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Today I flagged a question for not showing an adequate research effort, but then the question received a quite useful answer from another user. Being a newcomer to the stack model, I wanted to clarify what the best procedure is for this kind of circumstance.

I have read the guidelines re: Community Wikis, and come away with the feeling that this should be used for long, resource intensive lists rather than a multiple-answer question thread where many users contribute a colloquial version of their own or some clarification on nuance.

Given this information, my next guess would be that an intensive edit on the question would be on order. In fact, I have seen this done with this question.

Should this be the standard approach to this situation?

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Whenever we see a poor question with little to no research effort, or a question of little general interest we have the following options:

  • comment to ask for details.
  • add missing parts through an edit.
  • downvote the question.
  • vote to close the question.
  • flag the question for moderator attention in extreme cases where immediate removal would be needed.
  • move on and wait what answers we get, or what other people think.

In case we are not sure what to do we should not overhastily take actions. The "wait and see" approach sometimes helps to clarify matters.

Please keep also in mind that - even though desirable - lack of research effort alone should not lead to an automatism of closing. Sometimes there is simply not much research that can be done. This was probably the case in the question you mentioned where we were asked for a German equivalent to an English idiomatic expression.

Dictionaries are often of little help for these kind of questions. German Language S.E. is a good place to ask. We do have similar question already that produced good traffic, have good answers, and are of great general value. We should not close all these questions, at least not at this point of time when we are not overrun by a lot of unanswerable questions.

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  • Good to know. Vielen Dank für die Zusammenfassung! – Milchgesicht Aug 2 '14 at 18:31

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