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I was reviewing some of my older questions here in GIS Stack Exchange. I found some of them to be off-topic due to new version of software (e.g. error-using-grass-v-net) or for being not-reproducible (e.g. georeferencing-arcmap-10-2-trouble-with-deleting-control-points).

An attempt to delete them raise an alert saying: that it is not advisable to delete question with answers. Seeing the close option, I've decide to vote to close them and let moderators to decide on this issue.

I therefore would like to ask about guidelines for closing / deleting my own questions. Should I just delete them if I'm convinced they are irrelevant? Should I vote on closing the question, and in that case should I also raise a flag on it?

  • Generally speaking, I'd not delete a question where other users provided useful answers. The question can be off-topic now, but it can happen it was not the time it was asked; so closing (with its specific reason) could be a way out. If a question is negatively scored, so as the answers (or zero score answers), then it would be ok to delete; I guess). Deleting questions which you both asked/answered (which is the case in one of your examples), it is up to you to judge if they will be of any help for future readers, or not. Deleting one or two question should be ok. – Andre Silva Jul 26 '16 at 15:02
  • I think the original question heading was much more understandable. When I saw the current one I thought it was talking about vote fraud/manipulation or otherwise up/down voting your own question... – Chris W Feb 23 '17 at 0:26
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Voting to close your own questions is always fine. That leaves it up to the community to judge their value.

However, my advice would be to only delete questions when they really have no value to anyone, and that no one should delete questions when they are new to the site, because that can feed into the algorithms that determine question bans and rate limiting.

Instead I think it is always better to try and improve questions by editing.

If Q&As are tied to a particular version of the software, then make sure that the question and answer(s) make clear the version that they are referring to.

If Q&As are not tied to a particular version of the software, then make sure that the question and answer(s) do not say/suggest that they are.

Our Q&As are intended to be "timeless", in order to have ongoing value.

In terms of version numbers this is why I recommend that:

  • titles never (or very rarely) contain version numbers
  • body clearly states the version(s) at which the issue is noticed and being asked about
  • tags (when version tags are available) include only one for the latest version at which it has been seen (as described in the body) - we only have 5 to use so don't waste them on multiple versions unless it is really relevant to

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