Comparing the historical closed questions percentage on SO and Mma SE you can see very different behaviors:

Mathematica graphics Mathematica graphics

I don't want to analyze here the StackOverflow site particular nuisances, but I'm showing it only as a reference.

Our current closing percentage is near 20% and the growing seems (by now) nearly linear. What could we expect in the future? Can you comment/answer?

  • @Kuba The date of the first SO question is Ag 1st 2008, yes. Feb 18, 2015 at 15:05
  • 2
    1) You don't have data on closed + deleted, which is a big chunk of SO's closed question pool. 2) Closed questions are also auto deleted by the system after a few days when certain conditions are met, so the most recent close % will always be higher than the steady state.
    – rm -rf Mod
    Feb 18, 2015 at 15:22
  • @rm-rf Good points. Any idea on how to incorporate deleted questions into the analysis? Feb 18, 2015 at 15:36
  • The growing percentage of Closed questions may be correlated with the growing number of people eligible to cast Close votes.
    – bbgodfrey
    Feb 19, 2015 at 10:53
  • I think histograms by year of number-of-questions binned according to the reputation of asker might be informative. I think such might show our closing rate rises as the proportion of questions asked by low rep users grows, which is what I believe has happened.
    – m_goldberg
    Feb 19, 2015 at 11:46
  • @m_goldberg The problem is that you need to compute the rep of each user at the time when each question was posted. That could be computationally expensive, I think Feb 19, 2015 at 13:10
  • @belisarius where is this data from? is this possible to get coordinates?
    – Kuba Mod
    Feb 20, 2015 at 8:15
  • @Kuba I made two simple querys here data.stackexchange.com Feb 20, 2015 at 14:00
  • From some general considerations, this is to be expected. StackOverflow has a more professional audience, in general. This is because in most cases, programming languages are professional tools, and that's it. Mathematica is more than that, and arguably the group of professional users of Mathematica are now a minority compared to the entire user base. What is really happening with us now is that we get more and more of "random" users, who produce low-quality questions and for whom Mathematica is not a professional tool, but something else. I don't think it is bad that we close more now. Mar 18, 2015 at 14:13
  • @LeonidShifrin Somehow I expected to see a stronger correlation between Mma courses starting on the Northern hemisphere and the closing rate. We should have answered all the possible courseware questions by now .) Mar 18, 2015 at 14:21
  • 1
    @belisarius Feynman used to say that '... nature's imagination Is so much greater than man's, she's never going to let us relax' :) Mar 18, 2015 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


Here are trend lines from the moderator analytics tool, without date or magnitude in accord with past allowances, for the entire life of the site. The top chart shows questions closed in blue and all deleted posts in brown. The bottom chart shows all questions in red and all posts in brown. The y axes of both charts start at zero.

enter image description here

  • Could you comment on the comments here, please? Feb 23, 2015 at 15:42

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