In regard to this:

What's the difference between 平和 and 和平?

I went ahead and posted this question as you see it, but Dono noted that the original post didn't mention any research effort or anything. If I want to add a question to the site that I would feel is useful, but that I am able to research and find an answer to myself, would it be appropriate to just leave out that information? Should I state explicitly in the question that I have carried out research and am going to answer my own question and just wait for a correction or better answer if someone else has it?

The following questions are relevant but do not address this particular issue:

Can we ask question for which we know the answer?

What to do? My useful question is already answered elsewhere

4 Answers 4


Although questions "[showing] research effort" are encouraged, if you're answering your own question, it should be clear from your answer that you've done the research yourself. Other users will see that you've answered your own question, even if you don't point it out explicitly.

Besides, you can't show all the research you've done in the question. If you did, you wouldn't have anything left to write in the answer! You'd have to end your question with "Is this correct?" and answer with simply "Yes"!

Of course, you can't go to the opposite extreme, either. If you put everything in the answer, it's not a real question and no one else can answer it! Your question should be complete and make sense, even without your answer.

Beyond that, show your research effort in your answer.


All four of Dono's hits are in Japanese... and well beyond the ability of many people who would ask this question. (The last 3 are also far less authoritative than wikipedia, you tend to need even more knowledge of the language to know what you can trust there)

Although we know you (ssb) are perfectly capable of reading them, that's totally irrelevant for judging if research has been done.

Aside from that, we don't have a 'general reference' close reason (and even if it did, we couldn't count Japanese-language dictionaries or we'd have basically no questions left). Being overly technical ("Does this show research effort or not?" "check") on a message that's a relic from stackoverflow is not particularly helpful to our community.

  • The first page of hits for "What is the difference between 平和 and 和平", "difference between 平和 and 和平", and "平和 vs 和平" don't show anything that provides the answer that I can see (excluding JLU), so I don't think it's a "general reference" question that someone could trivially find. Sure, other key words may find it (I don't know what Dono used), but if you know those than you probably already know the answer. So I think it passes the "leave open" test. I'm not sure how to prove "research effort" explicitly though.
    – Troyen
    Jan 18, 2013 at 1:11
  • I think the research effort rule is more there to discourage questions like "how to learn program?????" questions rather than stuff like this which is why I went ahead and did it. If posting questions to share your information are encouraged on SE, as seems to be the case, then it seems obvious to me that you shouldn't need to say what you have done to try to find the answer. But what I'm not sure of is exactly what does constitute a well-formed question in this case.
    – ssb
    Jan 18, 2013 at 1:39
  • 1
    For the record, I searched for "平和 和平 違い". And I see no reason to shy away from Japanese language hits, especially for a forum about Japanese language. Rather, this should be encouraged. Everyone has different levels of ability, but if parts cannot be parsed--upon at least trying a dictionary--then these should be brought up as questions.
    – Dono
    Jan 18, 2013 at 8:46
  • I often find searching for A B 使い分け useful in cases like this.
    – user1478
    Jan 18, 2013 at 19:06

I've used the "Answer your own question" checkbox and answered at the same time before as well, e.g. What's the etymology of 負けず嫌い?.

I've found there that, in the process of researching while writing my question, I essentially answered it, so I figured I may as well move the "research" part which answers the question into an answer to document it for myself and anyone else who might have the same question in the future.

In some other cases, I didn't post some of my questions after answering them in the process as I didn't think they were likely to be useful to other people in the future, but I don't think that applies in this case.

I've changed my position multiple times on this kind of issue in the past, but I increasingly think all we should do is apply the effort/research rule on a case-by-case basis where it's beneficial to the site to do so. If extra research in a question could improve the content of the site or could clarify what's being asked, maybe extra information should be asked for, but in this case I don't think it would, and in any case the answer here I think shows more than a reasonable amount of research effort.


I already wrote this in response to the first meta question you linked to, but if you know the answer (or one of the possible answers) when you ask a question, please post the question and the answer at the same time by using the checkbox labeled “Answer your own question” on the “Ask a Question” page.

  • 1
    That's not where my confusion was. Rather it was in whether I should specify in the question that I am going to answer it (and thus not need to show 'research effort')
    – ssb
    Jan 18, 2013 at 14:22
  • @ssb I wouldn't explicitly call it out in the question. If you're providing a pre-answered question to help future visitors with the same problem, there's no need to explicitly say you're going to answer it. In fact, it distracts from the topic.
    – Troyen
    Jan 18, 2013 at 17:03
  • @ssb: Why would you like to post a question and an answer separately while the system has the very functionality to post a question and an answer at the same time? Jan 18, 2013 at 18:55
  • 1
    @TsuyoshiIto: Pretty sure he did use that feature... the question and answer were posted in the same minute.
    – jkerian
    Jan 18, 2013 at 19:42
  • @TsuyoshiIto The question at hand is how to phrase a question when using that feature to meet the "show evidence of research" criteria we ask for good questions. In other words, how to properly word a question you already know the answer to.
    – Troyen
    Jan 18, 2013 at 21:26
  • @Troyen: Then I do not know what ssb is asking. If he/she posts a question and an answer, why should that mean that it lacks the research? Jan 19, 2013 at 12:41
  • That's ssb's question. ssb posted a question and answer and someone said "where's your research?" and paraphrased the FAQ that says good questions should show some research. This question is seeking clarification on when and how that should happen in regards to self-answered questions.
    – Troyen
    Jan 19, 2013 at 22:49
  • @Troyen: Then that somebody posted the comments without reading the whole thing. It is silly, but I do not think that there is anything unclear. Jan 20, 2013 at 7:00

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