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?

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

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 1
    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
    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
    Apr 26, 2022 at 23:31

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.


There are two questions here;

Is it a dupe when the answer is a book in a series and the other question only mentions the series?

Yes and no. In this instance, the best course of action is to 1) Answer the question to highlight the exact book in the series 2) Mention that it's part of a series of books 3) Mark it as a dupe of the original.

You might also want to consider editing the original question to mention the book as well.

Is it a dupe when the answer (to the dupe) is a different media type?

No, but a very quick edit to the original question (to highlight that the movie/TV series/whatever was based on a book/graphic novel/whatever) would turn them into dupes.

Don't forget that you can always edit the original question to make it a closer match, then close the dupe.

  • I like this answer, but I do worry that (for example) someone looking specifically for the film "All Summer in a Day" won't really be helped by reading the answers to a question about the short story....
    – Adamant
    Aug 16, 2016 at 6:55
  • @adamant - Which is why you'd edit the book/story answer to mention a film was made of it.
    – Valorum
    Aug 16, 2016 at 6:58
  • 2
    That might be taking some definite liberties with someone else's answer, though.
    – Adamant
    Aug 16, 2016 at 6:59
  • @adamant - Editing other people's answers is a major part of the site's ethos. Appending a note that the book/story was made into a film/TV Show would definitely improve it.
    – Valorum
    Aug 16, 2016 at 7:01
  • 1
    Definitely. I've done it over 500 times, too. I'm just not certain that editing an answer to make it a duplicate hews closely enough to the author's intent that I'd feel comfortable doing it as a matter of policy.
    – Adamant
    Aug 16, 2016 at 7:03
  • 1
    @adamant - These are edge cases anyway, and astoundingly rare. I don't think you need to overthink it. If in doubt, raise it in chat/meta.
    – Valorum
    Aug 16, 2016 at 7:05
  • 3
    Frankly, "answer and then mark as dupe" strikes me as exceedingly odd. Either it needs a separate answer, in which case closing it is preventing someone else from contributing a potentially better answer than yours, or it doesn't and you don't need to answer it.
    – Kevin
    Aug 24, 2016 at 2:15

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