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I have asked a question outside Stack Exchange (in other forums). Should I just provide that URL as a question here? I do not want to create duplicate content on the web.

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

If you are going to ask a question on a Stack Exchange site, you need to enter the text of the question. You cannot enter a link to another question asked on another site.

The reason is the same for which a link-only answer is not considered an answer: What would happen if the linked page is temporary unavailable because problems with the server, or permanently not available because that page is deleted? With a question is even worst because nobody would see the question being asked, while with an answer, the question and the other answers would still be useful to future users.

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1  
Though don't be shy to mention and link to your other question after you included your actual question here. – Jeff Mercado Jan 12 '12 at 5:27

No. If the question is good (it qualifies under the FAQ, and you might also consider this), we want the content here. Stack Exchange is not a link farm, we want users to be able to find solutions as much as possible without having to click all over the internet.

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My instinct is a resounding no. StackExchange is a standalone site that shouldn't rely on other sites content. What if the link goes down?

A question consisting of only a link is probably going to be closed as low quality, if the quality filter even lets it through. If you want to post here, repost the entire question you have--including all relevant code--so that it doesn't rely on anything else.

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