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Best way to deal with questions answered by the OP in the question instead of in an answer

In this question the OP has both defined the question and the answer within the question box.

Would this be a flaggable scenario, or something I should edit (by posting the answer myself)?

I doubt this would be a close. So what would the best way forward be?


2 Answers 2


I've left a comment to the OP on the question.

We can do a few things here:

  1. Educate the OP; guide him towards the relevant FAQ sections.

  2. Edit the post to separate the question and answer portions, so the answer is re-posted as community wiki.

  3. Perhaps flag it as 'not a question', although there is a problem there that could be answered, if there wasn't an answer there already..

  • 1
    not agree on your second point because if we remove the answer from question then we are depriving other users of the solutions by removing the solution from question if question is not answered
    – Devjosh
    Jun 27, 2012 at 18:37
  • Does the FAQ cover answering your own questions yet? If not, general guidance might still help.
    – simchona
    Jun 27, 2012 at 18:43
  • you are right @simchona but only if the question is answered not like the question which OP linked and meanwhile martijn updated the answer appropriately now
    – Devjosh
    Jun 27, 2012 at 18:44
  • 1
    @Devjosh - For #2 I'd post it as a Community Wiki answer if the OP doesn't respond to a comment asking them to do so within a day or two
    – Flexo
    Jun 27, 2012 at 18:46
  • @flexo seems reasonable :)
    – Devjosh
    Jun 27, 2012 at 18:47
  • 2
    I like the CW idea, updated the answer. Jun 27, 2012 at 18:48
  • Now it's been closed that throws a spanner in the works for the "answer it yourself" comments
    – Flexo
    Jun 27, 2012 at 18:55
  • 1
    Yup, in this case the moderator decided it did fit the 'not a real question' bill anyway. I think that with a little editing it could have been saved. shrug. Jun 27, 2012 at 18:58

In a perfectly fair world you should comment saying "hey, post this as an answer" and wait for the asker to respond. This requires a level of dedication I wouldn't expect out of most users at all.

If the info is good, it should be posted as an answer. Edit out the non-question bits and post an answer containing the information. Polish it up and include any helpful information you can to make it an answer of your own, or make your answer community wiki so it doesn't look/feel like you're doing it just for the rep (or both, whatever you want).

In the end it's more important that the question is answered in the proper format, don't worry so much about who's "right" it is to post that answer. There's no reason to do the whole internet a disservice just to give the asker a chance to answer their own question. Just be sure to let them know what's up so they understand the situation and can self-answer properly in the future if need be.

  • 5
    this is a good case for community wiki, so that you don't have to take credit for someone else's work. Jun 27, 2012 at 18:53

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