Sometimes (maybe once a month if it's a busy month) we have a tough question in theoretical science on Computer Science Stack Exchange that nobody can answer.

After a while we tend to presume that if nobody answered, it's because nobody knows, which makes the question research-level. (It's usually clear which questions went unanswered because nobody knows and which questions went unanswered because nobody bothered.)

While research-level questions in theoretical computer science are on-topic on CS.SE, it is better if questions get answered. So if a question was asked on CS.SE but would also be suitable for Theoretical Computer Science, usually someone suggests migrating it there.

Assuming that the question is indeed about theoretical computer science, that it has gone unanswered for long enough that we doubt it will be answered on CS.SE, and that the asker is willing, should we migrate the question to CSTheory.SE? Should we ask first, and where? (Chat? but it's pretty much dead.)

Only moderators of CS.SE can initiate the migration; if we do it it would typically be in response to a flag, often a flag from the asker.

Note that if you feel that a question should not have been migrated to CSTheory, you can close it; this will bounce the question back to its original site, but not reopen it there. (This is known as rejecting the migration.) If you find a question migrated from CS.SE and you think that it is not suitable for CSTheory.SE but should have remained open on CS.SE, please vote to close it here, and once it is closed here please flag it for reopening on CS.SE.

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    $\begingroup$ My suggestion is: post them here as answers to this question, if you see there are some support from community and no major objection to their migration then you can migrate them without explicitly asking moderators. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Nov 20, 2013 at 0:57
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    $\begingroup$ Kaveh's suggestion works for me. $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2013 at 3:32
  • $\begingroup$ ps what is the expiration time for migration? heard that se had one built in somewhere... $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Feb 6, 2014 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ @vzn Moderators can migrate up to 60 days after asking the question. After that point migration is impossible. $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2014 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles are you ok with flagging for suggested tcs.se migration or just comments instead? is it ok to suggest it early on finding the question even before its hung around awhile on cs.se (that is more convenient on flaggers side)? $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Feb 6, 2014 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn Migrations from Computer Science to Theoretical Computer Science happens exclusively with the asker's agreement, since (apart from big-list questions) all suitable questions are on-topic on CS. $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2014 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


I think both you and Raphael have sufficient experience with cstheory to know the scope, so I know that I can trust your opinion. As such, I think it is fine if you use your own judgement to migrate to cstheory, and as you said: worst-comes-to-worst we will bounce it back with a community close vote. In other words, feel free to migrate at your discretion instead of asking here.

  • $\begingroup$ If that's the new CSTheory policy, that's fine with me — less work. I actually tend to have no idea: I can easily tell if something is CS theory, but I have a hard time knowing if something is research-level except in a very narrow field. “Not answered on CS” is a hint — and we generally wouldn't migrate if the question was answered, since it's on-topic on CS to begin with. $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2014 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles don't take my word as canon. I have raised it to the attention of the other moderators in chat, so lets see how the community responds to my answer over the next few days. If it gets some upvotes we can call it a policy, if it generates opposition then we can stick to the status-quo. $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2014 at 17:20
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @ArtemKaznatcheev. You should feel free to migrate questions to cstheory that are theory questions that haven't been answered on CS.SE and you feel can be migrated. $\endgroup$
    – Lev Reyzin Mod
    Feb 6, 2014 at 17:41

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