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I believe this is encouraged, but I'd just like an explicit permission.

Suppose my answer is highly voted, and therefore quite prominent on top by that sorting criteria. Say later another person wrote an answer that is superior, but for one reason or another (maybe because it's written past the short initial vote rush period), doesn't get enough upvotes.

Should I just turn the other way and let whatever happens happens, or should I take responsibility for my own highly voted answer by improving it, incorporating the information from the superior but less voted answer?

I can see arguments for going either way, which is why I'm having doubts. In one hand we want the best most complete most correct answer to be easily found (and having high votes give you that visibility, and therefore responsibility to keep up with higher standards). However, it also seems terribly unfair to the up-and-coming answers if whatever new thing they bring to the table is quickly absorbed by the already "established" answer.

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I'd prefer people editing each others answers to make them more awesome! – Ivo Flipse Aug 13 '10 at 6:47
@Ivo: So instead of submitting a late answer, someone should just edit the established answer instead? Even if it's not CW and it's a substantive edit instead of just typographical/grammatical/minor mistake corrections? – polygenelubricants Aug 13 '10 at 7:57

I personally find it rude if people just incorporate better answers into their own. If you think the better answer isn't placed prominently enough, why not link to it in your answer?

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I personally find it rude if people incorporate better answers into their own. If you think the better answer isn't placed prominently enough, why not link to it in your answer?

No, just kidding, sorry Georg :-)

I have no qualms about improving my answer, especially if it's voted high or accepted.

The idea is to ensure the best answer is up near the top. If another answer has little chance of getting up there, it's information should be incorporated, in my opinion.

It's not something I tend to do for recent questions. I do edit those but it's usually because I've thought of another angle independently or, even if prompted by someone else's answer, I may think of a different way.

I frequently go back and edit even very old answers if someone leaves a comment for me. Generally, once an answer rolls off the list, I won't worry about it unless someone comments.

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Good one.... :D – Georg Fritzsche Aug 13 '10 at 6:57

Though the highly voted answer might be the correct answer, I tend to read all the answer's as I believe I would gain some knowledge from every answer

So I don't think you have to merge the answers!

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