I have some questions about material I learned in a graduate level mathematics course which are largely conceptual, and/or requests for relevant theorems/results.

However, in general I am not sure if any such results exist, so it is not a priori clear to me if an answer could be found by further searching the literature, or only by actually discovering an answer.

Either way, the only people I know in person whom I would consider good choices to ask the question to (and who haven't responded to my e-mails) are all professors, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the question would qualify as a suitable target for current research.

In short, if I don't know whether or not a result exists, how can I tell (preferably quickly) whether the question is "research-level" or not?

I have at least one question like this which is unanswered, and it's hard to tell if the problem is bad writing on my part, the question is uninteresting for most people, or the question would be better suited to MathOverflow than here. Maybe it doesn't matter and I should just put a bounty on it.

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    $\begingroup$ Questions about what's on topic for MO should be addressed to the MO meta. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Jun 20, 2016 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ First of all, there are no guarantees in this life that every question you want answered will get answered, no matter what you do. That said, you do have some options. As you have noted, you can do a bounty. You can post to MO, being careful to include at each site a link to the question at the other site. If people at MO close the question as not being research level, then you will have learned that (five people are of the opinion that) the question is not research level. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2016 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ @T.Bongers haha good point fair enough $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2016 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ You could also post to meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/1967/… $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Jun 21, 2016 at 0:32
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    $\begingroup$ From what I read here it seems that anything which is on-topic at MO is on-topic also here. So answer to this part of the title (emphasis mine) "What types of questions should be asked on MathOverflow and not here?" is that there are no such questions. But you probably want to ask: "What types of questions can be asked on MathOverflow?" $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2016 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ @William in the future, just flag trolls. The mods will get there [although we check meta flags a bit less regularly].\ $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Jun 21, 2016 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ @mixedmath Thanks -- sorry for being dumb enough to take the bait. I really appreciate your help. $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2016 at 18:15


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