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A quick search for not-closed not-migrated questions shows a handful of results. Given that newly asked questions about history are usually migrated to hsm.se, should old (i.e., more than 2 month old) questions be migrated too?

A related discussion is: Are history of physics questions allowed?

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  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't this be asked on meta.se ? $\endgroup$ – Gaurav Jan 7 '15 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Gaurav should it? I don't know, it seemed more appropriate here given that it is a "problem" concerning the moderation of physics.se questions. Why do you think it should be on meta.se? $\endgroup$ – glS Jan 7 '15 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ If you weren't talking about history.se when you said "history questions", then what I said isn't relevant. $\endgroup$ – Gaurav Jan 7 '15 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Gaurav oh I see the misunderstanding now. No I mean specifically history of science and mathematics, I'll edit the title to clarify $\endgroup$ – glS Jan 7 '15 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ Update: The question has been migrated to HSM. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 13 '15 at 23:17
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The big problem here is what DavidZ mentioned - questions eventually become too old to be migrated, though I believe the limit is 60 days.

I've seen this discussed before on Mathematics Meta, and the consensus was what I think should be the policy on Physics - and what I think is the unofficial policy here - which is that history questions are on-topic.

Take, for example, this question:

https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/158079/who-first-discussed-the-lorentz-force-w-r-t-special-relativity

I would love to see this on HSM, and I think that we'd accept a migration of it to HSM. It clearly deals with history, and is, from what I can tell, 95% history and 5% physics. That 5%, by the way, is gratuitous.

The problem is, history of physics is still on-topic on Physics.

The comment left below the question, by alarge, seems to be rather typical in this post-HSM-launch era:

Might hsm.stackexchange.com be a better home for this question?

"Better" is the key word here. The comments below a history question may be laid out the same, but the word "better" is always used. History questions are okay here. Also, there have been quality answers to many of the questions.

Besides, while we're trying to increase traffic and question rate on HSM, we don't want to artificially increase it. This was discussed a while ago, and we reached the conclusion that there's no reason to do it because these history questions have done so well on other sites. We want to "homegrow" questions and traffic - in other words, we would like to attract users and questions on our own, without this kind of artificial stimulus.

Plus, we can't handle the migration of all these unanswered questions at once - we simply don't yet have the user base* - and slowly "weaning" the other SEs off of unused history questions would be unproductive.


  • I also - as a pro-tem mod on HSM - don't want to have to manually re-tag and edit hundreds of questions - taking into account history questions from all the science and math sites, as well as science questions from History. :-)
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  • $\begingroup$ Understood. I do wonder though, what would be the behaviour if someone were to ask a question on hsm.se that was already asked and answered on physics.se. Would it be considered a duplicate? $\endgroup$ – glS Jan 8 '15 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ @glance Hmm. I don't think we've had that issue yet. We probably would leave it open and let new answers come. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 8 '15 at 15:56
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Old questions (older than 90 days I think) can't be migrated.

Besides, we haven't even established that history questions are off topic here in general.

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  • $\begingroup$ The consensus that seemed to arise from the linked discussion was that historical questions should be allowed as long as they contain enough physical content, so that the historical content is more or less tollerated if it is not predominant. So for example the question given as example by @HDE should be migrated or not? $\endgroup$ – glS Jan 8 '15 at 14:14

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