The comments, closure, and reopening of 'Who invented the ejection seat and what airplane used it first?' is the reason I'm posting this. Question lacks research, OP compares it to self-answered questions, yet no answer is posted, and there are different points of view (I'm neutral).

'Help Center / Can I answer my own question?' clearly states we can answer own question. But, I am asking about question bodies that do not show research, and OP already knows the answer.

My opinion, see my answer below (ha!), and please post your own.

Note: this is not about questions from new users or hard-to-research questions.

'Should we close questions for not doing research?' does not deal with self-answering, which is the point of this post and what OP hinted at.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you just suggesting that questions that are easy to answer with minimal research should be self-answered? $\endgroup$
    – fooot Mod
    Jan 16 '18 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @fooot - self answered on the spot, but that's my opinion, feel free to post yours. $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Jan 16 '18 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @mins - expanded on the answer, thanks. $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Jan 16 '18 at 21:55

I've done it a lot, I think (self-answering, not lack of research). So I have examples I can show:

A question I asked myself, and was able to answer before posting, so I posted the answer right away because I thought it was interesting. So if the body lacks research, post the answer right away (the answer then is the research).

Example of someone else doing it, and it did not stop others (me) from answering.

I did research it but could not find the answer, later found and posted the answer, later a better answer came, and then I moved my answer into the body.

Research shown (but could not self answer).

Presented the case, I didn't know the answer, later knew and posted the answer.

My opinion, if you already know the answer, post it at the time of asking. SE provides a button for that. Otherwise, show research, please.

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Addendum: showing research is not required, but it does show you've put in some work, which is usually appreciated by way of up-votes, which in turn translate to a measure of a user's positive contributions to the community and increases what you can do and see, which then helps you join in the moderation of the site. A drive-by low effort post will be just that.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Hehehe I love that this is a self-answer. How incredibly meta :P $\endgroup$
    – Au101
    Jan 19 '18 at 4:43

Your suggestion is absolutely right, I think we would need to have more conversation about how to better encourage this.

Our regular users seem to already understand this. As you've pointed out, the system is set up to encourage self-answers, and there are many examples of this being done and received well.

Newer users may not be as quick to go this route. The fact that they're writing a question rather than doing research themselves may indicate a lack of motivation to do so. And if they did do the research, they would probably be less inclined to go to the effort to share it with the community, being less invested in it.

There may also be a general reluctance from newer users to post self-answered questions out of concern that it would be seen as a scheme to gain rep. Questions that are easily answered would be even more likely to be viewed this way. It's hard to change the perception of the community. We've established that simple questions are allowed, and self-answering is allowed, but a user basically summarizing Wikipedia pages may not be received well if the community does not find the content interesting or helpful.


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