I am aware of the questions List of Generalizations of Common Questions and Coping with abstract duplicate questions, but I would like to make a suggestion.

On Computer Science meta, there is a similar list Reference answers to frequently asked questions. As you can see, the title is a little bit different as it emphasizes answers rather than questions. The second difference is the purpose of this list, which is frequently given as a reference to OP's before closing their questions. Let me quote the first and the last paragraph:

If you were sent here, somebody thought that you posted your question too early, that is you don't know facts and/or techniques one would learn in undergraduate courses. This is not your fault, but for us who write answers it has become a chore to explain the same things over and over again (many such questions arise from homework, and homework problems do not differ a lot).


That said, you find links to the reference posts grouped by topic below:

I would like to propose a slightly different approach for MathExchange. I would like to keep the idea of a list of Reference answers to frequently asked questions, and to make it very easily available, even if possible to include it in the top line, like this:


and of course document it in the Help center. This list would have two purposes. First, prevent some possible duplicate questions. Secondly, allow one to give shorter answers to questions. But contrary to Computer Science, I would not like to use this list to close questions in a systematic way.

Let me give a concrete example. On C.S. (and on Math. StackExchange) there are many questions asking for converting a regular expression into an automaton (or an automaton into a regular expression). These questions are often closed on C.S., which I find sometimes unfair, because even if there are standard algorithms to solve these questions, further explanations are often required. However, it would be a great help to be able to provide an answer stating: "you can use our Reference Answer as a basis. Keeping the same notation, you have in your case $Q = \{1, 2, 3\}$, etc."

I think this would save a lot of time, while still giving the same amount of information.

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this depends on how you define frequently asked questions. But I have tried to compile something which could be called list of frequently asked questions for some very narrow topics. As you can see, even these lists are quite long. So I have some doubts about feasibility of similar undertaking for the whole site. $\endgroup$ Feb 10 '16 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ Another thing that I want to mention is that for any tag (or combinations of tags) you can use frequent tab. Examples: inequality tag or inequality+absolute-value. Questions displayed there are chosen by SE software, not manually. Selection is based on number of links. Which means that if we try our best at closing duplicates and linking to related questions with good answers, we can significantly improve quality of these lists. $\endgroup$ Feb 10 '16 at 12:16

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