I was looking for an answer to my question: Plot a function between two values But searching for this didn't come up with anything, however, when I clicked 'Ask Question' and typed the title the thread: pgfplots to plot a function from [4,4.001] came up. So I went ahead, created the new question and marked it as a duplicate, this I did to make future navigation to the question with the answer easier.

I considered creating a tag for the question, to clearly show that the question was always meant as a new path to that question, but creating a new tag for something like this seemed a little abusive to me.

My question then comes:

  • Is this practice of creating dupes to make hard to find answers easier to find okay?

  • Is it okay to create a tag to mark that these questions where always intended as duplicates (so other people don't waste their time looking at the question)?


One reason to have a diliberate dupe tag would be so people wouldn't have to spend time marking it as a dupe.

  • 3
    I would consider it a misuse of questions that are potentially duplicates, but since the search engine of TeX.SE seems to be not very efficient, this might be an approach, but I wouldn't use this 'feature' too much.
    – user31729
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 12:31
  • @ChristianHupfer maybe a tag: Intentional duplicate or search-optimizer then? It just annoys me, when I sometimes spend 30 minutes not being able to find an answer another 10-30 creating a good question then just seing it marked as a dupe. for those sessions I would much rather there existed search optimizer dupes or something like that. Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


No, there's no need for creating a tag. People would most likely not search under the tag, since there is no guarantee that the "duplicates" are all they're after. Moreover, you can leave a comment with the post if you want to deter people from wasting time to answer the to-be-closed duplicate.

The inherent problem here is the search functionality of the network. It's not always that great. I'd suggest also using Google with the site:tex.stackexchange.com search criteria added. This usually provides good search results in case you don't find anything using the network search.

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An alternative approach to posting duplicates would be to post a question here and discuss whether one can update the text from some post to be more generic (and therefore possibly more searchable) or canonical. As long as the answers still remain valid and no-one loses sleep over the adjustment.

  • By 'this' do you mean the proposed {duplicate} tag or the entire practice of creating deliberate duplicates for the search function?
    – moewe
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 15:43
  • 2
    @moewe: Just the duplicate tag. We can't truly tell someone not to create deliberate duplicates. Perhaps that's their way of helping the community, since they may have found the source duplicate very difficult to find. At that point, the community will likely vote on the question or not.
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 15:47
  • Thanks for clarifying. Then I wholeheartedly agree with your answer.
    – moewe
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 16:04
  • 1
    Regarding Thorbjørn's question about whether or not it is useful/okay to deliberately create duplicates I'm a bit ambivalent. I can definitely see the value in a well-written and well-searchable question that just forwards to a duplicate. Especially since the search function on this site is a bit meh. But I would not be particularly happy to see the site spammed by scores of 'search duplicates'.
    – moewe
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 16:08
  • @moewe: I agree. That's where I would hope the community would kick in with voting. If the behaviour seems to be abused (posting duplicates that aren't truly necessary or just isn't well thought out), vote and comment accordingly.
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 16:19
  • Great answer. For the future I'll ask here about changing questions to be more general instead of just creating a dupe ;-) Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 17:40
  • I also made a small edit reasoning for why I thought the tag might be a good idea in the beginning. But I like the approach you described better ;-) Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 17:43

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