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Questions can be closed as off topic because they are not about statistics or focus on programming. This is distinct from questions which are about programming and belong on StackOverflow. There is still the option to migrate.

How do we distinguish a question which focuses on programming versus a question which is about programming?

R: avoid loops using builtin functions

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    $\begingroup$ (+1) In practice we often close questions just because they're not good enough to migrate to SO. Many such lack a minimal, complete, verifiable example. $\endgroup$ – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Jun 8 '17 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ I see no practical distinction between "focus on" and "about." @Scortchi has answered the implicit question of how to determine whether to migrate or not: migration occurs when the question is likely to be considered on topic at the destination site. Closure occurs otherwise. A notable exception is that sometimes the system prevents migration because the OP is blocked from asking questions at the destination. This, IMHO, constitutes willful abuse of our site. I generally downvote, close, and delete such questions when that happens. A repeat offender might lose their account with us. $\endgroup$ – whuber Jun 8 '17 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ Not every programming-related question is on topic at StackOverflow. In particular, we should not migrate questions that would close there (aside from possible duplicates). At the least be sure you're familiar with the requirements of their help/on-topic before trying to migrate there, and anything that would close here as unclear or too broad, etc (if it wasn't off topic) should not be migrated but simply closed $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Jun 8 '17 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ I find it quite hard, as a novice programmer, to distinguish good from bad questions for migration. $\endgroup$ – Peter Flom Jun 10 '17 at 10:52
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    $\begingroup$ It's better for most everyone involved if the pipeline of questions flowing out of stats.stackexchange.com to other sites isn't a sewer line. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Gunn Jun 15 '17 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterFlom I give you the same advice I'd give someone considering to vote for migration in the other direction: If you don't feel qualified to judge if the question is of sufficient quality for the migration destination don't vote for migration. $\endgroup$ – Roland Jun 16 '17 at 6:55
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    $\begingroup$ Broadly speaking, Stack Overflow is pickier than non-programmers often imagine. The kinds of questions that do not go down well include (a) advice on which packages, programs, functions or commands to use (b) requests to write code in some language (the problem being that the OP doesn't have code in the first place) (c) requests to find the bug(s) in long stretches of code. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Jun 21 '17 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Matthew That's right. And for the record, during the last 90 days, SO has rejected just 5 of our 55 migration attempts. (We have rejected 9 of their 52 attempts to migrate to us. That's twice the rate, but the difference in rates is not significant, $p=26\%$ via simulation.) $\endgroup$ – whuber Jun 29 '17 at 19:47
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This is a (lightly edited) composition of the comments left above by @Scortchi, @whuber, @Glen_b, and Roland (I am marking this answer as CW). I believe they fully answer this question.

There is no practical distinction between "focus on" and "about". Migration occurs when the question is likely to be considered on topic at the destination site. Closure occurs otherwise.

In practice we often close questions just because they're not good enough to migrate to SO. Many such lack a minimal, complete, verifiable example. Not every programming-related question is on topic at StackOverflow.

At the least be sure you're familiar with the requirements of their help/on-topic before trying to migrate there. If you don't feel qualified to judge if the question is of sufficient quality for the migration destination, then don't vote for migration.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does the final recommendation mean one should not close-vote at all or that one should vote to close as off-topic ("not about statistics")? $\endgroup$ – Juho Kokkala Jun 22 '17 at 5:42
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    $\begingroup$ @JuhoKokkala It means vote to close as off-topic. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Jun 22 '17 at 7:28

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