# Ethics of answering one's own question when it has very low votes

A while ago, I asked a simple question that attracted a lot of good answers, and although none of them fully answered my question, it gave me a really strong base; I made more research, based on those answers, and posted one myself. For most parts, I took the other answers and developed them further, then added my own findings when adequate. It was pretty detailed, and in my opinion, answered the question extensively.

Now, I know self-answers are more critically judged, and they're fine if it actually answers the question. However, this self-answer received a lot less upvotes than the other answers, making me wonder if I should accept it. I know the most-voted answer isn't always the acceptable one, but there's a 13-to-2 difference here. The lack of comment on the answer leads me to think it wasn't read by many, but I prefer not to make more assumptions than needed.

Should I accept my own answer if it only got a couple upvotes, even after a few months?

• If you feel that your answer builds on the others more than being your own work then you always have the option of posting an answer with the community wiki flag set. – Tim B Jun 6 '15 at 9:03
• @TimB oh, that's a very good point! In this case there was a fair amount of my own research, but I'll definitely remember that. – Linkyu Jun 6 '15 at 10:35

I had a similar situation with a question on another site -- I asked a question, got lots of helpful answers (which I upvoted), and ultimately synthesized them. That left me with the question of how to record the outcome on the question, so I wrote a summary answer, acknowledging/linking the other answers, and accepted it. It felt weird to me to do so, but I wanted to signal that I didn't still need help. New answers are always welcome, but that acceptance mark says "I got something that works for me so feel free to move on".

I haven't read your whole answer, but it looks like you have a similar case. The other answers prompted you to do more work, you wrote it up, you acknowledged what you built on, and you got something sufficient for your needs. There's nothing wrong with going ahead and accepting that.

Note that if you accept your own answer that answer doesn't float to the top, unlike other acceptances, so you won't be pushing higher-voted answers down.

• I remember I wanted to do something similar with my question about long-armed weapons. Especially due to the wide variety of answers on WB, I feel like summary answers are necessary in a lot of cases. – DaaaahWhoosh Apr 8 '15 at 20:04
• @DaaaahWhoosh All too often, I see answers that are "added details" to another answer. Isn't there a way to merge answers? I feel it would be very adequate in many questions here. – Linkyu Apr 8 '15 at 20:18
• @Linkyu answers can't be merged (and if they could, who would get the rep from future votes?). We should avoid small answers that add "just one thing" to other answers, though; the best thing to do there is to comment on the other answer suggesting the addition. (Or, if you think it's non-controversial, like adding a source for something the answer says, propose an edit.) – Monica Cellio Apr 8 '15 at 20:22

That you gave people a few months to review and vote on questions is good practice in my opinion.

That being said you are completely within your rights to accept your own answer. I feel like we do have an issue where late answers are not reviewed by nearly enough people...I think this spawns from plenty of fresh content showing up daily (which is a good thing for the site) and people don't look at older content.

• [...] content showing up daily [...] and people don't look at older content. I must admit I am guilty of a variation of this; I often put limited time on each question I read, and as a result, don't always read the less upvoted answers. – Linkyu Apr 8 '15 at 19:11