I provided an answer to this question 'Consequences for publishing final version PDF, in violation of publisher policies?' which was closed for being a duplicate of this question: 'How often do publishers sue researchers for copyright infringement for putting their articles on a personal website?' I believe we can reopen the first question for the following reasons:

  • Question 1 asks a more general question while Question 2 asks specifically about copyright infringement.
  • Question 2 is specifically about a specific action, authors being sued for copyright infringement, while question 1 is much more general
  • Question 2 is about publishing specifically on Author's personal website, while Question 1 is much more generally about publishing online (author's website, but also online repositories such as academia.edu, researchgate and ArXiv.org)

I believe for these reasons, Question 1 should be re-opened and my question is now focused when this type of situation arises.

My Question: If an answer is located within a 'closed' question for being a duplicate, should the member delete the answer in the duplicate question and relocate the answer (perhaps modified) in the first accepted question?

2 Answers 2


In my mind the process is as follows. Post a question on meta or chat to make a case for why the question is not a duplicate. This is essentially what you have done here. If the community feels the question should remain closed, a mod can merge the new answers into the old question. If you want two questions merged, flag the question for moderator attention.

We don't merge that often (I don't think I ever have) and I think it might be irreversible. This will keep the vote totals and revision history intact. If we decline to merge the answers, then you can provide an answer on the other question.

  • I think it might be irreversible – Yes, it is. Probably an SE employee could do something about it, but they would not be very happy.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jul 6, 2016 at 5:15

You're not required to do anything with your answer. You got it in before the question was closed, fair and square, and if the community really didn't want anyone answering that question they should have been quicker to close it as a duplicate. But it is in the best interest of the site if answers are placed on the "original" questions as much as possible.

With that in mind, I'd suggest the following: if you believe the question isn't a duplicate, make your case for reopening it by going through the usual channels. Offer counterarguments in the comments (to a limited extent), discuss on chat, and post on meta if you think it's really egregious. If, in the end, you don't win that argument, you should accept that the question is going to stay closed as a duplicate. In that case, it would be nice (though not mandatory) if you remove your answer to the duplicate and post the equivalent answer to the original question.

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