Reward linking questions to leverage and organize existing knowledge

There is already so much knowledge stored inside the Stack Exchange network. The chance is high that an answered question relates to a new one. And it will only increase:

The longer a knowledge domain is covered by SE, the more basic and simple questions will have been answered. Automatically new questions tend to become more niche and sophisticated over time. But they don't pop out of thin air; they build upon established first principles and prior art. And when answered turn to part of that themselves.

In summary, the present knowledge will become always more important in relation to new questions and of course in general through its sheer extent. To benefit users the most, it should be accessible in the easiest way possible. The web came up with hyperlinks for that, which have a special instance on SE as linked questions.

To make the collective knowledge of SE more accessible, linked questions are the web's native, low barrier way. They create the eponymous navigatable web of wisdom and give context without search. There should be an incentive to create more of them to emphasize the wiki like character of the network.

How is this different from Reward finding duplicate questions?

This is another topic. Duplicate questions are alternative phrasings of an existing question. Linked questions are other questions related to an existing question.

The mechanisms, consequences and dynamics behind are completely different:

Aspect Linked question Duplicate question
Trigger Answer/comment with current site link Flag existing question
Appearance List item on the right Top center redirect
Relation 1:n 1:1
Consequence More context available, more interconnection Question closed
Incentive dynamic Depends on implementation Built in Fastest Gun in the West

1 Answer 1


I propose to reward 2 extra reputation when an answer or comment* with a linked question receives an upvote, once per question.

*Conceptually not the comment but the act of linking is considered rewarded. It's only that the technical means to do it is via a comment.

  • 5
    Nice idea, but it needs some form of quality control, and I think rewarding finders of good dupes has a higher priority.
    – PM 2Ring
    Apr 23, 2022 at 18:22
  • 1
    Re "...extra reputation ... receives an upvote": No, this goes against the principle that it is always users that (actively) award reputation points (by upvoting, approving suggested edits, bounties, etc.), not the system itself. This would cause too much inflation in the reputation point system. Apr 24, 2022 at 7:42
  • The linking is very important, but mechanism for achieving it should be something else. Apr 24, 2022 at 7:48
  • This would completely destabilize the current reputation system. Please don't.
    – Mast
    Apr 24, 2022 at 9:17

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