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I recently posted "Did medieval European monasticism provide a release from certain societal pressures?". It has been suggested that it would be a better fit for the History Stack Exchange (which seems likely to be true).

I posted it on Christianity because I was working toward the Curious badge (I have other questions that I have not gotten around to asking, so this one is not critical) and I dislike "userXXXX" marked posts and did want to "join" another SE where I would rarely participate. (It is bad enough that I signed up for Programmers and UX in order to upvote some posts! At the time I thought I might eventually write a question or two for Programmers.)

Assuming it is a better fit for History (and a quick search there found no questions on monasticism, so it should not be a duplicate) and that migration is appropriate, how should I proceed? It is technically not off-topic (I think), and it might require moderator action to migrate to History (since that migration path is probably not standard).

This answer by Shog9 on Meta Stack Exchange seems to hint that migrating might not be the best choice for this type of question (on topic but less on-topic than at another site). However, that part of the answer seems to be more in the context of being inappropriately exclusive and not in the context of trying to get the best answer possible for the question: "Don’t hit them over the head with your scope, help them tailor their question to fit into it".

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    Now migration would be made more difficult by a rather Christianity.SE-centered answer, which should get the upvotes it deserves as such and not be downvoted because it does not have a sufficiently strong historical focus (which might happen if the question was migrated). – Paul A. Clayton Aug 22 '14 at 0:57
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    History.se will be quite hesitant to discuss the underling theologies for historical actions, and, unfortunately, will get them wrong or only superficially discuss them. History relating to Christianity is already on-topic, so the only reason I would post on History.se is for the secular viewpoint. I love the question, by the way, and wish we got more like it. My primary interest these days is exactly how Christianity shaped the world over the centuries. – 3961 Aug 24 '14 at 2:47
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If you decide to post your question on History, I suggest doing that directly, rather than requesting a migration. As you mention, History-centric questions will be different than Christianity-centric questions, so after a migration you'd be left with some serious editing to do anyway.

One option which is often appropriate is to post in more than one place, if you are seeking more than one perspective. This, I consider, distinct from simple cross-posting (which is heavily discouraged) precisely because you are seeking a different perspective on each site.

If you (and the community) still feel your question is on-topic on Christianity, leave it here, and open a new one on History (with the more historical focus).

Note that I'm trying to provide a general answer for the question, and not offering specific advice on your specific question. Your specific question may or may not be appropriate in both places. (I don't really have enough knowledge of the subject to know what a Christian-centric answer might look like, so I'll leave that judgement up to you and/or others here).

  • The second paragraph is exactly what I would say to Paul. – 3961 Aug 24 '14 at 2:50
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There are a couple of guidelines that have come up relating to other sites that have overlapping subject areas:

  • First of all, migrating to SE sites still in Beta stage is generally not appropriate. Beta sites are supposed to live or die on their own, and not rely on migration of questions from other sites. In this case, since it's just one question, this wouldn't necessarily be an issue, but at one point it was suggested that networking questions be migrated from ServerFault to Networking.SE and SE staff said "NO" very strongly.

  • If a question is on-topic for a site but might arguably be more on-topic on a different site, it doesn't have to be migrated. If it's on-topic where it is, it can stay, even if there's another site where it would be a better fit.

  • OTOH, if a question is much more likely to get expert answers on the other site, then it's a good candidate for migtration. Again, with ServerFault, security is on-topic, but there are way more security people on Security.SE so questions regularly get migrated there.

To me, your question would be a perfect example of a borderline case that shouldn't be migrated. As pointed out in a comment, it has a good, Christian-focused answer, so it makes sense to leave it where it is.

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