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"Answer found elsewhere" - let's make some changes
Thread poster: Jennifer Byers

Jennifer Byers  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
Portuguese to English
Feb 11, 2016

I know there is another forum on this topic, from 2013/2014. On that occasion the suggestion was to abolish the option. I would like to make the following suggestions for change, without abolishing the option:

1 - If an asker finds the answer elsewhere, the LEAST they should do is let people know what it was, and where they found it, and put it into the KOG. Perhaps a new field is necessary, that would enable the asker to insert the answer they found.
2 - Awarding points should not be mandatory in this case in order to close the question, however, it should remain an option that the asker can use to reward someone who may have put him/her on the right track, but failed to come up with the actual answer.

There are askers who repeatedly use the "Answer found elsewhere" option and then just disappear, without even a word of thanks in the discussion entries. It goes against the spirit of the site and the whole Kudoz facility - aren't we meant to be helping each other? Rather than jealously guarding the answer found, after people have tried to help, it should be made public. That way we all win - even if no one gets the ruddy points.


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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 17:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good idea, but it seems unworkable. Feb 12, 2016

The hit and run posters will continue do just that (unless they are forcibly stopped e.g. by not being allowed to post another question until they have given a answer to the first). But ProZ won't implement anything like that. And I imagine that many of them only post very infrequently and have a short life on the site in any case.

Just filter them and, if you feel strongly enough, note on the question that this isn't really acceptable behaviour.


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Mohd Hamzah  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 01:44
Member
English to Malay
+ ...
Good idea by Jennifer Feb 12, 2016

At first, the askers seems confuse with the working text and got blank with some terms thus lead them to point out question in Kudoz, but then found the suggested answers are not meet with what they are working despite the answers given are make sense and there were effort were given by the people who are answering.

In my opinion, I agree with Jennifer.


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:44
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Good idea Feb 12, 2016

Good idea, but how are you going to make them give up the info?

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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:44
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Make better use of existing features? Feb 12, 2016

I agree it can be very frustrating when an asker simply closes a question saying 'Answer found elsewhere' (and without giving further details about that answer) when others have already given perfectly good answers.

However, rather than implementing new features we might be able to just make better use of existing features. Why not give moderators the power to re-open such questions? (I actually think moderators already have that power - in which case it would be just a matter of asking them to make more/better use of that power.)

Moderators could then re-open the question and ask the asker to provide their own answer or select one of the existing answers. If the asker doesn't react within a given time, the question could then be opened to community grading.

In my experience, most of the 'Answer found elsewhere' cases are actually questions which have been closed very early before anyone even commented or provided an answer. Very often that seems to be a case of the asker realizing immediately after posting the question that the answer is actually obvious. In those cases it would often make much more sense to delete ('squash') the question altogether - rather than keeping a question without answer in the KudoZ archive.



[Edited at 2016-02-12 08:57 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
In an ideal world... Feb 12, 2016

It can be really frustrating when you have invested your own time - whether it's a minute or two, or 5 or even 10 - researching a term only to find that irritating gnomic "Answer found elsewhere" message.

If only we could pursue the perpetrators to the ends of the earth, before proceeding to flay them to within an inch of their miserable lives... It'd make me feel slightly better at any rate

PS: It happened to me right now - I've just spent 10 minutes researching a Spanish medical anagram just for the heck of it, only to find that the poster has withdrawn the query. I'm not a happy bunny, especially as I thought I was getting somewhere...



[Edited at 2016-02-12 11:15 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I often post a discussion entry, asking for an answer Feb 12, 2016

... usually in vain, but it just MAY remind an inexperienced KudoZ user that KudoZ is for sharing.

Another possibility might be that the question is left open for the community to award points.

At least then there is a chance of someone getting points - if the 'answer found elsewhere' option is chosen, then why not set the system to transfer the question automatically, so that it cannot be closed without an answer?

Either the asker fills in the answer found, or the question remains open until the community selects an answer. Of course, many questions may still not be closed, but there is always a chance, even years later!

Closing the question before the 24 hours have elapsed can be useful if the question was a typo, for instance, and the asker has found the correct spelling - then there is no point in any further searching for meaning, but it would still be courteous to confirm what the solution was.


