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I'm lately starting to review close votes and many times I see questions that have been voted to close as duplicate, but they have been upvoted and they have a good accepted answer...

If I see such questions I usually vote to keep it open even if it's true that there's another question answering a very similar question...

So, my question is, why to remove them? If it's a good question, and it has at least one good accepted answer, who cares if there's a similar question aout there? Probably the duplicate question has some slightly different details that make it worth to have both question live... or is it that StackExchange's disk space is running out?

Note that I'm talking about good questions, not about the typical horrible and clearly duplicate questions that do no contribute anything new...

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marked as duplicate by gnat, hims056, Hugo Dozois, РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ, Martijn Pieters Oct 18 '13 at 14:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3  
Duplicates don't delete questions, just stop new answers. Even if good answers are (unfortunately) already spread accross several questions it is still a good thing that more answers aren't spread accross many questions –  Richard Tingle Oct 18 '13 at 9:37
    
It's paradoxical that this question about closing duplicate questions gets closed as duplicate :) –  MikO Oct 18 '13 at 15:31

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Closing a question as a duplicate explicitly does not delete a question, nor does it put in on "the path to deletion" as other close reasons do, as such the existing good answers are not lost.

The purpose of closing as duplicate is 2-fold;

  • Pointing to a single question where (hopefully) the best answers can be found.
  • Preventing good answers to the same question being spread across many locations.

A question already having answers is not against either of these goals, it is certainly unfortunate that it was not closed sooner, but that is secondary; new answers to the secondary question are still a bad thing, if they add something new they should be added to the primary question.

Merging

If both questions have particularly good answers then flag to merge, but either way it is good to close as duplicate to prevent further answers being given to the secondary question.

Reverse duplicate

Equally if the old question has low quality answers and the new question has good answers then vote to close the old question as a duplicate of the new question; time of posting isn't important, only the quality of the answers.

Questions that are slightly different

If the questions are sufficiently different that an answer to one would not answer the other then you are correct to leave them both open (a comment to note the existence of the other for more information is always useful however)

Good duplicates are helpful

I will often upvote questions that are already closed as duplicates if they are well written and will provide useful "ways in" to the main question for search engine; treat upvotes not as evidence against closure as a duplicate but simply as a sign that it is a quality duplicate

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