People have been asking me to increase my accept rate on Stack Overflow. So I've gone back to my questions and have been trying to select the best answers. But for some questions, I have not received any ideal answers. What should I do about those questions? Leaving them open will cause problems with my accept rate, right? I'm feeling like I shouldn't have asked some of my questions in the first place. If I delete them, would it affect my reputation?

  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/63087/…
    – Pops
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 15:50
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  • Agreed! About half of my questions receive answers that don't help. I can't accept an answer, when it doesn't answer my question. I feel that the accept rate can be detrimental, as it will deter point snobs from submitting an answer, through fear they won't get that extra set of points. I say BAH. I frequent SO sites almost every day, but have never broken the 1,000 point mark. It doesn't mean my questions or answers are any less valid. It DOES mean my questions are largely unique, attracting few views. Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 18:48
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    possible duplicate of Should I accept wrong answers to boost my accept rate? Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 5:14
  • @MikeChristian: point snobs.. real professional. Comments like that deter answers more often than an accept rate.
    – Nope
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 12:19
  • Ok, how about "users who are more concerned with increasing their commu Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 2:09
  • @François: My point is that basing contributions on points is UNprofessional. You know it happens. Why are you upset that I mention it? In my opinion, describing such users as "point snobs" is accurate. Is there another term you prefer? (Double post- sorry! My phone data connection dropped out before I could finish.) Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 2:15

4 Answers 4


Don't feel that you need to accept an answer on every question. Jeff Atwood considers an accept rate of 70% or more "quite good".

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    +1 for the "quite good" link
    – Pops
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 17:11
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    But just because Jeff considers 70% good, does not mean everyone else does. When people constantly pass by your question because they think it has a C grade, this 70% can be detrimental.
    – Jono
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 20:23
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    @Jono: Why would they think your question has a C grade? You, as the asking user, control your accept rate. If the choices are you only having a 70% accept rate or you accepting bad answers, you're better off with the 70% accept rate. Accepting bad answers may come back to haunt you later on.
    – Powerlord
    Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 13:59
  • I have no intent of accepting bad answers, which is why my rate is in the 60's. And people often tell me my rate is too low, or will not answer my questions because of it. Which is why I think the accept rate concept needs to be improved.
    – Jono
    Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 19:11
  • Who is Jeff Atwood??? :p
    – atconway
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 21:05
  • @atconway No, that would be... your mother! What did you expect? (OK, quoting Spy lines from TF2 is getting old now)
    – Powerlord
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 15:22

IMO questions without a single answer should be ignored for the accept rate. A very skilled person might ask questions which are very difficult to answer (because this person doesn't have to ask simple questions), so after a few questions without answers, his accept rate might be close to 0%. Admitted, bad answers might skew the accept rate anyway.


You are going to have to work on the answer yourself. Take the best info from each answer and give credit to each answerer. Then do a lot of Googling and research to come up with more info or resources and add it to the answer. List some different approaches and pros/cons of each one.

It's not ideal but at least when someone has the same question in the future, they will benefit from all your work.


I would see the problem from another point of view: if you ask something, you have a problem. If you don't get any helpful answers after some days, describe what you have done to circumvent that problem and accept that answer.

This shows anyone who finds himself to have the same problem a possible solution.

It is even possible to put a question and to answer at the same time, so this way is perfectly valid, as soon as your answer is really the only helpful one. Copying and only marginally improving a given answer and accepting yours (and not the other one) would be impolite, however.

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    Self-answering is encouraged and we thank anyone who takes the time to come back and tell us what the solution is when we don't otherwise know. Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 17:11
  • @DonalFellows Thx, just improved my answer.
    – glglgl
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 7:29

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