After the decision was taken to burninate General Reference, the close reason was removed but I keep coming across questions that were closed for this reason. This one, for example.

Given that this close reason no longer exists and that pretty much all of these questions would be currently acceptable, should we make a point of reopening them as a matter of course when we encounter them?

Should we go further and reopen all of them?

  • I see no reason not to reopen them if you see one but I see no reason to put in effort finding and opening them. Nov 13, 2016 at 12:39
  • Looking for more rep, eh? ;)
    – SQB
    Nov 13, 2016 at 13:34
  • 1
    @SQB - Always and forever.
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2016 at 13:52
  • 2
    As a side note, questions that were closed as general reference are often still worth downvoting if not closing. "This question does not show any research effort", as it says on the tooltip for the downvote button.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 13, 2016 at 14:20
  • @Randal'Thor - Oh, indeed. And the point that many of them deserve re-closing for different reasons is well made. There aren't that many (less than twenty remaining) so I'll start adding them to the queue over the next couple of days.
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2016 at 14:21
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    We don't go back and mass-close questions that are now close-worthy but weren't 5 years ago. I see no reason to do the reverse either.
    – KutuluMike
    Nov 13, 2016 at 14:44
  • @KutuluMike - I suspect that's because it's much harder to identify closeworthy questions.
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2016 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


If you find a closed question which you think should be reopened, vote to reopen it.

I hesitate to make any sweeping statements about a whole class of questions; doubtless some GR-closed questions will be worth reopening and some won't.

It's likely that most of them should be reopened according to today's standards - or possibly reopened and then closed for a different reason - but they should still be considered on a case-by-case basis. There's no such thing as a mass close-vote or mass reopen-vote; by the way the system is designed, questions have to be closed or reopened individually, and this is a good thing.

Without having looked at all questions closed as "general reference", I can't possibly say whether they should all be reopened. But if you think they should, feel free to cast reopen votes on all of them (preferably not all at once though - let's not flood the Reopen Votes review queue too badly) and wait to see how the rest of the community votes on them.

  • I've been adding them to the queue as I go through the old questions stack. I've not seen any that shouldn't be added, nor any that have proved contentious when added. Basically they all seem to get reopened.
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2016 at 13:03
  • Just remember that reopening a question bumps it to the frontpage. ;-)
    – TARS
    Nov 13, 2016 at 14:09
  • @Cahir Sure; that's another reason not to do them all at once.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 13, 2016 at 14:10
  • I'm working my way through the historic questions stack. Since this answer seems the preferred choice, I shall flag them as I come across them rather than systematically reopening them
    – Valorum
    Nov 14, 2016 at 13:59
  • @Valorum By 'flag', do you mean VTRO? Since you have more than 3k rep, I can't see why you'd raise a flag rather than simply using your vote to put the question into the Reopen Votes review queue.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 14, 2016 at 18:14
  • @Randal'Thor - By "flag", I meant VTRO.
    – Valorum
    Nov 14, 2016 at 18:17

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