A quick search yields 2383 (as of posting) questions left open with zero answers. Subtracting out questions with negative scores and questions posted over the past two days, there's still 2363 questions left completely unanswered. How did we end up like this? I know that not all questions can be answered, but we don't always have new questions flooding in. Is there something we can do about decent questions from 2011 that just fell through the cracks?

  • 1
    FWIW more than half of those questions have a score <=2. Maybe they aren't very good questions.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 22:12
  • 317 have a score of 0, and 1516 have a score of at least 2. That leaves 530 with a score of exactly one. So it's closer to 1/3 of the nonnegative questions.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 1:12
  • 2
    A score of 1 isn't very encouraging.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 1:18
  • 1093 have score 1 or 2 judaism.stackexchange.com/… 542 with score 1
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 1:19
  • Even so, 1516 is a lot of questions.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 1:53
  • Out of ~17k upvoted open questions we're at 86.5% answered. Is that bad? That means 17/20 people who post here get answers.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 3:54
  • I agree, 86.5% is a good amount, but that still doesn't change the fact that there's another 13.5% excellent questions that could be answered.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 5:03

4 Answers 4


I offer 300 points reward bounty to someone who answers 3 currently unanswered questions, each over 6 months old and of score at least +2 at the time of answering, with answers of score at least +3. Ping me here with links to claim reward.

No purchase necessary. Limit one offer per person or account. See store for details. Contest void where prohibited. Do not operate heavy machinery while participating. Patent pending. Side effects may vary. I reserve the right to modify or terminate this offer for any reason, without notice at any time. Participate at your own risk.

Thank you Ploni for answering these six old questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 (Note when Ploni participated the offer was for 250 points for 6 questions.)

Thank you mbloch for answering these three old questions: 1, 2, 3

Thank you רבות מחשבות for answering these three old questions: 1, 2, 3

Thank you Alex for answering these three old questions: 1, 2, 3

Thank you Joel K for answering these three old questions: 1, 2, 3

Thank you aBochur for answering these three old questions: 1, 2, 3

Thank you Monica Cellio for answering these three old questions: 1, 2, 3


We could make a list of high-value (as indicated by net score), tough (as indicated by duration unanswered) questions that ought to be answerable by top experts in their areas, identify, for each one, names of experts (including, e.g., rabbis who don't frequent the internet) who ought to be able to answer, and then solicit help from community members who can reach out to those experts.


Some of these unanswered questions may have enough material for an answer hiding in the comments. I've created a query that attempts to find such questions.

-- Finds question posts that are open, unanswered, at least six months old,
-- and with comments saying the word "answer". Counts up such comments as 
-- well as comments that look even more like they're asking for an answer.
-- Goal: Find questions that have answers hiding in the comments.

Clicking on questions listed by this query, seeing if there's answer material in the comment stream, and if so, converting that material into an answer could be a worthwhile exercise.

Ideas for making the query more effective and/or alternative queries for this purpose are welcome.

  • Some of the questions "found" by this query do have answers. Is it querying at the time you made the query (and these answers were then presumably written later), or is it querying in real-time, and there is a bug in the query?
    – user9643
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 5:52
  • @Ploni do the answers you're referring to have positive scores? This query considers a question "Unanswered" until it gets an answer with a positive score, like the Unanswered queue does. The rationale is that until a question gets answers that someone in the community finds valuable, it presumably could benefit from more answers.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 13:23
  • IIRC they did not have positive scores.
    – user9643
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 23:31

Maybe we should feature some old questions. People can go through and recommend high quality questions that somehow fell through the cracks, and we can promote them.

One possible way to do this could be an ad that links to our list of questions we'd like to draw attention to.


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