I noticed that a recent question about the statistics profession was closed as off-topic. It clearly does not fall within the listed topics on our help pages so I have no objection to the moderating decision. Nevertheless, it got me thinking, should CV allow questions about the statistics profession? (I.e., should the scope of allowable topics be modified to include this?)

Now, obviously we don't want generic workplace questions that would be more suited to the workplace site. We could count out such questions by making the scope of the topic clearly limited to questions that are specific to the statistics profession and not generic workplace questions. Still, almost all of our experts here work in (or are retired from) the profession, either as academics, consultants, industrial workers, etc., so we have a substantial repository of knowledge about how the statistical profession works. Indeed, we are probably the only site on StackExchange that has this expertise. This seems to me to be a valuable repository of knowledge for younger users who want to get into this profession.

Question: Should the scope of topics for CV.SE be changed to allow questions on the "statistics profession"? Is there some existing reason why this is excluded from the allowable topics?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I agree with you that we don't want generic workplace questions. But what kinds of questions could appeal that aren't matters of opinion as much as experience and expertise, e.g. advice on careers, courses, etc.? FWIW, I am not a statistician. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Aug 24, 2021 at 8:20
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    $\begingroup$ We do have a careers tag. There are some questions that are considered on-topic, but also some of those are legacy questions from a time when we were less strict. I think it's just difficult to ask a good question that threads the needle. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2021 at 11:24
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    $\begingroup$ The main problem I have with such questions is not whether they are of interest, but rather that most of them invite opinions and speculation: that doesn't fit our framework. The one you reference is no exception. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Aug 24, 2021 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ This seems like the kind of topic for which the Data Science Stack was created. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Aug 24, 2021 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ Anything about "the" statistics profession would be suspect to me -- which professionals and which of their activities would be included? $\endgroup$
    – Matt F.
    Feb 18, 2022 at 16:09
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not really convinced that opinion answers are so bad in this context. We have strong evidence that our most active users (high-rep users) are all professionals in the statistics profession and surrounding professions. That seems like a useful resource to me, where the majority opinion is likely to yield useful insight into the profession. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Feb 19, 2022 at 2:53


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