Where are the new questions and answers posted, where do I ask my questions, and how do I increase my chances of getting an answer?

Originally Published: December 13, 2002 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: September 2, 2014
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(1)

Dear Alice,

I have sent in a question about commitment and marriage several months ago, but neither did get a personal response, nor did I see my question posted on your web site. Is submitting questions via \"contact us\" the correct medium or is there another process? Do several questions never get answered because of the number of questions you receive every day? Is there anything I can do to increase the likelihood of getting a response from you?

Thanks,

P

(2)

Dear Alice,

Just had a quick easy question about your webpage!! I was wanting to know if there is anywhere on your page to just see what answers/questions that you post each week? I have looked through the site I don't know how many times to just see the new stuff besides the top 5 or 6 that you answer. It seems like I find a few every now and then that I have not seen before. Maybe as a suggestion: Make a link to show the Regs to the page what all you answer each week so we don't have to search for them.

Thanks,

R

Dear P and R,

Thanks for writing in questions, hanging out for answers, and suggesting ways to improve this site. The ease, or difficulty, of getting health information — whether it's here or somewhere else — is an issue as important as the health concerns for which you would like answers and guidance.

Where to ask questions:
The best place to pose your health inquiries to the Go Ask Alice! site is the question box on the Ask Alice! page, which can be accessed from the blue Ask Alice! box located next to the search box on the top right side of every page on this site. All health queries sent from this page are read. The Comments and Corrections page is for general comments and questions about Go Ask Alice!, as well as opinions about, and experiences with, health issues. Reader responses to Q&As that have already been posted can be submitted via the "Reader Comments" box located at the bottom of every Q&A page. Some of these comments are posted underneath the comment box located below each question. Other submission spots, including Media & Press, Content Use, Linkage, and Other Collaborations, and Contact Alice! (found on the Alice! Health Promotion home page), are for non-health questions and issues; there are pretty clear descriptions on all of these locations about what to put there, and what you can expect in return.

Responses to your questions:
All submitted questions, comments, and requests — wherever they're submitted — receive a brief "thanks for your letter" message, so that you know your submission was received. We cannot, unfortunately, send individual replies because, as you correctly mentioned, R, thousands of them are sent in each month and the process is designed to be mostly anonymous. As frustrating and annoying as it is for you not to receive responses to questions, know that it is equally as frustrating and annoying for the Go Ask Alice! team not to be able to provide answers to everyone. There are thousands of letters, and a handful of folks on this end to respond to them. Despite this, we still recommend composing and sending questions because doing so can sometimes help you organize your thoughts — something that can come in handy if/when you ask the same question to someone else. You've also seen reminders to check the Go Ask Alice! archive before and after you ask, as you may find your answer, part of your answer, and other information that can provide you with useful info, resources, and insight that may lead you to peace of mind.

Where to find new questions and answers:
This is an easy one: new and recently updated Q&As — five of them posted most Fridays — are on the Go Ask Alice! home page. There, you can also find a "Recently posted Q&As" link that sends you to a page displaying the Q&As published during the past month. Once they leave that page, they go into the archive, listed at the top of their own particular subcategory (the Q&As are listed in reverse chronological order in each section, with the most recently posted at the top), where you can read them whenever you like. The archive is big, so you can also search of all 3,000-plus responses by typing in the search box. You can also peruse by clicking on the "Browse Our Q&A Archive" tab located on the left end of the toolbar.

Increasing your chances of getting an answer:
The only way to do this — and given the volume of questions Go Ask Alice! receives, it's far from guaranteed to work — is to check the archive first to make sure your question hasn't been addressed before. This may take you a little bit of searching and reading time, but it may pay off in the way of an answer, other resources, perspective, and more.

Again, if you need answers to your questions, consider asking a variety of people and places: health care providers, parents, libraries and librarians, hotlines, brochures, and other web sites, to name a few. Specifics about many of these possibilities can be found in other Q&As here on Go Ask Alice!. If you are a student at Columbia and have a medical concern, go right ahead and make an appointment by contacting Medical Services on the Morningside campus or the Student Health Service on the Medical Center campus. The related Q&As listed below suggest other ways to obtain information that you can trust.

Alice