I seem to run into this situation frequently where an answer is given which doesn't answer the question but gives me a clue from which I can find the answer.
I want to give the member credit for the answer, but it isn't the correct answer. So I don't know how to proceed.

For example:
@Massimo answered my question with, "No, it can't be done." And then included a link which effectively gave the answer.
Can I create a policy to disable a computer or user at a certain time?

Should I mark his as the answer so he gets credit, even though it doesn't answer the question?
Or create another answer with the final solution, but still mark his as the answer?
Or mark mine as the answer, since it is?
I'm not thrilled with the last because I want him to get the credit deserved.


If an answer was helpful in finding a solution but not the solution itself, I would upvote the answer (giving the OP 10 rep as a thanks) and perhaps leave a comment too below the answer.

Then I would write another answer (perhaps mentioning the user who wrote the first answer) that offered a complete solution and accept that.

The user who posted the first answer still gets some rep and credit for their effort, enough for most people, but the full answer would be accepted because that is the one that actually answers the question in full.

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    This is what I typically will do - I create and self-accept a "full" answer so that if someone comes along later with the same question, they'll have "the" answer, but any answer that was actively helpful (that is, provided me with links or other information that I actually used to arrive at the self-answer) gets upvoted. – Jeff Zeitlin Oct 28 at 20:00
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    And if you are worried about "benefitting" from that answer, post it as a community wiki. – Luuklag Oct 29 at 9:21

Note that when you hover over the checkmark tooltip, it says:

enter image description here

"Or was the most helpful in finding your solution". So, you could accept the answer given, since it gave a link that helped solve your problem, or you could upvote it and leave a comment at the answer, then write your own and accept that.

For instance, here on AskUbuntu, my answer was accepted as correct because it helped the OP solve their problem, but they wrote a separate answer that fully solved their problem, and they mentioned my name in it. So, you could do something like that.

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  • Thanks for the creative input. Thinking about it from a future users perspective, I think it would be confusing if the answer that didn't answer the question was marked as the answer. I would feel like I was missing something that was obvious to everyone else. – BWhite Oct 29 at 14:55
  • Perhaps you could edit the solution from the link into the answer, then accept it? That gives credit to the person who started the answer, and leaves the answer in a good place for future viewers. (Note that I'm very naive to meta and perhaps doing this is already discouraged by policy.) – Ross Presser Oct 29 at 15:17

Well. I'd mark it as accepted answer if it solves the problem. In this case, it guided you to the answer through a link. For me that's an accepted answer.

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