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Today I got an audit (which I passed because I tried to edit it - it throws a "has been deleted" error) of a seemingly good answer (I lost the link). The answer is good, however it has been removed because basically similar answer of an existing answer.

The review UI does not show existing answers, and I see a good reason for that. If I was in a good mood doing a very thorough review, I usually check the question if it has similar answer. But in my standard review, I only check if it is formatted well, if it answers the question, basically all checking that can be done within that one view - the answer against comments, the question, the formatting (in review queue).

If the UI itself does not expect users to check against other answers, is checking against existing answers the expected standard, or it should be left as "best practice" which does not necessarily to be done?

  • 1
    With the UI as it is I'd expect it to be a "best practice" as it requires additional work and can be (depending on circumstances) be a bit confusing (handling multiple tabs with similar content). What review queue were you working on? For me it also depends on the kind of queue I work on whenever or not I'm taking such additional steps. – Seth Jul 7 '17 at 8:31
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    @Seth It was a late answer queue. It is the queue with the highest chance of duplicate answer, which also happen that the author is first time user trying to garner reputation by plagiarizing (or maybe not, intentionally) – Vylix Jul 7 '17 at 8:42
  • The UI does show other answers. If there are more than 1 or 2 other answers, I'll almost always check for duplicated information. Lots of first answers on old questions with lots of existing answers tend to duplicate existing information, in my experience. On newer questions with fewer answers that is less common. – music2myear Jul 11 '17 at 16:01
  • I normally do check for late answers, because new users frequently "me too"ing an existing answer is one of the reasons the late answer queue exists. – Dan Neely Jul 11 '17 at 19:32
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It is certainly best practice.

  1. There have been many occasions when I've reviewed, particularly Late Answers, where the post merely duplicates an existing answer.

  2. Sometimes an answer from a new user is a comment on an existing answer but doesn't directly reference that answer.

By making checks like this you can add better, more detailed comments as feedback to the poster. This comes across a little more friendly than simply The does not answer the question. Even if you still flag it as NAA or VLQ.

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    This is a nice and useful answer, but does not answer the question "Should this best practice the expected standard, or we (or even SE) are fine with doing the basic review?" – Vylix Jul 7 '17 at 14:26

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