A couple of days ago, a story ID request was closed as a duplicate of another one.

Both have an answer which is correct, according to the querant.

But I saw that the one that was closed as a duplicate had an accepted answer, while the other one did not — just a confirmation in a comment.

Shouldn't we prefer to make the one without an accepted answer a duplicate of the one with an accepted answer?

This question is both about the specific questions and the general principle.

  • 7
    As long as it is confirmed by the OP I don't think it matters, the OP might not even know you can accept an answer. Look to see which has the best Q/A and use that as the target.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 10:09
  • 1
    Highly related, possible dupe: When should comments be used to determine a dupe story-id?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 10:45
  • @Edlothiad not a dupe; I'm asking in which direction the duplicity should be resolved if one question has an accepted answer while the other one only has confirmation in a comment.
    – SQB
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 12:34
  • 2
    Given it says "yep comments just as good" I'd say it doesn't matter.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 12:52
  • 3
    Looking at the example, I would have chosen the one with the more complete answer which didn't require me to go to another site for further enhancement. Even though one had an accepted answer, the second one was more "complete" thus I had no problem looking at the quality of the answer vs the number of upvotes. Quality is job one, after all. Commented May 7, 2018 at 16:13
  • @Edlothiad: Please do not answer in the comments. Comments cannot be properly voted on and are impermanent.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 20:38
  • 2
    @kevin - Also, "we've already answered this elsewhere" is less of an answer and more of a comment.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 20:50
  • Edlothiad, yep definitely not a dupe. @TheLethalCarrot, want to post that as an answer to be voted on?
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 21:11
  • @Kevin I don't think linking to a related question really counts as an answer ...
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 21:31
  • @Randal'Thor: I was referring to the second comment by Edlothiad.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 21:56
  • If this is about story-id specifically (I don't see why it wouldn't be) it should say so in the title.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 5:43
  • @SQB seems perfect enough to me.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 6:19

2 Answers 2



Comments are fine to be used for closing as a duplicate, all that matters is that we have confirmation. This is because not all users know that you can accept an answer, especially new users (and we get a lot of story id questions from them).

So what criteria should we use when closing?

The short answer to this is whichever question has the best Q/A.

  • A well written, focused question with a lot of detail.

  • A well written answer:

    • Addresses the OP's points
    • Has some general description
    • Has an image of the book cover/trailer link etc.
    • Includes links to somewhere with more information
  • Has less noise i.e. fewer comments asking for clarification and fewer incorrect answers

Obviously not all those points need to be met but they give a general guideline of what to look for, for the better Q/A. For more information see: How to ask a good story-ID question? and How to write a good story-ID answer?

  • I'd never heard of the "less noise" criteria, but it does make sense.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 17:12
  • @FuzzyBoots It's certainly lower on the "things to look at" scale but it could be worth considering.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 7:51

My take on this is that an accepted answer has more permanence than a comment. Of course, the querant who accepted the answer can de-accept it, but anyone can flag a comment for deletion.

While a comment confirming a correct answer is enough to allow for closure as a duplicate, I think when given the choice between two question of which only one has an actual accepted answer while does not, we should close as a duplicate the one that does not have an accepted answer, in favour of the question that does have one.

  • 1
    I'm not certainly that I entirely agree here, although I can see your point. Personally, I've been trying to quote the accepting comment when I do get an answer accepted that way. :-P Admittedly, I don't know how well I've done objectively there...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 17:13
  • 1
    @FuzzyBoots that's one of the good ways of doing it. Mods will always be able to read the deleted comments (although unable to undelete them if their user deleted) so quoting should be sufficient, I usually try to point to the comment by writing another comment under the question suggesting they accept the answer by pressing the green checkmarlk.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 5:46

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