In a somewhat similar situation to the +12 non-feature-request What to select for a bounty reason if the answers are wrong?, I was setting a bounty on a question that has received answers, one of which is a decent partial solution and a good effort, but none of which fully solve the problem. None of options seemed appropriate:

  • I went with "Current answers are outdated" as the kinda-closest, in that it communicates the idea that the problem with the existing answers isn't in how they're written but whether they work or not, so that when people scroll down and see a +5 answer they don't think "Oh, it's answered, no need for me to bother"; but it's basically a lie. Arguably it doesn't really matter, but it'd be nicer if I could leave an accurate message that wouldn't leave people thinking "How is this answer 'outdated'? It doesn't look like anything changed since it was posted"
  • Normally if in doubt, and as suggested in that question, I'd default to "Draw attention" as the most versatile, least wrong option, but this question has had 13,851 views and a gold "Famous question" badge, and has had many answers including a well-written +5 one from someone who's clearly made a good effort and given it plenty of attention; it's just not a complete solution (as they admit). It's misleading in that people might see "This question has not received enough attention", scroll down, see a +5 answer and think "Oh, it's received attention now, someone beat me to it, I'll find another question to answer".

The other options seem to be about how the answers are written, not whether their content actually works:

  • "Improve details" would be misleading. The top answer has heaps of detail, it's a well-written answer and it deserves its upvotes. It's just not a complete solution because it only works some of the time.
  • "Canonical" has a technical meaning here, I'm not looking for a long 10-paragraph resource on videos in web browsers.
  • "Authoritative reference" is close in that it suggests "current answers are okay but not good enough", but it's too specific. Adding authoritative references to the answer that only works ~50% of the time wouldn't improve it. It'd still only work 50% of the time.

It feels like there's a gap for the common case of challenging questions where the answers are well written, high effort, etc, and are worthwhile contributions, but simply don't solve the actual problem sufficiently.

I'm not sure that adding a whole new reason is necessarily necessary, maybe one of the existing reasons could be broadened slightly, for example, maybe changing:

Authoritative reference needed

Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources.


Authoritative answer needed

Looking for a reliable answer based on a proven method or credible and/or official sources.

...so it works as a more versatile "Better answer needed": "Please give me something that works or prove that it's impossible".

1 Answer 1


It seems to me the better solution is to expand "Current answers are outdated" to "Current answers are outdated, incorrect, or incomplete".

  • I considered that, it's also a good option. I was thinking though that maybe it's more useful to be able to distinguish cases where an answer was perfect but now no longer works; though I guess in the "outdated" case people will usually add a comment specifying it Sep 7, 2016 at 17:16

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