On all the stackexchange forum I participate, the person asking a new question is invited to provide information on what he/she tried / researched on the topic as part of the question.

Most the data-request question are often Where can I find .... with no background on what the person already tried and found (found nothing on this or that site is already a good information to share).

Should reviewers start to moderate more on this aspect?

2 Answers 2


I think it is difficult due to the form of questions and data requests.

If I haven't found any website related with my data for instance, should I say that I googled it and didn't find anything?

However, it would be something that we shall promote in the comments. When we see a data requests, we can add a comment and ask about what he/she has already done.


Some StackExchange sites require that you explain what you have tried, because you are having a problem with something which is supposed to work.

For instance:

  • I tried to print a string with Log4j and it did not work.
  • I tried to print a string with Log4j and it did not work, here is my code: [the code].

Printing a string with Log4j is supposed to work. Hundreds of people do this everyday. If it does not work, then the asker must be doing something in a wrong way.

On the opposite, data requests are not "supposed to work". Explaining what you did so far will not make the data request much better (even though including the information is OK).

For me, data requests are a kind of game. Specify the game rules ("find this with these requirements"), then let the better win (and participate yourself). That's how questions work on http://codegolf.stackexchange.com and it is quite fun.

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