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There seems to be a strong consensus that we need a new custom close reason to ban “I want to do X, Here's My Life Story…” questions. See the meta discussion here.

User Emrakul proposed the following:

This question appears to be off-topic because it is not answerable by the Academia community; you may need to ask someone specific to your situation, as the general public cannot completely answer this question.

I am not too keen on referring the the academia community as the "general public" and was hoping to get some feedback on the exact wording.

  • Why not "Academia community"? Or just remove "as the..." – ff524 Jul 17 '14 at 13:26
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Based on multiple reactions we have had from closing questions, I would be careful and avoid saying "the question cannot be answer". Most of the time, it is actually very possible to answer the question (do X, don't do Y), the problem is that there is no way to know whether the answer is a good answer.

I am not entirely convinced why the reason "cannot be generalised to others" or "primarily opinion based" is not enough, but if we must have another one, I'd rather go along the lines

This question appears to be off-topic because it seems to seek specific advice for a very specific situation, which is unlikely to yield an objectively correct answer. We would recommend to first ask the question to people with a good understanding of your situation.

  • 1
    Maybe instead of We would recommend to first ask the question to people with a good understanding of your situation. something encouraging to ask good questions (I think that insisting on 1. one question per post and 2. easily generalizable (e.g. without providing too many person-specific information) will do the job). – Piotr Migdal Jul 17 '14 at 15:55
  • I struggle with that/which, but in this case I think we want "that" since not all specific advice for specific situations are problematic. What about "... specific situation that likely only someone with a good understanding of your situation will be able to provide an objectively correct answer." – StrongBad Jul 17 '14 at 16:11
  • @StrongBad: yes, that's a good point, I agree with your suggestion. – user102 Jul 17 '14 at 16:32
  • @PiotrMigdal: I agree, any specific text in mind? – user102 Jul 17 '14 at 16:34
  • Good answer but the recommendation part is really weird. – user18072 Jul 18 '14 at 16:47
7

How about:

This question appears to be off-topic because it is not answerable by the Academia community; you may need to ask someone with specific knowledge of your situation, as it may involve internal policy, institutional norms or other information that is not widely known.

2

To avoid any confusion with my previous answer, I would like to suggest to amend the text, to drop the "recommending" part, following djechlin's comment. More specifically, I would suggest the following text:

This question appears to be off-topic because it seems to seek specific advice for a very specific situation, and it's likely that only someone with a good understanding of your situation will be able to provide an objectively correct answer.

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