A little while ago I answered this question: What is the sun's spectral series?. For whatever reason (I'm not exactly sure), I went well outside what was expected in answering it; I provided a lot of un-asked-for information. Personally, I'm quite proud of myself for the level of detail I put into it. However, I now feel that this answer would be better suited for a question that more directly asks for that information. I considered modifying the current question to better suit my answer, but that would change the essence of the question too much if you ask me.

What I want to know is if I can ask my own question that is tailored to this answer and can I (with some minor tweaks) re-post this answer?

If I were to do this, would my question just be flagged as a duplicate? I fully intend to make a different enough question, but the answer would be more or less the same.

Is there a win-win scenario here?


If the new question you would ask is similar enough to the old question that the same answer (verbatim) would apply to it, it would probably be a duplicate. So I would say no, don't make a new question for the express purpose of reposting your answer. The information in your answer already exists on the site, there's no reason to invent an excuse to put up another copy of it.

If someone else happens to post a new question to which your old answer would apply, you're technically within your rights to copy it and post it again. But I would suggest not actually doing that. Instead, post a new answer that refers to it - you could start out saying "This is covered by this other answer that I wrote," and then go on to describe the relevant parts of your earlier answer. (As always, make sure a person doesn't have to click the link just to get the point of your answer.)

  • $\begingroup$ So what you're saying is if I were to create a sufficiently different question, I could provide a link to my previous answer. There was enough additional information in my answer that I could, in fact, make a completely separate question that it would still answer $\endgroup$ – Jim Jun 27 '13 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ What I'm saying is don't do that. Don't post a new question that you know can be answered by an answer which already exists on the site. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jun 27 '13 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, that option is off the table. My concern is strictly that people doing a search for some of the material I covered would never find it because the question name and content is only distantly related... $\endgroup$ – Jim Jun 27 '13 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ Would deleting my answer from the old question and applying it to a new one be better? Perhaps changing the old question to accommodate the extra material? Or should I just forget about this whole thing for being too trivial? $\endgroup$ – Jim Jun 27 '13 at 16:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No, I would advise against deleting your answer from the old question. And definitely don't edit the original question to change it to ask about the extra material. (That latter choice is actually not OK by SE rules, as opposed to deleting the answer or reposting it verbatim, which are technically allowed but kind of sketchy.) I would just recommend doing nothing. If other people are searching for the material in your answer and not finding it, they'll ask questions about it. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jun 27 '13 at 17:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .