is there a way I can close my own question once I have received a satisfactory answer? I don't want to completely delete it as I might need to access it later. Thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ Why would you want to close it?! (if it's about your (possible) duplicate one, don't worry, the review queue will see to that) $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Aug 29 '14 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ There is a message at the top of my question saying it might be a duplicate. Since I already received an answer, I thought it would be appropriate to close it to avoid the confusion. $\endgroup$ – Rahat Aug 29 '14 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, alright, then don't worry - if the majority of the reviewers thinks it is a duplicate, it will be closed sooner or later, if not, it can stay open. No need for you to do anything :) $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Aug 29 '14 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. It's fine as long as it doesn't affect my record. $\endgroup$ – Rahat Aug 29 '14 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ Closed questions don't count for much of a record around here. It's not an easily accessible number to ascertain. To the extent that it is tracked by the system to automatically detect users who consistently post low-quality stuff, I think self-deletions also count. But I'll let someone more knowledgeable confirm that. In any event, I wouldn't really worry about these sorts of things. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Aug 29 '14 at 15:52

No, there's no way to do this, and that's intentional. A question shouldn't be closed because it has received a satisfactory answer. Closure - or putting "on hold" (same thing) - means that a question was inappropriate in some way and should not have been asked in its current form. (In most cases, it can be edited to make it appropriate.)

I'm guessing you thought of this because you wanted a way to mark that your question has been resolved, like how forum posts often get [SOLVED] edited into the title? If so, you should do that by accepting the answer that resolved your problem. Click the little green checkmark to the left of the answer.

As Chris White brought up in the comments, there is an internal algorithm that tracks the overall quality of posts made by new users. Having your question closed is a significant strike against you in that algorithm. It's a bad thing, and not something you should do voluntarily just because your question was answered.

By the way, since you mentioned deleting your question, you shouldn't do that either. Deletion, like closing, is intended for posts that are inappropriate for the site, but in this case they're so bad that there is no value in even keeping them visible on the site at all. This is a fate meant for the very bottom of the question barrel, and the post quality algorithm treats deleted questions accordingly.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Can you explain the possible consequences of a "significant strike"? One of my questions is marked as a duplicate. If it gets closed, will the algorithm restrict me from making further posts? $\endgroup$ – Rahat Aug 30 '14 at 5:30
  • $\begingroup$ Technically marked as a duplicate is a type of being closed, but it's different from the other close reasons - duplicates aren't necessarily so bad, they're just duplicates. So I believe the algorithm weights them less. (The exact algorithm is a secret of the Stack Exchange developers.) Anyway, question blocks aren't enabled on this site at this time, and if they were, you probably won't get blocked from anything for having just one or two closed (or duplicate) posts. Three or more closed and downvoted questions without any open/upvoted ones might get you close to the threshold. $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 30 '14 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Now the question got some answer. I cannot judge if they are valuable, but moderator can also merge these answer to the original question, right? I think it is worth to mention for these kind of questions. $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Aug 31 '14 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Bernhard you mean move the answer from the duplicate question to the original? No, we can't do that, not without merging the entire question, but that's meant for cases where the questions are really identical. I wouldn't do that for an ordinary duplicate. In a case like this I might comment on the answer to ask the OP to delete it and repost it to the original question. $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 31 '14 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ What is the difference between a "ordinary duplicate" and "really identical"? $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Aug 31 '14 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Bernhard in general, duplicate questions are not identical. They may be asking the same thing, such that the same answers would apply to both, but they use different wording and may start from slightly different assumptions. Questions that qualify for merging are those where a user reposts their closed question instead of editing it, for example, or accidentally submits the same question twice. $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 31 '14 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Is this general SE policy? Over at Unix.SE I have seen on multiple occasions doing exactly that what you seem to exclude, i.e. merging to similar questions with valuable answers. E.g. unix.stackexchange.com/questions/66408/… $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Aug 31 '14 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Bernhard I don't know if you'd call it a policy, but what I described is the intent of the merge functionality as I understand it. $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 31 '14 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ But wouldn't it make sense to move good answers of a closed duplicate question to the original one (if it adds anything new)? I think that would be in the benefit of the users in the end. $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Aug 31 '14 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Bernhard yes, it does make sense for the users who posted those answers to repost them on the original question, rephrasing them as necessary to make sense. Or when the original posters are unavailable, it makes sense for other people to quote or paraphrase those answers on the original question. It doesn't usually make sense to move answers verbatim. The few cases where it does make sense are those cases in which the questions are similar enough to be merged. $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 31 '14 at 17:23

It's worth saying a few words about the meaning of "closed" in the Stack Exchange system.

"Closed" does not mean "complete" or "dealt with" the way it does in a issue-tracking or work-ticket system. Because Stack Exchange sites are mostly trying to accumulate databases of well answered questions to help other people in the future the mere fact that the original asker is satisfied does not mean that a question is somehow done. New answers are welcome and sometimes they can rise to be more highly voted than the old answers.

"Closed does mean that the question has been found to be undesired for some reason. It might be bad on it's own merits (incoherent, based on disastrously false assumptions, a rant rather than a questions ...) or a good questions that does not fit well in the rigors of the Q&A format we use here.

In short, "closed" is a bad thing.


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