Let's say I want to ask a question, and I see a similar question and some answers to it but I don't feel that any of the answer tells me what I want to know. Would linking the similar question, in my question, and talking some about it, help with reducing the chances of my question being marked as a duplicate? I know simply linking and saying that the similar question is different from my question probably wouldn't work but I'm wondering if it would make a question less likely to get closed if I went into some detail about how the answers to a linked question aren't what I'm looking for.

  • 7
    Generally - yes. If you don't do that, assuming your question is very similar to this other one - people will just close it as duplicate of this other one. But if you explain and show exactly why the other answers are not what you need then people will have less reason to close it as a duplicate...
    – Tomerikoo
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 18:56
  • You could run some statistics on that. The PostLinks table in SEDE is useful for this as it holds links between posts for a simple link and an actual dupe link. It also stores the creationdate of such link. So you can reason about links that were created when the question was posted and the later occurrence of a dupe link. This query is my quick attempt to capture that logic: data.stackexchange.com/worldbuilding/query/1508590
    – rene
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 20:38
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    Personally, I think sometimes the opposite happens. Somebody links to a question, says they don’t think that it’s a duplicate, then it gets closed as a duplicate. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 21:01
  • If the question gets closed as a duplicate, the existing link serves as an indication of casting a reopen vote. However, the points from the previous comments and the answer apply: if you disagree with closure as duplicate, the proper response is to edit your post and explain exactly what is different and why. Asserting that it just is different is not enough. If you believe that the initial revision already sufficiently explains why it’s not a duplicate, @-notifying one of the close voters, or notifying a gold badge holder (e.g. in chat) should be enough. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


Not if you do it as a sort of protective mantra: "I have seen [whatever] and this is not the same." Asserting that doesn't make it so.

Yes, if you explain that you are asking the reverse of that, or that you are asking for Windows and that is for Linux. Maybe, if you explain that you are asking in 2021 and that is from 2013 and none of the answers work now. (Some people will feel all we need is another answer on the old question in that case.)

Related, but not a dupe: Someone flagged my question as already answered, but it's not

  • And there's an even worse practice: questions which reference the apparent duplicate but it's a one-word link in the middle of their question. If you're not clicking on every link you're liable to miss it.
    – Laurel
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 23:57

I try to include similar/related questions to save time for the readers, who I assume are busy people with more than just my measly question to answer. It also serves to give credit where credit is needed, and to demonstrate my superior Google skills honest attempts to answer my own question before bothering the Interwebs with it. I try to be very short and to the point explaining why exactly my question ain't no dupe.

This is usually met with positive reception in the sense that the question is not closed as a dupe. But this, of course, does not help in preventing the question from (at least attempts to) being closed for reasons other than being a dupe. Some examples (shameless plugs, all of them):

Are there any published coding style guidelines for renaming columns in views in SQL? - Stack Overflow

Install Perl modules using conda and App::cpanminus

Add files to Dock on macOS using the command line


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