As it stands, this is the entire text of the on-topic help page:

What topics can I ask about here?

Open Data Stack Exchange is for developers and researchers interested in open data.

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Open Data Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

For more help, see "What types of questions should I avoid asking?"

Most other sites include list of topics that are acceptable. From the Programmers SE:

What topics can I ask about here?

Programmers Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for professionals and students in software development and related fields who are interested in getting expert answers on conceptual questions about software development.

If you have a question about...

  • software requirements
  • software architecture and design
  • algorithm and data structure concepts
  • development methodologies and processes
  • software engineering management
  • quality assurance and testing
  • software licensing

and it is not about...

  • general workplace issues, office politics, and job hunting (check out The Workplace instead)
  • implementation issues, such as code fixes (ask on Stack Overflow instead)
  • coding tools, such as compilers, debuggers, and IDEs (ask on Stack Overflow instead)
  • what language/technology you should learn next, including which technology is better
  • what project you should do next
  • what book you should read next
  • where to find a software library, tool or other resource
  • product or service recommendations
  • career advice, salary, or compensation
  • personal lifestyle, including relationships and non-programming activities
  • legal assistance

...then you're in the right place to ask your question!

...and that isn't even the whole page!

Why doesn't OpenData? You just leave users to assume what is and isn't okay on the site. Personally, whenever there is a Stack Exchange site with a vague or difficult to interpret name, I head to the on-topic page to find out what the site is about. I wasn't sure if I should make an account on this site, but the help page didn't help me.

Not having such a page can alienate potential users. Furthermore, this makes it hard to settle off-topic disputes, because there is no documentation to refer to.

  • 1
    +1 from me. I don't know if mods are responsibles for about page or the community managers. However, I would like to read the opinion of both of them :)
    – Tasos
    May 23, 2014 at 7:50
  • 1
    Having just looked at those pages, I agree that ours are lacking. Jun 10, 2014 at 15:16
  • 2
    I arrived here through the SE hot questions list, and it's not really clear to me what this site is about. It's going to be a significant disadvantage for this site if others have a similar experience.
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 11, 2014 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Most other sites include list of topics that are acceptable. […] Why doesn't OpenData?

Because nobody has created one yet.

I completely agree that this should change. That's why I have just created a question where the initial version of our updated on-topic page can be discussed.

Please head over there and add your thoughts. Any input is much appreciated!

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