# Merging two identical questions with accepted answers

I found this question:

Power Series Expansion

which migrated from Meta to Main. OP seemed to be eager for an answer and couldn't wait until the migration took place, so he posted this one:

Simple Power Series Expansion for Problems similar to $f = (1 + \epsilon \,x)^{1/\epsilon}$

Since they are identical, they seem good candidates for merging them (I flagged one). But which accepted answer will be accepted after merging?

• This is more like a feature-request? (and I think it is a pretty neat feature if implemented within the SE 2.0 framework) Aug 27 '13 at 2:25
• "But which accepted answer will be accepted after merging?" Now we know. Perhaps the date of publication of the two previously accepted answers was the deciding factor?
– Did
Aug 27 '13 at 8:36
• I would expect that the moderator who does the merging has a choice between merging one into the other or vice versa. This decides not only which of the accept checkmarks get to survive, but also which write-up of the question gets displayed above the merged answers. (Suppose they had different typos in them, for example). Aug 27 '13 at 9:39

When a merge happens, the accepted answer of the target will remain accepted and the accepted answer of the source of the merge (which will cease to exist for all intents and purposes) will be presented just as another answer.

As Henning indicated a merge is a one-way street: a question is merged into the other. The target of the merge will keep the accepted answer, and the question statement that is kept is the version presented in the target.

I can't speak for the other moderators, but if I were faced with a flag to merge two questions, my general decision process is

1. First a sanity check: are the two questions indeed exactly identical?
2. If it is a case of duplicate postings by the same member, is one of them devoid of answers? In which case that one would be the source and the other is the target.
3. Otherwise, the choice of the source and target for the merge depends on (in order of rough importance)

• Is one question stated better than the other?
• Is one question asked before the other?
• Which way of merging did the flagger suggest?

It also may depend on things like the phases of the moon. But I never factor into consideration "which check mark to keep". Remember, check marks are not permanent, and it reflects a user's personal decision on which answer helped him the most. So I don't think it should be a factor considered for the merge process.