Retrieving similar questions in online Q&A community sites is a difficult task because different users may formulate the same question in a variety of ways, using different vocabulary and structure. In this work, we propose a new neural network architecture to perform the task of semantically equivalent question retrieval. The proposed architecture, which we call BOW-CNN, combines a bag-ofwords (BOW) representation with a distributed vector representation created by a convolutional neural network (CNN). We perform experiments using data collected from two Stack Exchange communities. Our experimental results evidence that: (1) BOW-CNN is more effective than BOW based information retrieval methods such as TFIDF; (2) BOW-CNN is more robust than the pure CNN for long texts.