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Please Provide a “Table of Duplicates”

I'm wondering if it would be possible to automatically link from a question to other questions which have been closed as duplicates of it.

We already automatically link from the duplicate question to the older question. But sometimes a duplicate question gets some good answers, possibly even a better answer than the original, before it is closed. Or sometimes the duplicate may just have the question or answer explained in a slightly different way that works better for one particular person.

Many bug trackers will link in both directions between a duplicate bug and the original; it seems like it would make sense for SO to do the same.

Of course, if the duplicate question is deleted because it really adds nothing of value, then the link back to it should be deleted too. And these links would probably need to be considerably less prominent than the link from the duplicate to the original, perhaps displayed under the comments or something like that.

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From the related links section, there's this question with a similar suggestion: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/36366/… along with some links to other similar suggestions –  Brian Campbell Feb 10 '10 at 4:47
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It might be interesting if this were used to help find duplicates... That is, if questions with a large number of in-bound dup links were ranked higher in the related / search results for new questions sharing similar tags/terms. There are some questions that get asked quite often, and with enough variety in their phrasing that it can become quite difficult to track down a comprehensive original once several duplicates have been left open. –  Shog9 Feb 10 '10 at 5:10
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Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/38793/… –  Gnoupi Feb 10 '10 at 8:47
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marked as duplicate by Shog9, mmyers, Jeff Atwood Feb 10 '10 at 6:04

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1 Answer

If a duplicate question has answers, this makes sense. It's a sensible alternative to "automatically merging" duplicate questions. By simply linking, you don't lose the benefits of keeping the duplicate, alternately-worded question around.

The question page already shows "related" questions in the right-hand column. Perhaps, just above that, there could be a list of "duplicate" questions.

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Ah, good points. Yeah, I think having duplicates coming above related questions could work nicely. Related questions are sometimes a little too far down the page and out of the way for me to notice them, but then again, we have a lot of information competing for attention on the page and duplicates probably aren't the highest priority. –  Brian Campbell Feb 10 '10 at 4:44
    
I was hoping for a solution that didn't add any text to the main body of the posts, but maybe it would be sensible to add a small note at the bottom of the question. ("this question has duplicates"). It's a small point to consider. –  Robert Cartaino Feb 10 '10 at 4:54
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