# Should we retire the "data set request" closure reason?

Our community has 3 custom closure options (self-study, either not stats or about software, data set requests), plus two immutable closure options (migration, other/leave a comment).

Users with more than 10k rep can view how often the closure reasons are used during the previous 90 days via this query: https://stats.stackexchange.com/tools/question-close-stats?daterange=last90days

The "data sets" option is the least-used option. Even the option which prompts the user to write a comment is used more often than the "data sets" option.

Please note that adding an additional closure reason is not an option available to us at this time. A previous effort to add a fourth custom closure reason was declined. Moreover, in explaining why it was declined, Catija (an SE representative) explained that the relative disuse of the "data set requests" was a part of the reason.

Removing a vote-to-close reason doesn't change what's on- or off-topic on this site, it just changes the menu options when a person opens the VTC dialogue. A user can still select "this is not about statistics as described in the [help]," or they could select "other - add comment" and paste the text of the current "data set request" option. The menu of options is just a matter of convenience, so that reviewers have ready-made closure reasons for the most common varieties of off-topic questions.

Since the "data set request" option is so rarely used, should we retire it? Doing so would free a slot for a custom option which could be more useful.

• Does that mean that requests for datasets would be on-topic from now on? Presumably not. Would we need to add "requests for specific datasets are off-topic" to the general "off-topic" notice, with a link to OpenData.SE? Can we do that, or are we limited in terms of characters in that closure reason? Feb 27 at 16:37
• @StephanKolassa Removing a vote-to-close reason doesn't change what's on- or off-topic on this site, it just changes the menu options when a person opens the VTC dialogue. A user can still select "this is not about statistics as described in the help center," or they could select "other - add comment" and paste the text of the current "data set request" option.
– Sycorax Mod
Feb 27 at 16:55
• So do you propose to remove one particular option and stop there or to replace it with another option (and if so, what/which)? Feb 27 at 21:22
• @Richard Hardy: When this is decided surely there will come a discussion of how to use the liberated spot ... Feb 27 at 21:47
• @RichardHardy It’s a discussion we’ll have on meta, but speaking for myself, I feel that the best option would be to split the EITHER/OR closure reason into two distinct reasons.
– Sycorax Mod
Feb 27 at 22:10

We should retire it. Sycorax has given enough reasons.

I wouldn't retire it until we have a different option in mind that we prefer over the dataset option. For example, in a comment, @Sycorax states he would prefer to split the EITHER not about stats OR about software option into two different VTC options. That might be better, or something else might be better, but we shouldn't eliminate the data request option until we have decided on its replacement. Another issue is whether we could add Open Data to our list of migration targets; I think we can't, but if we could, that would make more sense than just eliminating it.

• Am I correct in reading this as a statement about the timing of the retirement, but not opposition to the proposal in principle? In other words, you support retiring "data set request," but only once the community has agreed on what the replacement (in whatever form) should be? I agree with the timing concern -- no one benefits from having an empty VTC for a protracted period, so we should only effect this change once we know what will replace "data set requests."
– Sycorax Mod
Mar 1 at 14:42
• Not exactly, @Sycorax. I think we should evaluate whether to swap dsr for a specific option. It may be dsr is better than anything else people think of, in which case, we should leave it. I'm not necessarily saying that's likely, but I'm also not really opposed to dsr, either. Your suggestion (splitting ~stats/software) seems reasonable, but I'm not sure there's a huge benefit--it's not clear people who've had Qs closed would've been better off w/ a stated reason just half of what's currently posted, eg. I do think it would be best to add od.SE to our migration paths, but I don't think we can. Mar 1 at 18:29
• I think you're right about migration targets -- my recollection is that we're capped at a certain number $k$, and the migration targets in use now are the most frequent destinations for migrated posts. I'm not even sure that od.SE would be the next-highest migration destination; another site might be the $k+1$th-most-used site.
– Sycorax Mod
Mar 1 at 18:34