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issue in my power's fan was migrated from SO impressively quickly. I am however unable to tell what the question is actually asking for. Now, I understand that we'd like to keep as many 'good' questions as possible, but in this case, well... It needs a lot of love and triage to not be a shambling closevote magnet of a question.

Migrating crap is frowned on. Could we have questions closed, fixed up then migrated, rather than assuming its the next site's problem please? Or do we shoot first, and bandage later?

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If the post is something that has nothing to do with whats on the site then users might not be able to correct the question or even completely understand the problem. The post should be improved/closed after migration in my view. – AsheeshR Dec 31 '12 at 7:44
Related, maybe even dupe:… (Jeff answer there fits perfectly in this case as well) – Shadow Wizard Dec 31 '12 at 8:07
up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is going to sound like a "cop out" answer, but it should be 50/50. Yes, the source site should clean up grammar, spelling, formatting, etc., but who better to clean up the content aspects of it than the users who (theoretically) know the subject the best at the destination?

If it looks like it's total junk sent your way, flag it using the "Other" reason, and suggest that it should perhaps be rejected, and therefore closed on the source site without further ado.

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yeah, this is pretty much what I do before I vote to close - clean up formatting/grammar etc. Once a while, though I just let it slip.. – Sathya Dec 31 '12 at 8:00
+1 I do the grammar+formatting cleanup on my side and let the other site worry about the rest. Also, you win! :) – Manishearth Dec 31 '12 at 8:19

Only the best questions should be migrated to another site, and in most cases, if an asker doesn't properly research the correct site to ask on, there's a very strong likelihood that there are other problems with the post as well.

Thus, if a question is off-topic on one site, it should really just be closed as off-topic.

"Don't migrate crap" is something that the community managers have been saying for a very long time, and I agree with this guideline. When a question is migrated, if it has issues, it pollutes the target site, and that community now has to try and fix the problems with it. If it gets closed again, it's counted as a rejection on the source site, which can result in the migrate option to that target being removed.

What's more, when a question is migrated back and forth, it can create some undesired behavior, and I recall seeing some bug reports because of this. (I don't have links, so let's just pretend it didn't happen) :).

So, if there's a question that is awesome, but it doesn't fit the source site, and you know it would be a great question for another community, clean it up first. It's the polite thing to do, and it ensures that the target community won't make snap misjudgements about it's quality, write "return to sender" on it, and ship it back to you.

With that said, I do agree with what jonsca says, that it's 50/50. However, if you're going to migrate it, do what you can to help guarantee the migration will be a success. Don't assume the target site will do the heavy lifting.

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Cleaning up a question is primarily the responsibility of the destination site. If the question is badly formatted or in poor English, you should fix that as soon as possible. But there's a lot that can only be done at the destination site or by someone familiar with the destination site, such as choosing appropriate tags (which may not exist on the source site), making the question fit the community, possibly applying formatting such as MathJax which may not exist on the source site.

Your complaint here is not with cleaning up the question. All it lacked was a few punctuation marks. But even when everything that could be fixed by editors was fixed, it's still a crap question, and that was visible from the start. The problem here is that the question was a bad question and should not have been migrated but closed in place. That is definitely the responsibility of the source site.

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