I suggest allowing an answerer (user A) to give part of credit to another user (user B) for their answer. A would specify the amount of credit as percentage (C). B would appear as a co-author of the answer. The reputation bonuses for the upvotes of the answer would be divided between A and B:

  • A gets 100% - C%
  • B gets C%

This would be used when A used an idea of B to build upon, B made a valuable improvement (edit) of B's answer, and so on. In these cases A would be able to give a proper credit to B.

This feature may also encourage users to improve existing answers by edits or comments and may even reduce the number of redundant answers (people would improve existing answers instead of posting the improvement as a second answer, rendering the existing answer redundant).

  • 3
    Old but related discussion: Collaborative Answers / Point-Sharing – Aziz Shaikh Nov 27 '15 at 7:06
  • If user A like the answer by user B, user A can upvote and even give a bounty award to the answer by user B. No need for ultra complex mechanism. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Nov 27 '15 at 8:38
  • @ShadowWizard I did not think of that. However I think it is unlikely that someone would use bounty for this purpose, because at the moment of preparing an answer they would not know yet how much votes and reputation bonus they would get for the answer; so they would not give their reputation away for that. And later, even if they get much upvotes for the answer; they unlikely to remember to give a bounty to someone else – Andrej Adamenko Nov 27 '15 at 9:07
  • @random, this is not exact duplicate, just related suggestion. The referred one is only about awarding commentators, and suggest dividing rep 50/50 – Andrej Adamenko Nov 28 '15 at 7:18
  • Exact same idea of splitting (in whatever percentage) with another user, who cares if originally posting from a comment or answer – random Nov 28 '15 at 14:53
  • @random, I see. Exact same idea = exact same question who cares what is different. By this rule you can mark 90% of all questions duplicated:) – Andrej Adamenko Nov 29 '15 at 8:31
  • That is correct – random Nov 29 '15 at 16:35

This discussion also plays on the Stack Overflow Documentation beta where the question is how to award contributions of other users to existing documentation or examples.

For the current sites there is an easier, less complicated way to do this. Simply upvote and/or award a bounty to the answer of the other user that helped you out. This is only possible if the user has answered the same question, which isn't always the case. We don't want to randomly upvote other posts of that user, so there isn't actually a way to do what you ask now.

I don't know if your solution is the best available, though I don't see very much other options. I feel it is quite complicated from a technical point of view and might have a lot of unwanted effects, like yielding reputation from one user to another, including someone who doesn't have anything to do with it (how to get rid of that?). Will the user share the downvotes too? Etc.

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  • Thank you for your answer. What do you mean by "yielding reputation from one user to another, including someone who doesn't have anything to do with it". Since the author A gives their own reputation to someone willingly, how they would give it to someone who does not have anything to do with it? – Andrej Adamenko Nov 27 '15 at 9:02
  • If I quit and want to give you all my reputation, I can simply set you as co-author and you will get most of my reputation. – Patrick Hofman Nov 27 '15 at 9:39
  • Why is that a problem? You already can do it with bounty. – Andrej Adamenko Nov 28 '15 at 5:23
  • A bounty is more visible so easy to moderate. It does happen sometimes. But there are more concerns as I have written. I did upvote you since I think the subject is interesting but I am not sure how to implement this. – Patrick Hofman Nov 28 '15 at 7:07

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