I am confused by the closing of the question https://workplace.stackexchange.com/q/9773/1193.

The OP was not polling.

Instead, he was asking the references of poll results.

The closing reason states that We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

Would somebody explain the reason of closing this question?

2 Answers 2


In this case, the asker appears to be looking for links to resources, or references, but there isn't a real, actual problem to be solved. While references are a great way to back up an answer, the answers should still contain explanations and substance. The references themselves shouldn't be the only thing in the answer.

I do hope we can edit it and reopen it, and I think we can with the asker's help. It seems like a very interesting question, but as it stands, asking for links, or asking for lists of things, whichever the case may be, doesn't fit well with the Stack Exchange Q&A model.

I can't help but think that there has to be a real reason why the asker is asking for these references. There's a deeper question here that he should ask instead, so that our community can be the experts instead of merely being a proxy for some other experts at some other site.

Even if you disagree with the close, if you see things that the asker might do that would convince others to vote to reopen, please leave a comment encouraging the op to do so, or perhaps try the edits yourself. This will help get the question reopened, as well as avoid the close/reopen cycle that sometimes occurs on questions where constructiveness is debatable by the community.

Thank you for bringing this discussion to Meta. Hope this helps!

  • @jmort1253 Your answer the answers should still contain explanations and substance. indicates that you're worried about the answers. Please note that we closed the question without seeing the answers yet. Once there is an answer(s), we can ask the answerer to provide explanation. I can't help but think that there has to be a real reason why the asker is asking for these references indicates that you doubt the motive behind the question.
    – Nobody
    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:57
  • 1
    Hi @scaahu, I believe there's a deeper question that the asker is trying to answer, and knowing the deeper question would be more valuable. Thus, that deeper question is what he/she should ask here on our Q&A site. Otherwise, we'd be inviting either poll type answers, or answers in the form of a discussion since it's not clear why this is important or what real, actual problem this solves for the asker or future visitors. Hope this helps.
    – jmort253
    Feb 21, 2013 at 13:41

asking the references of poll results

At Programmers, I've got a canned comment to accompany a close vote for questions like this:

Resource requests are not quite welcome at Programmers. As far as I understand, one would rather present an underlying problem instead - a problem that was intended to be solved with particular resource requested.

I would prefer similar guidelines to be established at The Workplace as well. Resource requests tend to be open ended and leave a wide open door to spammy answers like look at our company site / at my blog, blah-blah.com, here you'll find best resources for this.

Have to admit, my past encounter with resource request question at WP left quite a bad taste in my mouth, even despite getting a decent amount of upvotes for answering it.

  • 1
    I remember that question (you cited in tiny fonts) and I think you did well on that. Frankly, I see nothing wrong with that Q&A. If people give spammy answers, we can downvote them. The mods can also take action. I am not familiar with Programmers SE. I am also active on Academia SE. They welcome answers backup by references. If we want to find out the facts, we want to know what others already did so that we won't re-invent the wheels.
    – Nobody
    Feb 20, 2013 at 8:09
  • in my experience, treatment you suggest for spammy answers (downvotes and mods intervention) mean a bit too much effort to be justified by value brought by resource-request questions. Way too often these are more like glorified google searches
    – gnat
    Feb 20, 2013 at 9:41
  • The OP of that question did say I've been looking for some time now, but unable to find anything, I tried to search for him(for my curiosity), did not find useful info neither.
    – Nobody
    Feb 20, 2013 at 9:47
  • @scaaahu "failed to find" part in the question looks troublesome to me; am I supposed (like you did) to verify myself whether OP invested effort or this is just a lame excuse for gimmeresearch? When I see claims like this I expect at the very least that OP would post what search engines, sites and search phrases they tried
    – gnat
    Feb 20, 2013 at 10:19
  • Untrusting a user is not a good enough reason to close a question. I always assume innocence until proven otherwiese.
    – Nobody
    Feb 20, 2013 at 11:11
  • @scaaahu sure. Closing isn't a matter of trust, it should be done only per specified close reasons, I am talking strictly from this perspective. Bare failedtofind in the question means that answerer is forced to do extra job at studying and verifying (often, guessing) what is asked; this matches not a real question reason: "difficult to tell what is being asked here"
    – gnat
    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:33

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