I have a dilemma. Case in point: I asked for an example of ring with some property and got an (interesting) answer. Now I'd love an example of such a ring without zero divisors but the question is long dead. Is it acceptable to start a brand new question (with appropriate linking to the first one, of course)?

I'm almost sure this situation isn't new and that the answer exists somewhere in meta, but I haven't be able to find it (and because of the polysemy of English vocabulary, my request “close questions” wasn't very useful...) Sorry if it's redundant.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ May I ask you to add a link from the old question to the new one, too? A comment would suffice. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ @t.b. I think a link will automatically appear on the old question's page, under the "Linked" section in the sidebar. $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ @RahulNarain: Yes it will, but I think that's not prominent enough and tends to get buried under the other noise in the side bar. See e.g. this thread for some evidence $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @t.b.: Wilco.$\phantom{|}$ $\endgroup$
    – PseudoNeo
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Ask away! I think it would be completely appropriate for you to ask another question along the lines of:

In an answer to this question of mine, so and so mentioned such and such. But that answer relied on zero divisors. I was wondering what would happen if we changed the requirements to whatnot.

So I'm looking for an example of ... without zero divisors.

My rationale for this is very simple. Firstly, the answer doesn't seem to be on the site. So it's perfectly fine to ask a question about it. It seems to me that your worry is about editing the last question to ask for an example without zero-divisors, but this would make Matt's answer there seem a bit odd. While sometimes people do edit questions after they've been answered, I think that this should not be done in general (extenuating circumstances beside), especially after an answer has been accepted. So don't edit that old question.

So in short - ask your question, and link to the old one, and everyone should be happy.

  • $\begingroup$ +1, just a minor comment: The criterion shouldn't be whether the answer is already on the site but whether the question is already on the site. If it is but hasn't been answered, one should set a bounty on it or edit it to bump it to the top; re-asking it would create a duplicate, with people answering one of them without seeing the comments and answers under the other. $\endgroup$
    – joriki
    Aug 7, 2012 at 23:38

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