On a per-site Meta I have been asked in a comment:
The key assumption here is that putting questions on hold motivates people to improve them in a way that friendlier measures like comments and requests for clarification can not. Is there any evidence for this?
As soon as I think a question needs improvement to meet our quality standards and that its asker might not respond to those "friendlier measures" quickly I try to Always vote to close immediately. I usually perform those "friendlier measures" at the same time in case I have misjudged.
Consequently, answers like these resonate with me:
- Always vote to close immediately
- noise reduction
- preventing other users from answering is exactly why we close questions
However, I cannot recall seeing any data to confirm or refute what I think is common sense above.
Is there any data, perhaps from SEDE, that shows whether questions that end up being placed On Hold at some point, are more likely to receive highly upvoted ( = high quality) answers by being placed On Hold sooner rather than later?
Defining "highly upvoted" may be difficult so perhaps any such analysis should use at least three values to counter any claim that it has placed the bar too high.