We often get questions that focus on how to do something using R (or Python, rarely SAS, MS Excel or others), with little to no statistical content. Such questions are off-topic and should be closed.

There are two alternatives we can vote for: either

This question appears to be off-topic because EITHER it is not about statistics, machine learning, data analysis, data mining, or data visualization, OR it focuses on programming, debugging, or performing routine operations within a statistical computing platform. If the latter, you could try the support links we maintain.


This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network -> belongs on stackoverflow.com

Now, my concern is that I see what I believe is too many votes for the second option. Specifically, questions are being voted as "belonging on SO" that are actually not a good fit for SO, typically by not containing a minimal working example. I assume (but have no data to back it up) that if these questions are indeed migrated to SO, they are closed there, too. More work all around. Such questions should have been closed with the first reason and message in the first place.

Can we improve the voting-to-close dialogue to help close voters find the best alternative? For instance, can we add

(is the question actually a good fit for the target site, e.g., containing a minimal working example for StackOverflow?)

to the "belongs on another site" alternative? Or can we include similar wording in the second step, where different target sites are proposed? (I assume the second step may be harder to customize for CV than the first.)

For reference, here is step 1:

step 1

And here is step 2:

step 2

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ +1 I totally agree on both: that we migrate too much instead of closing and that there should be a notice about reproducible example. No reproducible example is the #1 reason for me not to migrate because the question would be closed on SO immediately. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Mod
    Oct 30, 2018 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ It's hard to monitor this, let alone to insist on it, but my ideal is that votes to migrate should be based on someone knowing that the question is a good fit for the site suggested. In reverse I seem to be seeing many questions on SO that aren't suitable for either site, SO or CV. No site wants the rejected threads of another unless they are good questions in terms of public criteria. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Oct 31, 2018 at 18:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Mods have some limited ability to change the off topic close reasons in your step 1, but not to edit what's written in your step 2. Changing the bottom option (ie, Stack Overflow) to read, "Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers (please ensure the thread has a minimal working example before trying to migrate to StackOverflow)", seems like it would be a good idea. However, I think it would need to be done by the developers. Moreover, it would presumably only be good for migrating to SO from CV, so I suspect it's too specific to actually get done. $\endgroup$ Nov 1, 2018 at 1:54


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .