I think it would be nice to have a comment template that everyone could use when a (new) user asks a question on the site which is clearly more appropriate for MSE. Here's what I've been using today:

MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. I think your question would be better suited to Mathematics on the Stack Exchange network.

MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. I think your question would be better suited to [Mathematics](https://math.stackexchange.com/) on the Stack Exchange network.

This is far from perfect. It would be nice to include a statement about the quality standards of MSE. As has been discussed before on meta, we should not migrate questions which are poor by MSE's standards. I'd also want to be able to give the user some advice what to do. Should they delete their question and ask at MSE or should they migrate the question? Either way, we should let them know how to do that.

Any suggestions? Any other features that should be included?


I have started using the following message:

MathOverflow is a question and answer site about research level mathematics. I think your question would be better suited to Mathematics on the Stack Exchange network which welcomes questions at any level.

MathOverflow is a question and answer site about research level mathematics. I think your question would be better suited to [Mathematics](https://math.stackexchange.com/) on the Stack Exchange network which welcomes questions at any level.

This doesn't address all the criteria I mentioned above, but I prefer describing the mathematics as research level as opposed to describing the users as professionals (I don't fit this description for example). Also, this is a little bit clearer as to why MSE is more appropriate for their question.

  • 4
    They should be encouraged to delete and start over, not to migrate. Migrated questions continue to appear on MO's front page for a while. – Steven Landsburg Oct 6 '13 at 14:58
  • 5
    @Steven: Migrated questions keep the comments, which may have a positive influence on the question on MSE as well. – Asaf Karagila Oct 6 '13 at 15:49
  • 4
    @StevenLandsburg please keep in mind that if a user is not registered they cannot delete their question (which should be a non-negligible fraction of users asking the type of questions we are talking about here). Thus as a general procedure this cannot work. – user9072 Oct 6 '13 at 19:44
  • 1
    One could add ", which welcomes general mathematical questions" to somehow point out why it is better suited there. There is the (suspected) HW issue too for this one could have in addition "If this should be a homework problem and you decide to reask there, please, use the 'homework' tag there and indicate there what you have tried already and where you got stuck." – user9072 Oct 6 '13 at 19:51
  • 3
    I think a lot of problems would be solved if the first person voting to close would not just vote to close but would also leave an appropriate comment. On questions that meet the standards of m.se, the comment might read, "This question will soon be migrated to m.se; please be patient." On questions that don't meet the standards of m.se, the comment might read, "This question may get a better reception at m.se, provided...." where you fill in the ellipsis with an indication of what the author has to do to get up to standard. Continued... – Gerry Myerson Oct 6 '13 at 22:39
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    ...In the first case, the question should be closed and migrated to m.se; in the second case, it should be closed and not migrated to m.se. – Gerry Myerson Oct 6 '13 at 22:40
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    @GerryMyerson, the problem with your solution is a number of users are very strongly against migrating to MSE and so the question may just end up closed. So it is probably better to suggest posting in MSE if the question is not migrated for you (or some better wording). – Benjamin Steinberg Oct 7 '13 at 18:23
  • @Steven: I disagree with that. It seems quite accepted that grad level exercises can be posted on this site, granted they are well motivated and contain the OP's attempt to find a solution, and where they are stuck. That is the level expected from an MSE question; although MSE is less strict in closing questions which do not have this level of detail (and of course mathematical level). But if it has some motivation and explanation from the OP on what they did and where they need help, then it's fine; otherwise... it's not. I'm sure everyone can recognize that sort of level. – Asaf Karagila Oct 7 '13 at 23:42
  • Gah! My comment (to which Asaf replied) contained two spurious letters, turning the intended word "reasonably" into the unintended word "reasonably". I'll soon delete the original and post a corrected version. – Steven Landsburg Oct 8 '13 at 0:31
  • @GerryMyerson: Many users of MO are not qualified to judge what does or doesn't meet the standards of MSE and therefore (quite reasonably) unwilling to make such judgments. – Steven Landsburg Oct 8 '13 at 0:32
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    @Steven: Your clarification comment is missing the two spurious letters, since "reasonably"$\triangle$"reasonably"=$\bot$. :-) – Asaf Karagila Oct 8 '13 at 6:29

Recommending Math.SE - but with caveat

This is attempt to expand a bit the suggestion in the question, by adding some links saying what should a question at Math.SE look like.

MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. I think your question would be better suited to Mathematics on the Stack Exchange network. Before posting there, make sure that you follow the norms of the site. You might have a look at help and advice on How to ask a good question?.

MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. I think your question would be better suited to [Mathematics](https://math.stackexchange.com/) on the Stack Exchange network. Before posting there, make sure that you follow the norms of the site. You might have a look at [help](https://math.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) and advice on [How to ask a good question?](https://math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9959/how-to-ask-a-good-question).

  • I corrected a small typo. Hope you don't mind. – Jeremy Rickard May 25 '16 at 9:54
  • Thanks for editing. The post is CW - in part to indicate that edits and improvements are welcome. – Martin Sleziak May 25 '16 at 11:23

MathOverflow is not for homework help.

Here is one suggestion for a comment template for homework (or homework-like) questions, which is a bit longer - it contains link to FAQ on meta and mentions other sites (the list of sites and the formulation are copied from FAQ).

MathOverflow is not for homework help. But there are lots of other math Q&A sites where your question might fit right in, like math.stackexchange.com, Ask Dr. Math, Art of Problem Solving, Physics Forums, NRICH.

[MathOverflow is not for homework help](https://meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/203/frequently-asked-questions-mathoverflow-faq/207#207). But there are lots of other math Q&A sites where your question might fit right in, like [math.stackexchange.com](https://math.stackexchange.com/), [Ask Dr. Math](http://mathforum.org/dr/math/), [Art of Problem Solving](http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/index.php), [Physics Forums](http://www.physicsforums.com/), [NRICH](http://nrich.maths.org/discus/messages/board-topics.html).

Link to the meta.MO post with site recommendations

MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. There are other websites which are suitable for general mathematical questions. (Before asking on any of them, make sure that you read the rules of that site.)

MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. There are [other websites](https://meta.mathoverflow.net/q/3760) which are suitable for general mathematical questions. (Before asking on any of them, make sure that you read the rules of that site.)

A longer version including link to the Help Center:

MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians and it is intended for research-level questions. There are other websites which are suitable for general mathematical questions. (Before asking on any of them, make sure that you read the rules of that site.)

MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians and it is intended for [research-level questions](https://mathoverflow.net/help/on-topic). There are [other websites](https://meta.mathoverflow.net/q/3760) which are suitable for general mathematical questions. (Before asking on any of them, make sure that you read the rules of that site.)

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