Have a look here and scroll to the bottom. You'll notice that (as of the day of this post) Cross Validated has the 3rd worst record for percent of questions answered among SE sites. Only 61% of questions have been answered (that's 39% unanswered questions). Compare this to the average across all sites: 88% (SD=10.3) answered.
- As of Mar 23, 2016:
- Questions Asked: 76360
- Unanswered Questions: 30017
I'll save you all the additional stats (for fear of this question remaining unanswered) and instead will use a picture to sum the issue up well:
The question is WHY?
This question was actually originally asked 3 years ago. In that time, the % of unanswered questions has actually increased: from ~25% unanswered in Feb 2013 to almost 40% in March 2016!
Why do so many Cross Validated questions continue to go unanswered?
- What's changed in the three years since this issue was last discussed?
- Not enough expertise (no one knows the answers).
- Not enough experts (the ratio of questions : those knowledgeable enough to answer is too low)
- The same 20 people can't answer 30k questions...
- Not enough people willing or interested in answering questions.
- Perhaps due to laziness, lack of ease to answer, simplicity of the question (the "they should know that!" excuse), length/complexity of question asked, lenght/complexity of required answer, etc.
- Too many people know too little about stats (this one falls on the schools)
- Too many questions. Questions get bumped down too quickly for people to see, and perhaps too few people are scouring older questions among relevant tags.
- Too many duplicate questions that are not immediately apparent as duplicates.
- Complex questions or too-specifically context-dependent worded questions mask the underlying statistical concept, which otherwise could be more easily searched
- Answers are not useful and require people to come back for more
- No need to flex your stats muscle if the person is a beginner
- Alternatively, vague answers or those that don't really answer the OP's question seem to be somewhat frequent.
- Perhaps more questions that involve specific scenarios should have discussions in chat so that all aspects of an OP's issue can be addressed, instead of the need to create a half dozen specific questions.
I promise the purpose of this post is not to attack anyone or ruffle feathers. Cross Validated is to be a helpful source for stats information. If more than a 3rd of the questions continue to go unanswered (and that amount keeps increasing) the site is not doing its job as well as it could.
We have the responsibility of recognizing why this might be the case so that we can adjust the site's approach or its users' approach to using the site in order to improve the overall helpfulness & utility of Cross Validated.