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Granted there might not be much that can be done for deleted answers (a question for the submission of answers to deleted questions perhaps?).

However could it be made possible to submit answers to a question if the answer form was opened prior to closing?


Perhaps it is a flaw that I have but I personally have a tendency to answer questions in length.

Unfortunately it has not been the first time (and not just on this SE site) that I have found that the question has either been deleted or closed by the time I wish to submit my answer.

To say that it is frustrating to spend over an hour on an answer only to see it go to the save bin would be a mild understatement.

I am fairly sure that other users of far better reputation than myself (particularly those who place time and effort into their answers) may identify with this issue.

Source - Dimensions of the World

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that your work is probably saved in the answer form by the draft feature. If the question gets reopened, your draft should still be there. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 24 '14 at 4:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ In both cases that this has happened I have opted to save them to word format. And at 1am it seemed like a reasonable idea to voice my frustration. ;) I have noticed partially complete answers popping up again but assumed it to be the browser's (not always reliable) drafting feature. Thanks for the pointer though. \$\endgroup\$ – Avestron May 24 '14 at 4:43
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Since this would require SE-wide changes to the site's functionality, I went to meta.se to see if it's been suggested there.

It has. Ironically the question itself was closed as a duplicate--the two questions whose answers also address that particular question are definitely worth reading--but not before a couple answers were provided.

The reason we close questions is so that they can't get answers. We don't want to accumulate low quality answers to questions that are not a good fit for the site. If a question was closed erroneously, it can be reopened. (source)

This can be very frustrating; I've been in your situation a couple of times myself. But at the end of the day, if a question gets closed it's because it needs to get worked on before it's answered--or it just isn't a good fit for the site's method of answering at all.

So while it's irksome to have put in a lot of work on a question that I somehow missed should be closed instead of answered, it's a wake-up call to me that I need to be more evaluative of questions. Often I can help the querent improve the question to keep it open/re-open it, and then my answer will be appropriate.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You are correct. In both cases I could have been more critical of the wording of the question rather than reading between the lines to get to the questions that would have instead been asked. It had not, at the time, occured to me to raise the issue on Meta - but the answers given seem logical enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Avestron May 24 '14 at 4:47
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Questions tend to be closed for one of two reasons:

  1. The question is unclear, not a question, or in some other way not answerable in its present form.
  2. The question cannot be answered on SE because of how SE is designed to work.

The first case is hopefully something that you would catch on the way down.

In the second case, though, you have supposedly written useful advice to a question which at least some person cared about. Don't throw it away! This could be excellent material for a posting in some other less formal setting. If you find yourself often answering questions that aren't SE-y enough, maybe you should start a blog. Whenever you hit a wall, instead of tossing the answer you just poured a bunch of time into, convert it into a blog post, and now it can be useful again!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That is certainly another view on the useful possibilitiess for homeless answers. Thank you for sharing. Also - I could have been more discerning with my evalusation of the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Avestron May 24 '14 at 4:51

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