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I have at least one question that I'm the only person to provide an answer to.

I haven't accepted my own answer. (I couldn't see the point, to be honest, obviously I think it answers the question, and - in the absence of any other answers - it's the best of the answers that answer the question, there's no need to signal that.)

However, it occurs to me that maybe that is a problem from the point of view of making the "questions with no accepted answers" rate worse (and my own acceptance rate, come to think of it).

So I suppose I have a three-part question, though answers to any portion will be of interest:

  1. As a general principle, should you accept your own answers in order not to make the accepted answer rate lower?

  2. Is there any other reason to accept your own answer?

  3. Is there any reason you should avoid accepting your own answer?


Edit: I note that there's an additional delay on accepting your own answer to give other answers a chance to be accepted. In this case any such interval is long past.

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    $\begingroup$ As long as the answer has at least one upvote, it won't affect the "questions with no accepted answers" count. $\endgroup$ – hairboat Aug 8 '14 at 3:42
  • $\begingroup$ @abby thanks; I meant to mention that it had upvotes (and that I thought therefore it wouldn't affect the unanswered Qs rate) $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Aug 8 '14 at 4:07
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    $\begingroup$ I suggest that you include the links to these questions of yours in this post Glen, and chances are, they will be looked after. Answering your own question is perfectly fine and creative. Reason to not accept your own lone answer: it creates a sense of helpless boredom spiced with a tad of loneliness (except of course if you are a certified narcissist). $\endgroup$ – Alecos Papadopoulos Aug 8 '14 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ Accepting a post is a sign that you're not actively interested in further answers: comments on the answer would still be welcome of course. Otherwise someone might put in work assuming that you were still searching for a solution. $\endgroup$ – TooTone Aug 10 '14 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ @TooTone While I'd happily accept a better answer, I guess I'm not actively seeking one. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Aug 10 '14 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ What I have done, and what I have seen others do, is provide an answer if it was an adequate work around, and accept it if it was a satisfactory answer. If it was suboptimal, it should remain there but accepting questions has historically discouraged further attempts to answer. Here is an example of user who gave their answer but did not accept it, and which I hope can garner more attention by remaining open. $\endgroup$ – AdamO Feb 1 '18 at 22:21
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Answers:

  1. When the answer is good or at least it is not bad (has not downvotes), then, yes. Yours seems pretty good. If the OP is sure the answer solves the question, then, yes again.

  2. Yes. The Stack Exchange sites encourage this behavior. There are rules which avoid gaming the system.

  3. Yes. When there is a better answer than the OP's. If another better answer appears after a self-answer is accepted, one can always undo the accept.

    If one accepts an answer when he/she shouldn't I guess votes will guide properly future readers towards good answers. Here is one example.

    On Meta, I'd say if it is a discussion post and there is only the the self-answer there, then, it should have at least a minimum score, let's say, 3.

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    $\begingroup$ Well, I'm going to mark this as accepted; it seems as if it conveys the general thinking. I doubt we'll see any competition for an answer. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Aug 12 '14 at 4:09
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One specific reason to accept your own answer that was not mentioned before is making the question appear differently in the question list/search results. Clearly marking questions that either already provide a solution to non-experts or need further attention from an expert might make search results (and the site in general) marginally more useful.

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