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I know our policy is that answers should be fairly fully worked out - not something like "Logistic regression should do it", for example.

However, if you hover over the "add comment" after a question, it says "use comments to ask for more information or suggest improvements. Avoid answering questions in comments".

Something like "logistic regression should do it" does answer the question, at least partially. It is not a request for information or a suggested improvement.

So, the hover text disagrees with our policy. One or the other should change.

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    $\begingroup$ In practice comments are very often used to give replies (a useful neutral word here) that the poster feels fall short of full answers, in terms of relevance, length, depth or completeness. (Indeed, this comment is itself an example of that.) I haven't felt pain, confusion or guilt in doing that, and often, in some apparent conflict to the hover text. In short, I don't see this as a real problem. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Feb 3 '14 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Nick and peers, is it a bad thing if someone paraphrase somebody else's comment as an answer, and give it a proper citation? Like this answer on MSO suggests? $\endgroup$ Feb 3 '14 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ @AndreSilva Not quite sure what "paraphrase" and "citation" mean here, but promoting a comment to an answer can sometimes be right, as can demoting an answer to a comment. Usual reservations apply about plagiarism (bad) and acknowledgment (good). $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Feb 3 '14 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ Ok. paraphrase = rewriting of a comment as an answer without using the same words or phrase structure. citation = the user who posts the answer cites he/she is answering as suggested by the user who provided the comment (cc @Nick). $\endgroup$ Feb 3 '14 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ Same answer, I think. Someone who much extends a short reply is contributing positively; someone who merely rewords an existing reply without adding content or clarity, and claims it as their own, is not. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Feb 3 '14 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ "...and it claims it as their own..." (even with citation?). So, imo, this is a problem. When a comment answers the question in a satisfactory manner, it will shrink the chances that thread will get an answer (actually, this happens a lot). $\endgroup$ Feb 3 '14 at 22:36
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    $\begingroup$ @AndreSilva, here is an example of a situation where I was mostly copying the points made by others into an answer so that the question wouldn't count as officially unanswered. I made the answer community wiki. There have also been a number of times (no examples) when I have written an answer that mirrored the essence of a preexisting comment, but where I didn't feel that I was plagiarizing someone else's ideas. In those cases, I just put the answer that I would have put if the comment hadn't been there. $\endgroup$ Feb 3 '14 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ There's a tension between the "avoid one line answers" policy and the "don't answer questions in comments" policy. I think the border between them is quite grey and we shouldn't try to be overly prescriptive about where to draw it. Where a comment fully answers a question we can encourage turning it into an answer. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Feb 8 '14 at 2:35
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    $\begingroup$ @AndreSilva rewriting comments into answers (especially summarizing information from several comments), or even incorporating better information from other answers into an answer (including other people's answer) all appear to be mostly acceptable -- and, broadly speaking, even officially encouraged -- behavior on SO. There appears to be more reticence to do that sort of thing here on CV; but there's no harm in encouraging others to make their comments into answers (and if they don't, to use the information in a more complete answer). $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Feb 8 '14 at 3:04
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We could try: "use comments to ask for more information, suggest improvements, or provide brief partial explanations. If you can provide a complete answer, please do so and avoid using the comments".

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    $\begingroup$ This isn't really an answer to the OP's question, @gung. It is more of a comment. Please only use the "Your Answer" field to provide answers. Consider converting this to a comment. Alternatively, you could try to expand it to make it more of an answer. $\endgroup$ Feb 3 '14 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ That sounds right to me. $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Feb 3 '14 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ +1. I think you provided an answer (no need for the follow up comment). It is better to have a partial and sometimes objective answer than a comment answer. Objective answers also incentivize additional replies to show up with further information. $\endgroup$ Feb 3 '14 at 20:06
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I find that often the "simple comment answers" are actually a solicitation for more information, at least implicitly.

"Seems like logistic regression would do it" is often more of the form "Is there a reason logistic regression isn't what you're doing?"

About half the time I get a comment answer, I reply with "Would you convert that to a full answer so I can upvote it?". The other half of the time however, it actually ends up prompting me to provide more information, or a reason why Profoundly Obvious Solution isn't what is going to work.

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