This question is now closed as offtopic on 2 reasons:

  1. It is mainly math, although its markup and formulation clearly shows the described problem is a physical problem. The current review practice is that also this type of questions are closed as offtopic and sometimes migrated to the MathSE.
  2. It is considered as a homework question (not by me, but it is a different topic).

Now the problem is that if you vote to close this question as homework, it won't be migrated to the MathSE, it will be simply closed. This is what happened. As I voted this question (to migrate to MathSE), it had already 2 close votes as homework and 2 close votes to migration.

My vote to migrate resulted that the question was closed as homework. The criteria to fulfill to migrate a question is hard(*), but there is no reason to not try to fulfill it, if the question is okay.

If the question had been migrated to the MathSE, it could have been received very well there.

I find it a little bit dishonest, because I hadn't ever voted this to close on the homework close reason, despite that the close reason shows as if it had been also my decision. I voted to migrate it to the MathSE, where it would be ontopic.

In this, and similar cases, if you think a question should be closed on multiple reasons, and at least one of them is migration, please vote for migration.

(*) From the 5 close votes, at least 3 or 4 should vote to migrate, and to the same site. If this requirement is not passed, the question is simply closed.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Note that additionally for a migration (by regular users) to be successful the question must have a tag that exists on the destination site. (See the Meta.SE migration faq, esp. the "What causes a migration to be rejected and what happens after?" section.) The only tag the question has is continuum-mechanics (which has no synonyms here), and there is no such tag on Mathematics. $\endgroup$
    – user29205
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ "In this, and similar cases, if you think a question should be closed on multiple reasons, and at least one of them is migration, please vote for migration." I disagree. The decision to close or migrate should be made based on knowledge of the quality standards of the migration target. $\endgroup$
    – DanielSank
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ There are currently four votes to reopen on the question. Hopefully after it is reopened it will be migrated. I've also edited it to include some tags that are on the mathematics site (tensor-calculus, integration, and others) $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


We don't want to migrate bad questions, but we're not as familiar with other sites' quality standards as we are with our own, so we're not as good at judging what "bad" means for other sites.

Suppose a question is pure math with no physics at all, and it's also terrible, like this example:

What is a polynomial?

We don't want to migrate that because then we're making our trash someone else's problem. I think this is a case where we and the math site users are all better off just closing (insufficient research?).

On the other hand, we could have a question which is pure math, violates our homework policy, but would be perfectly acceptable on the math site. Here's a real example:

How would you suggest I go about solving this question? I've been thinking about it for ages and nothing comes to mind.

$$\arcsin(x) + \arccos(x) = \pi/2 $$

This example clearly violates our homework policy as it has zero research effort shown, but it's perfectly fine on the math site. In this case, we should migrate.

In conclusion, we need to be aware of the rules of the sites to which we can migrate questions. Vote to migrate if the question doesn't fit on our site, but does fit on another site in terms of both topic and quality. Vote to close if the question falls short of quality standards on our site and on any of the migration targets.

Note also that OP of a closed question can always re-post elsewhere. That's not to say we should overzealously close questions, but if you do vote to close something that you think might fit on another site, do OP a favor and leave a brief, polite comment directing them to the other site.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And what do you propose one votes if they know it isn't on topic here, but is uncertain about the rules on the sites where it could be on topic? Is the suggestion for each user to be familiar with all the rules of the migration targets? $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ @tpg2114 I cannot think of a way to justify voting for migration without knowing the rules of the target site; that's similar to posting a question without first knowing what is and isn't on topic. Therefore, if someone knows the question is off topic here, but doesn't know much about the migration targets, I think that person should either vote to close as off topic and leave a comment indicating a possible alternative site. $\endgroup$
    – DanielSank
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 18:04

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