3

I was a bit surprised that this question was downvoted. As far as building up encyclopedic knowledge, I thought it was pretty good. Asking for reasons in the comments, the "does not show any research effort" bit from the downvote arrow tooltip was given.

If this is applied diligently, a lot of the beginner type questions should be downvoted, since the information is often readily available. I thought the purpose was to build up a knowledge base here. Many of our questions are answered in more than sufficient detail on Wikipedia.

So what level of research is enough to not warrant a downvote? I think good content sometimes comes from questions where little effort was made.

I don't know if we need to change anything, I think I was just surprised seeing this question downvoted, which I saw as a good content-creator, especially when we just had a discussion about closing questions for not enough previous research.

In this particular case, wouldn't a minor edit fix the question? We have a lot of questions basically created to make content, and those could be said to lack previous research too.

| |
  • 1
    I think it might be useful to soften the title a bit. As noted in a deleted answer, we don't close questions for research-related reasons, so we don't have demands/requirements. Voting is much more subjective and personal. – user28 Mar 27 '15 at 18:17
  • 1
    Beginner questions don't necessarily imply "no research". The OP knows what a clef is and knows two of them and can at least try and look up information about different clefs. If someone brought us a picture of a clef and didn't know what it was it would be rather hard for them to research on their own and maybe they even tired and failed. – Dom Mar 27 '15 at 19:13
  • @MatthewRead: Good point, tried to do something about it... – Meaningful Username Mar 27 '15 at 19:56
4

We don't have official research requirements, but some people might have them and they express them through votes. I disagree with the downvotes of that question, but they are a reflection of their personal opinions, not official requirements of the site.

| |
  • 2
    But the tooltip says exactly that it "does not show any research effort", so there is if not requirement, a demand for it. Which might not be unreasonable. – Meaningful Username Mar 27 '15 at 19:54
  • 2
    @MeaningfulUsername It's encouraged, not demanded. Otherwise it would be a close or delete reason. At least it's how I see it. Regardless of the tooltip, we and other SEs have countless questions with complete lack of previous research included that have a very high vote count and high quality answers which many people have found useful. How many questions in this and other SEs include previous research? 10%? Probably a lot less than that. – Von Huffman Mar 27 '15 at 21:55
  • 1
    Demanded was bad wording from my side, encouraged is more correct. And I agree that good answers come from "non-researched" questions, and that it goes against the content creating goal. I think the "research effort" part is problematic, "this question is useful" should be enough (like it is for answers). – Meaningful Username Mar 27 '15 at 23:10
  • 2
    @MeaningfulUsername That's exactly how I feel about this whole research situation. It's more problematic than it's worth. I understand where the devs and admins are coming from from, they value the time of the people answering the questions, but people answering those questions are perfectly capable of judging that worth by themselves. If I'm answering, it's because I think the question is worth my time as it is, I don't need the devs to baby sit me. The only thing they are achieving is people being pedantic and complainy about it, nothing more. – Von Huffman Mar 27 '15 at 23:36
1

Well, more than none. The downvote arrow does exist for a reason.

Not every beginner question is immediately answered by googling "clef", and I'd question your assertion that "a lot" of our beginner questions follow this mould.

We can't beat an encyclopedia or dictionary at their own game — we come in where there's something further to add, some misunderstood nuance or problem, hence the Q&A format. In-depth knowledge is wonderful and should be encouraged here, but this question does nothing to do that. The answer it looks for is "Yes" or "No". We do not exist to type a word into Google for someone.

There are a lot of questions that could be asked at the exact same level of expertise, but based on two minutes of research. Random example, "Why don't transposing instruments use an appropriate C-clef instead?" This is actually something I'm wondering about after having read part of the Wikipedia page on clefs, since I am abjectly ignorant when it comes to brass and woodwinds.

| |
  • 2
    But wikipedia and other encyclopedias not always have the absolute end-it-all-there's-nothing-else-to-say. If anything, in music theory wikipedia use is commonly discouraged because of the amount of mistakes and misinformation it has. We, in fact, beat wikipedia on its own game on a regular basis. Google the wikipedia entry for harmonic mixing, then search it here. – Von Huffman Mar 27 '15 at 17:36
  • 2
    On top of that, not all answers suit all askers. I've always seen this encyclopedia argument as fatally flawed, and the only purpose it has served in this SE is to be pedantic, grumpy, and complainy. – Von Huffman Mar 27 '15 at 17:39
  • 1
    @JCPedroza I didn't make a blanket statement like that. Wikipedia perfectly covers the existence of other clefs. If there's a specific question about something more deep than that, that's an entirely different scenario. "Does harmonic mixing exist" is not a good question either. I'm curious as to what questions exactly you would downvote if not these. I also see the majority of complaints and pedantry being from the people taking issue with the people who just clicked the button and moved on.... – user28 Mar 27 '15 at 17:39
  • "What is harmonic mixing" is answered by a simple google search, you'll find probably thousands of answers. We beat every single one of them, it's not even on the same league. Your reasoning closes the door to that kind of thing happening. The clef question is being presented as an example, the question is about research requirements in general. – Von Huffman Mar 27 '15 at 17:52
  • 2
    "What is harmonic mixing?" has depth. "Does X exist?" does not. And no, voting closes nothing at all. The question is about requirements for voting. – user28 Mar 27 '15 at 17:58
  • 2
    Terrible and inaccurate comparison. First of all, there's nothing inherently deep or shallow about "Does X exist" or "What is X" questions. Second, the depth in the case of the harmonic mixing question was given by both the question and answer. The clef question has the potential to have a deep answer that goes beyond wikipedia too. You claim that the question looks for a yes/no answer, which is not true at all. Third, my comment regarding harmonic mixing was aimed to your claim that "we can't beat wikipedia on its own game", which is something we do on a regular basis. – Von Huffman Mar 27 '15 at 18:26
  • 1
    @JCPedroza I'm not going to rehash everything I've said to counter your assertions, so for a moment let's assume that everything you say is true. So? Downvoting exists specifically for use on questions that show little research effort like the Clef example (in addition to unclear and not-useful posts, as per the tooltip). No one must downvote, but it's a 100% legitimate use on posts like this. – user28 Mar 27 '15 at 18:36
  • 1
    It doesn't close the door through voting specifically, but that reasoning can lead to dynamics that do. It's not uncommon to see close votes because of lack of research, for example, something we recently discussed in this meta. I agree with your conclusion, but not with your reasoning. – Von Huffman Mar 27 '15 at 22:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .