I remember a bunch of discussions on the merits, or lack thereof, of the "General Reference" close reason. But in the past 5 months or so, I haven't seen a single question closed as such. Maybe there just haven't been any asked or something.

According to the FAQ, the official general reference sites are Wikipedia, IMDB, and ISFDB. What was ultimately decided? There did not seem to be a written consensus on how we were to use this, but maybe one has effectively appeared?


2 Answers 2


I recall reopening a few of the General Reference-closed questions (mainly due to people flagging them as needing reopening due to the ending of General Reference). Others I left closed if they were still Too Localized or Not Constructive. A couple of times I dealt with more recent questions that had gotten General Reference votes to close.

So on my end, I've worked to minimize GR's usage, and have cleaned up some past questions. We're still waiting on SE to remove the vote to close reason from our site.

  • It should also be noted that we may be getting the ability to add custom close reasons on a per-SE basis. So hopefully we can restructure all of those to be more appropriate (too localized? this is a global site).
    – John O
    Apr 30, 2013 at 17:05
  • "still waiting on SE" - is this merely an issue of the request being lower in priority but otherwise in the "will do it when we get to it" stage, or are there other hurdles to having it removed (approvals/formal request process/whatnot)? In other words, do we need to take any specific further action to proceed, or just wait? May 1, 2013 at 13:43
  • @DVK Read the link in Beofett's answer.
    – user1027
    May 1, 2013 at 14:38

Consensus is that we shouldn't be using it, and, as Keen mentioned, any questions closed as General Reference should probably be flagged to be reopened.

The official status appears to be

"We'll be conducting a more extensive review of this close reason in the very near future, so I'll refrain from removing it here for the time being - but I strongly encourage you to avoid using it until it is no longer available."

  • 3
    Perfect, they're fine with us using it once it's no longer available. Wait...
    – Izkata
    May 2, 2013 at 1:18

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