My question got recently marked as duplicate, and I agree on it. I understand marking a question as duplicate as useful in the following sense:

  • It keeps Math SE clean.
  • It provides me with a kind of an answer, because the answers to the original question might be applied to my problem as well.
  • Someone who likes this question or thinks he can give another good answer can upvote/answer the original question instead.

But I see the following problems here:

  • The banner "This question already has an answer here" is discouraging potential new answerers. At least for me it feels like, no new answer is needed here.
  • Shouldn't a questsion that is asked over and over and repeatedly marked as duplicate of an old question somehow revive the original one, because it seems the problem is either recent or the original question is either hard to find or not sufficiently answered.
  • I would like to be notified on new answers to the original question as it is my question as well. Marking a questuion as favorite seems not enabling notifications (or I am mistaken here?). Especially this point prevents me from easily accepting my question as a duplicate.

Maybe I do not understand the current system well enough. Please clarify for me, how to maximally benefit from a duplicate mark.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ "I would like to be notified on new answers to the original question as it is my question as well." That is a very interesting point of view, and not something that I've thought about before. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Apr 25, 2017 at 17:15
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ One might favorite the original Question, which causes new activity to be indicated in your list of favorite questions, or perhaps one could set up an RSS feed on that Question. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Apr 25, 2017 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ If the question isn't closed yet, the banner is only shown to you, not to potential answerers. They'll only see a banner when it is closed, and then they can't answer anyway. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel It is closed now. But again: a duplicate mark or close should not mean that the question is done once and for ever, but that it should be discussed somewhere else (below the original question). Right? This seems not to happen right now. $\endgroup$
    – M. Winter
    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You can still 'discuss' in the comments, but note that MSE is not a discussion forum but a Q&A site. In the end, what we're looking for here is (definitive) answers to questions. If you feel your question still isn't answered, you should edit your post to indicate why, and it ends up in the Reopen Votes review queue where >3k users can vote to reopen it. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel This might have been asked a thousand times already, but what is the correct behavior if the question is indeed a duplicate but in my opinion the answers to the original are not satisfying me and I cannot explain why because I by myself would never have accepted any of these answers for this question? Should I reject the duplicate mark and instead of explaining why my question is different, explain why the answers dont satifsy me? $\endgroup$
    – M. Winter
    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:23
  • $\begingroup$ No, that's a good question. You could try to invite a subject matter expert to chat and discuss with her/him how to rewrite your question. The main site isn't really designed for real-time communication. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Maybe it should be two categories of duplicates: exact duplicates and approximate duplicates. Sometimes questions are labelled as exact duplicates although they are quite distanced from the supposed pre-question. $\endgroup$
    – Widawensen
    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:54


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