We have had a number of questions asking for comparisons between X and Y. This question is the latest. As a couple of people alluded to in the comments, there is often too much variability in academia between universities/departments/disciplines to ever be able to provide a comparison that isn't way too localized.
To me it is obvious that questions about comparison that are too localized should be closed. In other words, I think question like is department X at school A "better" than department Y at school B, should be closed.
In the questions I am concerned about, the questions seem to have broad appeal and are asking about things that seemingly would have a definitive answer. It seems to me that closing them as "not a real question" or "not constructive" seems unfair. I can think of a couple of ways forward.
- Continue closing them as not real/constructive with a comment about why an answer is difficult
- Leave them open and unanswered with a comment about why an answer is difficult
- Leave them open and answer them with a comment about why an answer is difficult
- Add something to our FAQ saying why they questions are "off-topic"
I think closing them and even leaving them unanswered sends the wrong message to people. Adding something to our FAQ would at least tell people we are not interested in these types of questions.