34

I'd reckon the closest thing we have to an official, network-wide policy on duplicates is found in the 2010 blog post, "Dr. Strangedupe: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Duplication": Here are my official guidelines on question duplication: Having one "perfect" form of a question that contains every possible answer to every ...


29

No DO NOT DO THIS I'm sorry for shouting, but I've wanted to say this to a few people recently; I got a bit excited. There are a couple of reasons you shouldn't do this: Your question may not end up getting closed. For a recent example, see In Star Wars: "The Force Awakens," how could this lightsaber have turned up where it did? and How did Maz ...


24

The fact that you have to go through such convoluted (il)logic in order to convince yourself that the questions are duplicates is actually a blazingly bright sign that THE QUESTIONS ARE NOT DUPLICATES. I know, I know, I'm bashing my head against a brick wall, but I keep thinking I see the beginning of a chink.


24

Thanks for raising this. As Kevin said, the usual policy on story-ID duplication (both must be answered and have confirmation that the answer is correct) doesn't apply for this type of scenario. I don't think we ever discussed this on meta before, but it's common sense. If the same question (modulo some details, e.g. if they added a bit more description the ...


22

story-identification questions should only be closed as duplicates where both answers are accepted, regardless of the similarity between them. (If the OP posts a "yes this is it" comment, that's as good as an acceptance.) Simple, easy to administer.


21

Why is this issue so contentious? Apparently, people have strong feelings over duplication. Some people feel that duping practice on SFF is far too restrictive, that many questions are getting closed which should really have remained open - it's natural that they'd be annoyed when a question is (in their view) unfairly closed. Other people are voting to ...


20

The underlying concept, I think, is that closing as Duplicate isn't meant to be seen as censure. It just wants to mean "I have an answer for you, and it's over there". It's not a slap on the wrist for a user not doing his homework, because, as you say, with wildly differing questions, the asker will never be able to find the duplicate, even if it fully ...


20

Mooz wrote in a comment, If someone asked "Who was Palpatine's last apprentice?", and someone answers "It was Anakin Skywalker" and specifically mentions that "Anakin is Luke's father, by the way", then that is what makes the question of "Who was Luke's father" a dupe of "Who was Palpatine's last apprentice?" This is so completely wrong it hurts. If this ...


19

First, I want to address this issue. We're expecting users who ask a question parse out potentially unrelated questions and scroll through answers possibly consisting of mostly unrelated content that may somewhere touch on the answer to their question, rather than receiving an answer that is tailored to, and directly addresses their question. Why? The ...


17

On our general policy This site's current (most recent) policy on duplication, and specifically on whether or not answers can make questions duplicates, may be found here (emphasis mine): To avoid looking silly then, I would strongly recommend using answers as more of a litmus test than as a policy: if you're already pretty sure the questions are ...


16

Remember that the main point of closing-as-duplicates is to help people find a single source of answers when searching. As such, the preference should be: If one question covers a subset of the other, the more specific version should be closed as a duplicate of the broader one. If they are essentially the same, the one with the better answers should be ...


16

No. Moderators should absolutely not be arbitrarily deleting answers on questions that are marked as duplicates. The answer might contain useful information that could be added as a future answer to the dupe. The supposed duplicate might get re-opened by the community. Users should also should avoid deleting their own and others answers, for much the same ...


16

Duplication is a type of closure, but it's less punitive than other types. We close questions as duplicates. The option to mark it as a duplicate is found under the list of vote-to-close options, for users with 3k+ rep who have the vote-to-close privilege (although if you're a lower-rep user flagging for closure, then "should be closed" and "...


15

If only one question has a known correct answer, then we should leave the other open. My response to the suggestion that we close ‘obvious’ story ID dupes has always boiled down to “Okay, but why?”. We have a slightly tidier site, but that seems to be about it. By contrast, there are several reasons not to do it: If we’re wrong, we’ve just annoyed the OP. ...


15

Hub all the way Basically all that Kevin said for the "dupe philosophy" part. There's also a "technical" thing we have to consider here. We all have SFF accounts, meaning when we open duplicates, we're not automatically redirected when the dupe-target. That doesn't happen when you're​ logged out or don't have an account. If you open a ...


