This question is inspired by Is there an etiquette for asking questions originally intended to be self-answered?.

A few times, I have encountered a self-answered question with a question that seems to be at least acceptable quality, but an answer that makes me scratch my head and suspect that I could do better.

Are there any things to keep in mind when posting my own answer to a question that was obviously intended by the OP to be a self-answered question?

To be clear, I'm aware that posting my own answer to a self-answered question is not a policy violation. I'm asking about community norms, etiquette, and best practices. For example, should I acknowledge the OP's own self-answer and explain my rationale for posting my own answer (e.g. "Sorry for intruding on this self-answered Q&A pair, but parallelizing the tertiary gradient is no longer a best practice according to Smith 2017, you should instead reticulate the spline according to the following parametrically reoriented rubric: [rubric]. The final code should look something like this [code].") , or is it ok to simply answer the question with an answer that is sufficiently different from (and hopefully better than) the self-answer? Or, more generally, should an answerer approach a self-answered question differently to any other previously-answered question, or are the guidelines for answering questions already answered by someone other than the OP the same as for answering self-answered questions?

Also to be clear, the opposite scenario (bad question, ok self-answer) seems to be more common, but once in a while I do come upon a good question that has been self-answered with a just-barely-not-NAA answer like "I found the problem, I had to update my server and adjust the mode selector settings." that begs for a more in-depth explanation.

This is not a duplicate of Etiquette for answering your own question because that question is about how to answer one's own question. This question is about how to answer someone else's self-answered question.


1 Answer 1


Unless it has been closed or locked every question asked is still available to answer.

When a question is self-answered and that answer is not of the highest quality I would encourage potential answerers to either add their own answer or to edit the existing one to improve it.

There is nothing special about self-answered Q&As that causes them to be subject to considerations other than those that apply to any other Q&A.

Any additional answers need not and should not acknowledge that the question has a self-answer on it.

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