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Suppose that someone answers one question, but it is also the solution to another question.

  • Is it fine to quote it, adding a comment and link of course to acknowledge the original author?
  • Should I mark it as community Wiki so that I am not "stealing reputation"?
  • Sometimes when you ask one question you get a solution to second question as well. Are things different if you post the second question and then quote a part of the answer you were given as the solution?
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I have done this before. I will take the gist of the answer, quote it, and then link back to the other answer.

I don't see how this is any bit different than someone quoting an article or some other source of information and then providing link to it as an answer.

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This is what I've done but in the past but is apparently unwanted behavior by the developers of the site so such answers are now automatically converted to a comment (if your answer is relatively short). See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/98950/… –  Michael Jul 22 '11 at 23:24

If you can swing it, close the new question as a duplicate of the previous one.

Dup-closing is by far the cleanest tactic, but not always applicable: sometimes, the questions are subtly different and while the answer to the old question applies, it also needs some introduction before the new questioner will be able to make use of it. In that case, write your introduction, quote some or all relevant portions of the original answer as you like, mention who wrote it, and link to the original answer. That last bit is just courtesy - plagiarism is generally considered rude.

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@Shog. I am asking more about when the questions aren't duplicates. For example, in stackoverflow.com/questions/1403471/…, an answer was posted on how to write thread local storage. I thought it deserved its own question so I copied it here stackoverflow.com/questions/1408171/… and quoted a part of Alex's answer –  Casebash Sep 11 '09 at 0:46
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Hmmm... I'm not quite sure why you did that. There was already a question on Python TLS, in fact you linked to it in your question... Why didn't you just add a new answer to that? Regardless, you should put some more work into it. The function wasn't originally intended as a stand-alone answer, so write an introduction for it in your answer, explaining what it does and how it should be used. Also, fix the link - you can get a link directly to the original answer via the "link" link below the answer itself. –  Shog9 Sep 11 '09 at 1:07
    
Thanks for the link info. Didn't notice that. Will have another look at my answer. What is Python TLS? –  Casebash Sep 11 '09 at 1:27
    
Thread Local Storage - my Windows background showing through (the platform APIs refer to it via that TLA) –  Shog9 Sep 11 '09 at 1:32

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