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This very recent question:

prompted a short discussion in the comments about it being a duplicate. As I wrote the (only and accepted) answer to

I linked to this while voting to close as a duplicate. The SE meta thread on this matter:

How should duplicate questions be handled?

says

Questions may be duplicates if they have the same (potential) answers

and

Questions asking about the same aspect of the same concept, but with different examples, may or may not be considered duplicates. It depends how easy it is to figure out one example from the other. If it's only a matter of changing some numerical values or some variable names, they're duplicates.

The same situation with marking as a duplicate occured in

In both questions I voted to close I argued that the "answer there is aplicable to a wide range of instances, particularly to this one" and "that answer covers what is asked about here". However, this triggered comments saying that "adding a new result is pretty different from adding a new citation" and "But the two questions refer to two different situations".

For completeness, my opinion on the matter is that

if you found something that the reviewers didn't ask for, but adding it to the text improves the quality/completeness/etc. of the paper, you definitely should do it. [...] Overall - aim at the highest quality of the article that you can achieve at the moment."

While researching to ask this question, I found these questions asking about very similar things:

to which I'd answer similarly as above (i.e. with the above quoted excerpts).


Question:

Which one should be the canonical question for marking as duplicates questions asking

"can I add [anything] (e.g. citation/sentence/paragraph/section/plot/table/hypothesis/conjecture/proof/theorem/discussion/hypothesis/etc.) in the revision?"

If no existing thread is general enough, maybe we can edit one accordingly?

  • The downvotes recently seem to be given very hastily and freely... – corey979 Feb 18 at 22:49
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I disagree that those two questions are duplicates, at least of each other. Yes, they are related. Yes, they have "the same (potential) answers", and your answer applies to both. However, I think this is because the answers are more general than the questions themselves.

Going back to the SE meta thread, it states (emphasis mine):

Questions asking about the same aspect of the same concept, but with different examples, may or may not be considered duplicates. It depends how easy it is to figure out one example from the other. If it's only a matter of changing some numerical values or some variable names, they're duplicates. If understanding why the questions are at all related requires a detailed explanation, the questions aren't duplicates, merely related.

In my opinion, asking about adding "new results" during revisions, or "citations" after acceptance, amounts to more than a change of variable names - there are nuances involved. It's certainly natural to think that adding new results is a more significant change than adding a citation, and that changes before and after acceptance are rather different.

The point is that the questions are different, even if the answers don't have to be. Yes, they are related, but somewhat different questions about changing a paper, but as Jeff Atwood put it,

One thing I want to be clear about, though, is that duplication is not necessarily bad. Quite the contrary — some duplication is desirable. There’s often benefit to having multiple subtle variants of a question around, as people tend to ask and search using completely different words, and the better our coverage, the better odds people can find the answer they’re looking for. And isn’t that, really, the whole point of this exercise?

Furthermore, it’s OK for duplicate questions to have duplicate answers. While you could argue that the duplicate questions could all be merged into one question with a “master” set of answers, this is kind of irritating from the perspective of the user looking for an answer.


In this case I think a more general catch-all question could work, as it's not a moral equivalent of saying "RTFM". However, if we go that route, I'd prefer seeing two questions, separating the pre- and post-acceptance cases*. I imagine questions like

  1. Can I make modifications to my paper during revision that were not requested by the reviewers?
  2. Can I update my paper after it is accepted?

For 1., either Adding new results during review process or Is it acceptable to add a result to a paper when a journal asks for revisions? would be a good starting point. (I prefer the framing to the former, but the answers to the latter.) For 2., editing Adding a citation after paper is accepted to be more general would be fine.


*If I know that I can add a result during revisions, then I can infer that I can add a citation or two during revisions, but I couldn't necessarily infer anything about edits after acceptance.

  • Thank you for your opinion. That's more or less what I have in mind, but clearly laid out. I find the quotes you give quite convincing. I agree also about separating cases before and after acceptance – for the latter a canonical answer should be "consult the editor", though. For the former, Adding new results during review process seems indeed better phrased, and the answers are concise. In my own answer I refer to in the OP I purposely gave the most general answer that was possible at the moment. – corey979 Feb 18 at 13:53

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