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Many questions that would be appropriate for this site would also be appropriate for mathoverflow, stackoverflow, and possibly other sites. What is the best practice for such questions to promote the growth of the newer computational science SE while still getting the greatest number of eyes on a question? Is their a standard convention for this between SE sites? Is it appropriate to cross-post a question verbatim to different sites?

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In general you shouldn't cross-post: see this answer.

To get the biggest audience for your question:

  1. First post the question where you think it is most relevant.
  2. If you're not satisfied with the response, delete the question and re-ask it somewhere else, being sure to tailor the question to the new community.
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think deleting is a good idea. The old post may contain useful comments by others although not receiving a satisfying answer. The requirement should be waiting for reasonable time (1 week) before cross-posting and then linking to the new copies in both directions. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ Then you can always flag your question as off-topic and have a moderator move it. See David Ketcheson's answer. $\endgroup$ – Dan Feb 13 '12 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ that is not also a good solution as we have seen on other sites. The problem is that the question can be completely legitimate on several sites and users might complain that a question that they were going to answer is migrated to another site. If a question is on-topic on several sites, it shouldn't be a problem to have it there. The "slippery slope argument" can be avoided without an overkill of banning cross-posting. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh: I noticed you're a moderator on CStheory. How is cross-posting handled there? $\endgroup$ – Dan Feb 13 '12 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ Here is the cshtoery policy on cross-posting. In short, we are fine with it as long as it is not simultaneous and the OP has waited a reasonable time (a few days) without receiving a satisfying answer before posting it on another site. It is also expected that the OP will link in both directions between the copies and keeps all copies up-to-date (e.g. if one copy is clarified based on the comments, the OP should clarify the other one also). $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ Similarly if she receives a satisfying answer on the other site she will post answer linking to the answer (or do better by posting a complete answer based on what she has leaned). In the case of simultaneous cross-posting or without linking we close the question as not-constructive and explain the policy stating that the OP should wait a week and if she does not receive an answer by then she can flag the question for reopening. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ That seems reasonable. You might want to write that up as an answer to this question; I was under the impression the no-cross-posting thing was stack exchange policy. $\endgroup$ – Dan Feb 13 '12 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ SE admins have valid concerns which leads to the general policies (mainly based on their experience with much larger sites like the triology SO/SU/SF with over half a million users). They don't want people to cross-post all over the sites (which some users still do). I should say that I don't have the full picture. But as I understand it their moderation policy is that the site are run by the community, so they have been more relaxed about enforcing their decisions on smaller sites like cstheory as long as they are doing OK. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ At the end, it is the job of the community and the community moderators to run/moderate the site and enforce the policies. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ To notice that when there is an up-voted answer, the OP is not able to delete the asked question. Users with too many deleted questions could be not allowed to ask new questions, until they don't get more reputation by answering to questions, and getting up-votes. $\endgroup$ – kiamlaluno Feb 26 '12 at 13:58
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Here is an alternative suggestion:

cross-posting an on-topic question is fine as long as:

  • it is not simultaneous, and
  • the OP has waited a reasonable time (a few days) without receiving a satisfying answer before posting it on another site, and
  • the OP has provided links in both directions between the copies.

The OP should keep all copies up-to-date (e.g. if one copy is clarified based on the comments, the OP should clarify the other one also). Similarly, if she receives a satisfying answer on the other site she will post an answer linking to the full answer (or do better by posting a complete answer based on what she has leaned).

In the case that the cross-posting does not satisfy these conditions moderators will close the question as not-constructive and will explain the policy in a comment stating that the OP should wait a week and if she does not receive a satisfying answer by then she can flag the question for moderator attention and ask for the question to be reopened.

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    $\begingroup$ The other point is that the question should be tailored to suit the site. $\endgroup$ – kiamlaluno Feb 26 '12 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ @kiamlaluno, yes, it should. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 26 '12 at 18:47
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To add to Dan's answer: a moderator can migrate the question to another site for you if that is deemed appropriate.

You can request migration by flagging as "off-topic" and then suggesting (in the dialog box) a more appropriate SE site.

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    $\begingroup$ I gather migrating the answer is more appropriate? It seems drastic to delete your question after someone has attempted to answer it just because one is unsatisfied. Is there a standard way to request the question be migrated? $\endgroup$ – cboettig Feb 2 '12 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ The way to ask for migration is flagging the question for moderator attention. Normally, moderators consult with the moderators of the site that would receive the question to see what they think of the question. $\endgroup$ – kiamlaluno Feb 26 '12 at 14:00

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