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Idea

Allow a question to be marked with a "relevant info" box which contains a link to another question which is relevant to the one being marked.

Reason

I see questions marked as dupe which are not really a dupe. Users seem to use the "close as dupe" option when questions are only "related" or "similar".

Granted, this issue doesn't happen a great deal, as community manages it fairly well, but this idea wouldn't just resolve a (small) issue.
It would also allow for a greater number of questions to be linked together to allow for a much greater collection of relevant info when they are not a dupe.
This could quite possibly happen a great deal and is likely to benefit the OP and other users wanting an answer.

Details

So at the top of the question, similar to the "close as dupe" system, something like:

This question has a similar question here:
Other question title 1 answer

The link which would allow users to mark a question with a similar question could go next to the current options:

share | edit | close | flag | similar

Or another word other than "similar", such as "relevant", "linked", "other info", etc.

Would need 5 votes as usual for a proposed "similar" to be pushed through. With a revert vote option too, so community can itself mod both ways (in case a few users get overly excited by a potential similar which is not).

Or maybe just 3 votes, as a question incorrectly being linked as "similar" has far less adverse effects than an incorrect dupe

Doesn't close the question or put on hold, it's just to provide information.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • A question being linked with another relevant question allows for additional and relevant info to be collated - potentially assisting in the new question getting a good answer
  • Stops questions being marked as "dupe" when they're not really a dupe
  • Allows "dupe" to be used as it should be
  • Questions which don't have a real dupe remain open instead of being closed (annoying users and potentially stopping decent questions being asked)
  • Allows questions which do have a similar question but is not quite a dupe to still be linked to, rather than (as currently) left and a potential to collate data lost

Cons

  • People might link to another question for the sake of it, rather than it being a relevant question worthy of being linked to

Couldn't think of any other cons which are particularly problematic.

That con is no different to numerous other community potential issues, however, such as users marking questions as dupe when not dupe; unfair voting, etc
This is handled in the usual way of 5 votes required and revert option.

I know we have the "Related questions" side bar, but it's over to the right as a separate feature, whereas the proposed idea here directly links questions together, and is more prominently placed.
A link to a similar question being directly on the question itself is more likely to be clicked by users than the "Related" question list on the right. It's the first thing they see on the question.

Not Proposed

Not sure if this would work, so not proposing it in the feature request, but perhaps when a question is marked as "similar" to another question, the similar question is automatically marked as "similar" and linked back to the current question.

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    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9134/jon-skeet-facts (for demo purposes) – Mat Jan 20 '14 at 18:26
  • @Mat Why is "Jon skeet facts" related? I already noted we already have the linked section on the right. We also have search too, to find similar questions, but the proposal is neither of those things. It links a question to another similar question right there at the top of the question, not having to rake through the function on the right or search etc. – James Jan 20 '14 at 18:29
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    Hadn't see you knew of the "linked" thing, after all that text. I (personally) don't want to see more noise directly on the question. You might want to move the fact that you're not talking about those closer to the top. – Mat Jan 20 '14 at 18:31
  • Fair enough, your opinion counts, even if downvote ;) I'd prefer this to no links to relevant and potentially useful info. Or a dupe box when it's not a dupe. – James Jan 20 '14 at 18:33
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    Linked questions already does it for me and as an added bonus you get to explain why it's relevant in a comment. – Flexo Jan 20 '14 at 19:01
  • I don't know if I agree with all your pros. I think it would end up being not uncommon for users to see the related banner on an open question and go "what? Close as dupe." That wouldn't be correct behavior, but "duplicate" and "related" are similar enough that it would be easy to get them confused, especially for users not too familiar with the system. Heck, I've had high rep users here on meta think I meant duplicate when I added a "related" comment on their question. But on the other hand, preventing closing a question as a duplicate of the "related" question is also problematic. – Esoteric Screen Name Jan 20 '14 at 20:49

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