Possible Duplicate:
Handling answers that build heavily on (or are copied outright from) existing answers

I answered this question with an explanation and a block of code:

sql query for select statement

Someone else copied my code block exactly and pasted it into their own answer with just one minor change (they added a single word that may slightly improve efficiency), and didn't even explain their change. If I were them I would have just commented on my answer. But considering the way they did, is it acceptable? If not, would it be acceptable if they had copied my code, made the minor change, but also included an explanation in their answer of how efficiency plays into it?

In any case, I updated my answer adding the word to make it align with the more efficient version (and added an update note with an explanation and a hat-tip to the other answered). Was my change acceptable, given that I'm now in a sense copying their contribution?

  • Your change was acceptable, and you should probably throw an upvote SmartestVEGA's way...
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 9:32
  • @YannisRizos, good point. I upvoted them.
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 9:38
  • In general, I agree with the answers to the duplicate question. But in this particular case, that was just a little bit shady. I'd be a bit peeved, too, if I were you, considering that he didn't provide any sort of attribution. A comment would have probably been ideal, or even an edit to your answer, but I'd have settled for his answer containing a link to the original that he was modifying/building on. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


My understanding is that it is better that the most upvoted answers are as good as they can be. Hence it was a good decision to update your answer - especially as you provided attribution.

For what it's worth, I would have commented about the advantages of ALL on your answer rather than provide a new answer.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .