I'm coming from this question, where the OP asks about how to simulate data following a certain pattern, for teaching.

We have a closure reason:

Questions about obtaining specific datasets are off-topic on Cross Validated. You are welcome to post this question to the Open Data site instead, thank you!

Question: should questions asking for how to simulate data be on-topic? I'd say yes, so the closure reason above should not apply here.

Please vote for one of the two alternatives below. (Or post yet a third.)


2 Answers 2



Questions on how to simulate data should be on-topic.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ We have a lot of questions on simulation & random-generation. There have been many questions about simulating data that have been considered on topic for a long time. $\endgroup$ May 11, 2017 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ Well, what if it is about using a specific package to simulate data? It seems likely to me that anyone who wants to simulate data is going to use some package to do it. But are those questions then an exception to the rule about software? Or do we want to accept only questions on a more theoretical level? $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    May 11, 2017 at 12:50
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @PeterFlom, wrt the on- / off-topic status, my take is that questions about simulating data aren't different from questions about regression, & questions about how to use a specific package (to simulate data) aren't different from questions about how to use a specific package (for regression). $\endgroup$ May 11, 2017 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ I think our existing criteria in the on-topic help cover doubt on edge cases of this pretty well. "If it requires statistical expertise ...". If it's asking "which button do I press" it's off topic. If it's asking about approaches to the underlying problem - what's a good way to do it - it's probably on topic $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    May 18, 2017 at 6:46


Questions on how to simulate data should be off-topic. The current closure reason redirecting to OpenData.SE should be used in such cases.

(If this is chosen, then we might want to edit this closure reason.)


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