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Today the question Word for a part of a wooden railroad track appeared in my close vote review queue.

Since I am new to close votes that prompts some questions for me.

  • Why on Earth would we close a four year old question with an accepted answer where both question and all answers have many up votes? The question and the three answers accumulate over 90 votes and there is a reasonable accepted answer.

  • How did come into the review queue? Did someone recently go back, flag or close vote it and two other reviewers agreed?

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    It only takes one close vote by one person with a contrary opinion to put it on the queue. That's just one person. You don't have to vote like them. (I had a similar wth reaction to this same question; I wish a 'leave open' vote were available next to the VtC button, not hidden in a queue). – Mitch Sep 5 '16 at 13:13
  • The age and number of votes a question has is completely irrelevant to whether it is off-topic and should be closed. Nothing escapes the community standards simply by being popular. – curiousdannii Sep 5 '16 at 13:54
  • Whether the community standards/guidelines are as they should be or not, this question seems like a definite example of an unresearched question. – curiousdannii Sep 5 '16 at 13:59
  • @curiousdannii that certainly should not apply to well-received question from a time where highly respected users deemed it appropriate at that time. By the way we omit the research request for a lot of single-word-requests. – Helmar Sep 5 '16 at 14:02
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    @Helmar No, the current on/off-topic standards apply to every question. It is like this on every site. Exceptionally high quality old questions can receive historic locks. And most of those single-word-request questions should either be closed for lack of research or for insufficient details on how they'll be used. – curiousdannii Sep 5 '16 at 14:04
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    While most should (particularly for the lack of usage details), it's really difficult to research the name of something you have if you don't already know what it's called. We have a number of picture-based "What's this" questions. While they might generate a larger-than-usual number of answers [bad] those answers are likely to refer to different dialectal usages or nuances [good]. In this case I don't see a problem; there are many other cases where there may well be an issue, as I said in my answer. – Andrew Leach Sep 6 '16 at 10:53
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There was an answer within the last twelve hours or so, which would have propelled the question to the top of the "active" question list and thus made it more visible.

The answer was substandard and converted to a comment, which means it's only visible to 10k users. The three votes so far have come from sub-10k users; there's been a subsequent comment from a 10k+ user who presumably did understand the reason for the bump.

Just because a question is old and was well-received at the time doesn't necessarily mean that it's still well-received now. We have a number of questions which are deliberately preserved for posterity, and many more which have never resurfaced to be voted on.

However, in this instance, I believe the question is on-topic, and well-expressed.

Close votes do age and "Leave Open" votes on reviews also have an effect.

  • Thanks for sharing that 10k+ transparency. – Helmar Sep 5 '16 at 8:48
  • For what it's worth, my "Leave Open" vote has removed it from the review queue. It's still possible to cast "real" close votes on it, but that's not something I feel is warranted. – Andrew Leach Sep 5 '16 at 9:33

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