5

Background

With recent changes to the closing system, we can now tailor the texts for custom close reasons to different audiences:

  • One text that informs close flaggers, voters, and reviewers when the close reason should be used.
  • One brief text that describes the close reason to everybody seeing the question. (It also gets shown in the two following cases.)
  • One text to guide the author of a question with improving it, getting help elsewhere, or similar.
  • One text to guide users with the close privilege how to improve the question or guide the asker.

For example, this is what the author of a question closed as not within the scope of this community will see:

example close notice

I think this is great since we do not have to have a single text that works on all occasions anymore and have more room for tailored guidance and being more welcoming.

What happened

I worked together with the other moderators to make use of this system. The new close reasons went active just now. The changes retroactively apply to old questions closed with the respective predecessor close reason.

Why did you not ask us earlier?

The new texts should not contain any surprises; they reflect existing policy. Since there is more room and the texts are more targetted, there is little risk of the result being accidentally worse than the status quo. Also, it is rather difficult to grasp which text goes where without seeing the result in action; I got a few things wrong at first myself. I therefore considered it better to have you review the result in place, and suggest changes if necessary.

This question

I’ll post one answer for each of our custom close reasons containing all the texts. Please use comments to suggest improvements and similar. Should any complex issues or disagreements arise, I will create separate questions as needed.

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  • The hyperlinks are great. – Anonymous Physicist Apr 30 at 11:27
  • I don't like the fact that there is text that is shown only to the post owner. How is that an advantage? Different people won't be on the same page if they see different guidance. – Federico Poloni May 10 at 9:11
  • @FedericoPoloni: I fail to see your problem. The general information as to why a question was closed is visible to everybody (and in our case always links to an explicit FAQ). The part that is only shown to the post owner is about things only they can do (e.g., editing in information that only they have) or things only relevant to them (e.g., where they can ask their question instead). Can you point to a scenario where the actual texts (below) would cause a problem? – Wrzlprmft May 10 at 11:30
  • @Wrzlprmft Sure, here is a scenario: in a question closed as Not Within the Scope, OP starts a comment thread asking where it is more appropriate to post the question. OP mentions "the recommended sites" in the discussion. No one understands which sites OP is referring to, because they do not see the same message. – Federico Poloni May 10 at 12:21
  • @FedericoPoloni: I see. The OP is shown which part of the guidance is exclusive for them (see my edit, note the “Private feedback for you”). This should make your scenario rather unlikely. Also, in most cases, all the relevant information is in the dedicated FAQ, a link to which is shown to everybody. – Wrzlprmft May 10 at 15:20
  • @Wrzlprmft I don't see which edit you are referring to. Anyway, it seems to me that this scenario (or a variant) is possible whenever the system shows different messages to different people, no matter how hard you tweak the messages to avoid it. So my opinion is that it's a bad idea to do it. – Federico Poloni May 10 at 15:35
  • @FedericoPoloni: I don't see which edit you are referring to.The one to this meta question. — Anyway, it seems to me that this scenario (or a variant) is possible whenever the system shows different messages to different people, no matter how hard you tweak the messages to avoid it. – Sure, you can never fully avoid this. However, with the prior system, we also had problems with close votes understanding parts of the close reason that should guide the asker to be directed at them. So, I think this is the lesser evil. – Wrzlprmft May 10 at 15:44
6

Strongly depends on individual factors

Close reason: This text is shown when selecting a reason while flagging or voting to close:

Strongly depends on individual factors

The answer to this question strongly depends on individual factors such as some person’s preferences, some institution’s policies, the exact contents of some work or the asker’s personal values. Answers to this question would be far too speculative, broad, or would primarily consist of: “It depends on X.” See this FAQ for details. Note that questions on the rules of institutions that operate at national or international level are permitted.

General post notice: This text is shown under a closed question to everybody:

This question was closed for strongly depending on individual factors. It is currently not accepting answers.

Post-owner guidance: This text is shown under the general post notice to the author of a question:

The answer to your question strongly depends on the policies of some institution, the exact contents of your work, some person’s preferences, your personal values, or similar. Only someone familiar with them can answer this question and it cannot be generalized to apply to others. Importantly, only somebody who knows you very well can make life decisions for you. Please read: Why was my question put on hold for depending on individual factors?

Privileged-user guidance: This text is shown under the general post notice to user with the close privilege:

Please explain to the asker why we cannot answer their question and who may be able to do so. If there is a suitable question the author can ask about their situation, guide them towards it or edit the question if you can.

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5

Shopping question

Close reason: This text is shown when selecting a reason while flagging or voting to close:

Shopping question

The answer to this question would be an individual university, academic program, publisher, journal, research topic, etc., or a list, an assessment, or a comparison of those. The question seeks help choosing or finding these. See this FAQ for details. Note that questions for software solutions are acceptable.

General post notice: This text is shown under a closed question to everybody:

Closed. This question is what we call a shopping question. It is currently not accepting answers.

Post-owner guidance: This text is shown under the general post notice to the author of a question:

If you can, please edit your question to ask how to make your choice in general and without naming any particular options. If you can, specify an aspect that you are concerned about. Note that simply anonymizing the choices usually does not make for a good question. Please read this FAQ.

Privileged-user guidance: This text is shown under the general post notice to user with the close privilege:

Please consider whether you can edit the question to be about how to make the choice and without naming particular options. Otherwise please guide the asker and vote to reopen the question if appropriate.

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4

Not within the scope of this community

Close reason: This text is shown when selecting a reason while flagging or voting to close:

Not within the scope of this community

This question is about the content of research, education outside a university setting, or otherwise clearly outside our community’s scope. Note that questions on undergraduate education are within our scope unless about undergraduate admissions, life, and culture. — If you can, leave a comment to guide the asker to an appropriate site for their question and help them to improve it before reposting.

General post notice: This text is shown under a closed question to everybody:

Closed. This question is not within the scope of this community as defined in the help center. It does not accept answers.

Post-owner guidance: This text is shown under the general post notice to the author of a question:

If your question is about the content of academic research or teaching, there likely is a Stack Exchange site dedicated to your field. Please ask it there. Questions on math or computer-science education outside an academic setting may be suited for Math Educators or Computer Science Educators. Please familiarise with the guidelines of those sites before asking there.

Privileged-user guidance: This text is shown under the general post notice to user with the close privilege:

If applicable, guide the asker to an appropriate Stack Exchange site for their question. If the question has other problems (such as being a homework dump), guide them to improve their question before reposting it.

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  • "Please familiarise with the guidelines of those sites before asking there." Please make that as prominent as possible. – Anonymous Physicist Apr 30 at 11:30

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