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I've seen a question on a site I don't have an account on. The question was very interesting and it's also on-topic on this other site, where I am an active user on.

The question is on-topic on both sites.

Is it OK for me to post the same question (possibly with linking to the original) on the site I'm active on?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

Go ahead. If you're gonna copy it verbatim, you should reference the original. If there's anything you can do to make it a better "fit" for the new site, you should do that as well.

Cross-posting is discouraged when it's someone spamming multiple sites without bothering to identify the appropriate audience or tailor the question for each site, but if you have a question that hasn't been well-answered on one site - whether that's another SE site or something external - re-asking it in a more appropriate venue is perfectly fine.

See also:

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Thanks, I kinda guessed but wanted to be sure. – Madara Uchiha Feb 14 '13 at 13:09

Yes, of course. The two main problems with (bad) cross-posting are:

  1. Not enough time between the two questions.
  2. Not respecting the needs of the different audiences.

Which means that for point one, you're OK. If you posted a question on a site without receiving an answer after one or two weeks (or any reasonable feedback) then it's OK to post. Linking would be useful, of course.

For the second point, I suggest a rewording in order to keep the question core points but make it so that the question properly addresses the new site, so that it fits the site scope.

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No. Don't copy-paste the same question onto another site. Instead, if the original question was never answered, do one of the two following things:

  1. If the question is less than 60 days old, suggest to the original poster that they consider migrating it (they can request it be migrated by flagging it for moderator attention and asking the moderator to migrate it). The benefit of migration is then we don't have two copies of the same question left open (people will be automatically directed to answer on a single site), and there will be bidirectional links both ways. But it's up to the OP -- respect their decision, and don't pressure them.

  2. Alternatively, when you post on the new site, ask a new question that is tailored to the audience of the new site. Yes, the original might be technically on-topic for the new site as is, but there are almost always ways you can improve the question and make it better tailored for the new site. Don't be lazy.

    Also, link back to the previous version, and leave a comment on the original linking to the new version, so everyone can find both copies. And don't just copy blindly without any further thought: spend some time searching and trying to solve the problem yourself before posting it on the new site, and show what you tried in the new question.

The above analysis assumes the original was never answered.

If the original question already received an answer, don't copy it onto a new site! The world doesn't need another clone of the information -- that's not advancing our mission. A significant part of our mission is to build up an archive of high-quality questions and answers; but if the question has already been answered, then posting it on a new site doesn't serve that purpose, so you should not re-post.

(Just to be clear: per your statement in the question, this answer is based on the assumption that you are not the person who wrote the original question.)

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Doesn't your answer basically say the same thing as mine and Shog9's? Actually, in your first point you suggest migration which is not ideal, considering that the question would need to have the wording changed. In that case, only choice 2 is the appropriate one. – Alenanno Jun 14 at 23:54
    
@Alenanno, I don't think our three answers are saying the same thing. Shog9 doesn't make any distinction regarding whether the question already had an answer or not, and doesn't mention linking both ways. Also, it has a different emphasis ("Go ahead!" vs "No"). Your answer and mine are much closer: your answer mentions the distinction about whether it was answered, rewording to make it on-topic, and linking in 1 direction, but there's a difference in emphasis (the importance of spending some time thinking about the problem yourself before re-posting elsewhere; "Yes, of course" vs "No"). – D.W. Jun 15 at 22:47
    
I edited my answer to explain why I think migration should be preferred in that case. The reason to prefer migration is that there's one place to answer and one place to look for answer, which I think is valuable. I do agree with a point you might have made: if migrating, you should think about editing as well to make the post fit the audience of the other site. Last: thanks for the feedback and the helpful discussion! – D.W. Jun 15 at 22:48
    
I still think you tried to find differences that aren't there. Or if there are, such as the wording, it doesn't really influence the end result. But in any case, sure, no problem. – Alenanno Jun 15 at 22:52

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