This question was closed for being unresearched homework.

I am not sure why this is the case. According to the Biology FAQ:

What should I do before I ask the question?

Research it yourself - even if you try and can't find the answer or understand the concept you need you can then include what you have found out yourself in the question. Search the site to see if something similar has been asked before.

How should I ask my question?

Include details of how you have attempted to form a solution. We will not do your homework assignments for you but we will point you in the right direction if you have made the effort to research the topic first.

It seems that the poster did do his/her research, and arrived at a strange result - the concentration decreasing (probably due to a miscommunication), but the poster did in fact do their research, and arrived at the correct result too. While I think this question could probably be closed on other grounds (too specific an event), it doesn't appear to be poorly researched.

I would therefore like to understand the rationale of others on closing this question for "insufficient research".

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ To me, the Q is off-topic as mainly about chemistry (not biology), but not as unattempted/unresearched homework. $\endgroup$ Mar 9 '15 at 14:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I was confused about the close reason. I didn't want to close it as a chemistry question. I usually downvote questions that make no attempt at answer whatsoever. I VTC but didn't downvote this one on the grounds that this is perhaps a trivial issue wrt protocol. Found it easier to click on "homework". But I agree with you. $\endgroup$
    Mar 10 '15 at 4:47
  • $\begingroup$ I think I voted to close as "unclear what your asking" because it seemed to be asking to resolve a contradiction in someone else's instructions, which is impossible. Perhaps a custom close reason should've been used. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Mar 14 '15 at 6:08
  • $\begingroup$ I voted to close as I think that dilution is something one should be able to do on a piece of paper in the lab, i.e., homework (or lab work :-). I don't think specific questions like this are suitable for SE. Ask a lab technician, a colleague, whoever, but don't put such straightforward questions on SE. It would be similar as asking how much rpm's is needed to precipitate such and such fragment of DNA. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD Mod
    Mar 18 '15 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD While I would too VTC an obviously stupid question stemming from lack of research, it seems that OP of that question did in fact research their question, and the issue was due to lack of confidence in calculations combined with incorrect information given by their supervisor. $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    Mar 18 '15 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MarchHo - as discussed elsewhere, the 'homework' label is misleading. I, and others, use 'homework' as a synonym for 'arbitrary', 'too specific', besides 'badly researched'. I also think this linked question here is greatly researched, but still I think it is bench work, not science as such. Dilutions are tricky, I have been there, but SE is not the place to let others solve it for you. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD Mod
    Mar 18 '15 at 11:17
  • $\begingroup$ To be frank, the the boundaries between Chemistry and molecular biology lab techniques are pretty broad. I would consider this well within the regime of Biology.SE. I would vote to reopen. $\endgroup$
    – bobthejoe
    Mar 25 '15 at 15:04

In regards to the more general question what is consider enough research. This isn't something we can measure objectively and prescribe a template to the users with close voting privileges. What one person says is lack of effort another may say they have done a bit. This a subjective judgement call made, hopefully in good faith, by each user with the privilege to cast close votes. However, we don't have to let this be an unfortunate circumstance of human nature. On Math.SE, we have a thread in meta dedicated to posts that were closed. Most people are not going to monitor every close post they voted to close. This would take away contributors ability to answer other questions if they did monitor all the questions they voted on.

I propose we borrow from Math.SE and start and start a yearly Requests for Reopen & Undeletion thread. The link will take you to the current version we are using on math as an example. We do this so there aren't 100s of different meta posts on why is thread closed or delete or on hold, etc. We can compile them all in a central location. This is allows for edited post, that now fit in, which may have dropped by the way side to garner attention of voters for reopen or some other vote.

Here is a screenshot of what can occur:

enter image description here

Someone requested that the post be undeleted. Once it was undeleted either the OP or another user edited the post and added


However, this post was some how provocative in nature and people voted to redelete so it wen through a cycle of deleting and undeleting and eventually locking. This isn't always the case but it shows that how we kept a single post from eating up multiple meta threads.

With a parent thread, the mods then can migrate new meta questions to the bigger thread keeping meta clean. As the site grows, questions like this will become more prevalent. If we start now, we will be ahead of the curve and not trying to implement something later in the game.


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