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Is there a metadata table or something which would indicate the effective date of the set and perhaps the date and time it was refreshed?

(Typically, we have this kind of thing in our ETL for data warehouses: load date, batch identifier, row counts, load status, etc.)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The homepage contains that information

Look in the "most recent" column

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As a quick hack:

 select max(creationdate) from posts 
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