In theory, this is off-topic.
There is a line in the FAQ that discusses the scope of the site. Since inception, it has explicitly stated:
Don't ask about... [...] Research-level science, discussions of skepticism as a philosophy or movement, rants or personal speculation.
This clause has troubled me a little in the past, because:
- We clearly cite scientific research all the time.
- I don't recall ever seeing a moderator, or the community, explicitly use this as a reason to close a question.
However, I can see the justification. I have seen people (including mods) vote to migrate a research-level Physics question to Physics.SE on the grounds that the level of expertise of the community there is more appropriate. I have seen people (including me) tear their hair out in exasperation at research-level Economics questions, because the limited expertise here can get outweighed by politics.
I see our role more as being in popularising science - taking established results, and making them available to people who have questions, or in taking overstatements and showing that the science hasn't reached a conclusion yet. We haven't got the specific expertise to be peer-reviewers of papers. Maybe we can pick out obvious flaws in statistics or logic, but the subtle problems are likely to elude us as a group.
So, my personal opinion is that we should steer clear of academic debate about individuals papers but I have no idea of how to draw that line, and especially how to see that a question is going to provoke only answers that cross that line.
As always, I would rather the community established their own rules, rather than had them imposed from above, and I note that the original line in the FAQ is a simple edit away from being whatever we want it to say.