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So for those of us who can vote to close, we all know what the close vote system looks like. Particularly, under "off topic" you have homework, personal theories, engineering, other StackExchange, and other. The other StackExchange site options are Physics Meta and Math. Quite frankly, I think this covers everything and I have no issues with the occasional typing a reason into "other". However, I see numerous questions that belong on other StackExchange sites with close-votes as homework or personal theories when they clearly aren't. Most often it is questions asking for help with a circuit being closed as homework. Students aren't the only ones who build circuits; this sort of question really should belong on the electrical engineering SE. I realize we have the "this is engineering" option, but I feel that should be reserved for cases that are about using physics to solve a problem, not for stuff like making circuits. When I see these questions, I always take the extra 14 seconds to type "This question belongs on electrical engineering SE" in the other box. But I feel if there were an option for EE-SE under the other SE site option, it would be used more often and the homework option would be abused less.

I'm just focusing on electrical engineering because it's the one I see more often. If you think there are other SE sites we should add to the close-vote system, feel free to mention them.

Now you might say a close vote is a close vote. That's simply not true. When we vote to close something, we owe it to the asker to provide an adequate reason. If there is some keen young student or an electrical engineer out there that needs help for something that is not homework, then it is not a valid reason to close the question as homework. We can't force all our 3k+ users to take 14 seconds to write the proper reason, but we can make it easier for them by including other SE sites in the option list.

That said, clearly we cannot include all the other SE sites. We have Math.SE because of how often it comes up. IMO electrical engineering makes an appearance fairly frequently. What do you think? Would expanding the list be worthwhile? If so, what sites would you like to see added? If not, I'd love to hear your point of view.


So I took a closer look at all of the related posts about this. (Thanks for the duplicate votes, by the way. But there were several other questions this was closer to a duplicate of; why that one?) Anyway, it seems that the question has been raised before about various other SE sites. For the majority, the answer seemed to be that those other sites were all betas. EE.SE is not a beta site, so I still think this is a valid discussion. Additionally, and it should be noted that this is an inference I am making, it seems from answer like this that I am not the only one who would be in favour of adding an EE.SE migration link. Especially since even last year it was the #2 site that questions were migrated to.


2 years later:

At the moment, I'm no longer sure whether or not it would be beneficial to have EE.SE as another migration option. I now know that, when I originally posted this, it was not worthwhile to make it an additional option; the rate of migrations that weren't rejected by EE.SE was too low. However, as it stands, in the last 90 days from the time I'm writing this, 39 posts were migrated to Math.SE with 2 rejections and 19 posts were migrated to EE.SE with 5 rejections. That's a total of 37 accepted migrations to Math and 14 to EE; a bit under half as many as Math.

Now, I wasn't around when our site went up and the option to migrate to Math.SE was already available when I started. But at what point will we admit there is sufficient volume to make a new option? What was the rate of migration to Math when we first decided to add that as a migration option?

It's been a couple years since I first, naively, proposed this. But in that time, the rate of successful migration to EE.SE has grown noticeably. This leaves me unclear. Should we reconsider making EE.SE its own option under the migration close reasons? Is it worthwhile now? If not, at the current rate of increase, there's no question that one day it will merit becoming a new option in the list. The only question you have to ask yourselves (and answer here) is whether or not we have reached that point yet. This I just don't know.

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  • $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of Can the flag for migration be generalized? $\endgroup$ – jinawee Apr 6 '14 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ @jinawee possible, but I'd be against a "general box". It carries the same problem as the "other box" that we now have $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 6 '14 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ plus I addressed the "too infrequent" part of the answer to that question. No, I agree to the closeness, but I'm clearly asking a question that would require a different type of answer $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 6 '14 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Several months ago, I asked a similar question with regard to the SciComp.SE site. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Apr 6 '14 at 17:02
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    $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos and the answer was "we'll reconsider when compsci.SE graduates". Based on that, it seems discussing EE.SE and others is a fair idea $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 6 '14 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim: I concur. I've made a few custom close reasons involving EE.SE, I would not be opposed to that being a full reason for closure. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Apr 6 '14 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Note that our homework close reason is actually for homework-like questions - anything where the value is meant to be educational. The fact that a question is not homework is not itself a valid reason not to use the homework-like close reason. $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 11 '14 at 7:13
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ true enough. I apologize for my generalizations but it was due to an effort to be brief, not due to lack of forethought. I do mean homework-like in all cases, which I shortened to homework. However, as a Q&A site, I'd like to point out that the value of most questions can be interpreted as educational. But I recognize the point you were getting at was "how do I solve this specific problem" questions as opposed to "why is this aspect of the problem solved this way?" or others akin. $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 11 '14 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ This is of great need (including other SE sites as well) $\endgroup$ – Wrichik Basu Mar 31 '17 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ @WRICHIKBASU It may be of need, but I would say the use of the word "great" is something that could be debated. Let's see if anyone wants to weigh in again on this after 2 years $\endgroup$ – Jim Mar 31 '17 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure how I feel about this now - you can argue that 19 vs 39 is enough of a fraction that this should be considered, but you can also argue that it's still plenty manageable by mods (and then further argue that, given that, it's for mods to decide whether that workload is large enough to automate). It's interesting to note, though, that most of the EE rejections were migrated by mods or by users with a lot of SE experience. So, in conclusion, who knows! $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 31 '17 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty Yeah, I thought that it's still enough for mods to handle, but then I thought that the number of Math.SE migrations is probably enough to handle as well. That kinda made it feel like a hollow argument, so I didn't bother mentioning it $\endgroup$ – Jim Mar 31 '17 at 15:06
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I am just throwing this out there, maybe, as discussed in the comments on Emilios answers, it is too much hassle to go through for the number of occurences.