14

Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange has bad habit of marking a question as duplicate solely for the reason that it has been asked before. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT "DUPLICATE" MEANS! A question is a duplicate exactly and precisely if it has been asked before. That's the entire point of the duplicate system: not to have more than one identical copy of the ...


13

No. In general, choose the better one to keep open, as long as it is significantly better. There are multiple things and situations to keep in mind: If the newer question has yet to gain answers, don't VTC the older one. It's weird, since that one has the answers. One thing you haven't touched on (which has happened a couple times on SciFi.SE) is that ...


13

As Avner says in the comments: I think the main issue here is that this site really isn't geared towards "What's the most recent news". StackExchange sites try to become repositories of knowledge. If your question becomes meaningless in six months, it's not a good fit for the site. A better way to do it is to update the older question with updated ...


13

The only prevention advice I can give you is to read over your question before submitting, and make sure that both the title and body are: Asking the question you intended to ask Asking the same question Quite clear about the question you're asking For the third bullet, something I've seen other users do (and which I've done as well) is to write a one-...


12

If there is a policy that questions are duplicates if there is an existing answer to a different question that answers them, then I think this policy is incorrect. If there is an answer to a question which answers a different question, then I am inclined to mark that answer down. Clearly a question and answer site is at its most useful if people can find ...


12

The duplication target should always be the better question1 First, it’s probably worth noting that selecting the better question as a duplication target is both SE consensus (as well as the consensus on this site) and the recommendation of the Community Team. There are a few reasons to close the newer question as duplicate This has been touched on before in ...


12

You've posted a total of six questions which have been closed as duplicate and later deleted. (Each of them was closed either by a moderator or the holder of a gold harry-potter tag badge. While not conclusive proof, this is at least strong evidence that your questions really were duplicates - people with unilateral closing powers don't tend to exercise them ...


12

For Stack Exchange in general: We didn't put "already has an answer" into the flag description. That's a network-wide requirement: Dupe targets must have an upvoted or accepted answer, "with the exception of questions from the same author." So they've already considered this specific case, and decided to allow closing as a dupe, even if there's no upvoted or ...


11

While I am normally one to encourage the marking/closing of duplicates, I am in agreement that story-identifications should be the exception – and always vote to leave them open when those questions come up in my review queue. While two story identification questions may seem to be duplicates due to similar details, that doesn't necessarily mean that the ...


11

Mark it as duplicate It’s not worth it to have two different questions for two different canons. Would we want one question about the Doctor Who television series, another about the audio serials, and a third about written works, all asking (for example) whether the Doctor is really half-human? Would we want one question about The Cursed Child and another ...


11

It's a different question, which has a different answer, and it should be reopened (again). The original question is basically saying "Coulson was resurrected in MCU TV, why isn't he in the other MCU films", and the answer is "because it'd be complicated to explain to the film-only audience". This question is "Endgame has cameos from nearly everyone, why not ...


10

I think the ideal situation is to have a single, comprehensive question that covers all the variations. An ideal answer would be something along the lines of: There were 36 total romantic affairs, three of which took place in the movies (2 in the same movie!), 18 in the original TV series, one in ST:TNG (!), and 14 in various novels. The list is as ...


10

I disagree. Two accepted answers (for two different question) could be nearly identical and yet their respective questions could be dramatically different. I do agree that identical accepted answers are likely to come from identical questions but that's not the benchmark. VTC for duplicate should be used where the questions are largely the same. e.g. "...


10

I'll post my answer in the form of a question: I have to question what makes a story ID question a duplicate? Is it the answer? I ask because the name of a book could be the answer to several different questions. Just because the answer is the same doesn't mean the questions were. It's a slippery slope.


10

You have a few different options Bounty This is the preferred way: post a bounty on the older question. This automatically bumps the question to the top of the front page and puts it in the featured questions tab, making it much more visible and gives a little extra incentive to prospective answerers. There are a variety of bounty reasons you can choose ...


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