I recently answered a question on CV and the asker checked my answer. Subsequently, the question was put on hold as off-topic. I invested time and effort into answering this question, and I believe along with the asker that my answer was helpful. Will my reputation points for answering this question be revoked because the question was deemed off-topic?


1 Answer 1


I'm surprised you haven't run into this several times already!

Writing an answer that helps the user (which you clearly did) doesn't make the answer on-topic. It's nice to help a user when we can but the question must still be on topic to stay open. [I've given dozens of answers to questions that were marked off topic - indeed, after reflection, I have marked as off topic a few questions I gave answers to myself.]

There are several things you can do about a question marked off-topic:
- where possible, you can encourage the OP to edit the question to make it more clearly on-topic (or if you could edit it yourself if you don't change the general sense of the question)
- if there's another SE site for which it is clearly on topic you can flag to migrate (and perhaps earn reputation there)
- if there's another SE site for which it would be on topic after an edit you can encourage the OP to edit to make it so (or again, edit yourself if you don't change the sense of the question), and you can flag to migrate

I presume you refer to this answer. In that case, to be on topic here, it would need to ask a more clearly statistical question than "which package do I need?"; with some (different) edits it might be on topic on StackOverflow or possibly another SE site.

You don't lose reputation when a question is closed. Deletion, however, can affect reputation in some circumstances (see the answer, under "Additionally").

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I will suggest an edit that will make the question on topic. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2015 at 4:00
  • $\begingroup$ Btw, would you suggest that I edit the question directly, or suggest the edit in a comment? Because I believe the real question is not just, "Is there a package that does X," but more, "What are the state-of-the-art methods for fitting non-parametric multinomial logit models?" At least that is what I try to do when I ask a question that is also, "And is there a package for that?" $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2015 at 4:05
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    $\begingroup$ Generally speaking -- especially if the OP is likely to see it - it's better to comment. If they're not on the site regularly, edit it yourself but leave a comment explaining what you've done and why and pointing out how the OP can roll it back or re-edit it themselves. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Sep 4, 2015 at 0:26

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