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It says in the FAQ that if you edit the question you may get the question reopened.

How often happens that a closed question after being edited gets reopened?

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If I had to venture a guess I'd say that 99% of closed questions stay closed. If we had numbers I'd be interested in seeing them in context of new vs existing users. –  Mike B Sep 6 '12 at 20:38
So hoping that editing them might reopen them might not be a good idea. –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 6 '12 at 20:41
From my experience having a question dip into the negative attracts people who already have a negative outlook on your question before they've read anything past the title. The whole 'you can only make one first-impression' deal. So going from 0 to +1 is MUCH easier than going from -1 to 0. If it's gotten too bad it might be more worth your time (and reputation) to delete the first question and try again (assuming you're able to delete it). But then you have to consider sympathy votes as well... –  Mike B Sep 6 '12 at 20:43
@MikeB I learned that, but I am curious more on the effectiveness of editing it to get to reopen it, not me but in general, and thanks the tip is great –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 6 '12 at 20:45
@EduardFlorinescu If that's why you want to know, then this question won't provide you with all the data you need; What you want to really know, then, is how many closed, then edited questions are reopened. –  Andrew Barber Sep 6 '12 at 20:47
@AndrewBarber You are right. –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 6 '12 at 20:50
@MikeB - I agree, It'd be hard for a re-opened question to garner interest if it's sitting there at -2, people just wouldn't click through. Perhaps that could be alleviated by removing any votes (up or down) when a question is re-opened? That would remove any predjudices, and give the question a "clean slate" as it were –  Robotnik Sep 6 '12 at 23:45
You may be interested in this proposal: Add "Questions edited after closing" review task. It would make closed-then-edited questions much more visible, (potentially) increasing their chance of being reopened. –  Tim Stone Sep 7 '12 at 1:59
@TimStone I am interested what should I do ? I voted it up. –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 7 '12 at 8:51

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Using data.stackexchange.com I see over 100 times per month using this query:

  datepart(mm, CreationDate) as [month]
  ,datepart(yyyy, CreationDate) as [year]
  ,count(1) as reopens
  PostHistoryTypeId = 11  -- Reopen
group by
  datepart(mm, CreationDate)
  ,datepart(yyyy, CreationDate)
 order by 
  datepart(yyyy, CreationDate)
  ,datepart(mm, CreationDate)

Here's the monthly data for reopens in 2012:

month year reopens
1     2012 141     
2     2012 111     
3     2012 175     
4     2012 119     
5     2012 141     
6     2012 170     

And for closes:

month year closes
1     2012 5744    
2     2012 5252    
3     2012 5327    
4     2012 5852    
5     2012 7229    
6     2012 8963   

So, it appears to be roughly 1-2% that get reopened these days, versus a 3% overall reopen to close ratio (3079 total reopens, 94993 total closes) across the entire database.

Closed and then edited by month

1     2012 1758   
2     2012 1457   
3     2012 1697   
4     2012 1613   
5     2012 2216   
6     2012 2390 

Edited and then re-opened by month

1     2012 100     
2     2012 66      
3     2012 77      
4     2012 66      
5     2012 91      
6     2012 99   
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can you see how many they get closed to have something to compare to? –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 6 '12 at 20:42
Of course it's impossible to gather from the database, but it would be nice to know how many users realize that closed questions can be reopened. I wonder how many simply abandon their question because it has been closed, assuming it's dead from that point onward. –  Bart Sep 6 '12 at 20:48
Can you make another query to include how many of those closed questions are subsequently edited. And how many are opened without being edited at all after closing. –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 6 '12 at 20:49
@EduardFlorinescu it's certainly possible but would take a fair bit more time than this one did to compose –  Daniel DiPaolo Sep 6 '12 at 20:50
Ok, I imagine that, –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 6 '12 at 20:51
I'd love to know how many of those reopens happened organically vs some shared link. The majority of reopens I see come through Meta or Chat. –  Mike B Sep 6 '12 at 20:56
@EduardFlorinescu: I've added some info on editing. There is a small but noticeable increase in re-opening following edits. –  Shogging through the snow Sep 6 '12 at 21:04
@Shop9 I just saw that, thanks –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 6 '12 at 21:06
@MikeB So do you think that means the matter of openning or not the questions where argued on meta and chat. –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 6 '12 at 21:08

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