24

Kill it with fire! The General Reference closure has caused nothing but contention here, and its current implementation has accomplished far more harm than good. I recently asked about whether google is a valid resource for determining if a question is General Reference. Despite 19 votes between 3 answers (one now deleted), there is, as of now, no clear ...


16

Memory Alpha is not always correct. For instance, see this question that I asked: What's the deal with "marshmelons"? Read @N_Soong's answer first and then @Richard's. (In case @N_Soong reads this: it wasn't your fault, it was Memory Alpha's!) In my own answers, I use Memory Alpha mainly as "further reading" on episodes that I refer to. ...


15

I'm strongly in agreement with Beofett's answer here, particularly this: Why is it not sufficient to say "if a question is trivial, boring, and demonstrates little to no research, downvote it"? Note that the hover-text for downvoting states quite clearly that a question or answer should be downvoted when it "does not show any research effort" or "it is ...


9

Theoretically, Memory Alpha is a Wikia, meaning anyone can write anything random there. Therefore, mere wording from MA should not be used as canon source, especially specific nuances of wording (Wikia writers on SFF topics tend to have a strong tendency to take a short phrase/fact from canon, and spin a whole wider non-supported narrative around that fact). ...


7

In general, ISFDB-answerable questions shouldn't be closed, I think. ISFDB is a couple of steps down from IMDB in the hierarchy of common knowledge: first, ISFDB is for print storytelling rather than film; second, it's about a specialized type of print storytelling. Here are some numbers to back it up: Wikipedia has a Google Pagerank of 9; IMDB's is 8; ISFDB'...


6

This was discussed before, on meta and chat. The consensus is: 1) Since those Wikis aren't as well known, an average person should not be expected to consider them reliable even if they happen to be a top hit on Google. Being easily discoverable does not alone mean being a universal reference. 2) Being a Wiki with no citing rules, Wikias are nowhere near ...


6

Here's my reasoning, and in general what I hear in chat and others' comments: Google will customize your results based on past searches. Now, in this particular instance, "star trek" was part of the search criteria that DVK proposed. Yeah, that's pretty unique - but it's not always going to be. For example, the word "supernatural" is also the name of a ...


5

From my experience currently the mods of memory alpha are not letting bad info up on the wiki. Most of the info on Memory alpha also contains references to specific episodes, and interviews, so the vast majority of it is verifiable. Unless we start to see conflicting, or wrong info on the site i believe its a great tool to answer questions. As with all ...


5

The Wikipedia entry for Prisoner of Azkaban describes clearly the relevant plot from chapter 17. While at his cabin, Hermione discovers Scabbers in Hagrid's milk jug. They leave, and Buckbeak is executed. As Ron, Harry, and Hermione are leaving Hagrid's house and reeling from the sound of the axe, the large black dog approaches them, pounces on Ron, ...


5

I think that GR reason for closing should be kept, but: (1) Extremely limited; (2) Enforce its use very judiciously (with full proof in comments or on META that the question fully fits the GR guidelines BEFORE closing, and letting the asker address the points). As an example (I will ask as a separate META Q), the one you linked to about Batman and murder ...


4

One of the questions in the general reference flowchart is, Is the question basic and trivial, or is it complex and interesting? I really really don’t think that “Who is Tom Bombadil?” is in any way a trivial question.


4

Forgive me while I wax emphatic: No, Google is NOT General Reference! People who think it is have fundamentally misunderstood the purpose of the "General Reference" close reason. It's not enough for a question to be too basic. It must also be of a type that can be answered by a reference source designed to answer it. The canonical example is, of course, a ...


4

You do have a point that the application of GR as close reason is done somewhat inconsistently. That doesn't mean the legitimation to close blatantly trivial questions is invalid. It just means that we have to do a better job in defining what constitutes general reference. These types of questions should be closed for similar reasons that make duplicates, ...


3

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 ...


3

If you mean "which references are acceptable to be references in an answer", the answer is "eye of the beerholder". We can give some general FYIs (e.g. Wikias are frequently unreliable), BUT, ultimately, it's what every questioner and up/down voter feels THEY PERSONALLY accept. No universal rule. We can not really realistically impose any universal ...


3

We should only consider as general reference questions that can be easily answered by typing all or part of the question into Google Who is the cat in Prisoner of Azkaban What is the very first word of the results? Crookshanks


3

This Question I personally believe the question should be closed. While Gilles brings up the point that the word "trial" could be edited out of the article, it wouldn't be. Why? Given this, and given that any reasonable person would have read the entire film summary before asking a room full of strangers this type of question, I would have to say ...


3

I'm gonna go ahead and post my suggestion for what should be done; if you agree, upvote, if not, post your own solution. :) I think that General Reference should be eliminated based on two main reasons. It's usefulness can be easily covered through other close reasons. As Gilles said, expanding Too Localized beyond just "space and time" would enable it to ...


2

There's no lack of reference here. The "general reference" in this case is actually the website cited in the question itself. The question spawns from a misunderstanding of the author's works summary on his "About" page. The page never says the author wrote any episodes - in fact, it specifically says that his work in the Doctor Who universe is in the ...


2

We are working on major changes to the closing system right now, and one of the effects of that work is going to be the removal of the General Reference close reason. In its place, you as a community will be able to set up an off-topic reason, if you so choose, with a description that more clearly defines what sources provide the obvious answer to whatever ...


2

Take a look at this answer and this blog. They both post a flowchart describing when to close a question as general reference: When I looked up the answers to your question I found that (1) the answer could be found easily in the first few results, (2) that it was in no need of further improvement, and was not too hard to parse, (3) and was basic and ...


2

As Mark says, different people have different thresholds of acceptance when it comes to other than very specific sources. I'll use myself as an example. The FYI I put at the end of my posts is I'm looking for a canon-based answer (the Harry Potter novels, the three supplemental books, interviews with J.K. Rowling, and/or Pottermore. I do not prefer an ...


1

The only appropriate use is for questions like "What color is Superman's cape?". But we don't get many of those that dumb, and it definitely seems if not abused then over-used. I vote to remove it as a reason.


1

My personal understanding is that the best use is for "not needing to copy/paste Wiki paragraphs to answer". To address the question, I'm on board with defenestrating G.R. alltogether. It's too contentious, and there seems to be little ground to compromise on, since opinions range from "only very rare cases that literally can be answered by pasting ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible