My question "What is done in post-production?" got criticized for not showing any reasearch effort or being general reference. Although it may be valid, I can't find a reference to such a rule and I can't remember ever encounter this on other SE-sites.

So I think if these questions should be ruled out, then the FAQ should state this clearly and we should be clear about which questions qualify for this.

  • 4
    It's a general SE rule. Dec 1, 2011 at 3:02
  • 1
    Also hover your mouse over the question upvote/downvote arrows: the tooltips mention research effort as the first thing.
    – Hugo
    Jan 10, 2012 at 20:25

3 Answers 3


Please see Are Some Questions Too Simple?, in the blog post the following chart was brought up.

Is it to simple?

As seen above for your question we will close it as general reference (i.e. not a real question).

Also I don't have an image to back it up, but before you ask a question in this site you were presented with a page and it had something along the lines of

Don't ask too simple questions. We want to build this site with well researched information (questions and answers)

Maybe someone has a reference for this.


Hover over the 'down vote' arrow for any question, and you will see this text:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

For further reading, see these questions:

  • Never noticed that. Anyways, should be clarified in FAQ. Also it should be made clear, there are the boundaries for that. I saw many questions that could be answered with a link on different SE-sites. So I think that somewhat unclear.
    – Mnementh
    Dec 1, 2011 at 0:26
  • @Mnementh: There are often grey areas, and judgement calls to be made. That's why it requires 5 votes to close a question. :)
    – Flimzy
    Dec 1, 2011 at 0:28
  • I don't challenge the close. But I think such rules should be clear.
    – Mnementh
    Dec 1, 2011 at 0:35
  • @Mnementh: I think that's fair. Although right now our FAQ hasn't even been written yet (it's just a very stripped-down boiler plate)
    – Flimzy
    Dec 1, 2011 at 0:37
  • 1
    And likewise the upvote mouse-hover-tooltip says "This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear".
    – Hugo
    Jan 10, 2012 at 20:27

When asking a question, the box on the right says:

> Is your question about movies?

We prefer questions that can be answered, not just discussed.

Provide details. Share your research.

If your question is about this website, ask it on meta instead.

read the faq »
asking help »

It says to share your research. Also the very first part of the "asking help »" link says:

Do your homework

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and most of all it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

Of course, the amount of research suitable for different questions varies: some questions can easily be answered if the asker just went to Google or Wikipedia or IMDb. But other average questions will be greatly improved with some research done, and the answers may likewise be much better for it.

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