Yesterday, I asked the following question on conjectured values of certain factorial rational zeta series. It was downvoted twice, and upvoted once.

I'm wondering where the downvotes have come from. In my eyes, it was a reasonable question to ask, and I had checked the literature on the subject. This question was a reference question in a sense, though it didn't have this tag.


  1. Are there things I could and should have done to improve this question?
  2. Is a question of this type (asking for conjectured closed forms of certain constants) generally appropriate for MSE?
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ I'm speculating "where the downvotes have come from." You've made it a multipart problem with no connection between solving one part and the others beyond the linked page at MathWorld. Sharing context that links them would be an improvement (votes currently stand at 2 up and 2 down). The MathWorld page provides the six-decimal expansions as images which makes it harder to check the Inverse Symbolic Calculator. Longer expansions can be found at the OEIS links on the MathWorld page. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Aug 8 at 12:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I would say "conjectured closed form" is itself kind of vague. My first reaction upon reading the post is to ask "closed form in terms of what?" Skimming the MathWorld page and some linked pages, I found that the criterion seems to allow the usual elementary functions, along with certain values of the zeta function, Stieltjes constants, the Glaisher-Kinkelin Constant (which does have a closed form in terms of derivatives of the zeta function). $\endgroup$
    – Elliot Yu
    Aug 8 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ ... While the criterion for a "closed form" might be obvious to someone who works with these special functions a lot, I don't think the question should require such expertise to understand. So I would at least add examples of these "closed form" expressions for context. $\endgroup$
    – Elliot Yu
    Aug 8 at 14:11
  • 16
    $\begingroup$ I always prefer giving opinion to improve a question rather than downvoting. $\endgroup$
    – MAS
    Aug 8 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @hardmath and ElliotYu Alright, thank you for the feedback - I will definitely take your points in consideration $\endgroup$
    – Max Muller
    Aug 9 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ @MAS I think that's a great attitude to have $\endgroup$
    – Max Muller
    Aug 9 at 22:15
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think downvotes should be justified by the downvoter. I also think your question is interesting. Happy to upvote it. $\endgroup$ Aug 14 at 1:51


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