25

This is a good set of questions; perhaps many people, especially our newer users, are wondering about these things. I need to point out that the policy about closing duplicates isn't a matter of "what some moderators feel:" it's part of the very structure of StackExchange. When you consult an encyclopedia or dictionary or even Amazon.com for information, ...


17

As a beginning user, I would like to give my opinion on this and why I strongly favour (3) if it is possible to write such an answer clearly. An example where I learned a lot from reading a "wrong" question is this one by @gung. Write an answer that essentially explains why the question itself is mistaken, even if such an answer does not answer the ...


15

A posted question is a portal to information: the words and phrases it contains; the tags applied to it; the contents of any answers; and even its net votes and status (CW, etc.) are searchable. Remember, a duplicate question doesn't disappear: it remains visible and serves as a way for people to find the information they seek. The network of pointers to ...


13

I found a "duplicate" question of yours and my answer here, as one example, will try to follow Eliah Kagan's answer hint: Duplicate questions on other SE sites? He says (among other paragraphs): If the question is not really the same, but just somewhat related--as is often the case, especially across sites--then it can simply be answered. An ...


13

Leaving aside the specific incidents you mention (though gave some of my reasoning on one of those in comments), I want to address the title question about whether new users should be able to ask duplicate questions. The policy against duplicates is there for a good reason. Indeed, it's one of the major attractions of the site for me. That linked article, ...


13

Why can questions be closed as duplicates of older questions? As others have mentioned in the comments, duplicates are not there to chastise users by yelling "someone else has already posted this!" They exist to direct users to where the information already exists on the site, which is why we discourage deleting duplicates which provide alternate ...


12

one idea is that one can simply write and answer such a question Indeed, the Stack Exchange model clearly allows for this strategy; you're explicitly allowed to write-and-answer your own questions. If they're useful to others, it doesn't particularly matter why you want to do it. There are already checks in place to avoid abuses of this approach (not that I ...


12

It doesn't really sound like you are [would be] asking a duplicate question. I think a useful way to define a duplicate question isn't a question that uses some of the same terms, backstory, etc., but a question that would be answered by the answer in an existing thread. If that isn't the case, the new question shouldn't be considered a duplicate, in my ...


12

Flag it. Moderators can cancel bounties, refunding the reputation to the owner.


11

A. There's a number of levels of association of similar questions $\quad $ (4 by my reckoning, if we also count 'not quite similar enough to do anything'): Where the questions are exact duplicates, to the extent that they invite identical answers - and both have answers - they should usually be merged (preferably into the better question; if they're of ...


11

Merging is difficult (impossible?) to reverse and so is used only when the questions are such close duplicates of each other that all the answers to one would read acceptably as valid answers to the other. Perhaps more merging should be done, but since the decision in each case requires comprehensive review of both threads, careful thought, and great ...


11

Where the newer post has a more canonical question (one people would search for), and the answers on the older question will work well as answers for new one, it may sometimes be better to merge into the newer post, which will move the answers across. In some cases the best strategy may be to post a new more canonical version of the question (which has the ...


10

As a moderator I look upon duplicate answers with prejudice. Although there's nothing morally wrong with reproducing all or part of a previous answer that you authored (wherever it may have appeared) without specific attribution, there's nothing right about it either. If something you posted elsewhere might be useful as an answer, link to it instead and ...


10

I have been reviewing a large number of older questions some months ago (I went through the [pca] tag in its entirety), trying to tidy them up and systematize as much as possible. I have encountered a similar situation a couple of times. @Glen_b gives good general recommendations in his answer, but I think I can make several more points: Everybody agrees ...


10

Absolutely fine—in my opinion the best thing to do. Several threads have already been merged with Books for self-studying time series analysis? & doubtless more will be. Questions asking for textbook recommendations are often differentiated only by rather specific, personal requirements that are barely reflected in the answers: it's best to aim for ...


10

I would not prefer to make them duplicates but instead make their differences more clear. (and in addition add more obvious links to the different questions for the interested reader that wants to read related questions) One of the questions ask why the values 0 and 1 are not allowed. Another question asks how to deal with values 0 and 1 if somebody likes ...


