I only saw this thread today, otherwise I would have weighed in earlier. I definitely think that migration was warranted in this case. I agree 100% with aeismail's rationale:
It's more a question about how data works—which is Open Data's
specialty, than to Academia's.
Honestly, this to me would seem to settle the discussion. (Incidentally, I don't understand why aeismail adopts a rather apologetical tone in his answer.)
To comment on EnergyNumbers' original question:
But instead of being here, where it will be seen by hundreds of
academics, and get thousands of views, it's been migrated to a quiet
beta site where it will get dozens of views, very few of which will be
That can't be an argument in favor of not migrating. If a question is off topic, then it's off topic. (See below.) I don't see how "it may be off topic at Academia, but it'll get many more hits here" makes a lot of sense.
I am somewhat active on CrossValidated.SE, which is SE for statistics. They recently added a custom close reason for data requests, directing people to OpenData. Which makes perfect sense, given the missions of the two sites. Yes, of course there is more activity at CV than at OD. But if the number of hits were a criterion, we would post everything at StackOverflow, and beta sites would never get any traffic at all.
It seems to me EnergyNumbers argues that the question is of special interest to academics because the DOI explicitly aims at academics. (To quote the migrated question, "I'm familiar with DOIs been allocated to historic time series, to give academics a unique, citable identifier for datasets."). However, the DOI Foundation's FAQ nowhere contains the word "academic" or variants. To quote from the FAQ:
A DOI name provides a means of persistently identifying a piece of
intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with
related current data in a structured extensible way.
Intellectual property may be specially relevant to academics, but it is so for lots of other people, too. This discussion here reminds me of boat programming, with "DOI" in place of "boat", and "academics" in place of "programmers". And I'd argue that many people who are interested in how DOI deals with "evolving" datasets will not be academics (e.g., industry researchers, technical journalists etc.), and they'd likely rather expect such a question on OpenData than on Academia. (Thank goodness for search engines.)
Across the whole Stack Exchange, a question doesn't get migrated just
because it's a good fit elsewhere. It only gets migrated if it's not a
good fit here. So why was this question not considered a good fit
Compare the on-topic help for OpenData:
Open Data Stack Exchange is for developers and researchers interested in open data.
with the analogous page for Academia:
This site is for academics of all levels—from aspiring graduate and
professional students to senior researchers—as well as anyone in or
interested in research-related or research-adjacent fields.
If you have a question about...
- Life as a graduate student, postdoctoral researcher, university professor
- Transitioning from undergraduate to graduate researcher
- Inner workings of research departments
- Requirements and expectations of academicians
- University-level pedagogy
... then you're in the right place!
Looking back at aeismail's rationale quoted above, I'd say that the migrated question fits much more comfortably into the first than the second category, although one can of course argue that it's "research-adjacent" and doesn't cover open data in particular.
(No, I'm not going to flag the question for re-migration, given that there seems to be a consensus that it should stay. As may be obvious, if the question had been posted today, I would have flagged it, for the reasons above.)