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I have just run into a question where the answer was posted in the comments section, immediately followed by a "thanks, that worked, how do I accepted comments". I copied out the comments, added a couple of lines, put a thank you to the original commenter and posted it as an answer. Is this appropriate? I feel like I am steeling rep from the original poster, should I delete my answer and let the original commenter come back (in who knows how long)?

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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What you did is fine, as long as you indicate that the material that you copied was quoted and attributed it to the actual author. If you didn't do that then it would be plagiarism.

Beyond that there are a lot of conventions that aren't actual rules:

  • If the comments were recent it's common to post another comment stating, "please post that as an answer" so that the author can get the rep, but you're not obligated to this.

  • Mark the answer as community wiki, both to indicate that it's not your content and so that you don't get rep for the work of another. People tend to get mad if you don't do this, even though it's not a rule.

  • If the original author comes back to post his comment as the answer, and you notice it, you could delete yours.

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Thanks, I hadn't thought of the second two – jcw Nov 9 '12 at 21:15

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