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Introduce a “general reference” close reason

I'm deliberately reopening this (see Should a clear lack of research be grounds for closing a question? and links from there). Often I want to vote to close a question by a newbie on the grounds that this is basic info that's right there in the docs or easy to find answered (probably on Stackoverflow) by googling, and s/he clearly has done no research whatever. Wouldn't it be good if "lack of research" was one of the radio button options? I request this formally as an option. I do not agree that "not a real question" covers this communicatively.

  • 6
    Oh the irony, as this question is a frequently asked question that appears to not have been well researched.
    – Servy
    Oct 2, 2012 at 20:27

2 Answers 2


How about downvoting?

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful (click again to undo) [emphasis added]

Just as not all incorrect answers need to be removed, not all stupid questions need to be closed. Sometimes downvotes are enough.

  • 1
    I do that too. In closing what I'm aiming to do is remove the question altogether, as it's just adding unnecessarily to the used bandwidth.
    – matt
    Oct 2, 2012 at 19:58

Ok, so let's remember what "closing" actually does here:

  1. It prevents new answers from being posted. Good for questions that can't or shouldn't be answered in their present state.
  2. It nominates them for deletion.

Now, why would you want to do that to a question without any research? Perhaps because...

  • ...It's too broad or vague to be answered effectively without writing a textbook. (Not a Real Question)

  • ...It's already been answered elsewhere on the site. (Exact Duplicate)

  • ...It's really just asking for opinions, since the author was too lazy to provide any criteria by which answers could be judged. (Not Constructive)

  • ...It consists only of a link to the author's website / code dump, since he didn't bother doing even enough debugging to describe the problem with words. (Too Localized)

  • ...It's something you learned 10 years ago, by reading books dammit, and got a nasty papercut in the process, what's wrong with these kids thinking they can just ask questions on the Interweb and have folks answer them, the nerve I tells ya! (Yeah, there's no close reason for this one).

So yeah - the best reasons for closing unresearched questions are already covered.

Side note: the whole point of these sites is to make the effort folks put in helping others more widely available and useful by forcing it into this (slightly-unnatural) format. As irritating as it can be to see a "lazy" question posted, that really doesn't matter as long as it's a good (reasonably common, constructive) question and it gets a good answer. If it can't be answered effectively without a bit more background from the author, that's a solid reason to close it - but otherwise, you might as well suggest a "Don't like the cut of your jib" close reason.

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