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When a question is closed as a duplicate, a footer is added with a 'closed as exact duplicate' method. Also a header is added with a list of possible duplicates. These two bits of information obviously belong together, yet they are separated across the page. It's forgiveable on a short question but particularly bad on a long question.

The language doesn't agree either "possible duplicate" vs "exact duplicate".

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The notice (what you call footer) is given for any closed question, and it is in the same position used for all the notices (e.g. bounty notices). The list of the duplicated question is on the top to make it the first visible part. Notice that the list of duplicated question is part of the question itself, and it would not be a good place to put also the notice. If you are suggesting to take off the list of the duplicated question from the question, and make it a header together the notice, then I could find it an interesting solution. At least there would not be users who edit that list. –  kiamlaluno Sep 28 '12 at 18:28

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When a question is closed as a duplicate, a footer is added with a 'closed as exact duplicate' method. Also a header is added with a list of possible duplicates. These two bits of information obviously belong together, yet they are separated across the page.

You have to look at this from a bystander's point of view. The vast majority of people who read a question aren't actively involved in the post (e.g., posters or close voters), but simple visitors looking for a solution to a problem.

The header contains useful information: One or more questions that deal with the same problem and, possibly, contain the solution they were looking for. This part also appears in the small excerpt on the front page, New Questions, search, etc.

The footer, however, is more or less noise for most people. It contains when the question was closed and by whom, but nothing useful for a visitor.

The language doesn't agree either "possible duplicate" vs "exact duplicate".

That's on purpose. If different users vote to close the question and specify different questions as possible duplicates, all of them get listed in the header. It's also possible to add a question manually to this header, although you shouldn't generally do that unless you have a diamond next to your name.

When the question gets finally closed, it's because it is deemed an exact duplicate of another, which could any of the up to five questions in the header.

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