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How should I handle questions which are answered in the comments?

I like going over unanswered questions and have a try in answering them - but there are some questions - like this one - which were answered during the "comments exchange phase" of the question - and became irrelevant before anyone had a chance to "answer" them.

My question is - What is the proper way to moderate such questions?

  • Do we expect the OP to answer his/her own question and close the item?
  • Do we flag the question for moderation? If yes - which option is relevant?
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marked as duplicate by Josh Caswell, Matt, yoozer8, Mat, Manishearth Dec 23 '12 at 19:34

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

If the question is of the type that can be answered reasonably well in under 600 chars, it's also possible that something else is wrong with it. Such questions are many times Too Localized, afaict. – Manishearth Dec 23 '12 at 19:34
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Neither option is good. The question doesn't need to be closed at all!

We do expect someone to post the answer as an actual answer. Normally this would be one of the commenters or the question's asker. If the question is recent, you could leave a comment asking them to post an answer so that future readers can easily benefit without having to slog through the comments.

But if the question is old or the commenters are unresponsive, there's nothing stopping you from posting the answer yourself. I'd even go as far as to say that that's encouraged. You can (and should) credit the commenters in your answer, but other than that... you can then rest easy knowing you made a question better.

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Even on old questions, I usually check to see when the commenter last visited Stack Overflow. If that person is a frequent visitor, I still leave a comment letting them know they should post their comment as an answer. :) – jmort253 Dec 23 '12 at 19:30

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