Sometimes mathematics and statistics (as well as mathematics and TCS, or mathematics and computational science) overlap.

There are times (such as for this question) when I'd like to be able to migrate a question to a more suitable site, even if it's up to debate whether it belongs to the set "research mathematics questions" or not.

Unfortunately, the mod tools do not allow me to vote for migration without first clicking on "This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics within the scope defined in the help center.".

For instance, I voted to migrate the question linked above to stats.stackexchange, but this does not show up in the closure reason, only the text "This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics". A new user may be put off by this stronger opinion (which does not reflect my view).

So, I'd suggest to put the option "This question belongs on another site" in the top-level closure menu rather than inside the submenu "This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics".

(incidentally, I have noticed that the option "This question belongs on another site" does not appear in the closure menu for every question -- why?)


1 Answer 1


I am strongly against this proposal. One can mention other sites as possibly more suitable. But, one should not try to migrate a question away from this site that one considers as not off-topic on this site just because one believes another site might be a better fit.

If it is not off-topic (and also otherwise fine), just leave it, and mention the other site in a comment (if you consider it as helpful).

Indeed, it is the other way round: since the sites overlap, we should not overturn OP's judgement regarding the choice among several sites on which the question is on-topic (or at least not off-topic).

A result of such well-intention attempts at 'optimization' can be that questions are sent from A to B as better fit there to be then sent from B to C as better fit there, where C=A is not at all excluded.

(Obvious exception: OP asks for migration, but then this seems like a pure formality.)

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with your view, but conditional on the assumption that the OP has made an informed choice between the two sites. If a 1k-rep user asked one, I would think twice before suggesting migration. More often than not, these borderline questions come from 1- or 101-rep users that do not have a strong understanding of what is in-topic where. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ Also, re your scenario "question bounces between sites": there are already checks in place to avoid it. A moderator at B has to agree to the migration, and everyone else at B will see "migrated from A". So questions can bounce only if there is a disagreement between the moderators at B. The case in which moderators disagree is a problematic one even when there is only one site involved (reopen battles). $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 6:47
  • $\begingroup$ This was not quite clear from my formulation, but I meant the "sent" in a more informal way, too. (I am aware one cannot migrate by votes more than once.) The problem I have with your proposal is not so much technical but the general idea behind migration it conveys. Migration is a service provided to OP's of off-topic questions and you seem to want to turn it in a tool to find some best fit of on-topicness. I am against this. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 8:18
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    $\begingroup$ I'd add that migration can be a rather disruptive and confusing process from the asker's point of view. Their question is suddenly on a different site where they typically don't have an account, my impression is that a significant amount of new users is lost at this point. Rejected migrations are pretty much the worst case in terms of new user experience, and they are not that rare (~10-30% are typical values). $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 16:25

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