I recently asked a question regarding faster than light speeds. The question was based around positive claims made by researchers.I was annoyed to see it had been moved, although I don't want this question to be about my example.

What I would like to know is what determines when a question should be migrated?

My example seemed fine for the skeptics SE as it was addressing a positive claim and looking for a skeptical analysis. It was not asked on phsyics.SE because I did not want an in-depth explanation on why or why not such a thing may be possible.

Indeed, there are many questions on evolution or chemical reactions which are not migrated, so then what determines when a question should be migrated? It can't simply be because a more specialized SE exists and is thus more suitable.

Surely the only questions that should be migrated are questions not about a claim but rather an explanation?

2 Answers 2


I will propose a guideline for when items are migrated. If it receives sufficient acclaim, I will remove this header, grossly edit down the question to be focussed on this topic and declare it to be a FAQ answer. Does that sound reasonable?

The key criterion for migrating a question from Skeptics.StackExchange is that it is considered more likely to get a high-quality answer at a different StackExchange.

The declared scopes of the two StackExchanges are key in determining this. Obviously, if it is out-of-scope for Skeptics.SE, and will be otherwise closed, then any other StackExchange where it is in scope will be an improvement.

However, migrations had an early history of being used to throw rubbish questions over the fence to become the problem of other StackExchanges. It is now considered polite, if you don't have strong understanding of the destination StackExchange (e.g. a high reputation), to contact the moderators there first to see if they will accept it.

Where a question is in scope on both StackExchanges, the question is more difficult. In determining the location with the best chance of a good answer, the following factors should be considered:

  • Will the more focused expertise that is found on another StackExchange with a more specific scope be useful in producing a better answer?
  • Will the high-standards of evidence and critical-thinking that are found on Skeptics.StackExchange be useful in producing a better answer?

Similar criteria apply when deciding whether it is acceptable to close a question on Skeptics.SE as a duplicate of a question on another StackExchange.

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    I fear I may be reinventing the wheel here. I wonder if Meta.Stackoverflow already covers this.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 1:30
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    I think you have it layed out pretty well. When out of scope for this site migrate if possible to a SE where it will be in scope. The problem is when it is in scope for multiple sites. I would suggest that if someone asks it on this site they want a critical analysis / skeptical approach as opposed to the explanation or referral to the consensus they may receive on a more focused site. Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 7:12
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    I would advocate a policy in which as long as the question is on scope for this site then not to migrate it unless the type of answer the asker wants to receive is clear. I would also say that clearer guidelines on when to migrate would be helpful given that a question can be in scope here and another SE, which generally isn't the case. Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 7:14
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    You might want to read this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/87739/… I tried figuring out what the cross-posting rules were once.
    – Kit Sunde
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 20:02
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    @Kit, interesting. Thanks. That suggests that we should be more aggressive at closing cross-site duplicates from the same author than my last sentence proposes.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 21:16

It can't simply be because a more specialized SE exists and is thus more suitable.

Your question was about physics. It requires the expert opinion of a physicist to explain — for example, one needs to explain a bit how the nature of modern physics experiments allows for "blimps", or flukes of up to 5-sigma (99.9999% unlikely) without much problems. Normally only 6-sigma signals are actually considered viable.

From our FAQ:

If your question is not about a particular claim, or if it is about research-level science, the following sites may be better suited for your needs:

  • Physics - Physics - Stack Exchange

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