Usually once or twice a day in the close queue, I find a question that is a PSQ (Problem Statement Question) and also a duplicate. Sometimes another reviewer explicitly links to the dupe, other times I do it myself.

My question is: what is the preferred reason to close these type of questions?

From a pedagogical standpoint I'd side with not linking dupes, as even the act of searching or clarifying what you are looking for is sometimes instructive to hone your focus. But I guess I'm asking from a more site-specific view; that is, is it somehow better for the site to either have a linked dupe or a PSQ in isolation, or are they both about the same?

For instance: this question, this question, this question.

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    $\begingroup$ If you close for lack of context, and OP edits in sufficient context to reopen, you're going to want to close as a duplicate anyway, so why not get it over with in one go? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 3:40
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ An opinion: when you see a question on the site which fails to meet the context standards---whether or not it is a duplicate---it is appropriate to flag that question for lacking context. If a question has sufficient context to meet the the standards of the site, but is a duplicate, then it is appropriate to flag it as a duplicate. Questions closed for lack of context can, under appropriate circumstances, be automatically deleted. Duplicates are not generally automatically deleted. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ In a more complicated discussion earlier I expressed a general preference to close as duplicate rather than for "lack of context", saying merely that it seems expedient. @GerryMyerson has more fully articulated my train of thought. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 5:40
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    $\begingroup$ I feel like its against the tide, but I vote to close for lack of context even if there's a dupe, since posting PSQs should not be like a slot machine - namely, I don't want people to post PSQs and then have a x% chance of being downvoted to hell, but also a (1-x)% chance of getting a perfectly written answer, generalisations, alternative proofs, confirmation in the form of upvotes+having stood the test of time, etc... OPs editing in sufficient context I feel is rare enough to not be worth trying to make it fast. Willing to hear counterpoints.... $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ Related: Closing a poor question as off-topic or as a duplicate? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ Personally I would say that they should be closed as duplicates as long as they contain wording that does not already exist in another one of the duplicates. If this is the case, they contribute to the searchability of the site. However, in practice, finding duplicates takes effort, and it's perfectly reasonable to close a PSQ for lack of context if you can't easily find a duplicate target. (When you do know of an existing duplicate with near-identical wording, absolutely close for context.) $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 19:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If ten people post a problem statement from a popular text, and one actually asks a question, not a directive, and takes a shot at an attempt. That one should remain, as should duplicate well written questions providing context, (appropriately closed as dupes. But for the nine folks which merely copy and paste, verbatim. from an assigned problem, they simply ought not to remain, because they fail to add anything of value.. That which I want to remain on this site should model an acceptable question. I concur with Xander, and @Calvin, and also somewhat to Alexander Gruber. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 19:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ But I very much support @AlexanderGruber's observation, as well as Gerry's and hardmaths, that if closing a poor post as a duplicate (particularly via a dupe hammer in one of the question's tags), it may be more expedient to do so to prevent duplicate answers posted to a question already asked. So both alternatives can be seen as valid under certain contexts. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ With respect to my last comment, I realize that just as big of a problem as asking duplicate questions when one fails to search for dupes, is answering duplicate questions when answerers fail to search for dupes. So, de facto, the reality that there are too many rep hunters willing to answer any question, dupe or not, gives great weight to the urgency of closing them asap. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ IMHO, such questions without context ought to be Roomba'd, not preserved as dupes. If the OP is new, I may post a comment asking them to provide context, but if I don't get an adequate response I downvote & close-vote. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 13:43


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