I am reviewing many posts with close votes recently, and I often end up with the same uneasiness about the reason to chose. In the "Community specific reason" option, there are

  • This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics within the scope defined in the help center.
  • MathOverflow is for mathematicians to ask each other questions about their research. See Math.StackExchange to ask general questions in mathematics.

I do not make sense of these two and don't understand why they coexist. Since it does not help the reviewers (at least not me), there should be a reason helping the OP to clarify the problem with his post.

Is there any reason to keep them both? If it would be only for me, I would merge them without hesitation.

  • $\begingroup$ These two close reasons were introduced based on a request from MathOverflow back in 2013: Revamping the closure reasons. I will also add that after recent changes, also moderators can edit close reasons. (As far as I can tell, before that an intervention from Stack Exchange staff was needed.) So if there is some consensus in MO community that the close reasons should be changed, it could be doable. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 8:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The fact that these two close reasons look similar to each other was brought up a few times: Redundant ways to close as off-topic/better on MSE, Migrating to Math.SE: too many close reasons, What's the difference between two off-topic flags?, Custom closing link looks too much like it should be a migrate to MSE link, etc. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ In connection with the close reason saying "See Math.StackExchange ", it is worth mentioning that some members of the MO community have explicitly mentioned that they are not comfortable with sending people to Mathematics, for example: Homework and migrating to Mathematics Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 8:06
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I use the second one if the question could fit in math.se (perhaps with modification). I use the first one if not even that. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ I'd say these are very close, and the second one includes a encouragement to post on MathSE, possibly with some modification and after checking not being duplicate. If the question fits MathSE with no change (not research-level, but with contextual effort and/or sufficiently original), I vote for migration to MathSE. All these judgements are quick and subjective. In particular, the choice between the first and second option having no impact on the main outcome (closure or not), it's quickly done and often a bit random. $\endgroup$
    – YCor
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 9:01


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