Yesterday, I asked this question on the Biology SE. Shortly after posting, I received a comment saying that a close vote has been posted and stating the ways in which I can improve the post. The main points stated were:

  • I asked multiple questions in my post
  • I did not include relevant links, sources, etc to my post

The reason I included multiple questions was because I did not want to post too many related questions in the same network at the same time. I had already posted a question regarding color-blindness, and I thought that since pretty much the same people were answering my questions, they might find it easier to just have everything in one question, especially since they were related questions.

I did not include links because this is not a very well-researched topic, and I wasn't able to find any links. Like I mentioned in my post, I did read about this somewhere, but I wasn't able to find the link again when I tried to. I usually complement my question with links, but this was an exception when I did not have any.

Although I have edited the post and added more relevant links (and also removed the follow-up question), I would like advice on what I should do in the future for such a situation. If I honestly can't find anything, how am I supposed to quote relevant sources? I know that such a restriction exists to uphold the quality of the site, but there are times when I won't be able to include any relevant links.

1 Answer 1


"What do we do when we don't have any prior research that we can share?"

You found out through comments on your question that you had asked two questions, and that the second one is a duplicate, it was already answered.

That is some research that you could have done.

Another avenue of research (along with the Help) is their meta, which contains various Q&As about providing research; including these:

When researching one place you might encounter is the Wikipedia article about color blindness which appears to answer your question, and might assist you with your terminology, to make a better question without incorrect assumptions.

That was discovered by simply searching for the title of your question, so a minimal effort is usually possible. If you find an article which only partially answers your question it may contain additional terms that you can add to your search; which improves the relevancy of subsequent searches and reduces the number of hits.

Once you come across an article that almost answers your question you can link to that article and ask for clarification about something specific, or why / why not something.

When you simply post a question and hope for an answer the answerers must decide if they will answer and how much time to invest in a question where it appears that basic efforts were not first applied. There's no point in explaining simple stuff that you already understand and if you are not clear why basic research efforts have not helped they can't focus their attention to one specific point.

Those are some of the causes that some questions are closed on the scientific sites for that reason. They want challenging questions that aren't easily answered, questions that make for a great question, and a better answer.

  • 2
    Thanks, I get it now. I have edited the question to add more citations so that hopefully people won't downvote it anymore.
    – Zo-Bro-23
    Feb 11, 2022 at 4:50
  • @Zo-Bro-23, the article with that image is here: genetics.thetech.org/ask-a-geneticist/… - 🪄Research
    – Rob
    Feb 11, 2022 at 15:14
  • I have cited that link in my post. Did you not see it? When I added the image in an edit, I also added the link.
    – Zo-Bro-23
    Feb 12, 2022 at 4:05
  • Checking the History it says: "(I'm really really sorry, but I can't seem to find the link despite searching a lot - I found it in a different context).". You repeat that in a comment. - All fixed, great.
    – Rob
    Feb 12, 2022 at 4:36
  • 1
    Yup, that's my bad 🙄 New to StackExchange, but I'm trying to learn the correct way to ask/answer questions. Everything seems to be fine now... Thanks for your help!
    – Zo-Bro-23
    Feb 12, 2022 at 6:17

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