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Sometimes, I am not satisfied with the answers that I get, though some are very good. Do I have to accept an answer or can I just leave the question open?

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What bothers me is when people complain about my low acceptance rate as if it influences their decision to answer my questions or not, but I am a logical man! I will only accept an answer if it is really the answer! –  ioSamurai Jun 1 '12 at 15:49
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8 Answers

Nobody is forcing you to accept an answer; it would be polite if there is something "useful enough", but... if you want better answers, try:

  • improving the question (clarify any ambiguities; explain why the existing answers don't help)
  • add a bounty to get more attention
  • if you built upon the existing answers but added some additional code/detail/etc that made it work, then post that as an answer, and accept it when you can (I think you need to wait a few days to accept you own answer)

Note that if you add a bounty this will force it to accept an answer in 1 week's time...

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@Marc, last time I checked, you can let a bounty run out without accepting any answers. I did this by accident once. –  James McMahon Aug 5 '09 at 13:52
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@nemo: I didn't think this was possible unless there are no answers with upvotes (or more than 1, or something like that) –  a_m0d Aug 5 '09 at 14:10
    
+1 "Useful enough" is the key. Many people post on SO expecting a free programming session, or a perfect answer. Hate that. –  bigmattyh Sep 7 '09 at 3:37
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No, you don't have to accept any answer if it doesn't solve your problem.

You could edit your original question to update what you've tested and tried and why your problem still persists.

Hopefully the people answering will update their attempts or new answers will come in that will solve your problem and you would be able to click on the tick.

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I have open questions that I haven't received a satisfactory answer for so no answer has been accepted.

Certain subjective questions, particularly CW and poll-like questions, are probably best left without an accepted answer in many cases.

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hehehe; I can just imagine adding an "accepted answer" to "which programming language is best?", or "where should the curly braces go?" –  Marc Gravell Aug 5 '09 at 10:59
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@Marc, Python, No where. –  James McMahon Aug 5 '09 at 13:54
    
@MarcGravell I believe that would be 50% of the early Superuser questions :) –  TM. Sep 6 '09 at 15:10
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It'd be nice if there was a "partial answer" option....

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That's the upvote. –  random Aug 5 '09 at 12:34
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No, you don't. But keep in mind, if you have some good answers, maybe you can compose a satisfying answer out of them and accept your own (composed) answer. Could help other readers to get the correct info fast.

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I've only done it once (so far) - but I feel a little scuzzy accepting my own answer.. even when it's the one I actually used. –  warren Sep 7 '09 at 1:13
    
@warren: You really don't have to feel scuzzy. It's how the system works. You're supporting it and help other users, if you accept the answer which helped you best. No matter who has written it! –  Ladybug Killer Sep 7 '09 at 6:36
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It's up to you.

If you didn't get a satisfying answer you could leave a comment, edit your question, or even start a bounty

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I think you could edit your question to indicate that you like a particular answer, but use the edit to indicate why it's not complete. That way, it leaves future readers with an understanding about what's going on.

Personally, I find unanswered questions frustrating, because I feel like there's an underlying problem with even the most popular answers if they weren't picked as the one.

On the other hand, I'd like an "honourable mention" category for answers that are worthy, but not quite there.

Rob

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Dont' forget that even if you accept an answer, the question remains open for more answers to be added. Yes, activity will decrease, but it won't stop somebody having a different point of view from expressing it.

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