Is there a way to find out what questions have many questions that are closed as duplicates of them (or duplicates of duplicates etc)?

It seems that these would be good ways of finding out what topics would be better covered in a blog/canonical answer, and then have all the closed questions point to one source, not 15 smaller, more niche sources.

  • 1
    Duplicate topic relationships are not necessarily acyclic.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 14:02
  • I know, and that is a problem as well (think I had a meta post on that somewhere). In this case, I would just pick whichever one had more references
    – soandos
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


Here's a query that finds all originals, unfortunately not recursively.

Here's one that finds originals by popularity.

  • If you know how to prevent repetition of the full expression when GROUPing, please let me know.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 16:56
  • I have not the faintest idea how to do this is SQL. I think I'm going to download a data dump, and then do it in C#
    – soandos
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 18:51
  • @soandos What do you mean? Run the first query, and it'll show duplicates in the first and their originals in the second column. Download that for further processing (e.g. loops). The only issue is that it will show all duplicate assignments, including those that were reverted. If you can live with that, the query results should work for you.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 18:57
  • How will it deal with cycles, and how will it know when its done?
    – soandos
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 19:00
  • @soandos It ignores cycles. I meant that the first query should provide all relevant information for post-processing it, no need to get a full data dump.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 19:04
  • Got it, will just process that list then.
    – soandos
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 19:07
  • @soandos if you're going to grab the data dump, this script might interest you How can I find commonly duplicated questions from stack network dumps?
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 10:16

This should be found out by clicking on the faq tab of each tag you're interested in.

On something like Firefox you'll see that the tab lists all the questions which have been linked to the most. This comes from either comments, mentions in posts or other questions closed as duplicates of such.

  • I don't mean per tag. I mean total (there are a lot of tags, and questions can get closed as dupes of other questions that may not share any tags (especially if there another dupe in the chain between them))
    – soandos
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 13:35
  • Sounds like some time hitting the Data Explorer could be in order meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9686/…
    – random Mod
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 14:01
  • I have no idea how to write a query for this SO question?
    – soandos
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 14:06

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