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The question about two airports connected by taxiways, to be exact. The question asks about whether there are examples which satisfy a criteria. Turns out there are many!

I'm sure the OP thought it is a rare occurrence. I've done the same as well. So it is not the question's fault.

But it keeps getting answers. Right now it has 16. And all of them are correct, because they are just examples.

What should we do about it?

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    $\begingroup$ The way you ask your question seems to imply that having many answers is a problem. Would you expand on why? $\endgroup$ – Martin Argerami Nov 1 '18 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ Just saw it now - thanks for starting the discussion here. As the OP of the linked question I asked myself the same, how I should react to that, I then decided to mark the first answer that I saw that answered exactly my question as the correct one and continued giving the other correct answers upvotes. But I really like reading the different opinions about that here. $\endgroup$ – Florian Nov 4 '18 at 23:48
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This isn't unique to the Aviation SE, there are questions of this type on nearly all of the different StackExchange sites. Generally, I would prefer that we leave it up to the discretion of the OP to decide which answer best answered his question.

There are many questions which receive multiple correct answers. StackExchange, especially the Aviation SE, often has questions with multiple answers that are each phrased differently, but they are all correct, and only one can hold that coveted green check mark. It's a slippery slope to deny questions simply because there are multiple correct answers - we just have to ensure they're not opinion based. Asking "Are there airports connected by taxiways?" is different than "Are airports connected by taxiways cool?".

People can answer at their own peril (peril being the chance their answer is not selected). Poor answers will drift to the bottom, and quality answers will still float to the top.

I could potentially see the issue with the wording if it were "What are some airports connected via taxiways", as that's a bit more of the Quora domain, but the "Are there any.." fits pretty nicely here.

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In my experience this is a normal result for questions formulated as “Are there any X?” or “What are some X?”. The question as formulated really just asks for one X from any given answer. When there are a lot of X available you get an endless series of answers for each one. Every answer is equally valid and nothing is wrong with any of them, because every answer points out an X.

Instead, reformulate the question to request a comprehensive coverage of the topic: “What are all the X?”. This is usually a trivially easy reformulation to make of any question of this variety.

This formulation signals that the only correct or good answer is one that covers as many X's as available. Answers are better, more correct, and more useful the more comprehensive they are; answers that just list one X are poorly or negatively scored. It's been my experience that in this formulation people will prefer adding to existing answers over adding “here is an X” answers, via suggesting improvements or edits, at the very least because all the poorly-scored answers suggesting only one X bode poorly.

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I have to admit I was not sure about what to do as well, and partially I still am not.

I've asked other moderators with more experience on the network, and here is the outcome:

  • the question is not without fault. OP did not specify what would qualify and what not, so many users are answering with the conviction that their example is better than the others
  • other sites allow for this kind of question, and let the answers come, by having a dedicated tag. If we want, we could have a separate meta question to discuss this specific approach (and which tag to use)

Personally, if we discard the tag option, I see only two other options:

  • close the question as unclear
  • delete all the current answers and collect them in a single wiki answer.

Personally I would prefer the second, but I realize that the people that answered might not be happy about it.

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  • $\begingroup$ First option is not bad either if you want to stop an influx of answers. $\endgroup$ – A J Oct 29 '18 at 9:24
  • $\begingroup$ Is locking the question an option? $\endgroup$ – kevin Oct 29 '18 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ @kevin it is, but then the motivation must be "Content dispute", "Offtopic comments" or "Historical significance", but I don't see how any would apply for a permanent lock. $\endgroup$ – Federico Oct 29 '18 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ I see. Then perhaps, close as "too broad"? $\endgroup$ – kevin Oct 30 '18 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ @kevin if you think that's the right way of doing, post it as an answer, there's nothing wrong with that $\endgroup$ – Federico Oct 30 '18 at 10:34
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The question should be closed as "too broad".

Closing the question stops it from getting additional answers. The OP likely got what they wanted anyway.

I would not say the question is "unclear". Perhaps those who knows the answer will go like "yea there are many. What are you asking about?", but from the OP's perspective, it cannot get more clear. (I've never seen or heard of such a thing!)

Merging all answers into a single wiki seems unfair to those who have put effort to earn reputation.

I don't think we need a dedicated tag (and procedure) to handle this type of questions on this site, for the moment at least.

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    $\begingroup$ Agree that it is not "unclear", and that merging or removing answers would be a really bad idea, especially in the eyes of participants who put effort into formulating some very good answers to the reasonable question as posted. But "too broad" hardly seems to fit: "how do I design an airplane" is too broad. "Are there any (XYZ)" is perfectly specific. And in this case, interesting as well. The fact that the answer turns out to be, "Yes - there are actually several of those" is neither a problem with the question nor the answers. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Nov 1 '18 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ @RalphJ I'd say "too broad" not only applies to topics, it applies to list of examples as well. E.g. "Are there any vehicles with more than 4 wheels?" Everyone comes up with an example. If the list is short than it is not a problem. In this case there is no end to it. $\endgroup$ – kevin Nov 2 '18 at 2:20
  • $\begingroup$ "Are there any..." could be answered with a simple Yes or No, and so could be considered very narrow. But they are often very lazy questions without proper constraints or depth. $\endgroup$ – Max Power Mar 10 at 3:40

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