This question was closed for being "opinion-based". I honestly don't see how this relates to any opinion. The answer is actually written in the comments and was here pretty much from the start.

Could someone who spends more time than me on this website explain why it was closed?

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    $\begingroup$ Your question is essentially "I have found a mathematical result. Is it new/interesting?" Whether a result is interesting is highly opinion based. Whether it is new can be figured out by experts in specific domain. But more than that I find the question lacking in details of how you arrive at the result. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    Commented Feb 7 at 5:46
  • $\begingroup$ Since this is about this particular question, I have added the tag (specific-question). See the tag-info for mor information about this tag. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7 at 6:46
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    $\begingroup$ You asked whether such-and-such a result is interesting, Anne. How can that not be opinion-based? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7 at 8:52
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    $\begingroup$ “The answer is actually written in the comments” The only comment is “It depends 100% on what your technique is. Without knowing that, it's impossible to answer. “ $\endgroup$
    – Hayatsu
    Commented Feb 8 at 4:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Hayatsu there used to be more, and the first one was the answer. For some reason someone decided to censor the others (it's not only that people separately decided to delete theirs since some were mine). I am starting to think a certain moderator has a hard time admitting they were wrong and deleted the evidence. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 8 at 5:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can see no earthly reason to close your question. I guess some users just enjoy wielding their powers. $\endgroup$
    – TonyK
    Commented Feb 11 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ The question we are discussing has since been deleted. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 25 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


Remember that the goal of the SE network is to create a repository of knowledge, in the form of high quality questions and informative, authoritative answers. A question should be easily discoverable via search (e.g. from Google or Bing). A good question on the SE network should, in principle, admit an objectively correct, authoritative answer (not competing opinions, discussion, or a diversity of different but relevant answers). The question discussed in the this meta post fails to meet this requirement in at least four ways (in roughly descending order of importance):

  1. The question is asking for an opinion. The question in title and in the body of the question itself is "Is this interesting?" That is a matter of opinion. What one person finds interesting is dreadfully boring to another person. Such a question does not admit an authoritative answer.

  2. The question asks if the result is new. Math SE is not an appropriate place to ask if some result is "new". At best, you will be told that the result is not new, and you'll be pointed in the direction of some paper or text in which the result is discussed. At worst, you'll get a bunch of people who claim the result is new (and they might even be right!), but there is no good way of knowing how expert those people are, and if they really have an exhaustive knowledge of the area of mathematics that you are working in. This is the job of peer review, and Math SE is not set up to do that job.

  3. The question lacks research. When you ask "Is this new?", you are essentially asking the community here to do your job for you as a researcher. It is your job to put in the legwork to look for previous results in the literature and determine if your result is new. At the very least, you should have reached out to some local expert (an advisor, for example) for input. It is not this community's job to do your research for you.

  4. The question lacks context. Questions on this site need to provide context—you need to explain where your problem comes from and why anyone should consider it interesting. I won't repeat everything which is said in the answer to which I have linked but, at the very least, if you are asking if something is new, you need to tell us where you have looked for similar results, what tools you think are going to be useful (theorems, definitions, etc.), why you think the result is interesting / new, and so on.

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    $\begingroup$ Sorry if I sound rude, but I don't think any of your points makes sense. 1. the word "interesting" here is used in a specific context. It doesn't take much effort to understand it is about whether this result is already known or not. In this case a definitive answer exists: "It is a weaker version of Fermat's little theorem". Once this is said there is no point for debate on the philosophical meaning of being interesting... $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7 at 18:41
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    $\begingroup$ 2. Your point doesn't hold since I actually got what I was looking for (being told that "It is a weaker version of Fermat's little theorem"). The only issue for me is that I probably pissed off a few people along the way. If my result required being an expert to be identified as new or not then I would indeed not have had a definitive answer, but so do many good questions on this website and I can't know before asking. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7 at 18:48
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    $\begingroup$ 3. What if my job isn't to be a researcher? What if I cannot easily contact a local expert and don't want to bother them with a question that will be answered in a few minutes online? This seems to be just your opinion on how it should be allowed to do research or not. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7 at 18:56
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    $\begingroup$ @AnneAunyme I am not going to engage in a debate with you here. Your question does not meet the standards which questions on this site are expected to meet, for the reasons outlined above. Your question will not be reopened unless it is edited to conform to those standards. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Feb 7 at 19:34

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