Pretty much as it says in the title.

If you've got good answers to a question but none of them quite click as being the answer you were looking for or a usable solution to your problem is it better to leave the question unanswered and hope someone may come along in the future with some thing or pick the 'best' answer?

My OCD says to choose an answer and not leave questions hanging about without closure, but I'm not sure that's strictly the best criteria to be working on..

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    $\begingroup$ As a point of reference, some years ago, Stack Exchange showed the user's "accept rate" in the user card (which these days has the date/time, username, avatar, reputation and badges for the author of a post). That was simply the percentage of questions asked by that user which had an accepted answer, to the total number of questions asked by that user. This was abandoned as people would ask someone who asked a question to 'do something about their accept rate', sometimes before even answering. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 27, 2017 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


Do not choose an answer if you yourself do not feel it truly helps you

The thing about accepting an answer is that it is totally, completely, absolutely only up to you to decide whether something was helpful. You can decide when and what to accept or nothing at all if nothing was quite the answer you were looking for.

You can also place a bounty on the question to get more attention or to clarify what is missing in the existing answers. As Monica said in the comments, it's important to communicate what is missing or else people might not be aware of this.

Another option would be to ask another, more detailed, question. Just make sure it's not a duplicate in that case. The best way in this case would be to link to the other question and explain which parts of the premise are different and what specifically you missed in the answers to the first question.

See also: Should moderators mark a high voted answer as the accepted answer after a while?

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, that is what I was looking for, the linked discussion helps clarify it too. I'll just have to tell my OCD to stuff it XD $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2017 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ Communicating what you're still looking for is helpful, too. If you've got a bunch of answers that are 90% there but nobody knows what the missing 10% is, they can't expand them. $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2017 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Yeah, that's a good point. This specific question though I didn't want to edit the question to clarify as it would have invalidated a lot of the answers and I know that is bad practice, and it is was more my fault for not specifying enough in the question. I may ask a follow up focusing more on what I'd looked for based on the answers from the original question. $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2017 at 8:59
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    $\begingroup$ Yet another option would be that, if you can do so without invalidating the existing answers (whether or not this is possible will very much depend on the specifics), add to the question what more you want to know. Then, make sure to also comment on each answer and let the poster know that the question has been updated. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 27, 2017 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ This keeps happening, but should you really accept something that is different from what you actually asked? like this one worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/111744/… $\endgroup$
    – Mr.J
    May 11, 2018 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.J Sometimes people post frame-challenge answers because they feel that the answer the OP needs is different from the answer they want. And sometimes these people are right. And even rarer the OP accepts such an answer. This is okay, as acceptance is merely an indicator of what helped this one person. It doesn't have to be the perfect answer for everyone else. That's what the voting is for. Some people never accept answers, some accept the first helpful answer, some accept the highest voted answer, some the best, ... it's all completely up to the OP. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    May 11, 2018 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Secespitus, I get it now, That was the first time I ever saw a answer different from what was asked, I was so confused why someone would accept it. Pertaining to this, should this question be marked as unclear, if his answer was different from his question, and actually accepting it, it seems he himself acknowledges that right? $\endgroup$
    – Mr.J
    May 11, 2018 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.J Questions should be judged on the basis of the question, not on the basis of the answers, so No, we should not close the question. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    May 11, 2018 at 9:17

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