I am referring to those questions whose answers can be found easily by googling the question. For eg: This question.

I feel like such questions show very little research effort and should be closed with a suitable comment.

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    $\begingroup$ definitely yes please $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ ironically, possible duplicates: physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4598/84967, physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5033/84967 etc $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 17:02
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    $\begingroup$ It used to be relatively common for users to vote to close such questions, with a custom reason like "... because it shows insufficient research effort." I haven't seen such a remark for a while. I don't remember whether the people who used that turn of phrase have just stopped, or whether we had problems with people being rude about it ("jfgi, bonehead") and had a change in community consensus about whether that was a good close reason. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ It is possible for questions to be closed that way, but it seems that one in particular should have a duplicate somewhere on the site. In such cases, it probably would be better to point users to the duplicate question than closing it as "bruh, DYOR". $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 2:03
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    $\begingroup$ @AccidentalFourierTransform you're not even gonna link to my take on the question!? SMH. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 2:08
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    $\begingroup$ @AccidentalFourierTransform , I guess I became my question's example lol ! $\endgroup$
    – khaxan
    Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ If you hover over the down-vote icon on any question, the pop-up text lists one typical reason for downvoting as "this question does not show any research effort." So downvote or vote to close, I guess. $\endgroup$
    – hft
    Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ @hft it is not enough to hover, there is a list of choices when one votes closure, and "insufficient research effor is not one of them. One can go to "other" and state it, but it would be good to have a choice $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 6:40

1 Answer 1


Should questions with obvious answers on the web be closed ?

No, not unless they are duplicates. We do not need yet another highly subjective reason to close questions. If you think the question has an adequate answer at some other site (e.g. Wikipedia) then provide a link and a summary of that site's answer. However, remember that an answer that is "obvious" to you may not be obvious to the OP, so some expansion or clarification may be helpful. Similarly, "very little research effort" is highly subjective - our questioners often come here because they do not know what other resources are available or do not know the correct terminology that would allow them to access those resources. If we shoo them away rather than trying to help them then we undermine the very reason for this site's existence. We should instead welcome questioners who choose to bring their curiosity here rather than relying on dubious responses from ChatGPT.

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    $\begingroup$ As someone who's been asking some "obvious" questions when I first joined this site, I can confirm this and also add that with the appropriate help (e.g. comments asking for clarification) you can become a better question asker. $\endgroup$
    – jng224
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ then simply provide a link Keep in mind that link-only answers are very, very, very strongly discouraged as (a) link rot renders them useless over time and (b) the idea is for answers to be as self-contained as possible. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 7:11
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    $\begingroup$ @StephenG-HelpUkraine Good point. I have amended my answer. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf61
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 8:46
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    $\begingroup$ If the answer is provided in the first sentence or first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on something people ask about, then "very little research effort" is not subjective, I would say. $\endgroup$
    – kricheli
    Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ No, for the simple reason that answers online can often be unreliable and unverifiable. Stack Exchange is a valuable resource precisely because it's crowd-verified, and people putting obviously fake news up are punished by losses in reputation. I think the solution, as StephenG said, is just to put a link to a reliable source if you've found one. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ Another orthogonal reason - links on the web aren’t there forever. A webpage that’s easily findable by google today might not exist tomorrow. I suppose if the question is very common an answer will always be present somewhere on the web though. $\endgroup$
    – innisfree
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 9:24
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    $\begingroup$ One more reason - @kricheli some resources e.g Wikipedia are not easily accessible everywhere in the world $\endgroup$
    – innisfree
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 9:26

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