The data here shows that ELU had the third highest close rate in 2016 in the Stack Exchange network where 51.87% of all questions asked that year were closed. 2017's data is now in and we've taken the top spot for percent closed (out of number asked that year) at 54.82%.
I think the site has pretty much always been this way. A nearly identical concern was brought up in 2011. While the concerns are the same, there are some significant differences between then and now:
- ELL was created January 2013
- The "on hold" mechanism was introduced March 2013. The important aspects of this change are:
For the first five days after a question is closed, questions will display as [on hold] rather than [closed]
Edits by the OP within 5 days of closure trigger automatic addition to the re-open queue.
Most (but not all) questions asked by nonnative speakers would be on-topic for ELL, and usually get a better reception there in terms of votes as well. I have not noticed any difference in the quality of answers between our two sites, either.
The whole idea behind changing it from [on hold] to [closed] for the first five days is to soften the blow and encourage people to edit their posts to fix the problems.
It is not a problem to have the [closed] label on questions. If a question has been closed, most likely there is a problem with it (if not, see "Reversing Closure"). Closed questions (not including duplicates), in theory, act like a signpost saying that such questions are not welcome—but this is a good thing. We don't want more questions with problems.
There are many actions you can take to help get questions reopened. Of note are:
- Editing to fix the problems it got closed for (this is not always possible for people other than the OP)
- Cast reopen votes (requires 250 rep for your own post, 3000 for others' posts)
- Post a reopen request here on Meta with a link to the question and justification why you think the question should be reopened
It's incredibly important to note that ELU is NOT a forum. This is a Question and Answer site which strives to be closer to "a definitive wiki".
That being said, it is perfectly ok for the same question to be asked multiple times (although the same question for the fifteenth time is...not really ok). The duplicate questions serve as signposts for the original. This has been the idea since before day one, since it was one of the ideas behind Stack Overflow:
Remember, in some cases we may want duplicate questions to stick around …
There’s often benefit to having multiple subtle variants of a question around, as people tend to ask and search using completely different words, and the better our coverage, the better odds our fellow programmers can find the answer they’re looking for.
Linking Duplicate Questions
If a question had no answers when it was closed as a duplicate, anyone without an account will be automatically redirected to its duplicate.