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How does accepting an answer work?

Most of the questions I have asked have an answer I have accepted and I'm always grateful for any help that people do give me. However there are a few questions I've asked when people have supplied an answer that has been interesting and has helped me understand the problem but not actually answered my question. I have chosen to leave these questions open in the hopes someone can answer it at a later date.

I'm I wrong for doing this or should I accept an answer right away.

I always mark up the comment (where relevant) so the user still knows I have read the comment and appreciate the help they have given me.

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    this is covered in section "What should I do if none of the answers is suitable?" in this answer
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


You are not wrong. Not in the least. It is completely up to you whether or not to accept answers, and your reasons for not accepting seem perfectly fine to me.

Don't be 'bullied' into thinking you need to increase your accept rate just for it's own benefit.

I would only suggest you keep one thing in mind (I am not saying this applies to you, but posting this for future readers who may find this question)... do make sure that your questions without accepted answers are clear, so that people can understand what a good answer would be. For some people with truly low accept rates, that can be part of the problem.

  • Brilliant thanks, one other thing when I answer my own question I've answered it in a way it has answered my question so I often mark that as 'my' accepted answer. What should I do if another answer seems like it would help more users rather than my answer to the question? Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 9:18
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    My personal belief is that checking the "Accepted" mark is to denote that the answer solves your problem/issue the best. General 'Helpful' is denoted by upvotes of the community. If you feel strongly about it, you could consider leaving a comment to the effect of, "I think this is really useful for this general issue, but it doesn't exactly answer my specific question in this case", and briefly explain why. Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 9:25
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    @TeamGB Accepted self-answers do not get pushed to the top of the list unlike accepted answers by others, so that still allows higher voted answers to get a more prominent position. As long as you upvote good answers and accept the ones that best solves your problem, things should work out.
    – Shawn Chin
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 9:30
  • Brilliant thanks guys. I'm going to go over my questions on stack overflow and check that the comments people gave me have been voted up. I didn't know about the above comment, with the order of answer and such. Cheers Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 9:36

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