When I browse the questions on the issue of research funding, I found that this question was closed (I am not the author). Since I want to be more familiar with the norms of Academia Stack Exchange, I want to know why this question which ask for the funding sources was deemed off-topic.

  • I don't remember much, but, I think I had voted to close at that time due to following reasons: (a) it is somewhat a shopping question, (b) it is more like stated in an undergraduate situation -which I believe is not suitable for academiaSE.
    – Coder
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 14:47
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    @Coder: regarding b: Only very specific undergraduate situations are off-topic here; this is not one of them.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


I believe the reaction is to the request for a list of funding sources. However, the question about whether or not it's appropriate to cold call companies and corporations could be a valid and appropriate question for Stack Exchange, particularly since it's funding undergraduate research (which is on-topic, even if many other UG issues are not!).

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    I found that the reasons people used to close or hold a question are quite subjective.
    – Alan Lao
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 15:58

The reason given on the question page* is

This question is not within the scope of this site as defined in the help center. Our scope particularly excludes the content of research, education outside of a university setting, and undergraduate admissions, life, and culture.

I suspect this may have been a knee-jerk "it's about undergrads so it's off-topic!" reaction. Unfortunately, if people vote to close for multiple reasons, the site only displays the most common one.

Obviously, I don't remember my reasoning from six months ago but, looking at the question today, I believe my close vote would have been because:

“Shopping” questions, which seek recommendations or lists of individual universities, academic programs, publishers, journals, research topics, or similar as an answer or seek an assessment or comparison of such, are off-topic here.

I think sources of funding fall within "or similar". The question is just soliciting a big list of funding sources, and lists are generally discouraged on Stack Exchange.

* Quoted for context, in case the question is reopened.

  • This is my evaluation of the situation and how I think I would have voted, as well.
    – Buzz
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 18:43
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    Note that I edited the question to specifically not ask for individual funding sources (which I guess was not the original intention anyway).
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 19:17
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    @Wrzlprmft "Are there any other kinds of funding sources I have not mentioned above?" still seems pretty listy. Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 19:20
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    Yes, but it’s a small finite, non-shopping list.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 19:25

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