I just went through the close vote queue and it seems someone just sent a whole bunch of questions of the form "Is the following proof of (very simple induction problem) correct"? to the queue.

For now I voted to keep all of them open, as in my mind, proof verification questions are never duplicates, even if (very simple induction problem) is the same in several different questions. What is the policy about this situation?


1 Answer 1


Questions and answers serve dual purpose: answering the person who asked, and serving as a repository of knowledge.

When a proof-verification question is fresh, it should not a closed as a duplicate: seeing another, correct, proof does not necessarily help with fixing problems in own proof.

But after the question of correctness is resolved to OP's satisfaction, and a reasonable time interval passes (a month or so), the repository aspect should take priority. At this point, there is no question waiting for an answer; there is a page with a problem and its solution(s). And it makes sense to have different pages with the same problem linked to one another.

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    $\begingroup$ One could argue that if the sole objective is to link a related question, a comment would suffice, and would spare the efforts of reviewers. The primary function of closing as a duplicate, aside from providing this link, is to prevent further answers from being given. Is there any good reason to do so, in these cases? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 0:49
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexanderGruber for one thing, visibility of the link. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexanderGruber In many such questions (at least in combinatorial ones) there are also non-inductive proofs posted as answers (esp. when OP doesn't contain much of a proof). Or even inductive proofs — but ess. not using any OPs ideas. It's more convenient to have all these proofs in one place — and not in 10 near-duplicates. $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 15:49

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