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I had a question about Excel. So, I googled and SOd (if I may institute the verb). It turned out that the exact same question was already asked, Excel: Getting formula of another cell in a cell without VBA. There is only one answer, which is accepted. It essentially states that what the question asks cannot be done, and this coincides with many other links I found elsewhere, so I settled for that. Some time later, I found out other info which implied that the answer is not correct (EDIT and it was not correct at the time the answer was posted either; the correct answer did not change due to "evolution", as in Accepted answers which no longer work and What to do when the correct answer to a question changes over time?).

According to my experience (with questions asked by myself and others as well), these questions and their answers do not get enough attention. I expect then that posting another answer (which I deem correct, and I tested) would have some effect in propagating the correct answer, but certainly much milder than asking the question again (it might be given a twist, but it will aim at the same point) and posting the answer there. According to this observation, which addresses a main objective of SO (having good answers that serve well the asker and the community), it would be desirable to ask again. But this is evidently against the premises of SO.

So, I think there is a situation here where any of the two contraposed possible actions has some consequences which favor the essence of SO (and side effects which are undesired, of course).

What would the best option be?

PS1: Related questions

Notification of a more popular answer than the accepted one

Encourage users to update accepted answers when significantly outscored

deal with accepted answers which do not do well based on voting. That is a separate issue. The point here is about: 1) asking again, 2) correct vs. incorrect.

PS2: This answer by David does not apply here, since the question would remain the same. The problem here is with the answer, which is the only one and it is accepted, a situation different from the one addressed by David.

Other related questions:

Is editing the accepted answer with "This answer is incorrect. Please downvote it" allowed?

Add the ability to mark an answer as incorrect

Why do incorrect answers keep getting "accepted"?

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1 Answer

up vote 24 down vote accepted

If you actually found the correct answer, then please post it. I agree that in a niche tag like that it might not get many views right away, and therefore votes to correct, but it will alert the OP if he is still active on the site that there is a new answer, and he may change the accept. Also, eventually over time, many others will google and find that post, and you will end up with upvotes. I have a lot of Excel and VBA questions and answers that continually get votes over time.

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+1 this happened here - a bad answer was accepted in 2009, and this year I posted a better answer, and the OP changed the accept. –  Aaron Bertrand Jan 7 at 17:31
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@AaronBertrand - Nice and exactly representative example. –  sancho.s Jan 7 at 23:44
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+1 same here stackoverflow.com/questions/3269088/… , where something added to the .net framework later changed the answer, and the op changed the accept –  John Gardner Jan 8 at 1:28
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This is a representative example that matches the premise in the answer: stackoverflow.com/posts/15005833/timeline. The previous accepted answer was incorrect (at the time of posting), so I posted a new one. After about two weeks, the OP unaccepted the old answer and acceptd the new one. –  Rob W Jan 8 at 13:36
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