts which were imported, you can ask for your accounts to be merged as described in the sidebar sidebox.

If you don’t remember your account particulars, you can ask an administrator to send them to you as described in the regain account page.

If you never had an SE account, or never had graduate-level posts on SE, just register as a new user.



  1. Dilaton says:

    I like this report, thanks Dimension10 🙂

    Is Ron not an Admin at present … ? We can just leave that … 😛
    I mean did he not advocate that trustworthy people with enough rep and knowledge should just be assigned?
    There he has it … ;-P 😀 🙂 !!!

    Partly joking, but half serious ….


    • Yes he is an admin at present.

      But he had specifically told me to “remove the admin powers once the hierarchial retagging is done”, i.e. once the public beta is over. But under the post where he advocated that people should just be assigned, I think he is maybe fine with moderatorship.

  2. Oh my god, I forgot to remove the special private beta password in one of the screenshots! Removed.

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