During reviewing, I stumbled upon the following situation as e.g. in this thread.

The original question was asked, answered and accepted. Now somebody else posts an answer which actually is somewhat of a follow-up to the existing answer. Of course one could flag it as not being an answer and ask for a separate question (which is a fine option to have). On the other hand, the original question is refined through this answer. If the user, who posted the second question as answer, would edit the original question, it would be fine according to the site rules. Yet (if I understood it correctly), the original author would potentially be credited for a nice question, which was actually later created by somebody else.

Should there be a way to combine the two questions, so that all questions and answers show up on one page, with shared credits for both asking users? Somehow it sounds appealing to me as everything would be in one place rather than having another question on the same or a very similar topic, which probably just looks like a duplicate and would potentially need to be answered with a copy of the original answer.

What's best practice in such a situation as reviewer? Strictly flagging it as a non-answer? Suggesting an edit to the original question?


1 Answer 1


Yet (if I understood it correctly), the original author would potentially be credited for a nice question, which was actually later created by somebody else.

This is a non-issue & not sure why it was raised in the first place. If someone wants reputation and/or badges for a question, they should ask it themselves, rather than hedging it'd be poorly received & editing someone else's post.

With regards to your points on the topic of the post itself,

  • I don't think it would be a valid edit to the original question (which was really asking for a source to the derivation) because it's asking for more information about the cancellation of a term, which would be best served as a comment to Robert's post.

  • If he takes my suggestion from the comments, he could link to the question if he felt it necessary. This would be the better option, as far as I can tell, compared to merging two questions or editing in. Two caveats on the new post:

    • It seems to me that it'd be pretty close to the derive this equation/law for me-type question that we've deemed off-topic and could be closed (if 5 people agree to this view).
    • Closing it as a duplicate because both questions are about the HGY boundary term might be a little bit of a stretch; I would think it'd be closed for the previous bullet than duplicate, but I suppose it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Your job as the reviewer is to decide whether the post answers the question or is meant to be something else (comment, new question, spam, etc). If you think the post itself answers the question, then you can hit "No Review Needed". I personally thought it was not an answer and commented & flagged it as such when I reviewed it in the Late Answers queue.

There is a way to merge posts (can be done by moderators only), but, from my understanding, it is somewhat complicated/involved and is rarely done on this site. I do not think it would be necessary in the case that MatterFr posts a separate question.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, merging posts is somewhat messy, and it doesn't actually merge the question text, it only copies answers and comments over from one question to the other, and deletes the source. (IIRC, I haven't done it in a while.) We only run a merge when the questions are really effectively identical. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 17:32

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