I just saw an explanation about a question being closed because it had been open for two days already and had more than one answer.

The discussion of closing the question did not say anything about the quality of the question or the answers received so far. That discussion is at this link

In study outside the StackExchange community, there is evidence that indicating there are significantly more solid questions than solid answersreadily available.

A few things are for sure:

  • Discussion not adding value is a good sign that a question should be closed.
  • Ephemeral and off-topic responses are examples of discussion not adding value
  • Discussions can start off useful then go off track. That is a a sign of a question not needing to be open unless useful discussion is also happening.
  • Chat is better for such non-focused discussion than space for answering questions.

Length of time a question is open might correlate to low value discussion, but time open per se is not evidence a question is ready for closing.

What is the correct information on these considerations?

Is two days open a recognized benchmark for the right amount of time for a question to be open?

1 Answer 1


I assume you're referring to my comment there. That's the trouble with length restrictions of course, it can be tricky to get my point across. Luckily there's no such limit in answers. :)

The point I was raising was emphatically not that questions should only be open for X amount of time. Not at all. The closure and reopen systems are there for quality control purposes. If a question is of value and on-topic it should by rights be open. If not it should be put on-hold and edited to the point it can be reopened or eventually confirmed closed.

The only point I was making was that mostly, the activity on that post had run its course. The question was clear enough to get six answers and OP indicated he found a good answer. Editing a question takes effort and it's always worth asking whether that effort is justified. While it would be great if every question was either confirmed off-topic or edited to be brought to pristine standards, we have to keep in mind that the time of our volunteer community is finite.

The additional point I wanted to make was in case you see a useful facet of the question that wasn't covered or think that it could be turned into a very useful canonical question. IN those cases, more often than not it makes sense to submit that as a new question yourself. That will avoid the problem of edits invalidating answers or being rejected by the OP. It will be seen by many more people and answers can be written specifically for the new question.

But to be absolutely clear: the age of a question or the amount of time it has been open or closed is irrelevant when considering whether a question should be closed or reopened.

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