"Unanswered" are considered the questions whose answers have received no upvotes. This creates the following situation: a question gets answered, and answer is accepted by the OP, but the OP has not enough reputation in order to also upvote it. At the same time, the question may be so specific and narrow, that no member with upvoting rights upvotes it, due to lack of interest in the subject matter. Then the list of "unanswered questions" contains also this kind of questions, which in my opinion are not really "unanswered" since they have been indicated as useful by the OP in the only way the OP could indicate that (by the way, can somebody count how many of the questions with no upvoted answers have an answer accepted by the OP?)

I agree that some threshold for upvoting rights must exist (and it is set fairly low anyway, but still creates this kind of situation, especially for questions that come from new users), so shouldn't the "unanswered criterion" change so that questions with accepted but not upvoted answers stop appearing as "unanswered"?

Since this is, I think, a stack-exchange-wide feature, and so perhaps unlikely to change, should we go on a crusade to hunt for these questions and upvote them in order for them to leave the list of unanswered questions?

I believe there is a stronger case to consider these questions as "answered" compared with the questions that are essentially answered in the comments -in the case I am describing, somebody did post an answer.

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    $\begingroup$ isaccepted:1 score:0 will search for answers which were accepted and have zero score. Moreover hasaccepted:1 score:0 will search questions with zero score and which have an accepted answer (with whatever score). I hope this helps. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreSilva Thanks - I will have a look. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ My only concern here is that no one should simply go through the list & upvote 0 socre accepted answers just because they are such. But if someone is going through the list, reads an answer that they otherwise wouldn't have noticed & finds it worthy, upvote away! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 23:52
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    $\begingroup$ Can you point me to an example of such a question where the question is on the Unanswered list? I am pretty sure having an "accepted answer", even if it has no votes (or only downvotes), means it no longer counts as "unanswered", but if you're seeing behavior to the contrary, it might be a bug. $\endgroup$
    – hairboat
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 14:40
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    $\begingroup$ @AbbyT.Miller I was not able to find in the "unanswered" list two questions that I have answered, the answer got accepted but with no upvotes. So, it appears that although the criterion for "unanswered" is stated as "no upvotes", the system counts as an "upvote" the "accept" action also, at least for this particular filter... So it appears that I have raised a non-existent issue, wasting the time of fellow users in the process. Apologies to everybody. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Alecos: No problem. I'm just glad you haven't found us a bug to chase down and squash :) $\endgroup$
    – hairboat
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 17:04

2 Answers 2


For future reference:

As of today, here’s how we do it:

  • Answered questions have at least one answer with one upvote (or accepted)
  • Unanswered questions have no answers with upvotes (or accepted)

Read the full post - it explains the rationale behind these criteria.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. That settles it! (and exactly in the way I should think it should...) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 17:49

Robert Cartainos's answer here states the following:

The "accepted answer" feature was never intended to mark which answer is best or even if the answer is correct. It is, simply stated, the answer that the original author found most useful in solving their problem.

Voting is the most reliable and safe tool to address that a question indeed is answered (in context of content quality).

Today we have:

  • 757 zero score accepted answers (isaccepted:1 score:0)
  • 5356 answers with zero score (is:answer score:0)
  • 9535 unanswered questions.

I believe the key point for us if we want to get the big fish is to focus on more voting* regardless of whether the answer is accepted or not. If the content is good, vote for it!!

I believe it is OK to look for zero-score answers on a subject you understand and help with voting (up and down).

But I wouldn't go either on a crusade or just on zero-score accepted answers.

*some references a, b, c, d.

  • $\begingroup$ Good post, and no crusades! $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ But what about when the OP is not permitted to upvote due to the OP's reputation level, and so "accept" becomes a substitute for "upvote"? Your search shows that such cases could be about 8% of "unanswered" questions, which is not negligible. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 21:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Alecos, 15 rep is not hard to get. If you vote on the question, then, it requires just 10 (1 answer upvote, or 5 edits). We should not rely that much on the OP's vote, but community's. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ +1, excellent answer, & nice research effort. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreSilva You may want to read a comment I posted below my question in response to Andy T. Miller inquiry - with my apologies. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Alecos, no need for apologies. This thread is useful because it brings insights about: the purpose of accepted-answers, voting, zero score answers, crusades activities. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 15:34

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