# No own research effort

I like to quote the tooltips of the UP- and DOWN-vote buttons here:

UP: “This question shows research effort; ...”

DOWN: “This question doesn not show any research effort; ...”

I interpret “research effort” not in terms of science, but simply that the person who is asking should state what he has tried so far and with what success.

I am not happy about the “riddle-type” seeding question because they omit that part, for not giving away the riddle’s solution. For example this question, like some others, just asks for the solution, without telling what the inquirer has tried himself.

I am also not happy with the broad “tell my a bit about that topic”-type questions. An example is this one. Again it lacks any own research effort and is too broad, IMHO. Should we be stricter about the questions an try to avoid ones that are rather unspecific and not narrow?

When students came to me at university with questions about my advisor’s lectures, the first thing to ask them was: “What have you got so far?”

• It's very delicate. someone will ask a question, and the community's reply would be "why do you ask?!". Also, a legitimate "reason" is a simple "I wasn't able to solve this myself", and it doesn't matter if the OP tried method 1,2,3 or just method 3, or even, has no idea which method should apply. – Ran G. Mar 20 '12 at 17:19
• Which reminds me the well-known joke: "why does a Jewish person always answer a question with a question"? - "why wouldn't he answer a question with a question?" – Ran G. Mar 20 '12 at 17:21
• @RanG. But if he tells me that he tried 1,2,3 and failed. Then it saves me time in answering his question, because I can skip them. It’s a courtsey towards the person taking their time to provide an answer. – uli Mar 20 '12 at 17:25
• @RanG. I think it is perfectly okay to ask more about the background and why he is asking what he asks. My biggest fear is that CS.SE become “Homework Central”, just drop the question and forget about it. I would like to see what he has tried so far, perhaps I can spot an error. – uli Mar 20 '12 at 17:28
• In the "riddle" question you linked (which was posted by me): I clearly showed two approaches, one $\mathcal{O}(n)$ but not in-place, and mentioned that divide and conquer makes it in-place but $\theta(n \log n)$. What more "research" are you expecting to be shown? It was also clearly mentioned that it is a seeding question, so you are free to not work on it if you don't want to. As an example of how to post questions, I think it is a reasonable example: showing two approaches (prior research), leading to the question whose resolution is sought. – Aryabhata Mar 20 '12 at 19:58
• btw, I do agree with the sentiment that some research effort would be nice to see. In fact, the seeding questions give us an avenue to post "poster" questions. I just disagree with your assessment of that particular question. – Aryabhata Mar 20 '12 at 20:03