I've seen a few types of questions, which make me slightly... uneasy.

One is the "Complete this reaction" type:

Note that not all of the posts are necessarily "bad", I'm just listing a random bunch of questions which fall under this category.

These questions are essentially "I have A and B, A+B gives...?". I don't know what exactly is "bad" about them, I just don't like the look of some of them :P

The other is the "What's this molecule?" type:

I'm OK with the "what's the IUPAC name of X" type questions, since they talk about nomenclature concepts, and can lead to good, comprehensive answers. On the other hand, questions just asking for a name (like the tattoo one--doesn't ask for an IUPAC name, and I doubt anyone would answer with such a long name) can't really be answered with much more than "It's called Y".

I basically want to know the community's "feel" on such questions, how to identify "bad" questions of these types, and proposed policies if necessary. Thus this meta post.


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I'd look for a parallel over on Physics, where the emphasis is that questions and answers should be conceptual, to avoid them being too localised.

For questions like the tattoo one, it's a real candidate to be closed for being too localised.

But it would be salveagable, if the answer was conceptual: that is, if it led the reader through the process of identifying a molecule and its name, as F'x does here on one of the other questions you've indentified.

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