Today a question about reporting results in APA style appeared:


are such questions on- or off-topic?

The question is not much different than many other that we did not mark as off-topic. On another, infinitely many "how to report in APA style" questions may appear and such questions would not contribute anyhow to CV since in each case answer can be easily found in APA style guide, or online with little effort. Moreover, it's more about editorial stuff, than statistics. What do you think?

  • $\begingroup$ This post has a statistical question as well, so I'd not close it for that reason (though possibly as unclear). $\endgroup$ May 31, 2016 at 9:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Scortchi yes, it has, so I did not vote to close it but rather use it as example for discussion. $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    May 31, 2016 at 9:54
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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, such questions might also be on topic on the Academia or Psychology & Neuroscience sites. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2016 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @gung aren't such questions more on-topic on "Academia"? $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Jun 1, 2016 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not active there, so I don't know for sure. But they might be. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2016 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Tim, what do you think of Scortchi's answer here? Do you want to mark is accepted, or do you disagree with it? $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Sep 17, 2016 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


How to present the results of statistical tests is on topic, I think we'd all agree; interpretation of a particular style guide's recommendations for application in a specific case might well be considered as "requiring statistical expertise" analogously to some software questions that ask for help understanding the manual: but I'd draw the line at questions that seem to call for no more than citing the relevant section of the style guide.

I think at least there should be an explanation of why the answer's not obvious (which might also perhaps help motivate someone to answer it).


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