93

I think there are numerous factors, but statistics is one of those areas where a really large number of people are using a fairly demanding set of ideas with very little background in it -- in a way that (for example) people generating programming questions, largely aren't. This results in a tendency to ask very vague - but often surprisingly specialized - ...


34

My comments expanded enough to be some kind of answer. I think there are a number of reasons why the rate might be different - some have been discussed before. On SO or math.SE (which I participate a little on, mostly on R and stats questions respectively), questions tend to be much more specific and focused, with direct, short answers. ('How do I do this?' ...


30

Some facts The rate at which questions are answered here has been dropping for years. When we left beta in early 2011 the answer:question ratio was around 1.6:1. It has steadily declined: in November 2012 it dropped below 1:1 and at present it is around 0.75:1. I believe this is due to a greater rate of increase in the rate at which questions are asked ...


29

We need more answers, and therefore answer-writers There's no escaping that more answers to on-topic questions are required to close the gap. More active participation in closure queues is a partial solution to our increasing volume of questions. However, a particularly distressing trend in this plot is that the number of answered questions per month is ...


26

The proportion of unanswered questions is indeed slowly growing because (among other things): the number of people answering questions is growing more slowly than the number of people asking questions. the proportion of very poor questions is increasing rapidly, sapping the time-resources of the very people who tend to answer questions into dealing with ...


23

A quick and unsystematic look through my own responses suggest that lately (though not previously) maybe a third of the answers I give are to a question where no answer is ever accepted. These seem to be questions where the OP is beginner with low reputation asking a practical, more research design-oriented question. Unlike the @drnexus's experts, I ...


18

This ends up being a non-answer, but I figured I would share some analysis I did. For a while I've been concerned that the site's continual progress rests on the shoulders of a relatively few individuals. It is expected that a relatively few contribute a lot, but I felt the balance here was even more perilous than in some of the other sites I marginally ...


17

My guess is that novices ask questions that bore experts. So, experts don't bother to answer, seek clarification that never arrives, seldom upvote the question, and seldom upvote an answer (if one occurs). Novices who just had a one off question don't return to the site or know how to use it to upvote the questions or mark it as accepted.


17

Q: Why does the "Unanswered Questions" tab show questions that have answers? A: The Unanswered Questions tab shows questions that have no answers with a positive score nor an accepted answer. (That includes questions with no answers at all.)


15

Downvote Here is the mouseover text on the downvote button: The question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful I'd recommend we be more liberal with actually clicking on that button. If a question is "not useful", downvote it! If someone else finds it "useful", they can always upvote it. Why? This is why: The system will ...


14

I now have some experience with CV and other SE venues. I think CV is more challenging than others because questions are more technical and scientific, and also because subspecialization is the rule in statistics. My recommendations to improve your likelihood of getting a correct answer are the following: try to put your question in a comprehensible ...


14

We do not have a problem with unanswered questions. We have a problem with low quality questions. See the below image from this sql script which gives for the monthly answers and questions the 10-log of the average score. The overall decline for both questions and answers makes somewhat sense, since it takes time to acquire votes. (It does make the ...


13

From a FAQ: How do I get attention for one of my own questions without a good answer? You can "bump" your question by editing the question to provide status and progress updates resulting from your own continued efforts to answer the question yourself, or to explain why the existing answers didn't work. I usually do that unless I really hit a dead ...


13

1. To what extent is this a common experience of new answerers? Do we lose noticeable number of potentially active participants this way? I think I felt similarly when I started participating, and it was years before I became a regular user. As with most communities, this one has some unusual norms that take a while to learn - especially since there's no ...


12

I can not speak for everyone obviously but my problem with the answers on CV is the fact that I can't seem to communicate with statisticians. I don't understand and appreciate the lingo and the attitude. You might call it that I lack the basis, but I have never experienced mis-communication of such magnitude with experts or enthusiasts in any other field. ...


12

If a user asks an on-topic, answerable question, will that user get an answer? Most likely yes (currently ~60% of all questions are answered). The question graph is biased because the unanswered question series assumes these are 'on-topic and answerable questions' which they are not. There are thousands of questions among that total which are duplicate, ...


11

Robert Cartainos's answer here states the following: The "accepted answer" feature was never intended to mark which answer is best or even if the answer is correct. It is, simply stated, the answer that the original author found most useful in solving their problem. Voting is the most reliable and safe tool to address that a question indeed is answered (...


11

I suppose you may, but it isn't the preferred way to attract attention to your question. Be aware that most questions aren't answered immediately; it can be a few hours at least before a question is answered. Once your question drops off the main page, though, the amount of attention it garners will decrease substantially. At that point, you could edit ...


11

Accepted means accepted by the original poster (OP) of the question: that's an SE-wide definition easy to understand. The main consequence of good answers not being accepted is some lost reputation for those who posted those answers. Not what you are talking about, but I will add that the main consequence of the best answers not being accepted, but some ...


10

This is an age-old question. Seriously: there's an MSE thread about this that's five years old. My two personal favorite explanations: I see it more as a consolation prize. No one looked at your question or answered it, so here's something to hold you over until you get an answer. -- https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/1579/165581 ...it's the the ...


10

Looking at the locations of the users with high reputations (which tend to include a lot of people who answer), and filling in those whose locations I know but who don't give one here, it looks like a little bit more than half the number come from the USA, Canada, and other countries that have similar time zones. The rest cover Europe (including UK), Russia, ...


10

It looks like I'm one of the more active users in the forecasting and time-series tags. Here is my subjective take. I very much agree with Nick Cox' comment. Many, if not most of the questions especially in the forecasting tag seem to fall into one of two categories: The OP has quite obviously not read anything on forecasting, such as the excellent free ...


10

To see unanswered questions created last month, just use the search expression created:1m answers:0 Then you can add other search terms to refine, for example created:1m answers:0 logistic (which for me now gives 68 hits). To read more about refining search, look at https://stats.stackexchange.com/search and click on "Advanced Search Tips".


9

Those aren't edits. The community user simply 'bumps' questions without a single answer that is either upvoted or accepted to the top of the main page. As far as I know, it picks such a question at random from all of the questions meeting the criteria that exist. My impression has been that unanswered questions are 'bumped' once per month (although that ...


9

For future reference: As of today, here’s how we do it: Answered questions have at least one answer with one upvote (or accepted) Unanswered questions have no answers with upvotes (or accepted) Read the full post - it explains the rationale behind these criteria.


9

Here's my take as a relatively new question-answerer, and as someone with far, far less knowledge than our superstar members. I think you guys are spot-on so far. For instance, my question Computing inverse probability weights -- conditional (multivariate) density estimation? has an open bounty and, frankly, shouldn't be that complicated. And yet there are ...


9

One clear principle has consistently helped me moderate such situations: If your intended changes affect only your work, feel free to make them. Indeed, we encourage you to do so. But if they might affect the contributions of others, then be careful! By "contributions of others" I mean principally answers that may have been posted in the thread, but I ...


8

Crossposting on mathoverflow (which I know is discouraged) It would be dramatically off topic on mathoverflow, which is for research problems. Unless you are planning to publish in a mathematically-related journal somewhere, you probably shouldn't post there. It might instead be on topic on math, however. Bloating the question with things like "Please ...


8

We need more answers, and therefore answer-writers There's no escaping that more answers to on-topic questions are required to close the gap. In my opinion this is the single most important point, and all other ideas, while very good, will only have a marginal effect as they are not addressing the fundamental structural problem the site is facing. With ...


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