Yesterday I answered this question:

At the time I answered, the question had some other answers. The first version of my answer wasn't completely fine and after a while, during the discussion with some other users to find the mistake, user MartinR pointed out the question had the following duplicate target:

Therefore, while revising the answer, I decided to migrate the answer in the older original question (opened at that time).

Today also the original (2 year old) question, with a very good answer, has been closed for lacking in context etc.

Then my question: where should I post my answer? and more in general, how does this kind of situations should be handled?

From my side, for example, in a case like that I would suggest to reopen the recent question and migrate there all the answers.

Thanks in advance for your opinion.


Thanks you all for comments and suggestion, I see there is not unaminity on how to handle cases like this, even if from the votes casted the way suggested by hardmath seems prefered, at least among people reading comments here.

Meanwhile, I've noticed other similar cases happened, for example, this newer question

seems to have an older duplicate here:

Moreover, for the latter question the target duplicate, even if related, doesn't seem a precise duplicate.

Also in a similar case I would have some doubts to identify the proper way to handle it.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A middle ground might be to try and improve the question, as explained here. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Aug 31, 2021 at 21:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ (As someone who voted to close the newer question, I was unaware of the duplicate chain. However, I don't think the context on the newer question is very good - they tried to write it in terms of $x$, sure, but so what? How would that help them? And did they just throw their hands up in the air and say it cannot be done, or did they try a trig formula or two? Also also, I wish people would actually give context for context, rather than an attempt. But that dream is a long way off.) $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Aug 31, 2021 at 21:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user1729 The fact is that the newer question was closed as a duplicate and not for lack in context. How can the asker improve the question if it is closed for other reasons? Thanks for the comment. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 31, 2021 at 21:42
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ A closed Question, whether for lack of context or as duplicate, can be edited. The tactic has to be weighed as to whether such editing is worthwhile. The original poster of the newer Question should certainly have an opportunity to speak/edit for themselves. Absent an effort on their part in the next week or so, I'd be sympathetic to a third party rewrite to frame a good Question from its ingredients. The existence of a duplicate suggests that there is a recurring problem whose illumination would add to our stock of mathematical content. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Aug 31, 2021 at 22:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As per our site policy you can't answer contextless question or duplicate question. Contextless question can be identified by reading only. Also do ensure question is using MathJax. For finding duplicate you can use Approach0. Answer question which follows all or at least 9 of the points mentioned here $\endgroup$
    – user876009
    Sep 1, 2021 at 5:27
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It seems a waste of mod's time to reopen the recent question and migrate all the answers. Just improve the old one and get it reopened instead. $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2021 at 8:31
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @user Yeah, I'm not a fan of closing poor questions as duplicates, as it leads to situations like this one. However, the asker can improve the question, even if it is closed for another reason - you could post a comment to the question, saying that the duplicate-target was closed and asking them to improve their question. If they do edit to improve, then it would be put in the review queue and hopefully folk would see your comment and so vote to reopen. If they don't vote to reopen, then you can request it in this meta thread. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Sep 1, 2021 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ (But generally I agree with @ArcticChar, which is what my first comment was trying to say. Ignore the new question, focus on the old.) $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Sep 1, 2021 at 14:00


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