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Over on the theoretical computer science SE site, we have two common close reasons that aren't captured well by the current drop down list:

  1. We get waves of homework questions, and our community mandate (and indeed the site premise) is that the site is for research-level questions in TCS (like Mathoverflow) and we will NOT entertain homework questions. We can close these questions with the 'too localized' option, but we'd ideally like a 'we don't do homework' option.
  2. We share subject interests with Mathoverflow, and we often have questions crossposted simultaneously to both sites. Our site policy explicitly discourages this, recommending crossposting only after the question has had a chance to get answered on the other site, and with full link and partial answer info. When users do post questions simultaneously, AND the question has already received an answer on MO, we'd like to close the question as an exact duplicate, but for MO.

So I'd like to request two things:

  1. Can we have a 'homework' reason in the close list, or even a 'catchall' in which we could write in the reason ? the 'too localized' seems like an awkward fit.
  2. In the 'closed for being an exact duplicate', could we add in URLs for non-SE 2.0 sites like MO, or rather even just give a URL that remains unprocessed (maybe with a checkmark to indicate this?)
share|improve this question
Your first item is "off-topic" by definition. – balpha Nov 7 '10 at 18:24
except when someone posts a question that in and of itself is reasonable, calling it off topic is confusing (out of scope might be a better descriptor). See… for example, where we discuss this point. – Suresh Nov 7 '10 at 18:35
"off topic" has been working fine on SO proper for ages. I can see the point but I don't feel it warrants a new close reason. The second is more tricky, this is going to become an issue more often now that there are more sites – Pëkka Nov 7 '10 at 21:52

Adding Yet Another Close Reason would be harmful to the ecosystem and implies we should do it on other sites as well.

There's a mental overhead to processing these reasons, and adding more only increases the analysis paralysis. Don't make me think, man!

Homework is off topic, as it specifies in your /faq. Simple.

If you feel the poster needs more clarification, leave a comment on the post after it is closed. This is generally advisible for new users if you want to be extra-friendly towards them anyway.

share|improve this answer
I understand, and that's something we try to do right now. But as regards the second issue ? – Suresh Nov 7 '10 at 21:50
@suresh we don't recognize duplicates on the entire internet -- duplicate means "duplicate on this site". Changing this would be a massive rework of both the intended meaning and the code. Not likely – Jeff Atwood Nov 7 '10 at 21:52
but you're going to have cross-network duplicates damn often now that there are overlapping sites. I can see somebody posting an identical question on Serverfault, Unix.SE and Ubuntu.SE. Why not let the "exact duplicate" close reason accept URLs from other network sites? I'd say it's worth thinking about. – Pëkka Nov 7 '10 at 21:54

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