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I've frequently come across questions closed as a duplicate, yet the notification contains no reference to which original question it duplicated, e.g.,

Global "method_missing" in PHP?

Sometimes there are links to the original, but more frequently the link might be elsewhere on the page, and the alert only contains a listing the users who closed the question as a duplicate.

Users from different backgrounds may not use the same vocabulary (e.g., hash vs. associative array). To allow users who may arrive at a question via a different search query to arrive at their desired content, the link to the original question should always be included in the "question closed" alert. Ideally, this would be bidirectional - since all still exist in the database, the 'parent' question would also contain a section with links to the closed duplicates.

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Um, what? The duplicate link is there, right at the top. –  Michael Petrotta Jun 29 '11 at 18:37
    
are you talking about the link in the comment area of the question? –  staticx Jun 29 '11 at 18:40

2 Answers 2

The question you linked to shows the "Possible Duplicate" right at the very top of the question, beneath the title. This is where the link is automatically inserted when the question is closed as an exact duplicate:


enter image description here


Also, when other questions are linked to in comments, answers, or the question itself (this includes duplicate links), they will appear in the "Linked" sidebar on the right. This is bidirectional: if question #1 has question #2 in its Linked sidebar, then question #2 will have question #1 in its Linked sidebar:


my freehand circles look like soggy peaches


Sometimes the question owner disagrees with the closing, and will edit their question to remove the automatically-inserted link. This should only be done if the question has been reopened. If still closed, and you see someone doing this, the link should be edited back in or (in the event of an edit war) a mod should be notified.

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The problem is that the screen distance between the closed as exact duplicate text and the Possible duplicate: link is quite big. Maybe we could put the "closed as ..." link on top? –  Paŭlo Ebermann Jun 29 '11 at 19:19

As shown in the answer from gnostradamus, there is a link to the duplicate question(s).

The problem here is that the screen distance between the closed as exact duplicate text (below the question) and the Possible duplicate: link (on top of the question) is quite big, so one does not automatically finds it, if one is new. The link on the sidebar is nearer, but it is formatted quite differently.

Maybe we could put the "closed as ..." banner over the question instead of under it?

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The question title itself already has "[closed]" automatically added to it. Having that and the "Possible Duplicate" link at the top is enough to clearly see that it's closed and why. The "closed as exact duplicate" banner simply adds a little more detail about when it was closed, by whom, and an explanation of the close reason. I don't think it really needs to be displayed any more prominently, as it would take up the valuable real estate at the top of the page (which a user sees first). –  gnostradamus Jun 29 '11 at 20:06
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The real problem for me is the phrasing "Possible Duplicate" that implies it is still in the process of being closed. There is plenty of room to change that to the more informative "Closed as Duplicate of". The full close message can still go on the bottom. –  Rick Sladkey Jun 29 '11 at 20:26

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