I think that duplicates can be useful for various reasons. In particular, they might help to find a question if a user searches for different keywords. Similarly, they might appear in autogenerated lists of questions such as "Questions that may already have your answer" shown when you are posting a question or "Related" shown in the sidebar.

The titles are especially important for the purposes I mentioned above. An informative title can help with searching, improves chance that relevant posts are shown in autogenerated lists, and also makes easier identifying similar questions in these lists and in search results. So I believe that improving the title of a post, even if it is a duplicate, is useful for the site as a whole. (And perhaps also other improvements of such posts can be useful.)

But there is one downside to this. If I understand correctly the way how reviews work, such edit might put a post into the reopen review queue. So even if I think that the post is correctly closed, by an edit I inadvertently might have started reevaluation whether the post is indeed a duplicate. (Fortunately, a question will only be enqueued once per closure via editing.)

Is it ok to edit such posts despite the fact, that they might get into reopen review queue? Or is it better to avoid such edits?

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    $\begingroup$ I have been actually wondering about the same thing, and refrained from editing a duplicate for this reason on a few occasions. $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2016 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ Even if it is moved to the queue, will it hurt anything? As long as it's not overdone what will it do? Clog up the list maybe but it won't magically get reopened. People will just ignore it and it gets reclosed. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Feb 18, 2016 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is okay. More than that, it's useful, provided that the edit does indeed improve the post significantly.

Diligent reviewers will notice that the question is still a duplicate [assuming it wasn't incorrectly marked as a duplicate of course] and vote to "Leave Closed".

Then you trade a few minutes of reviewing time for three reviewers against a potentially large number of search-hits that would have been misses without the edit. Of course nobody knows how many hits the edit will have generated, but let's be optimistic for once.


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