I understand the rules around what constitutes a duplicate question. My question is in regard to use of marking a specific question as duplicate, and the question selected as duplicate does not have an actual marked answer.

Do we care? An example: Error using view to limit data access between databases in SQL Server. Which at this time the question is not closed as duplicate, could get there soon.

It seems odd to me, marking the question as duplicate when the question used does not have a marked answer. It does not necessarily mean that the question used does not have an appropriate answer, could have high votes and the OP just never came back and marked it.

I would think the question is placed as a reference in the duplicated question, with something like "did you check out the answer to this question". It might be enough to cause them to just close their question. In this case the OP stated they tried the method used in the other question and it did not work.

I guess just looking for clarification if it is sufficient to close a question as duplicate with another question that does not have an actual answer?

2 Answers 2


To me, this seems pretty subjective. If the question being closed has no answers, whereas the target question has an answer (accepted or not), and both questions are for all intents and purposes the same then I'd VtC the question without answers as a dupe of the question with answers just to avoid fragmentation.


...the question selected as duplicate does not have an actual marked answer. Do we care?

No, not much.

From What does it mean when an answer is "accepted"? in the Database Administrators Help Centre:

Accepting an answer is not meant to be a definitive and final statement indicating that the question has now been answered perfectly. It simply means that the author received an answer that worked for him or her personally...

In practice, the quality of answers marked as "accepted" (including self-answers) can be quite variable, for all sorts of reasons. It is also not uncommon for a much better (and higher-voted) answer to come along later, but never acquire the "accepted" tick.

Anyway, to be a valid target for a close-as-duplicate, the question must*:

  • Have at least one upvoted answer; or
  • Contain an accepted answer

(taken from Should questions be marked as duplicate if the older question has no accepted answer? on Meta.SE

That suggests the two are at least of equal stature. One might even regard "accepted" as the fall-back option there.

I would go further and suggest that it is not always important that the newer question is closed as a duplicate of the older one. The guiding principle ought to be that the poorer Q & A should be closed as a duplicate of the better one, or merged if they are suitable - regardless of which one appeared first.

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