In Revisiting Autograph Identification Questions the community determined that for a range of reasons, that type of question is off-topic.

Since that time, although we continue to receive new questions, they are fairly rapidly closed, with most close-voters including a personal canned close reason directing the new user to the meta questions on the issue.

However, we also have a number of questions about identifying other memorabilia. While many are historic and this category of question is rare by any standard, they bear many of the same features and therefore many of the same problems.

  • They often lack sufficient detail to determine "the" answer, making them immediately either unclear or sometime too broad to be answered

  • They almost always ads localised and idiosyncratic to a specific user, and are very unlikely to help others in future

  • They almost always require images as the primary or even sole source of information, making them unsearchable in the current Stack Exchange system

This broader category of question, including autograph identifications and memorabilia identifications, suffers from too many issues that are not resolved. It is proposed that they also be deemed off-topic, and unanswered or downvoted or new questions be closed.

  • 1
    Could you post links to a few examples of the kinds of questions you are talking about?
    – Ben Miller
    Aug 27, 2019 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


I would suggest that a site-specific close reason be created.

Something along the lines of 'Identification questions are off-topic' - or something less terse.

This would then be available on the close vote and flagging dialogues to enable consistency of feedback to posters.

Moderators have the ability to edit the close vote reason list in this manner.

  • 1
    We've already used up our three custom off-topic slots, and the question of whetting should be removed or replaced is outside the bounds of the question here. We need to at least decide such things are off-topic before even getting to that, anyway.
    – Nij Mod
    Aug 28, 2019 at 10:07
  • 1
    A related discussion: Add a template close reason for autograph identification requests.
    – Martin
    Aug 28, 2019 at 11:08

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