7

As discussed in this meta.SE post, the community needs to decide on a set of reasons that can be used to close questions that are off-topic. These can be adjusted or changed in the future, but already we are seeing patterns in the types of questions that need to be closed and it would be nice to establish some close reasons that reflect boundaries the community agrees on.

Some guidelines:

At a bare minimum, off-topic reasons should identify a specific topic considered inappropriate. If you're struggling to be specific, find an example of a question that is off-topic and discuss the factors that make it inappropriate for the site.

Whenever possible, try to explain why a given topic is not allowed - this is your chance to answer the inevitable question once rather than repeating it every time a question must be closed.

Provide resources that will aid askers in solving their problems: either instructions for asking the question in a more suitable fashion, links to a different site where the question may be considered on-topic.

Be as concise as possible. Save lengthy explanations and examples for meta FAQs that can be discussed and refined over time, and then include links to these in the off-topic reasons. Don't depend on anyone following these links though; keep critical information and guidance in the reason text itself.

I have proposed two close reasons below. Please:

  • Add additional answers including other close reasons.
  • Vote for the close reasons you think are appropriate and accurately reflect the scope of the site.
  • Comment on reasons that you think are basically appropriate but need an adjustment in wording.
11

Personalized medical advice close reason:

Questions requesting personal medical advice are off topic here. Nobody here can properly address your health issues. Such questions should be taken to your personal physician who can examine you and access your full medical records. For more information, please see this meta post.

Examples:

Update: This reason is now active.

  • "Your health is too important to entrust to strangers on the internet." is true, but one can argue that he knows the person who answered is a doctor (like you, or anongoodnurse, blahblah) and he's confident. Which doesn't change anything. So I'd be tempted to tell the person that only a doctor who has access to the person's medical history can do anything, and this requires a call or an appointment. This is way too long said that way, but do you see what I mean? – Shlublu Apr 28 '15 at 10:41
  • @Shlublu Good point. Is that any better? – Susan Apr 28 '15 at 11:00
  • "because we can not examine you or access your full medical records", assuming "we" is a doctor. What about "because you should be examined by a doctor who has access to your full medical records", or something like that? – Shlublu Apr 28 '15 at 11:14
  • @Shlublu adjusted again. – Susan Apr 28 '15 at 11:17
  • Wonderful :) I think it is perfect as it is now. – Shlublu Apr 28 '15 at 11:19
  • 1
    Oh, almost perfect: the meta-link points toward an answer instead of the question - sorry, I'm not willing to be a pest! – Shlublu Apr 28 '15 at 11:35
  • @Shlublu - That's not a problem, that can be fixed when these are added as actual reasons. – JohnP Apr 28 '15 at 13:26
  • Consider including examples of the sorts of questions you're talking about here as an aid for discussion. (include them in your answer, not in the reason itself) – Shog9 Apr 30 '15 at 16:38
3

General reference question close reason:

General reference questions are off topic here. This question asks for a generic description of a common disease or requests a generic list of treatment options. Such information is already available on a variety of easily located internet resources. Questions here should be focused and should reflect basic research that you have already done. For more information, see this meta post.

Example: This was inspired by the question:

Medications for asthma

It is meant to encompass anything asking, “What treatments are available for X disease?"

On further reflection, to the extent that they are inappropriate (common diseases, many available treatments, gads of relevant research), most of these can probably be closed as “too broad.”

  • Consider including examples of the sorts of questions you're talking about here as an aid for discussion. (include them in your answer, not in the reason itself) – Shog9 Apr 30 '15 at 16:38
1

Belongs on Fitness.SE close reason:

Questions about your personal fitness regimen (Including dietary questions related to your workouts) are off topic here. There is already a Stack Exchange Fitness site that exists for these types of questions.

  • Biology.SE would also be another good choice sometimes. – Shlublu Apr 28 '15 at 16:49
  • 2
    Are you suggesting not migrating, then? If they are to be migrated, they shouldn’t be closed by the community but rather flagged so a mod can do an off-topic close+migrate. The notion of the community being able to access such migration paths is out there, but "There are no plans to actually implement this in the near future." – Susan Apr 28 '15 at 17:24
  • @Susan Hmm...maybe not a close reason, but a good candidate for "what not to ask" in the help area. I was thinking the "Close - Belongs on another site" reason. – JohnP Apr 28 '15 at 17:49
  • 4
    @JohnP On sites where you’re not a moderator, the only option in "close » belongs on another site” is that site’s meta. The goal of the meta.SE post linked above is to change that, but as of now we don’t have the ability to do that (except mods, who can migrate to any site). I agree it's a good topic for the “what not to ask” page. – Susan Apr 28 '15 at 18:22
  • @Susan - Thanks! #newmodproblems :p – JohnP Apr 28 '15 at 19:02
  • 1
    Downvoted because users should flag for migration, not to close – Zaralynda Apr 28 '15 at 21:53
  • Consider including examples of the sorts of questions you're talking about here as an aid for discussion. (include them in your answer, not in the reason itself) – Shog9 Apr 30 '15 at 16:38
-1

Medications close reason:

Questions regarding dosing or medication interactions are off topic here. These questions require discussions with your pharmacist and primary care provider.

Example: I am taking Xanax and Inderal - How much aspirin should I take for my headache?

Example: I am on Xanax and ran out. Can I take my daughters Valium instead?

Example: I am on medication X, but it makes me nauseous. Can I just take it less times a day so I don't feel as sick?

  • Consider including examples of the sorts of questions you're talking about here as an aid for discussion. (include them in your answer, not in the reason itself) – Shog9 Apr 30 '15 at 16:38
  • 2
    Isn't this a "See your doctor / Personalized medical advice"? – Shlublu Apr 30 '15 at 17:24
  • Quite possibly, yes. – JohnP Apr 30 '15 at 17:47

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