Reinventing the Wheel: Explaining Question Duplication in Question Answering Communities

Xiaohui Liu, Yijing Li, Fei Liu, Zhao Cai, Eric T.K. Lim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Duplicate questions are common occurrences in Question Answering Communities (QACs) and impede the development of efficacious problem-solving communities. Yet, there is a dearth of research that has sought to shed light on the mechanisms underlying question duplication. Building on the information adoption model, we advance a research model that posits information quality and source credibility as factors deterring users from asking redundant questions within QACs. Furthermore, considering the question-answer dichotomy intrinsic to QACs, we distinguish the quality and credibility of questions from those of answers as distinctive inhibitors of question duplication. We empirically validate our hypotheses on a leading QAC platform by harnessing a deep learning algorithm to detect duplications on over 9,380,000 question pairs. Results revealed that while the credibility of both questions and answers could alleviate question duplication, visual and actionable elements are more effective in preventing question duplication by boosting the quality of questions and answers respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 40th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS)
EditorsHelmut Krcmar, Jane Fedorowicz, Wai Fong Boh, Jan Marco Leimeister, Sunil Wattal
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2019
Article number2970
ISBN (Electronic)9780996683197
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019: Information Systems - The Heart of Innovation Ecosystems - International Congress Center Munich (ICM), Munich, Germany
Duration: 15 Dec 201918 Dec 2019
Conference number: 40


Conference40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019
LocationInternational Congress Center Munich (ICM)
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


  • Question-answering
  • Information adoption
  • Question duplication

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