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Suppose I have a question that is already made, but it has been there from a long time and without no answer. If I want to bring that question to the top as every new question by users, the only way I can put that question again at the begining of the queue is by adding a bounty on it? Shouldn't be another way to do that?, I know that even if it is old there are choices for it to have an answer, but it's not the same as if it had been placed at the begining of the queue once again.

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    $\begingroup$ One possibility would be to edit the old question (if it has already been abandoned by the previous asker). I'm not that comfortable with that method if the previous asker is still active, but then you can probably ask for permission in a comment? $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician May 7 '16 at 2:13
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    $\begingroup$ Some related posts: How to grab users' attention on an old question? (and also other posts linked there, Clarify an old answer (and also other posts linked there.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak May 7 '16 at 3:04
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    $\begingroup$ Another perfectly valid option, in my opinion, for editing an old question, is if it has notational inconsistencies. For example, in one spot it reads "$gcd(a, b)$" and in another "$\gcd(a, b)$". $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe May 7 '16 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M. Here's a way that would really be frowned upon: if Fernando gives a deliberately wrong answer to that old question. In the barrage of downvotes, another user decides to step in and save the day with a good answer. But in the process, Fernando could expose himself to vindictive downvoting on his good answers. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe May 7 '16 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ Bounty? (the last time I tried that didn't work yet!) $\endgroup$ – Jesse P Francis May 8 '16 at 3:18
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    $\begingroup$ Related to @JessePFrancis' comment: How effective are bounties? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak May 8 '16 at 4:05
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    $\begingroup$ If your main question is how a question can be bumped, you can find some basic information here. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak May 8 '16 at 4:37
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    $\begingroup$ @JessePFrancis Bounties are great in theory but in practice they're very problematic. A 50-point bounty doesn't seem to be much an enticement. But a 200-point bounty on someone else's question is bound to draw some very paranoid interrogation. $\endgroup$ – Mr. Brooks May 9 '16 at 21:13
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If you have enough rep, offer a bounty.

If you don't have enough rep, honestly, just re-ask the question. It will either get closed as a duplicate, drawing attention to the original question, or it will get answered. I'm not sure if this is the best way to go about it, but it is a way. And I don't think anyone can fault you for re-asking.

As always vote up for agree or down for disagree.

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    $\begingroup$ Be sure to add a link to the old question to show that you are aware of it. $\endgroup$ – AlexR May 14 '16 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ Also, If you get any answers, I think the honest thing to do is to notify (by a comment) the original poster that answers to "his\her" question has been given. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Shachar May 18 '16 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafShachar: In fact, in that case one of the questions should be closed as a duplicate of the other. It's not just you who gets answers and not just the original poster who should be notified; everyone who encounters one of the questions in the future should know about the other one and its results. $\endgroup$ – joriki May 20 '16 at 3:49
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A while ago I downvoted the existing answer that recommends re-asking. Now I encountered a concrete case (Covariance of 2 Shortest Pieces in Broken Stick), where I asked someone not to re-ask questions, and then when they asked what else to do I had to admit that the only answer in this thread (currently with $14$ upvotes and $4$ downvotes) suggests to re-ask. So I figured I need to write another answer :-)

Two things need to be balanced here. On the one hand, we don't want duplicate questions – even if you link them, it becomes harder to keep track of progress and compare answers, and it's one more question that fills up search space etc. On the other hand, the person now asking the question should be able to ask their question; we can't just tell them, tough luck, it's already been asked. I've been focussing on answering old unanswered questions recently, so I know there are lots that could be answered but haven't. (The question mentioned above was such a case.)

One approach would be to improve the existing question. Often questions aren't answered because they're badly phrased and/or the OP doesn't react to requests for clarification. You could revamp the question, clarify it and make it more attractive to answer. That would bump it onto the active questions list, and you'd be contributing to the site in the process.

In the present case, that wouldn't have been a good option, since the existing question presented some partial work and asked about its correctness. When a bounty and an improvement of the existing question aren't viable options, it could be OK to ask a new question; but I think in this case the requirement to include your work weighs particularly heavily. You should try to digest everything that was said about the problem in the existing thread (which was quite a bit in this case), try to build on it, and indicate where and why you can't make any further progress (or perhaps where previous attempts went wrong or are unhelpful). In this way, you'd be making a contribution to the site, and instead of just duplicating a question you'd be asking it with a new angle and contributing to answering it.

Of course sometimes one just doesn't have any idea how to approach a problem. But the probability that neither a bounty, nor an improvement in the existing question, nor a minimal contribution towards answering the question are possible seems quite low. If so, if you really must simply duplicate the question, please link the questions in both directions (in the text of your own question and in a comment under the existing question) and vote to close one as the duplicate of the other as soon as possible, when an answer has been provided and upvoted or accepted. (This of course also applies if you re-ask it with a new angle.)

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    $\begingroup$ I tried to agree with you but I failed. There is infinite search space, and if anything introducing duplicates (when the worst of the two is closed as such) makes it easier to locate the right information. When improving the existing question is not feasible, controversial or otherwise undesirable, asking a new and better version may be the way forward. The original having gone unanswered, when properly cross-linked, together with a good summary of it, should provide the context needed to demonstrate the problem is interesting and nontrivial enough to warrant discussion without some "work". $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin May 20 '16 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin: Thanks for trying :-) By "search space", I meant space in search results. Having twice as many questions with essentially the same content would blur the searches. I agree that if the duplicate gets closed soon after, it wouldn't be a problem. Perhaps the focus should be more on "if you do duplicate, you're responsible for making it work (i.e. cross-linking them and closing one of them)". Except it takes five to close... $\endgroup$ – joriki May 20 '16 at 15:56

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