We regret to inform that due to insufficient nominating candidates, we are currently terminating the ongoing election here on Data Science Stack Exchange. As explained previously, in order for an election to proceed to voting phases it is required that there is at least one more candidate than there are spaces remaining in the election.

This is important for a variety of reasons. The first is that it allows the election process to proceed in a way that allows candidates to be evaluated before being elected. It also serves to indicate that there are enough people in the community who are willing to handle the responsibilities of overseeing moderation. While only a certain number of moderators will actually be elected, the full moderation of a site is done by a lot more than just the moderators alone. An election that thus fails to receive enough candidates, implies a shortage of interest in moderation effort on the site. As this is the site's graduation election, this is very much not a good sign.

The vast majority of flags on Data Science are handled currently by a single moderator. This isn't a testament to the size of the queue (as, befitting a site that passed metrics for graduation, this site is moderately active), but because there is only one moderator actively performing the duty. Normally this would call for replacement pro tem moderators to be appointed by us. However, as we believed Data Science to have activity and reputation levels fit for supporting an election, we figured that holding a proper election would handle the task well.

However, this was not a successful endeavor. In the first week, only two candidates nominated until the very end of the nomination phase. An entire week went by without anyone new nominating. Sean Owen mentioned several names in the community who could consider running, but among the ones who still visit the site regularly, none answered the call.

At this stage it's important for us to figure out what the core issue here is. Are people unaware that there's an election going on and that there are these meta posts popping up? Are people open to the idea of running, but didn't choose to do so because they were expecting others to run? Was there genuinely no interest, whether it is by not having the bandwidth to perform the duties or by not desiring to partake in those duties?

  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure what the community thinks of my candidature. But, I want to put it there that I am still interested in moderating this site. :) $\endgroup$
    – Dawny33
    Aug 15, 2017 at 5:58
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to see there be another election. I think it is important for all sub sites to be moderated, just my opionion. I think it helps lend credibilty when the site is actively moderated by its participants. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2017 at 12:42
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ No interest, too much overlap with CV. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2017 at 13:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Maybe site is not ready for election/graduation yet. $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2017 at 7:11

5 Answers 5


I also don't know, but think it was probably lack of awareness. I'd also welcome a much more prominent display about it on the main site.

Maybe many people assumed that Much More Qualified People would nominate themselves, including many of those very Qualified People. There are plenty of people that would do a fine job.

I agree with not graduating until motivated moderators can be found, because I'd prefer not to keep moderating and think I'm the one active one.


Could we have banner on top of the page (throughout the entire election process) instead of the little box on the side? I think the election (and meta posts in general) wasn't displayed prominently enough.

I also think that there are many members who aren't very active or familiar with other SE sites. So, they might be hesitant to chip in, hoping for others to come forward.

I'm confident we would find more people willing to nominate themselves in order to keep this community alive.


For me personally the reason is the poor quality of DataScience stack exchange at the moment. I hung around here quite a bit at the start, but there were so many poor questions, many badly specified or better suited to SO or CV or /dev/null, that it became a bit of a joke site for a small group of us, so I left. I was surprised by the "DS is graduating" message, so I popped back. I don't think the quality has got any better. I just trawled through a bunch of questions with inexcusable poor spelling in the titles, vague problems with non-working code examples, code dumps where the user has made no attempt at basic debugging, and just general dross.

So my time is better spent helping out in SO (and GIS) where the quality and clarity is an order of magnitude better. I hope this site finds its feet eventually but I'm not sure where they are given the overlap with SO and CV.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And, this is exactly why it needs more users to be involved in moderation and helping the site, as it grew in volume at a very impressive rate. Coming to SO and CV, there have been several posts which explain how DS is different from both of those in the Meta StackExchange and also in the meta site here. :) $\endgroup$
    – Dawny33
    Aug 23, 2017 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ 'twas ever thus in StackExchange. It does require moderators to aggressively close bad questions. $\endgroup$
    – Sean Owen
    Aug 24, 2017 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Dawny33 in practice many (the majority?) questions asked here are also on-topic on CV. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2017 at 0:51

Excellent question. I don't know what the core issue is. I can't speak for the top users here; I can only speak for myself. I wasn't paying close attention, because I figured core members of the community would be nominating, and because it seemed like the existing moderation team has been doing a great job and it was likely that at least some of them might run.

Given the shortage of people, I might be open to running. I'm not as active on this site as the top users, so I don't know if it would be appropriate for me to be a moderator here, but it'd be great to see the site succeed, so if there's a need for candidates, I might be willing to run, given the situation.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Have people been assuming that the pro-tem moderators will remain as moderators and the election is to add to their ranks? That's not how graduation works; only the pro-tems who enter (and win) this election continue in that role. $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2017 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio, I can't speak for others. For myself, I figured it was likely at least some of the pro-tem moderators might run. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Aug 14, 2017 at 23:10

I'm wondering if the issue is around a number of areas

  • lack of awareness of the election
  • lack of knowing who to nominate. I suspect there is a chat room that prospective people would be in for this disucssion
  • the fact that the forums are very Q&A style, means that there is little interaction between individuals other than the Q&A area. I myself have been using SE sites for a number of years and have very rarely gone into the chat or meta areas.
  • Also along the lines of "better qualified people". Lots of people are perhaps thinking this same thing.

I also would be fine in standing, but am not known by many (or any people in the community).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "lack of knowing who to nominate" is not an issue: the only person you can nominate is yourself. $\endgroup$
    – user380
    Aug 15, 2017 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I guess I am used to more face-to-face elections, where it is unusual to nominate yourself to a position, instead you are approached, or ask someone if you think you could be nominated. I've not taken part in processes of this type before. It's mostly my lack of understanding of things, which maybe means I'm not the best person ;) $\endgroup$
    – Marcus D
    Aug 16, 2017 at 16:13

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