More than one SE site has the problem that low quality questions may get closed fairly quickly, but that response time when an OP has made a good effort to fix their question seems very long in comparison. On a site other than Data Science I have had a question closed, put in what I think is the relevant fix from the comments I received, and that question is still closed with no apparent response from anyone two years later.

On Data Science I think this may apply here: Training Deep Nets on an Ordinary Laptop - although I cannot tell how many people have reviewed the question post-edit and decided to leave it closed.

It seems wrong to leave a question (and the OP) hanging for a long time after a good faith edit has been made. The speed to close compared to the apparent lack of response to reopen when an OP has made an effort feels wrong.

Is there anything we can do to:

  1. Provide feedback to OP on whether their changes are considered good enough to reopen a closed question. I can provide a personal opinion in a comment, but that seems empty as I do not speak for anyone else here and can promise nothing.

  2. Improve response times for reopening, so that Data Science rewards effort put in to fixing questions and meeting guidelines.

For instance, is there a way to tweak number of reopen votes necessary, or to base the number required on the daily traffic to the site (which is lower than e.g. Cross Validated)? Could we show the OP the reopen vote count, or encourage reopen queue reviewers to add a comment if just a little bit more from the OP would help?

  • $\begingroup$ My closed question for reference. I am not in the slightest bit bothered that it is closed, just to show that the close reason really does not apply after my edit, but there is no feedback (at least to me) on why it remains closed, or even if anyone cared enough to think about whether it should remain closed (let's not do that here!): gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/173149/… $\endgroup$ Feb 21, 2016 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


You are right that the asker answered the initial close reason. I think it's still too open-ended since the asker is wondering what would be instructive to play with on a laptop, so I'd close it again on those grounds.

I disagree that anything's been left hanging; it's just 24 hours since the question was even asked.

  • $\begingroup$ I am not the OP of the question on Data Science. The comparison of "been left hanging"occurs because time to close much less than time to reopen. $\endgroup$ Feb 21, 2016 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ Oops, will edit. I assumed you were the asker. If time to close and time to edit are both very small, I don't see a problem. $\endgroup$
    – Sean Owen
    Feb 21, 2016 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ The question was eventually left closed, and no feedback given to the OP as to why his edits were not good enough for a re-open. I'd now call that "left hanging". Nothing to sort out on the question itself, I guess the OP has long since gone to find his answers elsewhere. But it is pretty much an example of what my question here is about - what could/should we do to make the experience of someone asking, and trying to make improvements, better. I'm not a moderator, so cannot see how the voting panned out - whether we even hit a quorum for clear decision to leave closed . . . $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2016 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ I would not mind reopening it now (just did). It never came onto my radar again, so I assume nobody nominated it (?) Did you? that seems to be the bit that was missed. $\endgroup$
    – Sean Owen
    Apr 24, 2016 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ I believe I did nominate it, yes. I suspect there is some kind of timeout or some people voted for it to remain closed, so it was actually resolved. I don't know which - one reason for asking here about feedback. If reopen gets resolved to "we're not going to reopen after an edit", it would be nice for a) that to happen in a reasonable time (e.g. a couple of days) and b) for OP to get feedback that they need to do more before their question would be considered. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2016 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ @NeilSlater I pretty much respond to anything in a few days. I don't know why that didn't pop up. I don't think it's feasible to respond to every reopen message, since most of the time it's an unsalvageable question, and the OP makes a trivial edit, or something that restates the original unclear question. Other questions deserve limited bandwidth available for review. In general this is why we have a community to do this, but the problem here is that it still takes like 5 votes to reopen like on SO, but with a user base orders of magnitude smaller. $\endgroup$
    – Sean Owen
    Apr 24, 2016 at 9:20

That is a wonderful point, Neil.

However, we being a small community as of now, have a significant advantage in that aspect.

I, personally voted to re-open several questions, which have been re-opened fairly quick, sometimes with Sean's vote and sometimes with other contributors' votes.

So, I can vouch for the fact that questions which have been edited and improved by the OP are taken sincerely and reopened fairly quick.

(As far as the laptop question is concerned, I have voted to re-open it as I found it fairly narrowed down. Yeah, it would need some more improvements, but those can be done while the reopening process is going on, as the edits make the question on-topic here).

encourage reopen queue reviewers to add a comment if just a little bit more from the OP would help?

This should be a nice culture to follow, as the site progresses.

I am not sure about this, but I think this question would make a good community wiki, with a tag.


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