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At the moment links to possible duplicates are inserted in the question text once a question is closed. It would be better to insert the links right away as soon as someone votes for it as a duplicate.

People interested in answers to the question would probably be interested in related questions, even if the current question is not closed as a duplicate yet. Even if the question never reaches the closing threshold, the links to the related questions would be useful. At the moment only users that can vote to close can see these links before the question is really closed.

One can add comments with links to the duplicate questions, but this is not very readable and ends up as duplicate information once the question is closed.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

These are inserted as comments now, as each close vote is cast.

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Yeah!

This is how we used to do it (before the current duplicate-flagging system was in place). It provided a way for readers to recognize duplicate questions from the listing page (because the text was visible in the summary) and seemed to hasten the closing of true duplicates, while giving anyone disputing the flag some serious motivation to argue against it.

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Good point about putting the duplicate links at top, so that they are visible from the listing page. That really was useful. –  sth Jul 1 '09 at 19:08

Yes, this would be great. It's very annoying for somebody to close a question as a duplicate. Especially when I've just seen a question closed as a duplicate, and the closer wrote in the comments something along the lines of 'Sure I've seen this before, but can't find the original'.

If they can't find the original, they shouldn't be closing it as a duplicate because it's probably not!!

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I think this is a very good idea indeed. I would change them to just "related" if the question survives unclosed for more than 48 hours or something (because apparently it isn't a duplicate, in the eyes of the community), but definitely make the information available to everyone (particularly the questioner!) right away. The questioner may well see the link, follow it, realize that their question is indeed a duplicate, and delete it -- saving everyone time and trouble.

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