Currently, there is a bronze badge called enter image description here Self-Learner which is rewarded for answering your own question with a score of 3 or more. I'd like to propose two more badges be created along the same lines.

  • Self-Learner - Answered your own question with an answer score of 3 or more.
  • Self-Educated - Answered your own question with a question score of 10 or more with an answer scoring 20 or more and being the highest scoring answer.
  • Self-Made - Answered your own question with a question score of 25 or more with an answer scoring 50 or more and being the highest scoring answer.

Each badge would only be obtainable once.

The thought process is that, while it's easy to just ask a question and then answer it immediately, if you do the research to actually solve your question with a workable answer and a large number of people find it useful, then that should be rewarded.

I got the idea for this off of a question I had asked some time ago that has surprised be in the number of people who have up-voted both the question and the answer. While many other answers were made available, the solution I came up with for my problem was the best, and 20 other people had agreed with me. I believe that that is rare and deserves some merit for those who can achieve that.

EDIT: Adjusted question/answer score requirements to be more obtainable. Added requirement that your answer must also be the highest scoring answer.

  • 14
    First badge request in a while that actually makes some sense. The problem that I see it is could result in a number of self-answered questions by badge hunters hoping to strike gold (no pun intended) Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 18:15
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    I would propose that the self-answer also has to be the highest scoring answer.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 18:17
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    The question score limits seem to be very high to make these even remotely achievable. I think that the question should have a positive score to get the higher badges but making it the same as the answer score seems a bit harsh.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 18:17
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    I think the names should be different. The vast majority of the self-answered questions that get that high are pre-made Q/A's from an expert who is trying to teach the subject. Examples: stackoverflow.com/q/4421706/922184, stackoverflow.com/q/3279543/922184, stackoverflow.com/q/100003/922184, etc...
    – Mysticial
    Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 18:54
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    +1 This is definitely something we want to encourage. Q&A style questions are still frowned upon by some here yet some of the most useful questions are such. We want to encourage more experts to do this. Here is another example: stackoverflow.com/q/14220321/1348195 stackoverflow.com/questions/11922383/… Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


I also would like to extend the Self-Learner badge set. But I think a different direction is the way to go. Instead of awarding more impressive badges for higher scoring questions, I propose awarding silver and gold for having more self-answered questions.

Quite a few of our badges are awarded for getting lucky:

  • Favorite and Stellar Questions
  • Nice, Good, and Great Questions
  • Popular, Notable, and Famous Questions
  • Nice, Good, and Great Answers

They are awarded for each post that meets the requirement. But none of them are the sort of thing you work for. Instead, if you ask and answer a lot of questions, you'll get them out of the blue as a pleasant surprise. The reward is not strongly tied to the effort since getting these badges depends on lots of other people voting, viewing and staring your posts.

So I propose silver and gold badges for self-answering (with a score of 3 or more) 5 and 10 questions. On Stack Overflow, that will result in roughly 1746 more silver and 327 more gold. (I say "roughly" because we don't take away badges once they are awarded, which is why the bronze numbers don't match.) A sampling of other sites:

site    bronze silver gold 
------  ------ ------ ---- 
SO      50996  1746    327
Gaming    767    62     24   
English   110     2      0 
Math      749    22      7 
Ubuntu   1509    56     20  
SF       1384    24      5
TeX       922    35     10

The sites I looked at have plenty of people who will self answer one question, but the folks who habitually bring their solved questions to the site Jeopardy-style are much rarer. My purpose in extending the self-learner badge would be to encourage more people to join those ranks.

A few concerns I have:

  • The questions need to be good as well. Perhaps the requirement should be that the question must have a score of 1+ and be open in order to qualify for the advanced badges. But that would make very rare badges even harder to achieve.

  • Some folks view self-answers as akin to cheating the system. Extending the badges should play a small part in dispelling that theory. But it might replace it with charges of badge hunting.

  • I don't have a name for the silver badge. I rather like Autodidact for the gold version.

  • 1
    for silver badge name, what about Reflective Mind?
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 9:07

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