This article is about stack overflow but the question is relevant here. We don't close many questions here as duplicates and that inevitably means that users are supplying duplicate answers. For technical sites a canonical answer is a worthy objective but I notice that many answers of this type often become obsolete due to changes in the technology.

Maybe it’s the fate of all Q&A sites to eventually become documentation sites. If you answer the question “correctly” once, why bother repeating yourself?

But I think repetition of answers is healthy. It lets the next generation of programmers practice their ability to write clearly and answer questions. It lets them collect their upvotes and badges. It’s good to have a healthy funnel where beginners learn how to ask questions, veterans learn how to write answers, and super-veterans learn how to moderate.

Gardening and landscaping is not all about technology but with the differences in locale, soil, expertise, new varieties and unknown factors there are many different potential answers.

Should we encourage repeat answers or link to already answered questions?

1 Answer 1


If the same answer is valid for two questions that are not duplicates, then we should allow the same answer to be posted to each question.

This will be a lot clearer for users who come to the site later with a similar question. They may not wish to go following links, even to another answer on the same site.

Also, simply linking from one answer to another may fall foul of the "This is a link-only answer" deletion reason. You may see an increase in those flags.

There is of course no harm in having links between similar questions or between these similar answers. However, relying only on such links is unlikely to benefit the site.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .