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I often see a trivial question I can answer in about a minute, but since it's so easy, it must have been asked before, right? So I'm faced with a choice:

  1. Find the existing question and vote to close the new one as duplicate. This would benefit the site, driving all users with the same question to one place.

  2. Answer it immediately, quite possibly collecting a couple of votes, at the expense of adding to the clutter, fragmentation on the site.

Searching for duplicates is tedious and unrewarding. I have to copy and paste the question or type it rephrased. Then read a couple of possible duplicates, and maybe even repeat the search. There may not even be a worthy existing question. In short, it's far more rewarding to just answer.

This happens to me a lot. And every time, I have the distinct feeling that it really takes discipline to do the right thing and search first. A badge would be nice for this! Those folks who do take the time and effort to find duplicates and get them closed deserve a reward.

PS: As for the current meaning of the Disciplined badge, I hardly ever feel that I would exercise discipline by deleting my own upvoted answer. On the other hand, the urge to answer instead of searching happens to me pretty much every day, and I'm a pretty casual user, far from a fanatic.

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  • Perhaps the name "collator" since that is what you're actually doing. Whereas why it's called disciplined requires a doing this verses something else Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 17:38
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    rewards for finding duplicates (meta.stackoverflow.com/search?q=reward+finding+duplicate) are often suggested, and universally declined. Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 17:42
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    I agree this would be nice, but I would award the badge once the question has been effectively closed. Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 17:43
  • @KateGregory I like the proposals there. And I agree with Gabriele too. Shame it's declined.
    – janos
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 17:47

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