I've got a great answer to one part of my question about saccades, and am now faced with a conundrum: Do I wait for more answers that address the other part of the question or edit out the other facet and turn it into a new question on the site.

I know this meta question overlaps a little bit with this one on scope, but my specific concern hear is whether or not splitting a preexisting question is considered an acceptable act or if its discouraged.

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2 Answers

This is exactly the reason why you should prevent asking more than one question in one post. Please try to keep this in mind next time.

However, if you're quick to act (as is the case now), and splitting your question in two wouldn't invalidate current answers, by all means do so! If it would invalidate existing answers you could attempt coordinating with the answerer, but you're probably better off leaving the question as is, accepting an answer, and creating a new spin-off question which explains why the previous answer didn't fully answer your original question.

When you update your question, please update it entirely. E.g. don't use an 'UPDATE' section. Again, only remove part of the question if it wouldn't invalidate existing answers!

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In general, if the questions depend on each other, then I think they shouldn't be split. In other words, I don't like questions that require me to read another question first before I can answer it. But if the questions are orthogonal (even if conceptually related), then splitting is ok.

@Steven makes a good point, and I think the rule is the same for deleting questions-- if there are answers to your questions already, be hesitant about splitting because the answer may cease to make sense after the split. In the current case, seeing as how it is my answer and I'm quite sure I didn't address the question, I would say it's ok. (But watch out for new answers).

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Don't forget you can always link related questions, but I agree that they shouldn't be 100% dependent on eachother. IMO in this case splitting is fine –  Ben Brocka Feb 20 '12 at 14:48
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