# Should the engineering close vote be changed in light of the new engineering SE site

Questions are regularly closed here because they are considered engineering questions. The current close vote option for this reads:

This question is off-topic because it appears to be about engineering, which is the application of scientific knowledge to construct a solution to solve a specific problem. As such, it is off topic for this site, which deals with the science, whether theoretical or experimental, of how the natural world works. For more information, see this meta post.

As many of you probably know, an engineering SE has recently started its beta phase. Should the close vote system be updated to migrate the question similar to what is now done with mathematics.SE?

The only reason I can think of not to do so is that the engineering SE is still in the beta phase and may not graduate to become a full fledged site. If that is the case, should close-voters agree to take it upon themselves to leave it in the comments?

• As far as I know, migration to beta sites isn't allowed via the normal close system, it'd have to be a flag for moderator attention. Feb 9 '15 at 2:20
• And that's for a good reason. At least for young beta sites, they could be overwhelmed by all the questions migrated out of mature sites like this one. Even if migrated questions are the same quality as questions that are asked in the right place the first time around, there is the risk that the new site becomes defined by what the mature site throws out.
– user10851
Feb 9 '15 at 2:23
• @ChrisWhite that could form the basis of an answer Feb 9 '15 at 2:23
• Here's a relevant Meta post. My upvote here is because I think this topic should be discussed, not necessarily that these migrations should happen. Feb 9 '15 at 2:26
• I think that unless we annoy them too much Engineering will be a natural target for migrations from Physics. Eventually. Feb 9 '15 at 2:33
• Does anybody know the search syntax to look for past questions that have been closed for this reason? It would be nice to browse through and take stock. Particularly, to gauge the quality of the questions and how well they match the scope of eng. SE. Feb 9 '15 at 5:02
• @user3823992: You probably would have to scroll through the Data Explorer to find that out. Feb 9 '15 at 16:03
• The engineering beta is really young, currently three weeks old. (Sites normally spend between one and three years in beta phase.) Let's take it easy on this one and wait for the dust to settle a bit, I'd say. Feb 10 '15 at 19:16
• @EmilioPisanty You raise a legitimate point. It would still be helpful to both sites if close voters would inform the questioners of the existence of engineering.SE, assuming the question is not just a low quality question. Doing so would both advertise for engineering.SE and push people with engineering questions away from physics.SE. Feb 10 '15 at 21:15

The system doesn't allow for full-fledged migration paths to beta sites. This is done to prevent young beta sites from being overwhelmed by the potentially large number of posts migrated away from a mature site. You normally wouldn't want the new site to be defined just by what the older site throws out.

Now this rule was probably developed with Stack Overflow in mind -- its sheer volume would overwhelm related sites. I don't have stats on how many engineering-closed questions we've had lately, but given that we've only migrated 4 questions this past month to Electrical Engineering, it probably isn't an overwhelming volume. Still, the system is what it is, so normal users cannot directly do anything.

The remaining options are:

1. Formally request that our moderators migrate most such questions to Engineering. This would be a burden on the mods, and it would be circumventing the spirit of the "don't migrate to betas" policy.
2. Continue as usual, with Physics users made aware that there is an Engineering site up and running. We could comment on posts we vote to close, directing the posters to the other site. If the question is particularly good and particularly on-topic for Engineering, we could ourselves flag for moderation.

I'm inclined to go with option 2. I would add that since engineering is so new (you don't even have temporary mods yet!), it itself hasn't fully defined what constitutes a good question. Eagerness is all well and good, but perhaps Engineering should get a better sense of itself first before we start throwing questions at it, especially since the typical Physics user with enough rep to vote to close will have even less of an idea of what Engineering wants than most Engineering users themselves.

I'll add that engineering sites should be edited into our FAQ, which is linked in the close notice.

• Updating the FAQ is good, but we may also want to think about putting a link to engineering.SE directly in the close message and suggest that they should visit that site to see if it is appropriate there. Just food for thought. Feb 9 '15 at 3:09
• And we could make the link to engineering.SE go directly to the Help->What is On Topic page. Kind of a "Go check here and see if you could ask it there" thing. Feb 9 '15 at 3:11
• For the record, in order for me to consider migrating a question to Engineering it would have to be closed as off topic here first, and it would have to be in response to a request from a moderator or high-rep user on that site. Feb 9 '15 at 6:54

For a beta site as young as this one, trigger-happy migration is generally a bad idea: it's not great for them, and it risks stranding good questions on a site that subsequently folds.

Instead, if a question looks likely to be declared off-topic here, or if it's on-topic but unlikely to find a qualified answerer, the most appropriate action is often a comment pointing the OP to the target site. I often simply ask

Would this question be more appropriate for Engineering Stack Exchange?

or, in copyable form

Would this question be more appropriate for
[Engineering Stack Exchange](https://engineering.stackexchange.com/)?


Keep things friendly and polite, and do this case-by-case and tailored to the specific question.

Later on, if Engineering takes off and it turns out that they can indeed take many of our engineering questions, we can think about a more formal channel. In truth, though, there are really rather few such questions on this site in the first place.