What's the right way to post a self-answered question on a topic which underlies many existing questions?

Consider in particular a case wherein many questions have been posed about Topic X. These questions are not particularly well written because the askers are not themselves experts in Topic X and so don't really know what they're asking about. Answers have been given, but for the most part suffer a lack of precision inherited from the relatively aimless nature of the questions themselves. How does one post a self answered question on Topic X, designed to provide a clear and unifying response to those poorly posed questions, without violating the duplicate rule?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ We have, in the past, closed older questions as duplicates of newer ones that were better formulated/written/answered/etc. This could be one of those cases. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Dec 23 '14 at 2:57
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos: Interesting. I did not know that. $\endgroup$
    – DanielSank
    Dec 23 '14 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ As a first option, consider to try to improve (some of) the existing poorly worded questions if possible. This might not be possible without ruining the intent of OP's question. Then a new question is in order. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic Mod
    Dec 23 '14 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Just out of curiousity, what self answered question were you thinking of posting? $\endgroup$ Dec 24 '14 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie: I really want to clear up all of these questions about quantum measurement, state collapse, and the relationship between interaction/entanglement and measurement. Having dealt with those issues in an intimate lab setting I think I can actually offer a good description which is both enlightening and fairly points out what is known and what is not. $\endgroup$
    – DanielSank
    Dec 24 '14 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ Similar situation here, regarding why speed of light = $3\times 10...$ physics.stackexchange.com/questions/56973/… $\endgroup$
    – innisfree
    Dec 14 '15 at 6:37
  • $\begingroup$ See the chain of possible duplicates. $\endgroup$
    – innisfree
    Dec 14 '15 at 6:37

Exactly what the official SE line is I'm not sure, but I'm personnally not that fussed about duplicates. Apparent duplicates often stress different aspects of a problem, and I'm not sure it does any harm to have separate questions and answers with different perspectives on a problem. I've even occasionally flagged a question as a duplicate of a question that has itself been closed as a duplicate because I thought it had a better answer.

So I would go ahead and write your canonical question and answer. The worst that will happen is that it gets ignored, and the best that it will provide a valuable synthesis of previous related questions.

An example is the issue of wave particle duality. Even though there's a question specifically devoted to asking what it is (with 9 answers!), and numerous other related questions, I still don't feel there is a perfect Q/A for the interested amateur. Maybe one day I shall attempt to write one :-)


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