The Stack Overflow close queue is at 68K question, and some questions voted for closure reach reviewers sometimes 6-10 hours after being posted. I don't actually know how long since the first flag/close vote. Anyway, they get answers before they get closed.

When going through the review queue I see questions with close votes that have accepted answers, sometimes upvoted questions, sometimes upvoted accepted answers. In some cases my feeling is to not close them because they generated a good answer and the OP's answer was found so he doesn't need to reedit the question to be more clear.

So: In case of questions in the review queue, for closing with an accepted (maybe upvoted) answer, what is expected of me? To vote to "close" the question because it was unclear/duplicate? Vote to "leave open"? Or edit it according to the accepted answer and vote leave open?

2 Answers 2


Having an accepted answer does not mean a question should not be closed. Not by any means.

Typically new questions (or those in the top of the review queue) get closed the fastest due to the high number of views.

Unfortunately there is a timeout where your close vote will "expire" if the question is closed promptly and you will not get the chance to cast another close vote on that question. I believe the correct details are here: What Happened Here? Voted to Close 4 Days Ago, but No Close Votes Today?

Since the review queue is so ridiculously large, sadly, it's possible your close vote will accomplish nothing when voting to close some old, random question. It will be put in the review queue however. If you really want to play janitor, just continue to hammer the review queue.

Anyways, vote to close based purely on the question asked, nothing else. If possible, edit the question into an acceptable form if you think it's got potential.

  • I understand the idea of keeping "alive"/open good questions that are well written and clear. Ok, so, in cases (probably few) I see the question has potential and the accepted answer confirms the unclear question I can edit the question and vote to leave it open? Otherwise close.
    – Sergio
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 18:46
  • There are cases where the question is awful, but the accepted answer is so excellent that it's worth editing the question into a good one, even if it changes context a bit, to make it more useful and easier to find. Possible Example. Otherwise, yes: editing a question into a good one is preferred to closure, if possible. But you're right, it's rare.
    – user159834
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 18:47
  • Update: it is now possible to recast your vote if it has aged away.
    – jscs
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 21:52

You vote-to-close for questions. That is all you need to consider when deciding weather to close or not. The answers are irrelevant.

If we leave bad/close-worthy questions open, just because they have answers, then this will produce a wrong view of the site.

We want to keep only good questions and people should see that.

  • 1
    Very occasionally there is an answer so jam-packed full of explanatory informational goodness that it's worth keeping a less-than-wonderful question just so the answer doesn't disappear. The question can usually -- and should -- be edited in that case. In more than 99% of cases, though, you're absolutely right, the question must stand on its own.
    – jscs
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 18:49
  • 1
    @JoshCaswell That's a justification for not deleting the question. Not for not closing it.
    – Servy
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 19:04
  • I'm not a believer in keeping non-dupe, non-historical-lock questions closed but undeleted, @Servy. Closed ⊃ should be deleted.
    – jscs
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 19:06
  • 1
    @JoshCaswell Well, that's contrary to the way the site is designed. The site is designed such that questions that aren't great should be closed. Questions that are complete and utter garbage should be deleted. There is room in the middle there. That room is specifically designed for posts that are not within the scope defined for the site, but nonetheless have valuable content worth making publicly available.
    – Servy
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 19:10
  • The space between closure and deletion is to allow oversight, review, and reversal, @Servy, not to preserve material behind plate glass. Historical locks are explicitly the mechanism that we use for "this material is not strictly suitable but so excellent we can't remove it".
    – jscs
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 19:18
  • @JoshCaswell Historical locks are specifically to lock content because it is so popular it would constantly be toggling between open/closed/deleted due to the controversy surrounding the posts. If they could stay in the closed but not deleted state without being reopened by people who want to answer it or deleted by those who are tired of it being reopened, that would be fine. For those posts not popular or controversial enough to be in that situation, closed is sufficient. Yes, being closed is also to allow for the possibility of reversal, but that's not all it's for.
    – Servy
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 23:24
  • Your assertion about "the way the site is designed" is not particularly well-supported by the various relevant Meta questions: When should I vote to delete?, Why wait to delete a question after it is closed?, How long should I wait before deleting a closed question?, Do closed questions ever get deleted? or by the help center topic, @Servy.
    – jscs
    Commented Aug 24, 2013 at 0:33

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