What guidelines should we have for accepting answers?

See our page on area51

This site is different to other SE sites, because it's almost never clear that the best answer won't be improved upon.

Of course it is possible to change the accepted answer if a better one is submitted, but I expect a lot of questions to be neglected in this regard.

How quickly should we initially accept answers? For example 2 days is probably too short for code-golf questions unless the question is very easy.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Does accepting an answer discourage others from answering? I wonder if accepting answers (at least for code-golf) is even necessary. \$\endgroup\$
    – snmcdonald
    Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 21:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @snmcdonald, I think it may be of importance for the SE beta metrics. Can anyone comment on that? We still have a relatively low number of questions per day, but a lot of answers per question. And most answers are a lot more work than answering an average question on SO \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 22:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I personally think voting and asking questions are more important than accepting answers imho. Don't know anything detail though. \$\endgroup\$
    – YOU
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 1:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @S.Mark, this is the link related to my question area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/4570 I'm not sure how important it is to have a high rating in those metrics during the beta period \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 2:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Following 2 sites looks ok for the beta area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/5220/board-and-card-games and area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/8431/it-security and has similar metrics with us, so If we could just keep current status, probably ok, but there is lots of sites stucking in beta status, area51.stackexchange.com/?tab=beta so our site might have lower priority imho. \$\endgroup\$
    – YOU
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 2:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gnibbler, I am not sure about metrics too, but when I compare to others sites that recently been beta, stackexchange.com/sites, we are not that low on metrics, but we should keep 6 or 7+ questions per day (because there is another issue we cannot do anything is visits/day) \$\endgroup\$
    – YOU
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 2:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ P.S. Accepting an answer does nothing to my UserScript... so don't worry about that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ according to this meta post, and this blog post, we are hardly to get out of beta with current status, but looks like they don't shutdown sites because of those metrics, so probably still ok. \$\endgroup\$
    – YOU
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


It is still very early in the beta to say but as for now I check this list before accepting an answer:

  1. A week has passed since posting the question
  2. At least two answers posted.
  3. No new answers (or very few/"uninteresting") for the past couple of days
  4. At least one "golfy" answer.

I might delay accepting an answer if I there are many views and upvotes on the question.


In general, I think a week is necessary at least. Certainly on Anarchy Golf most people post problems with either a week or two weeks as deadline.

However, if there is an obvious winning solution (such as the one-byte solution to stack overflow code golf), then it's quite okay to accept that straight up.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Currently there is the problem that interest in most questions dies down after two or three days with nearly no contributions in the rest of the week. I don't know whether that is going to change but so far we didn't have too much competition. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joey
    Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 12:11

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