Just a thought. I have noticed that many, many more questions are getting duplicated on SO.

This may be partly due to availability of searching within SO. I know SO questions appear frequently in Google searches with anything relating to that question, but maybe if more of an emphasis was put on the internal SO searching. It could encourage users to browse before getting to the asking stage. Feel free to agree or disagree.


I think when we type the question title then SO text box shows us the related questions based on the keywords which are there in our title.

So I am not quite sure which type of search you are looking for.

For example if I want to search a question in Javascript like:-

Find a duplicate line from string

So when I type it in the text box it shows me this:-

enter image description here

Infact SO always asks its users to first read the link How to ask a question?

  • Yes, I meant to mention that in my question. When I get to that stage I am already set on asking a question and may not necessarily go through all of those. What if that was implemented on the main page? TO make it easier for new users also – Gurfuffle Dec 23 '13 at 18:41
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    @Gurfuffle These types of steps are already taken. Users have to go through several pages/popups, etc. telling them to do research first, and any number of other tips on how to improve their questions. Most users simply disregard all of this because they came here to ask a question. For those users there really isn't much of anything that can be done. – Servy Dec 23 '13 at 18:44
  • @Gurfuffle:- SO motivates its users to first read stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask – Rahul Tripathi Dec 23 '13 at 18:46
  • I'm just saying in general on the site. Even just making it a bit more difficult to ask a question and a bit easier to search. Putting a search button where the Ask Question button currently lays and put the ask question button on the user profile. – Gurfuffle Dec 23 '13 at 18:53
  • @Gurfuffle:- I think then you need to tag your question for FEATURE REQUEST! – Rahul Tripathi Dec 23 '13 at 18:55
  • Also, the related question title doesn't always show the most relevant questions if they are worded differently, speaking from personal experience. – Gurfuffle Dec 23 '13 at 18:56
  • @Rahul Tripathi - Thank you, I did – Gurfuffle Dec 23 '13 at 18:58
  • @Gurfuffle:- And did you tried the Search button on SO? – Rahul Tripathi Dec 23 '13 at 18:59
  • If you mean the search up in the title then yes, I have used that. I am merely implying that an emphasis should be put on searching and some of the "easy to reach" Ask Question buttons should not be made as available as a search bar, for example. – Gurfuffle Dec 23 '13 at 19:07
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    @Gurfuffle:- Check if this helps: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7441/… – Rahul Tripathi Dec 23 '13 at 19:12
  • It seems along the lines of what I was thinking. The question did need to be refreshed however. I think a couple of years with a lot more questions that have accumulated and the problem is getting closer to needing to be reviewed. – Gurfuffle Dec 23 '13 at 19:23
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    Pointing to the existing features of SO and saying "already done" is missing the point. Whatever features there are are clearly not working well enough. – Raedwald Dec 23 '13 at 21:59

Do not allow low reputation users to post questions that seem to be a duplicate? That is, if the existing duplicates finding code, used to produce the "Questions that may already have your answer" list, calculates a similarity metric, make it a privilege to post a question that has a similarity metric greater than some threshold.

If that is too draconian, perhaps instead immediately place such questions on hold, marked as a potential duplicate of the similar question(s), and put them near the front of the review queue. That should ensure that the system quickly clears any false positives.

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    I like this idea, but what about false positives? – Cole Johnson Dec 23 '13 at 22:20

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