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Sometimes when a question is asked, the correct answer is easy to recognize.

Sometimes, the answer is not easy to recognize and the asker doesn't have the expertise to select the correct answer with confidence.

For example:

  • a question is asked
  • answers are coming in
  • the asker figures out some kind of work around that also is not "the answer"
  • one of the answers looks like it might be right, but the asker no longer has the ability to try it out and confirm.

What is the best way to handle this situation?

share|improve this question
Not as rude as picking the wrong answer! – Andomar Apr 30 '13 at 19:24
You can always create your own answer and explain what you did and accept it. If the community likes your solution, you will get some upvotes as well. – Josh Mein Apr 30 '13 at 19:26
What do you mean by the asker no longer has the ability to try it out and confirm? – psubsee2003 Apr 30 '13 at 19:30
@psubsee2003 Meaning that often we can't wait for the right answers to come in. We ask a question and keep muddling on as best we can. For example, a question is asked about something. While waiting for answers, the asker "resolves" the problem by backing out and starting from another angle. (32 bit instead of 64 ... communicating via HTTP instead of TCP ...) They can move forward, but the original question, though still relevant as a question, is no longer verifiable by the asker. When someone posts what looks like the right answer, the asker can no longer confirm it. – もしもし May 1 '13 at 12:47
up vote 10 down vote accepted

If you don't know what the correct answer is then don't select any correct answer. Feel free to come back later if you have either learned more about the existing answers, or to see if a new answer or edited answer now clearly answers your question.

You are not obligated to mark an answer at all. It is entirely up to you to decide which, if any, answer you want to mark as accepted.

share|improve this answer

There is no compulsion to accept an answer. I think I still have a few old questions where I've not gotten an acceptable answer to (probably ought to revisit, edit, and bounty these).

A lot of folks will bug you to accept answers. A friendly reminder is OK (many newbies don't know about the feature), but if someone persistently nags you, flag the comment(s).

Generally when I'm not entirely sure of the correct answer, I let the votes decide. If enough others think it's correct, I'd believe it too. The answer that makes the most sense and explains the situation is another way to go. But you don't have to accept.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the advice on dealing with users pushing for a selected answer. I now have a better understanding of the "up voting" system and how it compliments a selected answer. I guess my approach will be to not select if I'm not sure. And let the community fill in with their votes. – もしもし May 2 '13 at 13:32

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