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Is it okay to mark one question as duplicate if the older question has no accepted answer?

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Yes, it is still okay. As long as the older question is as relevant as the newer one. I don't see why not. –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Jul 8 '13 at 9:35
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Since accepting an answer is completely orthogonal to the answers being helpful to other visitors, this is definitely okay. "Accepted" means it was helpful to the original question asker. Sometimes the original question asker forgot to accept, or misunderstood and did not accept an answer even though it works. –  Martijn Pieters Jul 8 '13 at 10:08
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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, it is completely fine to do so.

Note though however that the older question has to have at least one upvoted answer if it does not contain an accepted answer, otherwise you will not be able to flag the new question as a duplicate of it.

If it doesn't have an accepted answer or any upvoted answers, you will receive the following warning:

This question does not have an upvoted or accepted answer

and the 'Vote to close' button will be greyed out.

My assumption as to the reasoning behind this is that if an answer is upvoted/accepted, it has generally been found to be useful by at least one person, increasing the likelihood of it being useful to other users who visit through the newer duplicate.

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Interesting, so if the older question has answers (not accepted) but no upvotes the function to close new question as duplicate is not "clickable"? –  Sergio Jul 8 '13 at 10:08
    
@Sergio indeed. If old question has no answer that can be considered good (upvoted or accepted) it is OK for new one to be asked some time later. Maybe new way of asking it will give more answers? If so, mark older as a duplicate. Unless both are by the same user, then flag for moderator attention. –  Mołot Jul 8 '13 at 10:10
    
@Mołot You can flag/vote to close as a duplicate regardless of answers if both questions are by the same user, specifically to deal with newer users reposting the same question if they get downvotes, no answers or they're closed. –  Anthony Grist Jul 8 '13 at 10:56
    
@AnthonyGrist I meant questions by the same user. I don't think it is OK to repeat question until it's answered. Sorry if I wasn't precise enough. –  Mołot Jul 8 '13 at 11:02
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