What's the current homework policy?
The current HW policy is laid out in this post. In essence, only blatant homework copy-pastes should be closed. These often get closed unilaterally by moderators.
Why do we need to do this? What's wrong with status quo?
There have previously been disagreements over the current HW policy. Similar issues have cropped up on other closely related Stack Exchange sites, and are likely to eventually happen here unless we can offer a convincing reason for the HW policy, which leads to:
There is little or no current justification for the policy, apart from "we don't like homework questions", which is an inherently exclusive argument. There needs to be a better argument for closing such questions.
The word "homework" itself is a poor descriptor. People resent having their questions labelled as HW (which bears a negative connotation) and it leads to a lot of explanation about how "homework doesn't literally mean homework" - in which case, why are we still calling it that?!
"Showing effort" is a poor criterion for determining the quality of a question. In one of the worst case scenarios, OP's "efforts" are way off the mark and simply become useless noise for future readers. In another bad scenario, OP's efforts are entirely correct and the answerer is reduced to saying "yes, you're right".
The HW policy is subjective and open to interpretation. There is occasional "misuse" of the HW close reason - not exactly abuse, but different people have different quality standards. Furthermore, what counts as "effort" is unclear. If somebody simply adds a line at the bottom of their question "I tried to look in my textbook, but couldn't find anything", does that count as effort?
The HW tag currently serves little purpose, except for collecting statistics. Even the application of the HW tag to a question is dubious and controversial. In principle, there should be no difference between answering a homework-type question and one that is not homework, since we are firmly against offering "incomplete hints" as answers to homework questions.
What are we going to do, then?
We're going to go from scratch. So, if you're still thinking about the old HW policy, stop thinking about it. We're not going to improve it. We're getting rid of it and replacing it with something new entirely.
Closure is a way of saying: "This question is not suitable for Stack Exchange". Leaving out homework, there are four existing close reasons, namely too broad, unclear, primarily opinion-based, and personal medical question.
Our aim here is to find out what type of questions, apart from those four types, should be closed i.e. are not suitable for Stack Exchange.
The question that we need to ask is therefore:
What other characteristics of questions might make them a poor fit for the site?
In your time here, have you come across any question that you felt "this should be closed"? (I'm willing to bet 10,000 reputation that you have.) We would like to hear from you about exactly why you think that question was not useful. There is only one requirement:
These characteristics have to be related to principles of the SE network, as well as the aims of Chem.SE in particular. For example, the aims of Chem.SE do not include "preventing people from getting homework help". Therefore, such a reason cannot be the rationale for closing questions, whether we like it or not.
These characteristics will form the basis of the new closure policy. Do not be worried if these characteristics mean that questions that were previously closed may be reopened, or questions that are currently open may be closed. Change has been long overdue.
I acknowledge that any new closure policy is likely to have some degree of overlap with the old HW policy. Therefore, if it helps you to come up with some ideas, start by thinking about bad HW questions: what is it that makes them a poor fit for the site? However, I hope that you do not constrain yourself to such questions. Remember: this is not a rehash of the old policy; it is a new policy.
A few of us think that it'd be a good idea to schedule a chat session to discuss the above issues. As such, we'd appreciate it a lot if you could indicate what kind of time you think you might be available in chat. Just a rough gauge would do. I suspect that we will end up using some time around 16:00 UTC.