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Sometimes users just link a new question to similar questions on StackOverflow.

Should these links be considered as an answer or a comment? Is there any best practice for this?

If comments are the preferred way, how to deal with answers that just contain a link to another question? Should they be flagged?

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Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/48125/…. Same idea - don't post exact duplicates (or even near-duplicates) as answers unless you have something important to add. –  Aarobot May 6 '10 at 15:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

As a comment. SO does this automatically when you vote to close as duplicate, so it's clearly the preferred way. And yes, I think it's appropriate to flag answers that have just a link and no additional comments.

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Even when the linked question isn't an exact duplicate, just similar or related? I.e this answer: stackoverflow.com/questions/2781987/… –  Jonas May 6 '10 at 15:53
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If the link alone is sufficient to answer the question, then that means it is basically an exact duplicate (considering a duplicate as "any question that the same answer applies to"). If the link alone is not sufficient, then if poster actually adds the padding to support the link, it can be an answer. If the poster does not provide this extra data, then it really should suffice as a comment. –  Grace Note May 6 '10 at 15:59

It's fine to post a link as an answer, if it answers the question. You'll usually have more to add to it, but sometimes the link alone is sufficient.

Some questions aren't exact duplicates, but the same answer works for them both.

Questions and answers aren't always in a 1-1 relationship.

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Even if the link alone is sufficient, you should probably still summarize it if you add it as an answer. –  Joel Coehoorn May 6 '10 at 16:27
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@Joel, Agreed, though being the terse kind-of guy I am, I don't always have an easy time coming up with stuff to add. –  Lance Roberts May 6 '10 at 16:38

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