Inspired by this question, which is a duplicate of this question on StackOverflow:

Is it really necessary to close a question here if it was previously asked on StackOverflow? I would have thought the time to do that would be when /if the question on StackOverflow is migrated. That way we can merge the two.

Especially early on in the life of this site, I would not want to dishearten new users by closing questions that are unique to this site but were asked before on a site they aren't even a member of. Should users be expected to check StackOverflow for existing duplicates before asking their question?

2 Answers 2


No, users shouldn't have to check on SO to see if it's a dupe. Ideally, the closing + migration should be done carefully. I propose the following:

  • If the original has good answers, it should be migrated here and then either

    • Close the new as a duplicate of the old & merge if the other question is worded better/is simpler to grok
    • Close the old as a duplicate of the new & merge if the newer one has a better wording/example that illustrates the question well.

    In both cases, the question and answers might need some tidying up/editing to clean it up.

  • If the original has weak/poor answers or if the answerer (if lone answerer) wishes to write a new answer again on mma.se, then leave the original question wherever it was, i.e., don't bother migrating.

  • The only question remaining is when this should be done. As indicated in the link, it might not be quick.
    – rcollyer
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 3:32

From how I see it, SO is a different website. Just because the question already exists somewhere online, that doesn't make the question here - the SE site dedicated to Mathematica from now on - a duplicate.

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