A question has been closed as off-topic, and the moderator who closed said in a comment:

This is already receiving sufficient attention on biostars. Giving it further attention here would be a waste of community effort. Consequently I'm closing it.

I have seen comments about cross posting with biostar and other sites. But I don't think that makes a valid reason to close the question here. Many questions in stackexchange.com are duplicated between sites (specially those about ubuntu and *UNIX)

Highly relevant, stop cross posting petition doesn't seem to work. What should we do with those cross posted questions?

My personal opinion is that closing them because is off-topic is not right. I would let them open, but maybe it is time for a custom close reason?

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    $\begingroup$ We don't seem to have a consensus!! $\endgroup$ – llrs Oct 6 '17 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ I'm tending to agree with terdon, but it may be useful to distinguish between cross-posting on SE sites to cross-posting on other sites, the former can be dealt with by different mechanisms (e.g. question migration, although in practise this rarely occurs) $\endgroup$ – Chris_Rands Oct 31 '17 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris_Rands At the moment with so few question I don't think we have to deal with much cross-posting within SE, my question was more addressed to cross-posting with biostars, and support.bioconductor.org, seqanswers... $\endgroup$ – llrs Oct 31 '17 at 10:00
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    $\begingroup$ Well I have seen cross-posts on Stack Overflow, but I agree it's probably not the main cross-posting source; anyway, there will always be redundancy on the internet (and that's not a bad thing) so as long as there is no plagiarism I have no issue...but I'm not a member of other sites like BioStars and I can see why people active on both would get frustrated, nonetheless, anyone wanting a quick answer is going to cross-post inevitably... $\endgroup$ – Chris_Rands Oct 31 '17 at 13:32

My personal opinion on this (which is not that of the moderation team), is that we should leave them alone and just try to answer them. I really don't understand this insistance that someone should ask on our corner of the internet and nowhere else.

Now, I do agree that it would be very nice of the OP if they were to link the two and repeat any answer given on one on the other, but surely the main objectives here are i) to share knowledge and ii) to get answers to questions. Both of those objectives seem to me to be served perfectly well by cross posting.

Do we really want to close a question just because the OP didn't choose us over BioStars or vice versa? We're a very small site still and the volume of posts we get is tiny. If we tell people that in order to ask here they must ask here and nowhere else but here, the chances are we'd just drive them away to the more populous communities where they'll feel they have a greater chance of having their question answered.

If a question asked here already has a great answer on BioStars, we should just copy the answer here—giving credit to the original author, of course—and link back to the original answer. Even better, we can read the answer given, add our own two cents and post a new, better answer here.

But if we decide that any question that has been asked elsewhere cannot be asked here, we deprive the site of a wealth of useful information. I think it is important to build a good collection of interesting and helpful Q&As here, and removing good questions just because they have been asked elsewhere is directly against that goal.


I would support making a custom close reason. If the post isn't yet sufficiently answered on the other site then leaving it opening and posting a link to the other post is the best course. However, if the post is sufficiently answered elsewhere then any effort spent here is a complete waste of time, in my opinion. We use the same strategy on biostars, for whatever that's worth.

Update: I've created a custom close reason, it just needs to be approved by one of the other mods.

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    $\begingroup$ I admit I am strongly against such a custom reason. We have one over on Unix & Linux and I've never understood why. I really don't see why someone should be forced to ask in one place and one place only. It is never a waste of time to put information out there. You never know which site a user will be searching on, and you can always repeat whatever information on the other site. $\endgroup$ – terdon Sep 19 '17 at 10:36
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    $\begingroup$ I don't innately have a problem with asking multiple places (provided you link to them), the question really becomes whether it makes sense to ask different people to provide what will in essence be the same information rephrased multiple times. As long as the answers elsewhere are linked to, a user will be able to get to the information conveniently where ever they happen to be searching. $\endgroup$ – Devon Ryan Sep 19 '17 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ Its pretty annoying to waste half an hour of your life, only to find that a question has a perfectly good answer on a different site. Often I think this happens when a questioner doesn't get the answer they want somewhere else (i've done this myself). Sometimes the answer elsewhere IS wrong. But sometimes the questioner just doesn't want to hear the truth. $\endgroup$ – Ian Sudbery Sep 19 '17 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ @IanSudbery why would that be an hour wasted? You have just written up a nice answer to an interesting question, thereby increasing the amount of useful information found on the site. How is that a waste of your time? We don't answer questions (just) for the person who asked them, we answer them to build a repository of useful information. $\endgroup$ – terdon Sep 20 '17 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ The amount of information on the site has increased, but the amount of info on the internet hasn't. There is some value in that, but not as much as answering a question for which there is no good answer around (given I only have time to answer one question). I should good the title first to check. But if we all do this we (and other sites) will end up with a lot of unanswered questions when people decide to put there effort where it makes the most difference. Of course if the answers on the other site aren't good, that's different. $\endgroup$ – Ian Sudbery Sep 20 '17 at 10:31

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