# Have there been more closed/duplicate questions recently than usual?

I try to do my civic duty and vote on the review queues. To that end, I have noticed a large number of close votes during the past two weeks.

Is this amount typical? Perhaps a user who has been around longer or who has access to statistics can comment.

If there is an increase, what is causing it? By determining why some questions are failing, perhaps we can identify ways to solve the problem.

This question isn't about criticizing decisions on specific questions. Let's try to focus instead on general trends and ways to improve the site.

• I'm wondering if there has been an increase in this problem though.
– uhoh
Oct 31 '18 at 17:37

## 2 Answers

Neither this month nor the past seven months have had an unusual number of questions closed. The last anomaly was in February when we had 41 questions closed. For reference, this month 19 questions have been closed. The February anomaly coincided with the Starman launch. We received a large number of questions during that time, many of which needed to be closed.

One thing that has been different about this year from 2016 and 2017 is that we haven't had an idle period. In 2016 and 2017 there were months where the number of questions closed dipped down to 9 (or even zero in January). This was due to having a lower volume of questions in general. This year we have not experienced a reduction in questions asked to the degree that we have seen such a dip in questions closed, not even in January. This is probably largely the aftermath of the Starman launch. While not everyone who asked questions during that time stuck around, we did get a number of new users.

That doesn't explain January, but perhaps we saw a surge of questions (relative to previous Januarys) at that time in preparation for the Starman launch.

• Thank you, I appreciate the stats and your analysis. Oct 28 '18 at 5:51

I too noticed this, and a few days before you posted your question. Based on @called2voyage's answer I can guess that this may be some combination of the following:

• random fluctuations: 3σ of N=25 makes +/- 15 (approximation warning)
• variable attention rate (sometimes I pay attention, sometimes not)
• beginning of the academic year about a month ago. (goes to type of closed question as well as rate)
• short attention span (mine at least)
• The start of the academic year had also crossed my mind. Oct 28 '18 at 5:53
• The lowest months this year so far were January, March, and August. They each had 15 questions closed. So far we have not seen a significant increase in closed questions since the start of the academic year: June--18, July--19, August--15, September--18, and October--19.
– called2voyage Mod
Oct 29 '18 at 19:54
• @called2voyage thanks for that.
– uhoh
Oct 30 '18 at 1:39