Of course, they are on-topic. Some examples:
What metal is this?
What is this blue crystal?
What is the white substance left behind after boiling down water
Identifying a glass frosting chemical
what is the white fuzz left behind on basement floor after puddle evaporated
Scary jelly forming on zinc anodes
Can the green spots in these coins be copper ...
There are many good questions about the identification of unknown substances, and a valuable addition to the Q&A database is a good deed as long as it is in agreement with Help Center — Asking section.
I'd like to stress out several points that I think need to be considered in this case:
Collect enough information and formulate the question in such a ...
I don't generally answer organic chemistry questions and I certainly do not answer meta question but I would like to take this opportunity to answer your question although orthocresol already provided all the points.
Let's consider two types of question:
What is the mechanism of this reaction?
[Enter reaction image]
plz what is the mechanism of the rxn? ...
It depends on what you mean by the quality of the questions.
If we're talking about how they're presented, with poor grammar or poor photos of mechanisms, etc., then that's easy to fix: just edit it! There are lots of amazing users here who put lots of effort into doing this.
But if we're talking about how intrinsically interesting they are, then that's ...
You could try to join a journal club. Often, research groups run these to keep up with the current literature. Sometimes they choose a set of papers that is related so you encounter certain concepts again and again.
Ideally, there will be individuals of different experience in a journal club (e.g. graduate students who just started and those who are about to ...
Since I did claim it was on-topic, I guess I'll try and write a bit. Most of my answer will probably be off-topic for Meta, but maybe I have accumulated enough goodwill here to avoid being suspended by the other mods...?
Reading research papers is challenging for an underdog like me because I often do not possess enough knowledge to fully understand the ...