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The Blender Render(er) has the so called "Material Input Node", where a previously defined material can be selected. The questions is, whether there is an equavalent for the Cycles Render(er).

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    $\begingroup$ No. However you can do something sortof like this with renderlayers, see blender.stackexchange.com/q/2612/599 $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Aug 27 '15 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ What would you use it for? Node groups can help both in linking materials or creating an interface where you can plug in maps... $\endgroup$ – Carlo Aug 27 '15 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ It may help you to note that Mix Shaders and Add Shaders are the two types of nodes that can actually combine other shaders. So if what you're trying to combine can't be handled by one of those two combination methods then you need to tackle it at the color level, using MixRGB nodes and such. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Aug 27 '15 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ I think the ubershader would be the closest to the old material node. $\endgroup$ – sambler Aug 27 '15 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Carlo In BI you can use the result of one material in the nodes of another material, which allows you to do things like this. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Aug 27 '15 at 20:00
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All the given answers in the comments work correctly and as I expected.

I finally ended up using the Node Groups.

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