[Edited at 2016-02-12 09:17 GMT]


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Jennifer Byers  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Close question by posting answer Feb 12, 2016

Jo Macdonald wrote:

Good idea, but how are you going to make them give up the info?



I wasn't clear; it's only the awarding of points that would not be necessary in order to close the question. The answer would have to be provided before closing the question.


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Jennifer Byers  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
The points are secondary in this case! Feb 12, 2016

Christine wrote:
"Another possibility might be that the question is left open for the community to award points.

At least then there is a chance of someone getting points - if the 'answer found elsewhere' option is chosen, then why not set the system to transfer the question automatically, so that it cannot be closed without an answer?"



The focus in this case shouldn't be on who gets the points. The focus is on finding an answer to a hitherto unknown term or question. And if no right answer has been found, how can the community choose a "right" one from a load of duds? Sometimes people just have to accept that they tried but didn't come up with the goods. The consolation prize is not points, but ideally, new knowledge - because the asker has shared the "answer found elsewhere"!

Sorry, done something wrong here and Christine's comment didn't come out as a quote.

[Edited at 2016-02-12 12:08 GMT]


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Jennifer Byers  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Points are secondary Feb 12, 2016

[quote]Thomas Pfann wrote:

If the asker doesn't react within a given time, the question could then be opened to community grading.

In my experience, most of the 'Answer found elsewhere' cases are actually questions which have been closed very early before anyone even commented or provided an answer. Very often that seems to be a case of the asker realizing immediately after posting the question that the answer is actually obvious. In those cases it would often make much more sense to delete ('squash') the question altogether - rather than keeping a question without answer in the KudoZ archive.


As per my comment on Christine's post, the community can't grade answers that are simply not right. Again, I think we need to set aside the points and the glory and focus on the knowledge and on getting a proper answer into the glossary. Sometimes the exercise of looking for an answer yields new insights (always fun!) and sends the asker onto a path to an answer that they hadn't previously thought of. In that case, they should provide the answer and then, if they wish, award a few points to whoever was most helpful.

I agree that squashing questions that are posted in error is the best possible solution.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I agree that points are secondary Feb 12, 2016

... but we have to accept the fact that they are what drive Kudoz.

On the other hand, if anyone actually wants to, it is possible to provide an answer to a question after it has been closed. And why not, in the interests of the KOG?

Some canny people know that being seen giving good answers on Kudoz is at least as important as getting the points. The people who really count look at all the answers and comments, and don't necessarily go for the one selected by the original poster.

Leaving the question open for the community will not necessarily result in points going to the least silly of a selection of duds - it may draw another attempt at finding a real answer.

As long as the question is still open, there is an incentive to work on it.

Well, that is how my convoluted mind works, anyway.


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Jennifer Byers  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Gotcha Christine! Feb 12, 2016

Agreed - I think!

Either way, it brings us back to the original point, which is that "Answer found elsewhere" is not an acceptable way to end a question and the onus should be on the asker who selects that option to reciprocate the efforts of peers and share the answer found, IMHO.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:44
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
We should also not rule out the possibility... Feb 12, 2016

that the asker did not post the solution because he/she never really found one that was entirely appropriate before the deadline (or at least not one he/she is sure enough about to admit to colleagues)

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Lancashireman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:44
German to English
System block Feb 15, 2016

A question is closed automatically after 14 days if one or more answers has secured a minimum of two agrees. The same principle should be applied to the circumstances described by the original poster, i.e. the system should prevent askers from closing questions on the grounds of Answer Found Elsewhere if one or more proposals has already secured 2+ agrees. After all, the definition of a KudoZ asker is "the person who didn't know the answer in the first place".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not quite Feb 15, 2016

Lancashireman wrote:
...After all, the definition of a KudoZ asker is "the person who didn't know the answer in the first place".


I don't agree 100% with that definition. I sometimes post kudoz queries simply to brainstorm our colleagues' opinions, to see if anyone comes up with a better version of the term or phrase than the one/s I'm considering. In fact, more often than not I already have an idea of how I'm going to translate the thing and just want some backup.


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