Should questions that can easily be answered through some commonly-available reference on-topic here?



And could the above stated example question serve any good if allowed to remain open?


I am wondering about the gray zone: Sometimes non-experts ask questions, baceuse they cannot google the answer up themselves, although I easily can. The non-experts often do not know the keywords for googling. I am at better position for finding the answer, even if it is on wikipedia.

To what extent is this site supposed to serve non-experts ?

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    $\begingroup$ I would say that when the google keywords are in the question itself, there's no gray zone whatsoever. Google very easily supports full-sentence queries like "What is the difference between archaea and eubacteria?" for example. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Feb 17 '14 at 23:50

Why is it not sufficient to say "if a question is trivial, boring, and demonstrates little to no research, downvote it"? Note that the hover-text for downvoting states quite clearly that a question or answer should be downvoted when it "does not show any research effort" or "it is unclear or not useful"!

-Beofett, 7 Nov 2012

I think the situation on SciFi & Fantasy is largely the same as that on Stack Overflow: a lot of simple questions that can be answered easily by external resources, some that probably should be, and folks who would rather post a lazy question here than do any of the legwork to find the answer themselves. Down-voting lazy questions should always be the first option, closing or deleting when they have serious problems of scope or quality, and directing folks to other sites (summarizing the answer found there) when there's nothing to be improved upon.

-Shog9, 31 Dec 2013

One passerby's opinion. Bio.SE is free to make its own decision on what to do with these questions, obviously, but I think these points are important to consider.


This has been brought up on a number of StackExchange meta sites. I think there was a flurry in 2011 following this SE Blog post. Some of the discussions:

One site that is currently closing such questions is the English SE (with ongoing discussion). Apparently SciFi SE used to use it but no longer does.


Wouldn't it be better - especially for a not so large community as Bio.SE - to simply collect all of the "stupid", "lazy", "google-friendly" questions with their answer in the Bio.SE knowledge-base? - The first time - you give an answer, the second time - you close it as duplicate, downvote, whatever.

The Biology, from my POV, is not like SO, or some other sites, where you simply can't be interested in topic unless you are researching it already. For example, you probably won't ask question about pimpl-pattern (random topic) in C++, unless you are already familiar with C++, pointers, etc - and if you know nothing about pointers, but still ask the question, then you are lazy for sure.

The biology has some natural scope in real life - even if you are not the PhD, you still may have question about your own body. Of course, someone may point out, that I'm to lazy to take a look in Wikipedia by my-self... But what if I don't even understand, what is written there?

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    $\begingroup$ If someone doesn't understand what's written in a resource like Wikipedia, then they should come to us and ask a specific question about the part they don't understand. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Feb 17 '14 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ Agree that it is probably easier in the long term to have answers to common questions, and this will also funnel traffic from google. However, I think @MattDMo has a good point that it is more useful to ask specific questions when you get lost, instead of broad lmgtfy-questions of the form "How does xxx work?" $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Feb 19 '14 at 8:51

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