This is in reference to this question:

How effective was the 2014-2015 influenza vaccination?

While interesting to me, and a well-worded question, it is in essence a request for references - are there updated numbers, or numbers from other countries? There's no mechanistic question involved, but rather seeking someone who knows the flu surveillance literature better than the original poster. I think it's a legitimate question, but there are going to be some questions of this type, I suspect, that are dangerously close to "Let me Google that for you..."

How do we intend to handle those kinds of questions?

  • 2
    Isn't everything kinda just asking for references in a way? We're not asking anybody to do original research to answer the question. To me, the problem with this question (mine, admittedly) may be that it could just be answered with a single number. On the other hand, how to quantify vaccine response in the first place isn't completely straightforward - if you're looking for something to explain. As it happened, there was no single number available (probably why I didn't find it on google) but your explanation (which wouldn't be obvious or eminently google-able) provided helpful insights. – Susan Apr 21 '15 at 19:28
  • @Susan I think it's somewhat dangerous as an idea to suggest that everything is, at its core, a reference request. If for no other reason than it prioritizes references over actual content. There are definitely questions that require some synthesis or expertise (A and B, thus C...). But ones that require work, or expertise to find the reference don't bother me (your question was a good one), but those questions that are trivially capable of being answered if the asker put in a little time. – Fomite Apr 22 '15 at 15:58
  • @Susan Basically, asking if we should have our site's version of StackOverflow's "Well, what have you already tried..." response to basic programming questions. – Fomite Apr 22 '15 at 15:59

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