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A recent question was asked for which I wondered if it hadn't already been asked by somebody else. In searching, I found a more specific, unanswered question. It seems appropriate to merge the unanswered question into the recent question, but the description of the "duplicate" flag says:

This question has been asked before and already has an answer.

Is this meant to imply a temporal connection between the questions, or is it fine to merge an older question into a newer one?

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  • 'before' strictly means 'elsewhere', to be pedantic – smci Jan 2 '17 at 16:02
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The highest voted answer to a canonical question on the system-wide meta site recommends keeping the question with the better set of answers, regardless of which question was asked first. It also discusses how to proceed in some edge cases.

Sub-sites, like academia, are free to handle certain details differently from how the system as a whole tends to act. In this case, however, it seems good advice to de-emphasize the temporal aspect (despite the description you quote which appears to imply otherwise).

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  • I was not aware of these canonical questions, or even the system-wide meta site. Thank you. – user38309 Nov 11 '15 at 10:33

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