This question was closed for being off-topic, but it was also locked: Prerequisites for a career in spintronics based Quantum Computing

I find this unusual because questions on this site (and on the whole Stack Exchange network) are rarely locked, and only locked in extreme circumstances, not every time a question is closed for being off-topic.

When a question gets "locked", it is not even possible to flag it if the community believes it was a bad decision to lock it! Therefore this Meta post serves as my "flag" to have the question unlocked and to give an explanation for why it was locked in the first place, and it can also be an invitation for the community to discuss how locking should be done from now on.

When a question is locked: you can no longer vote, bookmark, follow, comment, vote-to-reopen, vote-to-delete, etc. It is an extreme measure, and just because a question is closed as off-topic doesn't mean it has to be locked. If this question is going to continue to be locked, I think we do have to have a discussion about what the criteria for such a decision would be, because there's plenty of questions that were closed for being off-topic but are not locked.

  • $\begingroup$ yes, I'm not sure whether it makes sense to use locking for these types of things. Although in fairness this seems to be done elsewhere as well, for questions that used to be on-topic but then were decided to not be allowed anymore. See e.g. physics.stackexchange.com/q/12175/58382 on physics.SE. I'm pretty sure this is done also on stackoverflow, but I can't find examples right now $\endgroup$ – glS Apr 18 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ so, having a look at the most upvoted closed questions on SO (stackoverflow.com/search?tab=votes&q=closed%3ayes) shows you why one might want to do this. See e.g. stackoverflow.com/q/549/4063051. This is closed but not locked, and the timeline (stackoverflow.com/posts/549/timeline) reveals that this resulted in it periodically getting into the reopen queue. Another example is stackoverflow.com/q/14994391/4063051, which is closed and locked, and looking at its timeline, it's likely that it was locked to prevent people from constantly trying to reopen it $\endgroup$ – glS Apr 18 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ also, on a second (third?) thought, a major difference between locking and just closing is also whether people can upvote/downvote question and answers. Allowing voting would result in an incentive in asking/answering these types of questions despite them being off-topic $\endgroup$ – glS Apr 18 at 9:48

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