There are high number of poor quality questions on this site, and a large number of questions which appear to request advice on a personal issue. These are closed apparently inconsistently as others are answered unclosed.

Now one can try to educate a user to rephrase the question to make it more generic and less personal, but I get the impression that many users ask one off questions. So, you close the question, no edit is forthcoming and the user is lost.

Wouldn't it be simpler if those voting to close the question instead reworded it so that it no longer appeared to be off topic? Editing after closure doesn't seem to help much. For instance, I edited this question to make it on topic Management of erectile dysfunction in type I diabetes and it remains on hold.

  • I just approved that edit and re-opened the question. Feel free to flag for a mod to do this if you feel strongly about a question and have taken energy to improve it. In this case it would have been a two-step process for the community, and the expediency with which such things are completed is, well... inconsistent.
    – Susan
    Apr 18 '16 at 12:27
  • As for the inconsistency of the larger process of generalizing questions, that may be the nature of a community where nobody is obligated to participate at any specific level beyond what interests them, but it doesn't hurt to encourage people to be helpful (as I take to be the point of this Meta Q -- +1)!
    – Susan
    Apr 18 '16 at 12:28
  • Questions either get put on or taken off of hold when 1 of 2 things happen: 5 people agree and vote to either close or reopen, or a moderator takes action. If you edit and nominate and it doesn't receive much attention, please flag as @Susan suggests. The flagging system helps, as it saves the moderators from having to review every question every day.
    – JohnP Mod
    Apr 18 '16 at 15:23
  • 1
    @susan I don't feel strongly about any question. I am just noting that almost any question can be generalised to be made on topic, and clearly a lot of questioners lack the skills to do so. Editing the questions is a better option then just voting to close. Apr 18 '16 at 19:09
  • I agree that editing may be the ideal way to go in many cases, but given that not everybody with voting powers feels like fixing up every crummy question they run across, I would much rather people vote to close off-topic or otherwise unacceptable questions immediately rather than do nothing. We can always re-open.
    – Susan
    Apr 18 '16 at 19:32
  • That referenced answer might apply to a site in full production, but this site is still in beta, and attracting a low question rate, with many poorly worded questions. I'm curious as to how many questions that are put on hold are actually released due to edits by voters. Apr 18 '16 at 19:47

The answer should be: it depends.

If a question is borderline off-topic or a trivial or easy edit might salvage it, then we should try this in most circumstances. As long as the general gist provided by the OP is preserved we should not exclude this possibility.

But it is of course far more preferable to follow standard procedure and put every such question on hold, give the proper feedback to the OP and see if an edit by the OP improves the question sufficiently. This is in the current situation with too many bad questions and too few potential answers pretty much the only way possible. If a user struggles with honest effort to reframe and/or rephrase such a question and the effort is visible by factual improvements, then our motivation and willingness for an edit should also improve greatly along with our ability to do so.

If questions are from the total beyond, then this approach cannot apply.


I believe the answer should be no. There are far too many poor quality questions being asked and it would create a huge burden on high reputation users to pan for gold from these questions.

The questions are poor because the users are poorly educated in the health sciences. These are not the users we want to attract as we are looking to create a professional level site for Q&A, and the questions they ask are not suited to this aim.

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