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I recently posted a question on methodologies and data reproducibility. After finding my answers, I wondered if I was in the right to delete my question given its duplicate nature.

Should people who realize that their questions are duplicates delete their questions?

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Questions should only be deleted if they have no lasting value. Your question very likely has lasting value, however:

  • If you found a duplicate question and answer on this site, your question can direct other people having a related problem to the answer. After all you did not find the duplicate target easily yourself, and others may have the same problem. You can mark your own question as a duplicate without wasting anybody’s time via Flag → should be closed → duplicate of. If the target was difficult to find, also consider whether its 9indability can be improved, e.g., by adding tags, keyword, or a better title.

  • If you found your answer in some other resource, a similar thought applies: You did not find this resource easily in the first place and your question may help others having the same problem. In this case, self-answer your question. Keep in mind to credit the resources that helped you, refrain from extensive copying and pasting (rather summarise with your own words), and focus on your problem.

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I'm not sure what Stack Exchange's view on this would be, but I see a ton of duplicate questions and it usually helps me, not hinders me, because I can combine parts of the different suggested solutions if I need to. There are usually many solutions to a problem and a set of solutions for the first posted question may not work me while the solutions for the duplicate do. This is actually the norm for most of what I go on here for. I would have been SOL many times if duplicate questions weren't allowed to stay.

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