This question asks how to treat certain ambiguous answers in a research survey, and I regard it as off-topic on Academia, and should be migrated to Cross Validated. When I tried to put in a close-vote to this effect, the only option to migrate was to Academia Meta:

This restriction has been raised in another meta post, and it seems that it is a fixed aspect of this site that is unlikely to change.

In view of the fact that people cannot vote to migrate to other sites (other than Academia Meta) it seems like it is unlikely that questions like this will receive the requisite close-votes to cause the moderators to close/move them. Does this make it more difficult to migrate questions out of here? If so, what is the appropriate work-around?


1 Answer 1


First note that migration paths being restricted to close voters by default is by design. There are a lot of pitfalls when migrating¹ and it’s more efficient to train a few moderators on those² than all close voters. Therefore migration paths are only created in the rare case that the amount of migrations between two sites exceeds what moderators can handle. To cut a long story short, the following is not a work-around but the intended way:

To effect the migration of a question, do both:

  • Flag or vote to close it with the not within the scope or a custom close reason elaborating why it is outside our scope. If the situation is not crystal-clear, the latter is strongly preferable.

    The argument for this should be independent of the existence or scope of other sites – “it is on-topic on [Topic] SE” is not a valid close reason. Also, if the question is closed for any other reason, migration will not solve its problems.

  • Raise a custom moderator flag, stating where and why the question should be migrated.

¹ You got to have know a minimum about the scope of the target site, keep in mind the golden rule of migration (mind that I am not saying that this applies in your specific case), etc. Half of the migration flags we get blatantly ignore these. Also, for many migrations feedback from moderators or members of the target site is sought before anything happens.
² This is not only because mods are fewer people. They also have special tools to ask other mods and, in turn, they can be easily contacted if they make a mistake migrating and learn from it.

  • But this makes the migration depends on a single mod, and not the consensus of the community?
    – Ooker
    Nov 4, 2018 at 12:44
  • @Ooker: Yes. But the relevant community is the target community, who is not asked either way – at least by the system. Practically, many migrations involve moderators investigating whether a question is actually suited for the target site.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Nov 4, 2018 at 13:47
  • But the mods of the source site is just regular users in the target site, and the effect of the community of that site only starts after the question is migrated? It's like asking a new question: if it hasn't existed in the site then no one can decides its fate. Í still don't see how having a mod handle the migration is better than letting the community decide. I understand that practically educating every voter to know the golden rule is hard, but that's what the rep system is for.
    – Ooker
    Nov 5, 2018 at 18:44
  • 5
    @Ooker: How does reputation educate you as to what should be migrated and what shouldn’t? And it’s not only the golden rule, but knowing a minimum about the target site’s scope. Educating all close voters about this (assuming against all odds that it is even remotely successful) for three migrations per month is simply not worth it. Training a handful of mods in migration is much easier, not only because it’s fewer people: Mods have special tools to ask other mods and, in turn, they can be easily contacted if they make a mistake migrating and learn from it.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Nov 5, 2018 at 21:07
  • 1
    I think your last comment has nailed it. You may want to add it to your answer I think
    – Ooker
    Nov 6, 2018 at 17:28

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