Something needs to be done about acceptance rate, the value is misleading when questions are answered but are not the solution.

For instance, take this question of mine:

SO - HTML Double Click Selection Oddity

The fellow tried to answer my question (and I appreciate his effort), but the answer he gave did not solve the problem.

Now, I haven't marked any answer as accepted, because:

  1. It doesn't solve my issue
  2. It would mislead anyone with a similar issue who stumbled upon my question.

The problem now is that I am penalized for not accepting an answer. My accept rate goes down because of this. SO & Sister sites should probably have a method of marking a question as "still unresolved" even if answers are posted.

Don't get me wrong, I support the Accept Rate statistic, it's very good, I just think it needs some tweaking.

  • 1
    There is no penalty for not accepting an answer. Personally, I think people with 100% acceptance rates are not asking interesting questions.
    – nb69307
    Commented Jun 2, 2010 at 22:37
  • @Neil: IMHO it's a bit misleading to say 'there is no penalty'. There is no system penalty, but other users may look at your accept rate and use this as part of their decision on whether or not to put effort into answering your questions. That said, I agree that a 100% accept rate is a bit suspect.
    – Dhaust
    Commented Jun 2, 2010 at 23:08
  • @David HAust: I agree with you entirely. I know I think twice about someone with a 22% accept rate.
    – Aren B
    Commented Jun 2, 2010 at 23:44
  • Declined, given that accept rate is no longer shown on the usercard for a question.
    – casperOne
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


Having an acceptance rate above 70% is really good according to Jeff. So, don't worry about those few times when your question doesn't have an acceptable answer.

From the blog:

I personally consider anything at 70% or over quite good, meaning you accept answers on 7 out of 10 questions that you ask.

If you find yourself running into lots of questions with unacceptable answers, you may need to work on your question asking skills.

  • 1
    or -- get really good at answering your own questions to your satisfaction, and accepting them. Commented Jun 2, 2010 at 22:42
  • @Jeff Atwood: lol. @jjnguy: I agree that 70+ is good and that it can come down to the question asking skills, but I do put pride into my question asking. I try to be clear, concise, provide all the details at the start, etc... and some still go unanswered, likely because nobody knows (This is more common on SU than on SO) or the people that don't know didn't catch the question when it was new.
    – Aren B
    Commented Jun 2, 2010 at 23:43

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