A new user on an SE site indicated in the comments that one of the answers to their posted question was best. I left a comment encouraging them to accept that answer, and gave a link to this help page:

https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/someone-answers (from "Asking" section of Help Center)

However, that page states:

Accepting an answer is not mandatory; do not feel compelled to accept the first answer you receive. Wait until you receive an answer that answers your question well.

and doesn't seem to give new users any motivation for why to accept answers. There is some explanation of reputation benefits on these linked pages:

Consequently I'd like to suggest some changes on these Help Center pages:

  1. [Main question] Add some language to the first page to encourage uses to accept good answers, such as some of the following: shows appreciation for the answerer (including giving them more reputation) and lets them know their answer was helpful, adds to your reputation, helps other users identify a good answer, and helps the site determine what questions are still awaiting answers.
  2. Clarify the writing/organization of information on the pages about accepting answers under the Asking versus Answering sections of the Help Center; namely write the first one for askers and the second for answerers.
  3. Make it more clear that the links to the latter two pages from the first mentioned page are different (currently the text for those links are "accept the answer" and "To accept the answer")
  • PS There are several "help"/"help center" tags and I wasn't sure what the difference was between many of them.
    – Kimball
    Dec 28, 2023 at 15:30
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    The current verbiage can clearly be improved, I'll agree with that. The counterpoint is that some people seem willing to accept an answer way too early, at a point where better answers may still have been coming in. Finding a balance between the situations while still being perfectly clear for new users is a challenge.
    – Mast
    Dec 28, 2023 at 15:40
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    Would you be willing to amend your proposal with text to indicate not to accept 'too soon'? A rule of thumb is 24h, but what the best threshold may depend a bit between sites. For example, on my little neck of the woods answers can take days to arrive and 72h may be more sensible if you want to do it right.
    – Mast
    Dec 28, 2023 at 15:42
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    You might also mention that a question with an accepted answer has a big green badge next to it in question and search listings and this brings attention to their question. More interest in the question can result in even better answers and more reputation for the asker.
    – PeterJames
    Dec 28, 2023 at 20:47
  • @Mast I think the present wording that I quoted does already encourage users to wait somewhat, but I'm open to emphasizing this more. Anyway, I wasn't trying to propose exact wording, but just bring up the issue and hope wiser people than me will write something nice.
    – Kimball
    Dec 28, 2023 at 21:23
  • 1
    There's no reason to encourage users to accept answers beyond what's already provided: you may accept the answer that you believe is the best solution to your problem. Dec 28, 2023 at 21:37


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