I looked at the “accept rate” of some of the site’s top users and found that it varies widely in the range 45%–100%. I was surprised with that, as it may be taken as an indicator that either:

  1. hard questions don’t tend to get very good answers (let's assume that top users ask difficult questions), or
  2. we could better reward people who wrote good answers.

So, what do you think of these two hypotheses, and do we want to do something about it?

Regarding the statistics, the accept rate of the users with ≥ 3k reputation and ≥ 10 questions are: 55%, 86%, 57%, 47%, 89%, 100%, 68%, 52%.

PS: I know that there has been debate over whether the “accept rate” is generally a good thing and what its optimal value should be is, but I think a community consensus should emerge on this topic.

  • Assuming there's positive consensus on this issue, how would you want the "rule" to be enforced? – CHM Apr 2 '12 at 12:12
  • @CHM it's not about enforcing. Discussing this already raises the issue (if it's deemed an issue). – F'x Apr 2 '12 at 12:19
  • There are several questions I have not yet accepted answers for yet, but "they are in the pipeline", i.e. I want to review the answers again and choose the best one. It is sometimes a lot of effort to choose the right answer. I realize that this might indicate that something is wrong with the question, and also that answering is a lot of effort too, which must be rewarded. For example I've used Heike's answer from this question for my work, but I've long wanted to do a proper comparison between ... – Szabolcs Apr 6 '12 at 10:26
  • ... all solutions in different scenarios (different point arrangements) to accept the answer which works best in the general case. – Szabolcs Apr 6 '12 at 10:26

I would think that the top users would make this site a better place by trying to accept answers to their questions whenever possible, just because they are viewed as models by many other members of the community, particularly new ones. Seeing the high accept rate for the top users will IMO generally promote the higher accept rates among community, which is a good thing. Note that I don't suggest accepting at all costs, only when one is truly satisfied with one of the answers.


I know that there are several of my questions for which I have upvoted multiple answers, but I haven't bothered getting around to really pinning down and accepting the best one. I hope that people do not feel that I am ungrateful for their answers. I just want to put more consideration into an eventual Accept. I don't think it would be best for anyone if I hastily accept an inferior, broken, or incomplete answer.

On the other hand, I know that I am not good about coming back to older posts. I have written that I will "fix this tomorrow" or something similar, only to forget about it and then to my chagrin find it a month later. I shall try to improve in this area.

  • This was not meant to be a criticism of anyone in particular, nor of the high-rep users in general. I am sorry if it could be interpreted that way, and would welcome any editing of the original post that makes it clearer. I simply happened that I wanted to check if some statistics backed my feeling, and it was easier to collect those statistics on people who had a large number of questions. – F'x Apr 2 '12 at 14:47
  • @F'x I didn't take it that way. This seemed like as good a place as any to give my personal explanation. – Mr.Wizard Apr 2 '12 at 14:51
  • @MrWizard OK then, thanks for your answer – F'x Apr 2 '12 at 14:52

When I don't get a satisfying answer to my question I don't accept. I don't see how that could possibly be negotiable.

  • 2
    Again, I must have been unclear: I am not try to coax anyone into doing anything. Seeing low accept rates, I’m wondering if people just tend to forget about accepting answers (and if so, how can we remind them) or if they really feel that half of their questions don’t get satisfactory answers (which is the kind of statistics we should be aware of, and try to improve somehow). – F'x Apr 3 '12 at 6:59
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    Also, it would be great if you could comment on questions you didn't accept an answer for, saying why the proposed answers are not satisfactory. For example, here and there – F'x Apr 3 '12 at 8:16

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