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I would like to know how this question can be improved so that it can be reopened and receive further answers: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/950520/math-problem-is-xyz-is-divisibleby-xyz

I am not the OP for that question, so it's not clear to me whether I can edit the question to add context. The comments say that the OP should show evidence of thinking about the problem. If I edit it to improve it, is it enough to show my thoughts about it? That would improve the question, but it would no longer really be his question.

If it is in fact no longer possible for someone besides the OP himself to improve the question, and someone wishes to provide an answer in addition to those already there, how should he proceed?

I was confronted with that situation, so I asked the OP's question again and answered it myself, since the FAQ says you can ask and answer your own question, here: https://math.stackexchange.com/help/self-answer . I was later told by one member that that was not the right thing to do because that duplicated the OP's question that had been closed.

I would like to clarify that I am the same person as user179549.

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    $\begingroup$ Not relevant to the question, but you might want to have your accounts merged. See this: meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/3544/18398 $\endgroup$ – Joel Reyes Noche Oct 1 '14 at 3:05
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    $\begingroup$ Remember, showing thoughts is really just a proxy for what we really want: the goal is to have posts that are things like Understanding mathematical concepts and theorems. The whole showing of thoughts thing is, IMO, merely a compromise: many people are unwilling to turn aside someone who just wants their homework done by/with the help of MSE, and the hope was that if someone shows their thoughts, more knowledgeable people can pin down just what concepts the OP fails to understand and should have asked about. $\endgroup$ – Hurkyl Oct 1 '14 at 14:40
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The usual process is to post an answer to the question Request for Reopen & Undeletion Votes, etc. to request the question to be reopened. This is what Najib Idrissi did (http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/16920/18398). The question was then re-opened but it was re-closed. If five users with enough reputation vote to re-open, then the question will be re-opened again. (I currently do not have enough reputation to vote to re-open.)

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  • $\begingroup$ By the way, I was one of the users that flagged as duplicate the newer question as a duplicate of the older question. I later commented that I wanted to undo my flag. $\endgroup$ – Joel Reyes Noche Oct 1 '14 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ Okay. My question is what are the criteria for the question to be re-opened, and how would they apply when the OP doesn't participate in improving the question? This is less about the process of people voting than about what the criteria are that they will apply in deciding how to vote. $\endgroup$ – user180040 Oct 1 '14 at 1:20
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. I don't know what criteria the voters will use. Perhaps if they feel that the question is useful for others and that more good answers could be provided. $\endgroup$ – Joel Reyes Noche Oct 1 '14 at 1:22

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