Since the addition of a Close -> Off-Topic -> Belongs on TeX.SE migration path (see ...), I've been flagging appropriate posts (tagged , and mostly) using this method. However, many of these don't migrate in a timely fashion, while some don't migrate at all even though my flag review usually lists the flag as Helpful. I have to re-flag it as Other and explicitly request: "Migrate over to TeX.SE."

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What is going on here?

This question was spurred by the most recent migration and a comment by BoltClock/a moderator:

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  • I posted that comment because for some reason the post history showed that it was locked/unlocked by Community, which seemed to indicate that a migration had happened. Perhaps I was just confused. For the record, the flag I was referring to was raised by somebody else. Sep 22, 2012 at 21:09

1 Answer 1


First off, let me explain how close flags are handled:

  1. When you flag an off-topic post, that flag goes into a queue: first the one visible to members with at least 10K reputation points, then if it hasn't been handled after a day, into the queue for moderators.

  2. If anyone - a moderator or a normal user - votes to close the post, your flag is marked as handled, with a "helpful" status.

  3. If five users (or one moderator) vote to close the post, it is closed. Note that this may happen well after your flag is marked as helpful if the first vote wasn't from a moderator.

  4. If the post is closed as off-topic with the majority of voters (3 on most sites, 4 on SO) voting to migrate it, the post will be migrated.

In the example you linked to, the question garnered 4 "migrate" votes, but it was tagged with no other tags. Since every question on Tex.SE is implicitly tagged or , this means it would've migrated as an untagged question (which, when a moderator migrated it, did happen) - this situation prevents normal migrations from completing successfully. Your second flag resulted in a moderator migrating it, and it is currently untagged on Tex.SE.

Solution: make sure questions are well-tagged before flagging.

For the rest of your flags, you're either re-flagging them before enough close votes have accumulated, or before anyone has handled the first flag.

Solution: don't be so impatient. It takes time for questions to be closed. If you're able to garner 3,000 reputation points on SO, you can vote to close directly - this skips the first two steps above.

  • 1
    The first part of your answer does not address the question. The second part of your answer does not make sense: If I notice a "helpful" flag in my flagging history, that tells me it's been "handled." That is, a moderator considered the flag helpful (reviewed it) and therefore dealt with it. You should also notice (I assume moderators have access to this) that the re-flagging occurs much later than the original flag.
    – Werner
    Sep 22, 2012 at 18:28
  • I've edited to clarify how the process works.
    – Shog9
    Sep 22, 2012 at 18:52
  • Now this makes much more sense. Thanks for the clarification.
    – Werner
    Sep 22, 2012 at 19:14
  • 8
    I don't know I agree fully with the solution about retagging before migrating; we are fully capable of knowing what is on topic for another site as well as what meets the quality standards of the Stack Exchange sites in general. Expecting us to have knowledge of the target site's tag lexicon is unreasonable. People can see the migrations sent over and there are users with the rep who can edit it for the proper tags.
    – casperOne
    Sep 22, 2012 at 20:11
  • 3
    The instrinsic tag should be enough for migrating! The appropriate tags often don't exist on the source site. Sep 22, 2012 at 22:14
  • Casper, Gilles, what you're writing sounds like it should be a feature-request or bug report.
    – Shog9
    Sep 22, 2012 at 22:26
  • @casperOne: I agree. There are plenty of "janitors" on TeX.SE that retags posts upon migration.
    – Werner
    Sep 22, 2012 at 22:54
  • 1
    @Shog9 I was under the impression that intrinsic tags were supposed to allow migrations... This does sound like a bug.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Sep 24, 2012 at 0:07
  • @Anna: could be; write it up...
    – Shog9
    Sep 24, 2012 at 0:16
  • @Shog9 I intend to; just tossing a comment up here for confirmation. :)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Sep 24, 2012 at 0:17
  • Your answer does not explain the non-migration of XeLaTeX/Koma: Need custom "counter" as page number substitute and Fitch style box proofs in LaTeX: both had "proper" tags. Nov 1, 2012 at 22:28
  • @Martin: both of those have collected close votes after the initial flags (see item #2), and have outstanding, unhandled flags.
    – Shog9
    Nov 2, 2012 at 0:19
  • 1
    @Shog9♦: Yes, I have them now flagged (again) them manually. I though the whole idea of the "easy" way to flag for migration to TeX was to do away with the need to flag them manually... Nov 2, 2012 at 7:21

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