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If you see the signature of any user at Stack Overflow, it tells you the acceptance rate beneath the name. Look at mine and you will see 79% accept rate. I tried to find which questions I have asked but not accepted. I found that there are some questions which were answered and yes they were correct in respect of the question but not what I was expecting. For example:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3483712/is-there-any-editor-which-supports-html-and-jquery-code-completion

In such cases should I accept the answer with highest votes or should I leave them as it is? After all these questions are affecting the acceptance rate. Also does this acceptance rate matter to you?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 10 '10 at 12:43

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79% is a good acceptance rate. 100% rates make me suspect that bad answers are being accepted just to keep the rate up. –  mmyers Sep 10 '10 at 15:15
    
@mmyers: :D are u kidding! –  Rakesh Juyal Sep 10 '10 at 17:12
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Kidding about which part? 79% is generally viewed as a good rate, but maybe I'm the only one who views 100% accept rates that way. –  mmyers Sep 10 '10 at 17:54
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@mmyers: You're not. I'm with you on that one. –  The Unhandled Exception Sep 10 '10 at 18:27
    
100% isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I also agree with @mmyers, especially if you have asked a decent number of questions - there are simply questions with no good answers...yet, and you shouldn't accept those answers. –  Thomas Owens Sep 16 '10 at 11:29
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5 Answers

Accepting an answer you don't think hits your question is a disservice to the community. In the future, there are going to be other people asking the same question as yours and are going to be misled because you accepted the wrong answer.

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I usually always look at the accepted answer and the highest voted (often more than just those).

Making them the same thing just to get your accept rate up or because you feel like it is not helping anybody. In a way its similar to voting up an answer that did not even help you. The feature is there so you can express your opinion and make the content more valuable to others. Don't use it for anything else. :D

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Acceptance means "I used this answer", and thus it is different from a upvote which means "This was helpful to me.".

Accept answer that either solved your problem, or convinced you not to go down that track at all: that is, ones that you implemented. Accepting an answer that you didn't use gives incorrect information to anyone looking at the question later.

That said, do up-vpte any and all answers that taught you something, or offered an alternative solution that you considered using.

Finally, if any one gives you grief about an acceptance rate over 50%, stick your tongue out at them.

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No, by accepting an answer you state

This is the answer that helped me the most (at least up till now)

The votes of other users may help you in deciding which method to try first, and if it was ok but not what you wanted, upvote it maybe and leave a comment stating why it doesn't help you enough, but don't accept when it is not what you consider an answer that solves the problem for yourself.

If you think there may still be better answers out there, try luring them with a bounty, or maybe by clarifying your question to why the current answers are not what you're looking for.

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and what about accept rate? Does it bother you while answering the question of the user with low accept rate? Or is it just me who bothers about it? –  Rakesh Juyal Sep 10 '10 at 17:17
    
@Rakesh: It doesn't bother me. Even if an answer is not accepted, if it's upvoted it is useful for someone. If not, there may be a flaw in the answer and a reason to learn. Of course, new users may simply not know about accepting yet. –  Tobias Kienzler Sep 13 '10 at 8:22
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I do like to see if my answer helped the person or I got it wrong somewhere, so feedback is always appreciated. Without it, it's like talking to the wind...

If you're not satisfied with the answer, you find it yourself, and put it up so everyone can see how you resolved it... if didn't came up with an answer, just leave it be - somebody will show up. At least, that's my philosophy...

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