There has been much discussion in the past on both Physics and other Metas about How to deal with answers to duplicate questions, especially when the duplicate questions or its answers are useful. It is possible to merge questions, but this can be challenging.

Duplicate questions are closed with a banner and link to the original question, but there is usually no indication on the original question that a duplicate exists with possibly useful answers. Would it be possible and useful to have the option, where appropriate, to place a banner at the top of original questions pointing out the existence of possibly useful duplicates? This could be a precursor to eventual merging, but until that happens it keeps all the relevant answers connected with less work.

Or if a banner is not possible, would it be problematic for users to add something like this to the beginning or end of the original question:

Note: "This question" has a duplicate which may also have useful answers.

One could add a comment instead of editing the question with a note, but visitors are less likely read the comments, especially if there are lots of comments and they have to click on "Show … more comments".

This question was inspired by today's closing of "What does the angular momentum vector really represent?" as a duplicate of "Is direction of angular velocity just a definition or has a physical significance?". I wondered if it would be useful to make visitors to the original question aware of the highly scored duplicate answers.

A few other examples where the closed duplicate has interesting highly ranked answers are

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Don’t the duplicates show up in the “Linked” sidebar on both questions? $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ @rob A very good point, and that certainly may be sufficient. (I hadn't noticed that Duplicates are always the first items in the Linked sidebar. I wondered how the order was determined.) I guess I was thinking about casual visitors who may not consider checking out the Linked questions without a more obvious prompt, where "casual" probably includes the vast majority of visitors. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 22:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DavidBailey I do not know how the linked questions are sorted. I will just point out that when using q/linked/id as, for example, here, one can choose from various orderings - such as newest, active, score. $\endgroup$
    – Martin
    Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 5:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ One issue I can see is that I've seen many cases where a question is marked as a duplicate which is itself closed as a duplicate as something else. How deep do we want to go here? Do we link to the duplicate or the duplicate's duplicate ? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ sometimes a duplicate post - I have to click to go to the next duplicate a few times, like "this post is duplicate, click here for answers" ->"click here for answers" -> (..) then it arrives at the "duplicate of duplicates" or , what to call it :) (I am not sure what a duplicate message exactly says but, something on those lines) and I agree with @StephenG-HelpUkraine as well; $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 13:17


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .