For close votes, we are provided a number of reasons. One reason, in particular, is for being off-topic because it belongs on a different Stack Exchange network, takes you to a list view of related and potentially appropriate SE network sites for the question to belong.

I've always hated this implementation, because it is a very short list on every SE network site (it really should just be the same accordion menu as the site's top-left StackExchange site list), but EL&U, I think, takes the cake; the only option on the list is EL&U meta. That means this specific option for CVs is nearly useless (I don't think the majority of questions asked here that belong elsewhere really define "elsewhere" as "EL&U meta").

I understand that sites usually have to come out of beta before migration can occur, though that's not always necessary. Well, English Language Learners has been in beta for over 1.6 years now (is SE trying to mimic the Google model?), and seems to have passed beta requirements with flying colors, so when (will ELL move out of BETA?) might we add it to the aforementioned list?

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    In re: "when will ELL move out of beta"; it looks to me like the one remaining requirement which ELL hasn't substantially satisfied is the Q:A ratio. Which I think it was always destined to be its Achilles heel. There is enormous population of people on the internet who wish to learn English as a second language, and a much smaller population of people who find it interesting or rewarding to teach ESL. The majority of questions are simply uninteresting to native speakers because they're "obvious" to us, and the majority of askers are likely to be one-off help vampires who won't +1 or ✓.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:08
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    And, while I'm new around here, and wasn't around when ELL was proposed or launched, my suspicion is it was created precisely because the majority of EL&U users found such questions uninteresting, and wanted to "sweep them elsewhere" (to borrow a phrase from tchrist). I'm not sure ELL will ever move out of beta, until we find a way to encourage questions which might be interesting to more than the one original author, and potentially admit more than one good answer (i.e. fewer "In English, should I say X or Y" / "X, obviously." type questions/answers).
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:10
  • I don't see how EL&U can be expected to answer a question about another site's beta status. If you can clarify that point, maybe we can re-open this question.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:27
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    Can we perhaps .. ahem ... migrate this question to ELL Meta? There is a similar question there already, but it hasn't been updated in months.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:29
  • @KitFox That question is actually ancillary to the main question at hand.
    – TylerH
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:39
  • @TylerH I don't know why it is bolded and the only actual question in the post then.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:44
  • @KitFox I have adjusted the language in the question to make it clearer that the ancillary part is ancillary
    – TylerH
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:51
  • OK, I think that it is more clearly stated now, except "when will ELL be a migration target?" is probably a duplicate. I'll leave that for the community to hunt down if they want though.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:55
  • @DanBron Ignore the Q:A ratio. ELL is already in the graduation queue.
    – user28567
    Sep 13, 2014 at 6:26

1 Answer 1


tl,dr: Making ELL a migration target for non-moderators risks making matters worse, not better.

There is great confusion about what makes a question suitable for migration. The main problem here is not the betaness one. That’s a red herring.

Rather, the real reason the migration list is always a very a short list on all SE sites is because users, even experienced ones, have time and again proven themselves to be poor judges of what counts as a valid question on the receiving site. Instead, when they just don’t like the bad question, rather than downvoting or closevoting, they try to sweep all the dirt under somebody else’s rug. That makes things worse, not better.

More and more, question migration all across the SE network is being left in the hands of moderators, who normally contact the mod team of the other site to negotiate a hand-over. This makes more work for them, but not so much as it would make if any three users could send garbage questions whithersoever they pleased.

Notice how even with negotiated mod-instituted migrations, about one in every six questions which the ELU mods emigrated to ELL failed migration:

ELU migration stats

Even on SO, where regular users are given a full list of five migration targets:

SO migration targets

Now notice the failure rates, and which are to site not on the above five:

SO migration stats

Anything that is blue-for-beta migration site is one that was a mod-only migration, and even these still fail.


I believe that no matter whether ELL is a beta site or not, that making it an available migration target to non-moderators would result only in a higher rate of failed migrations. This is because too many ELU users are unfamiliar with ELL or consider it a dumping ground for poor NNS questions.

I therefore do not see how having more failed migrations would help anything. I have a hunch that it would hurt things, even.

If you believe something should be migrated, flag it for moderator attention with a custom message to that effect.

  • 2
    The best solution is for ELL mods to flag saying "This is suitable for ELL." Most of the questions which have been nominated for ELL so far have not been good questions at all, and thus unsuited for migration anywhere.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Sep 10, 2014 at 14:40
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    I think calling the only outcome "more failed migrations" is a pretty flagrant misframing of the suggestion. Even if we have more failed migrations than we do currently, it means we will have more aggregate migrations, and more successful migrations, too. I am supportive of an effort to raise the bar on flagging a question as "belongs on another site" as far as reputation requirement goes. 1K, 2K, whatever. Five users, 10 users, all flagging for the same suggested site, whatever. Whatever it takes to be able to use a feature we are provided, because right now, we can't use it.
    – TylerH
    Sep 10, 2014 at 14:41
  • 3
    @AndrewLeach Can we reasonably expect moderators of an SE site to patrol other SE sites looking for questions to immigrate?
    – TylerH
    Sep 10, 2014 at 14:42
  • 2
    @TylerH Not normally; but there is a substantial overlap in membership between ELU and ELL (and an ELU mod could do a similar flag on ELL). The point is really to create a good dataset to inform unilateral decisions.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Sep 10, 2014 at 14:45
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach Is there a special back-end "connection" for so-called sister sites? Like ELU and ELL, or maybe SO and SO Portuguese?
    – TylerH
    Sep 10, 2014 at 14:46
  • 1
    @TylerH No; but ELL mods are members here, and ELU mods are members there (fortuitously, no-one's forced to be or automatically a member anywhere).
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Sep 10, 2014 at 14:48
  • My question is more: does a group of non-mod flags automatically initiate a migration or is a moderator still required to be able to initiate the migration? For instance, can we have a non-functioning flag that says, "This is off-topic, perhaps should be in [free field]"? Or something like that?
    – SrJoven
    Sep 12, 2014 at 12:13
  • @SrJoven No, there is no such thing as flag-driven auto-migration.
    – tchrist Mod
    Sep 12, 2014 at 14:11
  • If there is no such thing, then what's the effective difference between having the choice listed and flagging it for moderator attention with a custom message to that effect?
    – SrJoven
    Sep 12, 2014 at 14:16
  • 1
    @SrJoven A close vote is not a moderator flag.
    – tchrist Mod
    Sep 12, 2014 at 14:21
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    @AndrewLeach I don't think it's reasonable, unfortunately, to ask J.R. to read every question on ELU and pick out migration candidates. I think people who regularly use both sites should feel free to flag when they see a potential ELL question. (I single out J.R. because he is, as far as I can tell, the main active moderator over there at the moment, with Matt showing up now and then--but Matt was never an active ELU user.)
    – user28567
    Sep 13, 2014 at 6:47
  • 1
    Often the questions I see being nominated for ELL are often bad candidates for ELL standards. There is one user in particular, who frequently states that such and such a question should be on ELL but has, to the best of my knowledge, never set foot on that site. Until you do, and until you spend some time on ELL you cannot know what type of questions are the most suitable. It's not just a matter of dumping the "What does X mean?" or " Why is English so hard?" requests on ELL.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 20, 2014 at 7:03

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