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I have not been on this site long, but it seems that I have asked several questions which in some cases get no answers at all, and in others, just one or two. I see old questions that I find to be interesting, but no answers on them. Are we getting more questions than answers lately?

Is it a requirement for citations and research that prevents there being so many answers as some of the other SE sites?

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    Your questions just aren't very interesting, but not so bad they ought to be closed either, so here we are. Apr 1 '16 at 12:16
  • @ChristianHummeluhr I have better luck on Security.SE. Anyway, I asked about other peoples' questions on CogSci that also have no answers. More boring stuff I guess. Perhaps there should be a "dullness" criterion for closing a question. I also asked if the research requirement was lowering the response rate? I have no opposition to that, I was simply saying that perhaps it takes a lot more effort to answer a question here. Skeptics is brutal. Christianity is Hell: different people edit my question and then declare it off-topic based on that. This place is just a Zoo.
    – user9634
    Apr 1 '16 at 16:49
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    @nocomprende I think that research requirements when asking questions would actually enhance the response rate in the long run. When somebody does their homework before asking a question, they tend to ask better questions that then attract more knowledgeable people to the site that want to answer them. When people ask a question without a grounding in the literature, it is not that interesting for an expert to spend time answering it. Apr 14 '16 at 21:29
  • @ArtemKaznatcheev To me, the most interesting questions are those that the largest number of people want the answers to and would benefit them. I don't care if they are a complete idiot and can barely form a sentence, the answer is important because it will help. Probably everyone has wondered about some things, and the question is no less interesting or vital because the asker does not have a university degree. No wonder people use the phrase Ivory Tower! What a self-serving bunch of rubbish. The goal is to help people, not reinforce a self-continuing cultural anomaly.
    – user9634
    Apr 19 '16 at 12:07
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Our answer ratio has been hovering around 80% for quite some time as far as I recall.

At the time of writing, it is 81%.

For example:

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  • "Answered" meaning one or more answers, or an accepted answer (which arguably is less common)? OK, well, either way, I seem to get more than 20% completely unanswered questions.
    – user9634
    Mar 10 '16 at 21:42
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In October 2021, I had the same impression as the OP, that more questions were going unanswered lately, so I ran some up-to-date statistics.

We currently have 1,587 unanswered questions out of 7,436 (78.66% answered).

The rate at which unanswered questions are accumulating over time is non-linear. I overlaid a linear trend line for comparison.

Non-linear accumulated unanswered questions over time

This is based on a query in Data Explorer of all unanswered questions ordered by creation date.

Our answer ratio is thus still hovering around 80%, but there is an acceleration noticeable in the number of questions that go unanswered.

However, this acceleration seems to have mostly started late 2017, early 2018. For example, the unanswered question growth does look linear in the time range of 2019-2021.

Seemingly linear accumulated unanswered questions over time during 2019-2021

Is it a coincidence this coincides with our site reboot initiatives? To thus answer the OPs concluding question:

Is it a requirement for citations and research that prevents there being so many answers as some of the other SE sites?

I expect so. Given that we made the contribution requirements more stringent around that time, it is a reasonable assumption that this has made it harder to answer questions on this site, explaining the increase in the rate at which unanswered questions accumulate.

But, luckily the data also shows the accumulation rate is no longer accelerating as drastically, although a slight uptick mid 2020 is noticeable.

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    Just noting that the slight uptick may be due to question expiry - inactive questions are deleted automatically after a year, so I would always expect slightly fewer unanswered questions more than a year old. The actual trend is probably still linear.
    – Arnon Weinberg Mod
    Oct 11 '21 at 7:11

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