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When calculating how frequently a question is asked each question should be above any questions that were closed as a duplicate of it1.

For instance, on the first page (assuming you have 50 questions) of the MSO "frequent questions" tab is How does accept rate work?. This has been closed as a duplicate of Let's stop displaying a user's accept rate, which appears 5 questions beneath it.

On SO How to use an existing database with an Android application, from the second page, is closed as a duplicate of Ship an application with a database from the eighth. When searching for questions they appear on the same page but the duplicate is much further down.

Closing as a duplicate is, theoretically, the communities way of saying that the closed question and its answers aren't as good as the open question and its answers. If this is the case then the open question should always appear above the closed.

1. There is no good way to use the word "question" that many times in a sentence.

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  • +1 - Confirmed, I see the same ordering issues (duplicate comes before original). I like the idea of sorting them based on the suggested solution.
    – Travis J
    Oct 21, 2013 at 21:09

1 Answer 1

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Closing as a duplicate is, theoretically, the communities way of saying that the closed question and its answers aren't as good as the open question and its answers.

I disagree with that sentiment totally. Closing as a duplicate simply means that the question is similar enough in wording and content to a previous question. It doesn't mean:

  • that the previous (open) question has answers
  • that the previous question has quality answers
  • that the current (duplicate) hasn't got quality answers of its own
  • that the current (duplicate) isn't a better quality question than the original

This disagreement also doesn't go into the intricacies of ensuring the ranking between duplicates-of-duplicates-[of duplicates...]-of originals is correctly observed; i.e. your proposal works kind of okay if there is only one generation of duplicate children.

Possibly a better way to solve this is to start cleaning out the duplicates and merging them with the original question where appropriate. While duplicates are not frowned upon, there is only a certain amount that can occur before they add chaos and messiness to the system.

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    I was going to write this same kind of thing. Sometimes a duplicate appears that is much better than an original. I'd much rather close the original as a duplicate in those cases. I'd rather have the best question and the best answer together, and have all the rest point to these. Oct 22, 2013 at 0:06
  • merging is not always an option in a current duplicates model - 'No argument about how exact an "exact duplicate" needs to be...'
    – gnat
    Oct 22, 2013 at 7:19

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