My previous question What to do with useful answers to questions closed as duplicates (or by some other reasons)? got an answer which satisfied me entirely: if a duplicate question has got a nice answer that should not be lost by any means, moderators may merge the questions.

However now I seem to have exactly this situation - my recent question Are there nice isomorphisms $\operatorname{S}^2(k^n)\cong\Lambda^2(k^{n+1})$? is an obvious duplicate of Coordinate free isomorphism between $d+1$-dimenional antisymmetric rank $2$ tensors and $d$-dimensional symmetric rank $2$ tensors, as noted by Robert Bryant (well, more precisely he did not claim it is a duplicate but I believe it most clearly is).

In fact, even the generalization that I mentioned in the end seems to already have been addressed, as explained in a comment to an answer to that earlier question, https://mathoverflow.net/a/42859/41291.

Before I knew all that, my question got a truly beautiful answer which, although related to answers to that other earlier question, still, I believe, complements and enriches them essentially.

So it seems a situation when a merger should occur. How do I proceed? What are the criteria? Or this is not for me to decide?

Let me add that I hate to create extra work for moderators, and I promise not to misuse the fact of a precedent, if any. By the way, have any mergers occurred before? Is there a way to detect them?

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    $\begingroup$ Re: have any mergers occurred before? Is there a way to detect them? It seems that merging is rather rare on this site according to this query. (But I do not guarantee that I caught all occurrences.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 15 '19 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ Here is an older post on meta discussing merging of specific question: Merging old duplicates? So it seems that in that case the OP considered discussion about the pair of questions on meta to be a reasonable first step. On Mathematics Meta it was suggested to simply flag for moderators' attention: When, and how, to suggest merging of questions? Of course, it would be better to hear from MathOverflow moderators whether they consider this the right approach. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 16 '19 at 6:37

We have merged questions before. I seem to remember doing this many years ago in order to remove some unwanted consequence of a bounty (but I am unable to find the relevant discussion on the tea site). As you might expect, the text of one of the questions disappears forever.

Edit in response to Martin Sleziak's comment: It seems my information is well out of date - merged questions can be recovered from the edit history. In that case, most of my previous objections to merging are somewhat moot. I suppose my only remaining reason to hesitate is that this process seems to be irreversible.

If you want to merge your question with an earlier one, just flag for moderator attention.


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