9

I think there may be some doubts about the question's suitability for CV insofar as it asks for something different from the suggested duplicate. In no particular order: Deriving a solution for the equations in non-matrix form is more Maths than Statistics. The desired form for the answer can be got by Googling or with a computer algebra system. (Lack of ...


9

I agree with Whuber's excellent answer, I'd just make a further point. The question isn't really about stats.stackexchange since you could ask essentially the same thing on any stack exchange site meta. This question really is asking about the stack overflow/exchange model. When the questions talks about 'providing a service to the OP' this is something ...


9

I believe you are referring to Significance: p-value or t-value? and I would have vote to leave it opened (unfortunately, my buggy phone browser led me to just skip it). The suggested near duplicate asks for more general definitions of t- and p-values in the context of null hypothesis statistical testing, which the present post doesn't: In my view, it asks ...


9

Although I also prefer shorter titles, I am less worried about their length than @amoeba. At any rate, I agree that you should go ahead and edit the title. The title and the tags are often what people have access to when searching / perusing the site. Getting them right has an enormous influence on the organization and usability of the site. Your own ...


8

Possible problem: When presenting this question: How to find set of directions in Stahel-Donoho outlyingness measure? it screws up over the "link" to the paper listed at the bottom, though this is probably the fault of the poster. Anyway, I thought I'd give it a mention: Original: As presented: (Another issue:) It seems to have a fixation on "What is ...


8

There isn't really such a mechanism that I'm aware of. There may be a partial strategy available if the question is well captured by an existing tag, and you can assume the tags are used correctly (ahem). In that case, you can search on the tag by clicking it, and you can sort the threads categorized under that tag by Frequent. That will give you the ...


7

This result is certainly inconsistent. But no system works perfectly. The migrated question definitely looks like an SO coding question to me. Even with the comments it is a little ambiguous that the real problem is the OP doesn't properly understand the concepts rather than the code. I can understand how it was migrated. Actually, the closed-as-...


7

I think in this particular case it would be a good edit, but mainly especially because the title "MLE in layman terms" is otherwise very short; there is some room to expand it. Go ahead and replace it with "Maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) in layman terms", why not! But often Sometimes titles with abbreviations are quite long already, and then I would be ...


7

Unfortunately in my 164th review I misclicked as duplicate two posts that were very clearly not duplicates. There doesn't seem to be any way to go back and fix it. [The site sort of loads the page and then seems to "shift" the pages as it finishes putting everything on it/redraws it - my browser was being slow to load after review 163 and I quickly saw the ...


7

Should new users be allowed to provide questions similar to others? Depends on what you mean with "allowed" and "similar". A new user can post similar questions, but if it is similar to the point some users consider it a duplicate (aka, a borderline duplicate) it should be closed. Duplicate questions are ok to ask (as long it is not recurrent from the same ...


7

A question can be closed as a duplicate of two others if different users voting to close pick different duplicates (a recent example), but a single user can't pick more than one. Leaving a comment linking to a second duplicate is good enough—it could be deleted, but won't be. Links to both will appear 'Linked' list on the right of the page. In some ...


7

I am happy to debate this, and would not be offended to be found on the wrong side of the debate. But let's get the facts into the open. For the record, here are the explanations I provided for why the question was closed. I realize the duplicate is only for three predictors. [I meant to write "two", btw.] However, there has to be an end ...


7

(Speaking in general terms rather than to the specifics.) If someone copies part of an answer but correctly references it (credits the original author) and quotes the part they took (typically using a blockquote), that's usually fine unless that's essentially the entire answer. There's several things to do if someone copies a whole answer: dealing with ...


7

This applies to examples of duplicates that are not cross-postings by one individual. And, of course, that are on-topic here. We can't close it as a duplicate, & the post on Maths won't be found by anyone searching CV: a post on another SE site has to be treated in the same way as any other external reference source. So, if that post's useful, link to ...


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