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Is occurs to me that closed questions can contain both valuable answers and in some cases superior information than their original counterpart. Currently, this information is lost when deleted.

Question B is determined to be a duplicate of Question A. Question B is then closed and sometimes later deleted.

Suggestion 1: Before question B can be deleted the answerers in Question B are given a grace period and notification to move answers.

This could be done by mods (with the inability to move answers perhaps a strong indicator that the question is actually not a duplication). However, it seems to me that the easiest approach would be that closed questions are placed in a queue and those with answers are messaged by the system to relocate. A question closed as a duplicate (which also has answers) should probably have a timer to prevent premature deletion. Something along the lines of 30 days, perhaps.

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1 Answer 1

We do have the ability to merge questions that are exact duplicates, but we usually try to make sure all of the answers make sense on the original question before using the ability (this is sort of the litmus test for judging whether a question is an exact duplicate). Otherwise, questions closed as duplicates serve as a link to the answers on the original, so we don't really delete those very often either. Other types of closed questions (non-duplicates) often stay around if they have good answers, as you suggest, since no one really likes to delete good content. Mostly the questions that get deleted (at least by diamond moderators) are the ones that are of extremely poor quality that didn't get any answers that redeemed them.

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Thank you for the quick response. Do you not see any value in some system for notifying a poster of an answer in a closed thread to consider modifying their answer for the original question? –  user136460 Aug 5 '11 at 1:18
    
You mean for migrated answers? Not really. If some of the answers don't really fit on the original question I just won't migrate them. If they're close enough to migrate, I can always leave a comment. –  Bill the Lizard Aug 5 '11 at 1:23

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