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28 votes

A beautiful answer to a question that changed

If you have a good answer to a question that's no longer there, it would be a great pity to leave things as they are, rather than have the benefit of your effort available to be easily found. This is ...
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  • 261k
27 votes

Why do people downvote old questions and answers?

When a person in 2017 is looking at an answer that may have been written in 2010 (say), it's not that person's responsibility to try to figure out if the answer might have been correct at some time ...
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  • 261k
26 votes

Do answers with equations and formulas in them get more votes?

In short: I think that the bottom-line is that in terms of correlations, there is not a clear effect. It differs per user, and if we would scale the number of equations by the size of the post then ...
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24 votes

If someone answered my question outside CV, can I post the answer myself and accept?

Sure. Just quote them and give the source: john.doe@example.com answered my question in a private e-mail, I'm posting his answer below: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur ...
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  • 115k
20 votes
Accepted

Etiquette for answering old questions addressed in comments?

The basic policy is clear enough -- don't answer in comments, answer in answers. Some SE sites are very strict and simply remove anything in comments that looks like an answer. Others run a bit looser....
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  • 261k
18 votes

Low profile low quality answers

I'll frame this more widely in these terms: people here may readily disagree with (a) someone else's upvote or (b) the OP's acceptance of an answer. Clearing (b) out of the way: An OP's acceptance ...
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  • 49.1k
18 votes
Accepted

Why do people downvote old questions and answers?

Votes on this site are highly noisy and so over-analyzing one-offs like this is a waste of energy in my opinion (especially because the criteria for what deserves an up/downvote are completely ...
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  • 1,456
18 votes
Accepted

Should I upvote an elaborated answer which I do not fully understand?

Some users on this site feel compelled to provide input on things they don't understand and this sounds like a more nuanced version of that...Obviously you can vote however you want but, since you ...
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  • 1,456
18 votes

Is a quick-and-dirty answer better than no answer?

I come down strongly in favour of providing quick-and-dirty answers, given two conditions: i) the question is not a bad one (in which case, close and/or downvote), and ii) the alternative is giving no ...
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  • 11.9k
18 votes
Accepted

Mentioning commercial/freemium product that I developed in my answers

Welcome to the site! Expertise is always welcome here, and it's to be expected that many people with such expertise will also use it to develop commercial products. However, it does violate a ...
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  • 11.9k
17 votes

If a complete answer is short, should it be a comment?

Like Richard Hardy (above), I think that attempts to answer the question should be done as "answers", not comments. This lets people up- (or down-)vote the proposed solution, provides a place for ...
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  • 19.4k
17 votes

If OP asks for a software referral, and a referral *doesn't* exist, may we answer with the code they asked for?

If code is the full answer to a question, then the question is off-topic. When the code illustrates or implements a statistical answer, such as a procedure or algorithm offered in response to a ...
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  • 290k
16 votes
Accepted

Do a few users answer lots of questions?

One problem with looking at the total number of answers to look at whether a few users answer most questions is it doesn't tell you whether someone is answering questions now. Someone may have a ...
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  • 261k
16 votes
Accepted

Why are short answers considered to be poor quality for this site?

As someone who knows little about statistics I try to contribute here on Meta to repay what I learn on the main site. Looking only on your newest answer: I did not learn much from it. It is just ...
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  • 3,070
16 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to use suggestions by other people to answer a question with a bounty?

See Etiquette for answering old questions addressed in comments?. I don't think anything changes just because a bounty's at stake. (If someone's really keen to win that bounty they needn't give ...
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16 votes

What should we do with outdated answers?

While the canonical "StackExchange/StackOverflow" approach seems to be to allow downvotes, edits and new answers and hope the new good ones eventually float to the top, I think that in practice the ...
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  • 261k
15 votes

Best practice: How to request clarification from the author without 50 rep to comment?

@whuber's stamina is admirable, but I have to endorse @NickCox's suggestion: You just have to hang in there, contribute answers to questions that don't need clarification (etc.) until you get to 50. ...
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15 votes

Correlation between upvotes and effort

I'd agree that there is at best a weak positive correlation. But what is effort? It's not just the effort that went into an individual answer. The effort of following the forum over a few years ...
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  • 49.1k
15 votes
Accepted

Correlation between upvotes and effort

I think there are several (confounding) factors here. The biggest, by far, is the number of views a thread gets. If no one views a given thread, there are obviously no opportunities for people to ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Answering off-topic questions. Appropriate?

I sometimes answer questions and vote to close them at the same time. I don't see any problem with that. What I would do is leave a comment to the OP explaining that the question is off topic and ...
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15 votes

Why are short answers considered to be poor quality for this site?

Note that answers should explain why they're correct; they should give the arguments in any references not simply offer a link or reference (even when a question is a request for a reference, it ...
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  • 261k
15 votes

Is a quick-and-dirty answer better than no answer?

TL;DR - Sometimes, short answers are comprehensive answers. I believe that if a question can be completely answered briefly, then a brief answer is fine. I also believe that the purpose of stats.SE ...
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  • 79.4k
14 votes

Low profile low quality answers

As well as, or instead of, taking any of the actions @NickCox has discussed, we can flag or vote to close the common questions as duplicates (preferably soon after they're asked), thus ensuring they'...
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14 votes

Do a few users answer lots of questions?

I've generated graphs that more directly answer your question here. That was over two years ago, but you could update with newer data if you want. Two years ago we were in the middle of the pack. The ...
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  • 15.4k
13 votes

Should new users be allowed to provide questions similar to others?

Leaving aside the specific incidents you mention (though gave some of my reasoning on one of those in comments), I want to address the title question about whether new users should be able to ask ...
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  • 261k
13 votes

Mentioning commercial/freemium product that I developed in my answers

There are two issues here. One pertains to self promotion; @mkt has done a good job with that. Let me add a small piece of complementary information. You mention that it is recommended to mention ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Does accepting answers discourage further answerings?

I don't think you discouraged other answers by accepting the existing answer too early, nor did anything else wrong. Most answers will be provided within the first day or two. After that, the ...
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12 votes

What to do when a question has an answer on Wikipedia?

Setting aside the specific thread on the main site that motivated this question, I think we can address the title question more generally. Namely, I think we should be mostly indifferent to what is ...
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12 votes

If OP asks for a software referral, and a referral *doesn't* exist, may we answer with the code they asked for?

A question asking for software referral is not on-topic, unless it needs some kind of statistical expertise. The same applies to questions about code. So, for example, a question asking about R ...
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  • 115k

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