I've just discovered that I can vote up answers given to my own questions that I have chosen as the right answer.

Isn't it redundant?

If not, what criteria do I need to consider, to vote up/down, or not to vote the answer I've chosen.

  • 2
    I usually up vote the answers that I accept unless it is the bare minimum. However, just because I accept an answer doesn't mean I can't up vote other answers as well! – Austin Henley Dec 7 '12 at 16:08

An answer could just solve your problem and leave it at that. It would qualify as a correct answer.


An answer could solve your problem, explain where you went wrong, provide ways to avoid ending up there, link you to external resources, explain the solution, provide alternatives, .....

This would also qualify as a correct answer, but would pretty much force you to up-vote it as well :)

EDIT : The two answers to this question are an excellent example of what I am talking about.

  • If I've got your point, an upvote, should be given to answers that took a "professional" level (showing expertise, giving references and exemplification too. etc.), it make sense, but can be kind of subjective and doesn't make any diferrence at the end (if there are many upvotes), while requiring just to accept the aswer, and then leave the comunity to vote, makes even more sense. – rraallvv Dec 7 '12 at 14:31
  • Not exactly what i meant. Its not just "professionals" who are good coders ;) An academician's answer would also work for a large number of SO questions. – asheeshr Dec 7 '12 at 14:36
  • As far as what makes sense is considered, then i can only say that whatever makes you sleep at night ;) – asheeshr Dec 7 '12 at 14:37
  • 1
    @rraallvv: Note the tootlop when you hover your mouse over the arrow for voting an answer up. It reads "This answer is useful". Upvoting is independent of accepting an answer. If you found the answer useful or helpful, it qualifies for a vote. Remember, though, that your votes are yours to use how you see fit. Anything we can tell you is just general guidance and our own personal opinions. – yoozer8 Dec 7 '12 at 15:12

The bottom line is that you decide what criteria you use to upvote. Just for a bit of perspective, here is what I do.

My general criteria for accepting an answer: If I post a question and someone posts an answer that directly solves my problem, I accept. If someone posts an answer that leads me to discover the solution and there are no direct solutions provided, I accept. If there's a tie between two equally good answers, I accept based on timestamp typically.

My general criteria for upvoting an answer: If someone posts an answer that is useful in some meaningful way, I upvote. "Some meaningful way" is somewhat vague, but I generally tend to value posts that either teach me something, or have the potential to teach something to future readers.

Not infrequently I see questions along the lines of a straightforward compiler error, asking something like "what is the right syntax here?" A perfectly valid and accept-worth answer in my view would be to simply provide the correct syntax and nothing more. A much better answer would be to provide not just the syntax but also an explanation of why the syntax is needed, maybe some historical perspective, and insight as to why the original syntax was wrong and the correct syntax was right. In my view the first answer would be worthy of an accept but no upvote (if there are no better answers), whereas the latter would be worthy of an upvote as well.

In this way I don't see the two as 100% redundant, but then again I think I have never accepted an answer and not upvoted it.

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    Since your second criterion encompasses the first (i.e. it is always true when the first criterion is true), accepting an answer does make upvoting redundant. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 7 '12 at 14:21
  • @Asad: Perhaps, but it might not be helpful enough to warrant an upvote in some cases. If an answer provides the correct syntax to correct a tricky compiler but doesn't go on the explain why the syntax is necesary, the answer might not be as helpful as it could be if it doesn't help the reader to understand. Taken another way, an answer that simply gives a man a fish might be less helpful than an answer that teaches a man to fish. – John Dibling Dec 7 '12 at 14:42
  • @JohnDibling your answer does not state that clearly. Why dont you move the comment into the answer ? – asheeshr Dec 7 '12 at 14:55
  • @AshRj: I agree. I initially posted my answer from a handheld, and my answer needed quite a bit of improvement. How's this? – John Dibling Dec 7 '12 at 15:07
  • @JohnDibling Much better now. – asheeshr Dec 7 '12 at 15:52

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