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I'd like to know the meaning of a question being closed. I am under the impression that the OP is not allowed to revise the question anymore. Is there anything more than that ?

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    $\begingroup$ Just to emphasize this key point: the exact opposite is true! The closing of a question is essentially an invitation for the OP to revise the question so as to improve it! $\endgroup$ – Matt E Apr 28 '11 at 3:09
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That is false. The OP may revise a closed question as many times as they would like. If they feel that after editing it, the question is now appropriate, the OP can flag their own question with a comment to the moderators to ask them to reopen the question. Some more information about closed questions is here.

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    $\begingroup$ I would suggest that, instead of flagging for Moderators to re-open, starting a thread on meta to advocate for re-opening the question. The same way five 3K+ users can close a question, five 3K+ users can vote to re-open. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ See esp. the highest-voted answer Closing Questions Considered Harmful. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Apr 27 '11 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ The important part is for the OP to fix the question according to the comments left to make it answerable (for "not a real question" closures) and bring it within the scope and interest of the website (for "off topic" and "too localized" questions). $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: that is not the highest voted answer.... this one is (at the moment; I doubt 14 votes came in within the past 2 minutes). $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: you can also comment on closed questions. And as I mentioned before, a good thing when you start a discussion thread about whether a question should be closed/reopened is to link to the meta discussion in a comment. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: I also call bunk on "not enough folks visiting meta". A somewhat unscientific sampling of 20 (every third row of the user listing by reputation) of the ~50 users with open/close powers gives 14 who visited meta within the past 24 hours, 4 within the past week, and 2 outside that period. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: I, on the other hand, suspect that most of the questions that were closed were rightly so, and the ones that should not have been just don't have enough people advocating for them. Why don't you try it some time? Find a question that is closed, as you say, improperly, and post a polite comment on meta explaining why you think the question deserves another chance? $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: my bunk however, is very forceful against your defeatist attitude about my suggestion, which is based on an incorrect assumption that people don't visit meta. I don't disagree with you that the absolute majority of closed questions do not get re-opened, but that has no bearing on the discussion here, does it? $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 18:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: can I see those facts? Haven't your recent attempts to reopen posts (by posting on meta, nonetheless) mostly worked? Are you really going to assume that this community has been in stasis since before I joined some 6 months ago? I know we disagree on many things and I'm in no position to force you to try my suggestion, but I plead with you: give it a try, see if it works. If it doesn't, at least you'll have some facts to convince me with. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: I'm probably going blind, but it doesn't seem that any of your 25 meta questions involved a reopening plea... $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Apr 27 '11 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: The number of reopened questions alone is really irrelevant. What would be relevant is the ratio of that number over the number of questions that deserve to be reopened. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Vogt Apr 27 '11 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M.: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/2052/… meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/814/… meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/748/… the latter two do support Bill's impression that in the early days of this website discussion of reopening was not very successful. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 27 '11 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M. We'd probably have much richer answers if folks were not so quick to close questions due to technicalities. Often times students do not have the expertise to properly formulate questions. Sometimes the most interesting answers arise due to various panoramic interpretations given by experts. Even at the frontiers of math it is not always clear what the right questions are or how to best formulate them. One can find remarks to this effect by eminent mathematicians as grand theories like class field theory evolved, and even today in contemporary developments (e.g. Langlands program). $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Apr 27 '11 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: Dear Bill, Thank you for your kind words about my answers. I do think that some questions that appear poorly posed can nevertheless have an essential kernel of significance, which can lead to meaningful answers from an expert. In particular, I think that sometimes beginners can ask questions which more experienced people are sometimes averse to asking, which get at important mathematical points. In general, I have a broad view as to what constitutes a reasonable question, and I agree with Bill that questions shouldn't be closed in haste, or without very good reason. ... $\endgroup$ – Matt E Apr 28 '11 at 3:04
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    $\begingroup$ I also agree with @Willie that at this point in the site's development, posts on meta asking to reopen closed questions have a good chance to be successful (if the closed post has any sort of merit as a question). My feeling (based partly on MO experience) is that once such meta posts become standard, the asymmetry between closing and reopening becomes less pronounced, because people get used to going to meta to check on the status of various questions, and reopen votes become part of the routine of visiting the site. Regards, $\endgroup$ – Matt E Apr 28 '11 at 3:08

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