There was recently a post on Main: How to build healthy working relationships with my male colleagues as a young-ish, attractive-ish woman?

The question gives some detail about their position in work and their education, but the main bulk of it is about their interactions with others.

My question is, How would this question be received on IPS? Should it be migrated?

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    the main bulk of it is about their interactions with others You were missing two words at the end, the main bulk of it is about their interactions with others within Academia.
    – Nobody
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 13:01
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    @scaaahu It seems that is in a grey area - It doesn't seem to be disallowed or explicitly allowed in the help center Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 12:52
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    No, "with Academia" is the key. In the Help Center: If you have a question about … •inner workings of research departments .. then you're in the right place!. If the OP had a question in the working environment of a sales department of a company, or with a family member, or with a friend, then it should be in IPS. If the colleague, or the family member, or a friend happens to be in the same research department with the OP, then the question belongs to Academia SE.
    – Nobody
    Commented Oct 26, 2018 at 4:34

1 Answer 1


I do think this question would be on-topic at IPS if it had been posted there originally. In particular, it has a fairly clear goal, although IPS would probably want to focus it a bit more. However, many of the answers given here are not really IPS answers and would not be accepted as good IPS answers because they do not focus on interpersonal skills (note that IPS has very strict definitions about what is on- and off-topic for both questions and answers).

For this and other reasons, I would not suggest migration.

I'd also add that this has been addressed before on Meta with respect to Workplace.SE.

The consensus meta answer there is that questions that are highly relevant to academia, even if they could be on-topic elsewhere, should remain on topic here and therefore should not be migrated. I think it's reasonable to point question askers to other possible stacks or point them to similar questions on those stacks, but not migrate unless they decide themselves that their question would belong better there.

Although some possible answers are going to be nearly identical on the different stacks, academia can be a fairly unique workplace for several reasons, especially for students, and the types of answers people get to workplace or generic IPS questions simply wouldn't make sense in academia.

Lastly, I'd note that questions that relate to interpersonal interactions in academia: how to communicate with professors/advisors/mentors, how to communicate with students/mentees, how to communicate with peers, how to communicate with editors, how to communicate with admissions/tenure/recruiting/standing committees, how to advocate for ones self in a number of contexts, are all considered on-topic and answered here on a daily basis. This question is not that unusual for Academia.SE, it just attracted a lot of attention because the subject matter is interesting to a lot of people and was on the Hot Network Questions.

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