I completely agree that migration channels can have value, but that it opens up the possibility that low-level junk gets dumped to a different SE site and closed there. The main reason is, as Emilio mentioned, that many 3k+ users that are allowed to give close votes at physics.se, have little knowledge of the site they are voting to migrate towards.

Now comes the idea: the stackexchange rep system allows us to check that knowledge! We already have a system in place that allows us to check whether a physics.se user has enough rep to close vote; we already have a system that allows us to check whether a ee.se user (just as example) has enough rep to close vote. We could make the 'migrate to' option only available to people that have sufficient rep BOTH on the sending as well as on the receiving stackexchange site. Maybe it doesn't have to be the full close vote rep minimum on the receiving site, I'm note sure, but at least this makes sure that users that vote to migrate actually have knowledge of the site the question is migrated to.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I could get behind this. But I really don't think we have the numbers. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 15 '14 at 12:57
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The main problem with this scheme is that, while our 3k users know what's off-topic here, they will in general not know if it's a good fit to the target site. Is the level of this homeworky circuits question appropriate for EE? No idea! We definitely dont want to dump all our low-level circuits questions on them. In the past 90 days we've migrated 11 questions thar way, and 2 got closed there (18%). This ratio is high enough that we shouldn't be blanket migrating stuff that way, and the total numbers are low enough that they can be dealt with by hand.

Note also that this has historically been the bane of migration across the network. After a special SO>SU channel was opened, the superuser mods were none too happy about the flood of low quality stuff that went that way. Just something to bear in mind.

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  • $\begingroup$ And many of the questions we get migrated to us (especially from Skeptics) are off-topic here. $\endgroup$ – Brandon Enright Apr 7 '14 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ While a valid answer in spirit, I don't feel a 2/11 is enough of a sample to really do any type of statics on. Isn't there a simple way for mods from different SE's to discuss about this like this with each other? $\endgroup$ – Danu Apr 7 '14 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with at least the two points you made in your first paragraph. At the moment, we have a migration link with Math.SE. Our 3k+ users probably have as much idea whether or not something is off-topic at Math.SE as they do for EE.SE. There's no reason for them to know if something is off-topic there, we can only tell that a question is more suited for that site. As for the second point, 2/11 is not enough statistics to make a statement. If there was an easier migration path, I think more questions that deserved to be migrated would be sent over. We can't be sure how many.... $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 7 '14 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ questions will be closed there, but I'm willing to bet that the percentage will drop. When your total is 11, even 1 closed question counts for 9%; however if we should have a 2% close rate, we could still have been unlucky enough to get 1 closed question in the first 4. But that doesn't mean we should rush to assume it indicates a 25% close rate. I agree we can and should simply deal with this by hand, but that isn't happening every time it should. EE.SE is our second-most migrated to site. It works for Math.SE, we should at least give this a chance. It might surprise us and work great. $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 7 '14 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ "There's no reason for them to know if something is off-topic there", that's a big recipe for a bad migration channel. That's exactly the bad side of the maths>physics channel, where they are not very aware of our homework policy and currently 64% get closed/deleted on arrival. Seriously, there just aren't enough numbers to make this worthwhile. 11 over 90 days makes less than one a week, and well within what mods can handle. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 7 '14 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ I'd love to be able to see the current stats page for the migrations. Not having 10k, could you post a pic or link the info or something? Not that I don't believe you, it's just scientific curiosity $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 7 '14 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim: Current migration stats page. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 7 '14 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ You should also have a look in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer. It will not tell you about deleted questions, but you should be able to pick up at least some of the migrations. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 7 '14 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty sorry for such a long delay. You make a valid point for the status quo; however, I am concerned that the number of migrations we have now may be much less than the number of migrations there should and would be if the option was available. Just today, physics.stackexchange.com/q/107869/23473 was closed as off topic (completely a comp-sci question) but some of the votes were strangely for migrating to Math.SE. Had a CompSci.SE option been there, it would have been migrated (and it needed to be) fast. But that's not my point... $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 11 '14 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ ATM, I think it might be worthwhile (depending on how much work it would be) to have a trial run of an EE.SE migration option, something temporary (a science experiment?). Perhaps we can also ask the folks at EE.SE what they think, if they want a Physics.SE migration option, or whether they'd be willing to possibly put up with a few more off-topic questions from us should you turn out to be right. $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 11 '14 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty One more unrelated thing. It's apparent that you disagree with the proposal of instituting other specific migration options; at least, at the moment. I notice also my question has not yet been down-voted. Since you disagree, I would sincerely encourage you to down-vote my question. I'm led to believe that the voting system exists on meta as a measure of the support and opposition to an idea or topic. I would value your and others' honest expression of stance on this issue. So please don't hold back. $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 11 '14 at 19:34
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What's the real problem here? A user couldn't be bothered to read the rules and blurts out his question on the wrong site. Why should it be our responsibility to move it to the right site? Our job here is protecting the site, not helping other users to find the right place for his question. Someone that can't figure that out probably won't be contributing anything useful to another site either.

I never use any of the migration options when voting to close, here or elsewhere. Often I don't feel I know enough about the target site to be sure, but the main reason is that it's simply not my job nor my problem, and I don't want reward a user who posts in the wrong place by getting them a useful answer.

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    $\begingroup$ That is definitely your prerogative, and using the migration options is not mandatory. However, for the people who don't carry quite the same viewpoint, the question remains. $\endgroup$ – Jim Apr 15 '14 at 13:23

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