Lots of questions on Music SE could have been answered almost instantly with a quick Google search (e.g. this one). Should we require questions to demonstrate at least a minimal amount of prior research effort? Lack of research is given as a downvote reason, maybe it should be a close reason as well.
The very first suggestion on the How do I ask a good question? page is "search, and research":
Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!
Technically this links to the Music.SE search (suggesting it's an on-site search, not a full Internet search), but I've always understood this suggestion to indicate a search anywhere for your answer, not just on the Stack itself.
My understanding is that we have closed questions on the basis of "lack of research" before, but I might be thinking of another SE site.
I think there's a few different scenarios here.
On one hand, asking a question that could be as easily typed into Google may be a pointless exercise if all it yields is a "Let-Me-Google-That-For-You" kind of answer.
On the other hand, I've seen cases where a user with a knowledge gap in some area may lack the ability to google something themselves due to not quite knowing the right search terms, and those questions being criticised for lack of research.
There are also cases where a question is easy to google and get answers for, but less easy to get answers that can be trusted. A user might be asking here to get some peer verification on an answer.
It's always good for questions to contain the necessary context, and prior research is part of that. But I wouldn't agree with a blanket requirement to explicitly demonstrate prior research effort - sometimes it might be the case that a user has made that effort but doesn't feel that describing that effort adds clarity to the question.
Not all googleable questions have good quality answers, or answers that are worded and thought for a specific expertise level, or same depth, context, form, style, genre, etc.
In sites like Stack Overflow, with more pragmatic subjects, it makes a lot of sense that previous research is asked for, but music is much less pragmatic, along with the questions and answers derived from it.
So, should we require previous research? I don't think so. Some users don't even know what words and terminology are used formally, and some of them are in languages all over the world (Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, English, etc).
Should we close questions that Google has answers for? I don't think so. Is the answer found in google correct? Can it be understood by the level of expertise of the asker? Is it obsolete, or are there new things to say about it? Is it in the context of the correct genre, style, and time frame? Who is policing and deciding all these variants?
And most importantly, why should it matter? Is it a problem right now, in this SE? I don't think it is. So we would be denying knowledge with the basis of "we just felt like not doing it". Also, don't we already have downvotes to deal with that kind of stuff, based on each user's discretion?
If you browse through the most viewed, voted, and useful questions both here and in Stack Overflow, you'll notice that most of them show zero research effort. So, the assumption that a useful question must contain previous research doesn't hold that well. Some questions definitely do benefit greatly from previous research, but at least in music, I don't think it works as an absolute generalization.
Some questions seem to be from people who know the subject pretty well, but are soliciting a definitive answer for the SE archive And thats fine.
What might be a good idea would be to be a lot more lenient about initialy rejecting questions and responses, but create a seperate Archive section for topics considered worth keeping.