I came up with a question this morning and, before I posted it, I started researching. I found the exact same question posted elsewhere but no answer was given. It would be most efficient to cut and paste the other treatment of the question or simply give a link to it but that feels wrong. I can quote the whole thing and give an original source (the guy who thought of it 2 years ago) but then "I" am not the one asking it. This, to me, is not simply cross posting.

This answer seems to allow such behavior but doesn't clarify HOW I should present the question -- as my own, or as someone else's so before I post the question, I want to find out the most honest way to do so. Thanks.

  • 1
    Are you sure that such behavior is consistent with this answer? Note that it starts off by requiring, inter alia, that your question complies with our quotation guidelines, which allow excerpting but not copying whole works. If the question was already bothering you, why not write it up in your own words? Sure, it'd be efficient to use what's already been written, but there could be a few other considerations here that probably trump efficiency of production.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Dec 6, 2013 at 18:37
  • I agree with Isaac (and was starting to write much the same in an answer but I'll just endorse that comment instead). Also, questions in your own words are more likely to get attention because they'll look more like your questions rather than those of some guy on another site who doesn't even know we're talking about it. Dec 6, 2013 at 18:46
  • The question, as written, follows guidelines for this site, and if I were to write it up, it would appear much the same, though it would lack my whiny voice...the question actually is even stronger than the version I was starting to ask so anything I added in now would indicate a vague plagiarism on my part.
    – rosends
    Dec 6, 2013 at 18:52
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    There's nothing wrong with writing up the stronger form in your own words and acknowledging something like "partially inspired by this post by Ploni.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Dec 6, 2013 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


In the situation you describe, in which you came up with the question yourself and only afterward found it elsewhere, I think the most reasonable course of action is to write up your own version of the question irrespective of what someone else wrote elsewhere. If you wish to link to the other question from yours (or from a comment on yours) as an independently-asked copy, that won't hurt any, and may help people see it differently worded in case your wording is unclear to them.

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