If a question is closed as off-topic, the asker is referred to the help center for advice on what is on-topic. But as of now, the What topics can I ask about here? help page is somewhat self referential, since it doesn't define Data Science. This meta answer does a decent job.

Should the help page be updated to contain something along those lines, or maybe at least a link to a definition?

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    $\begingroup$ Makes sense :) . Do you also have a definition in mind? If yes, then go ahead and self-answer here. We shall then select the best definition and update accordingly! $\endgroup$
    – Dawny33
    Sep 14, 2017 at 6:08

1 Answer 1


Here is one possible small addition for the top of the current page that would give some insight to What is Data Science:

What topics can I ask about here?

Data Science Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for developers, researchers, and anyone else interested in Data Science.

Data Science encompasses machine learning, data mining, and data visualization among other topics. See here and here for more exposition on What is Data Science.

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

Examples of questions that are likely to be on-topic for Data Science Stack Exchange:

  • Given ...
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    $\begingroup$ I think it's worth noting all three of machine learning, data mining, and data viz are included in the description of Cross Validated : stats.stackexchange.com/tour $\endgroup$
    – klumbard
    Sep 19, 2017 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ @klumbard,thanks for the response. Forgive my ignorance, as I am new here, but why is it worth noting this? What is the relevance? $\endgroup$
    – Stephen Rauch Mod
    Sep 20, 2017 at 6:25
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    $\begingroup$ The help center should also state topics that can be asked here and not on Cross Validated. It's relevant because without those this site becomes redundant. $\endgroup$
    – E_net4
    Sep 20, 2017 at 17:07
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    $\begingroup$ @StephenRauch The relevance of klumbard's comments is that the datascience website has too much overlap with Cross Validated. Most questions on the datascience website are also on-topic on Cross Validated. It unnecessarily fragments the community. And now there is a third website which also greatly overlaps with both DS and CV: ai.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ Sep 22, 2017 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see how those comments have any applicability to this answer or to what is in our help center. There is no rule that says our scope has to be disjoint from that of other sites, or that our help center has to list only topics that are off-topic on Cross Validated. On the contrary, our help center should describe what our scope is -- whatever that may be. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    May 19, 2018 at 18:20
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    $\begingroup$ Obviously, our site has some overlap with other sites. So be it. That has been debated ad infinitum, but at the moment it is what it is. The role of our help center is to describe what is on-topic here. If you'd like to argue about what our scope should be, there are other meta threads where that discussion is appropriate. This thread is about improving how we document what our scope actually is, to make that clearer to people coming to this site. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    May 19, 2018 at 18:21

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