What questions do I just go to Wikipedia for versus asking the questions here please provide exacting guidelines?

4 Answers 4


The sort of questions we discourage are those which have answers that are readily available from easily accessible sources such as Wikipedia. Once you have checked and found no satisfactory answers, by all means ask it here. Where possible, state what research you have already done and why you have found the answers to be inadequate so that you don't run the risk of someone providing you with the same unsatisfactory answers from the same sources that you've already looked at.


"It's on the Wikipedia!" can't be a reason to exclude a question from being asked here a priori.

Just because something is on the Wikipedia doesn't mean it's on the English Wikipedia (see how much you find about the Kauzenburg there, for example ...). Even where it is, the other language Wikipedia pages - very likely in languages you can't read - often have better writeups as far as local history goes.

Finally, even where the English Wikipedia has an extensive write-up, others can and do have equally extensive ones, but concentrating on other aspects. For an example, compare the English and the Portuguese articles on the Falklands War. A good answer wouldn't just quote one or the other - it would synthesise an answer from both.

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    I don't think that positioning this site as a translation service is a good idea. However, I do see questions where Wikipedia covers the topic but the article is so bad that one needs to ask whether it is even true at all. Commented Oct 27, 2011 at 20:26
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    @Wladimir Palant: Not a "translation service". The thing about Wikipedia is that it is a very localised knowledge base - historical topic where the main or primary sources are only available in German, Russian, Chinese and so on tend to have good write-ups in their respective languages; not so much in others, including English. Bundling this knowledge, in particular with the goal of comparing the different views some cultures have on their common part of history, is a worthy task, but one which won't happen on Wikipedia. After all, they have this silly "no original research" rule ... Commented Oct 27, 2011 at 21:24
  • +1 Even if wikipedia states something doesn't warrant a deeper investigation into why wikipedia states what it does, what sources it uses, etc.
    – Doug T.
    Commented Oct 29, 2011 at 13:41

Google your question. If you get the answer in the first page, then do not ask it.

  • I took the liberty to write an "improved" version of your answer.
    – o0'.
    Commented Oct 29, 2011 at 8:38

Google your question. If you can't find an answer with reasonable effort, don't ask it.

If you don't care enough to put reasonable effort into searching for it, don't ask it.


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