Recently I found question regarding ILS CatIII and after burner system. Should I close these question? What reason should I use?

My concern is should we encourage people to ask question that has readily answer available elsewhere.

Note: my question seems to relate to previous question


2 Answers 2


We should answer them: StackExchange is trying to be a better information source than other sites, we aren't trying to answer only questions that have never been asked before, and we're not trying to be a link service that just points people to Wikipedia. Even if there's another information source out there, and even if it's very popular (e.g. Wikipedia) is it accurate, well written and - above all - useful to the person asking the question?

This meta.SE answer and my previous answer here cover some reasons why directing people to another information source isn't as useful as just answering the question directly. SE provides a lot of great voting tools and other mechanisms to help people get good answers and to help them judge when an answer is accurate. Voting in particular gives a very strong indication of the quality of an answer, and that's something that most other sites don't have.


If you find yourself being tempted to post only a link or direct quote from Wikipedia, or telling them go use Google, sometimes this can suggest it's not the best question. But Pondlife is right, we can do better than that.

So many times I search for answers on Google, and the first result is a thread where someone is told to search the forums or Google. While ironic this is also frustrating. SE questions tend to rank highly in Google searches, so this is a real possibility here.

When you find such a question, this is your chance to get creative. Maybe you have a different way of describing or explaining things, or there are some interesting facts or concepts that are related. Find some pictures. If the question seems to be leaning in a certain direction, add some details to address this. Do you have an anecdote that helps to illustrate it? Even if you are just condensing the Wikipedia article, it's at least better than just a link. The person asking the question chose to type something up, post it, and wait for people to answer, instead of just searching Google. Try to assume that this was intentional. Let's not disappoint them.

  • $\begingroup$ What do you thing about this answer? It started with exactly what you mentioned in the beginning. $\endgroup$
    – Farhan
    Jul 30, 2015 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ It would be nice if they would at least point you in the right direction there, but I believe it's acceptable to only answer part of the question. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Jul 30, 2015 at 21:47

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