The FAQ page for Skeptics.stackexchange.com gives some brief guidance to what questions are on-topic and off-topic:

Skeptics - Stack Exchange is for skeptics, rationalists, free thinkers, or anyone who questions pseudoscience. Skeptics is about applying skepticism — it's for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read. It is not for philosophical discussions about skepticism itself.

If you have a question about the accuracy of public claims made in the media or elsewhere, if you're interested in the evidence behind what you hear or read, then you are in the right place.

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: [...]

This is an good summary, and continues to be used an overarching principle. However, the boundaries of the scope of Skeptics.SE continues to be explored and debated.

Based on discussions and precedents, what topics are in and out of scope if Skeptics.SE?

There is a related question about what makes a good question. This question, on the other hand, is focused on the general topic of the question as opposed to how it is asked.


1 Answer 1


(Any answer to this question can only reflect the consensus of the community. This is not an attempt to enforce personal preferences or to stifle new directions, but merely to record what consensus has been reached in the past, and which may change in the future.)

Breadth of Scope

The scope of Skeptics.SE is very broad.

It, of course, covers a number of areas that have been traditionally addressed by skeptics, including the paranormal and supernatural, alternative medicine, urban legends and pseudoscience.

However, it extends to workplace claims, historical claims, technical claims, health claims, and more.


There has been some discussion about whether some topics should be "taboo" as the claims may be considered offensive. To date, no topics have been rejected for such a reason. (e.g. race, pornography, religion.)


This site is aimed at lay-people, rather than research scientists. As is explained in this meta-question, we cover:

"the basic questions on science that are propagated by non-scientists (Al Gore, Jenny McCarthy, mainstream media, etc.) and hearsay ("you get a cold from being cold" and the like), but we leave the real questions to the real pros (i.e. Physics.SE, Biology.SE, Chemistry.SE, etc.) By those guidelines, "Is it dangerous to have several vaccines at the same time?" is on-topic, but not all medical questions will be.

Thus, questions that are only approachable by experts in a field may be considered out of scope.

Scientific Claims Only

Only claims that are empirically verifiable are in scope. That means philosophical questions like "Does free-will exist?" or "Could God create a rock so heavy that He couldn't lift it?" are out of scope. It also eliminates questions about individuals' beliefs and motivations.

Notable Claims Only

Skeptics.SE is not a general-purpose site to ask any question that can be answered scientifically. In order to focus the efforts of the users, the scope is limited to "notable" claims, which are defined here and here.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .