I have seen many questions where people have ask a question with this formula.

I while it may be difficult to the person asking the question to find this data the goal of this website is not to search google to find statistics, it is to explain things when people are unsure.

This is why I think questions using this formula should be marked off topic.

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    Could you explain why you think these questions should be off-topic? I don't understand how looking for statistical data and being about open source/knowledge would be antagonistic. Obviously a question looking for statistical data may be off-topic, if it's unrelated to open source. But why would a question looking for statistical data on a topic related to open source be off-topic? Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 16:06

3 Answers 3


I disagree. We want to include community-related topics.

To quote from a current proposal for our scope:

Anything related to the organization, management and marketing of open projects

This involves people.

I find it very hard to answer anything that relates to group dynamics without allowing for statistics.

Imagine "I want to do change X in my OS community. I fear that this will make some people do Y. I have [insert proof for research here], but can't find any conclusive advice - does someone have statistics and/or experiences that allow me to make an informed guess/decision?"

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    Indeed - this is a fundamental part of this site's purpose. Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 16:44
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    What I expect, though: that many of these question will not attract many useful answers, because there is no conclusive data available. Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 16:49
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    Yes sometimes the answer to "Is there data to support X?" will be "No, there isn't" Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 16:52

Your argument seems to be "Things which can be discovered through searching should be off topic". I believe this would result in most of our questions being closed, since very few questions are adding genuinely new knowledge held only by the answerer.

Some of the questions you are thinking of may have other reasons for being off topic, but I don't think the particular question template you present should be off topic automatically.

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    This would close almost all questions about licensing right now. Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 16:25

If the question is "Does open [statistical] data exist for [some topic]?"...

It sounds like those questions would be excellent candidates for Open Data, where the focus of the community is on working with open data sets. So while we are "Open Source", which might include "Open Data", we should keep "finding open data sets" out of our scope.

If the question is "Is there data to support [something relevant to Open Source]?", such as "Is there data supporting the idea that [insert minority group] is represented more in Open Source than in the industry?"...

I think these questions would be on topic, as these are directly related to Open Source. While my example might not be the greatest, questions where external statistical data is required are common and are definitely relevant to this community.

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