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If two questions both have the same answer, and that answer has been confirmed (on each question) by the querent in the form of acceptance or a confirmatory comment, one of the questions may be closed as a duplicate of the other.

In most cases, this is quite straightforward: if the answer to one question is "All Summer in a Day" and the answer to another question is "All Summer in a Day," then they are duplicates, and may be closed if the OPs have confirmed that they are the correct answers.

But there's some ambiguity here.

In particular, if the answer to one question is a series, and the answer to another question is a book in that series, do those constitute the same answer? What about when the answer to the first question is a different book in the same series?

If the answer to one question is a short story, and the answer to another question is a film based on that story, are they the same answer? Some questions have been closed as duplicate under this reasoning.

In short, are two works ever closely related enough to close their respective ID questions as duplicates? And if so, what are the criteria?

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  • Leave a comment, shut 'em down.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 6:02

2 Answers 2

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I would say that the appropriate test is

If one question can be satisfactorily answered by reading the answers to another question then we have a duplicate.

If a new question meets this test, it can safely be closed as a duplicate as it doesn't need to be answered (because the answer is already in the dupe target).

I think that, based on that logic, the questions in your first example would be duplicates but those in the second example would not.

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    So two story-ID questions, one asking about a series, and the other asking about an individual work within that series, are duplicates of each other? Is that what you're saying?
    – user14111
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 9:24
  • Sometimes the answer to one question is a needle buried in a haystack of answers to another question, so I think some discretion has to be used.
    – Spencer
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 23:31
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I would say that an answer that specifies a series, and a different answer that specifies a work in that series are not "the same" answer, and normally do not justify closing one as a duplicate. When the series consists of a single novel and a few short works, and the series title is the same as or quite similar to the novel title, then calling it "the same" answer may be justified, but not otherwise.

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