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My question comes from different observations:

  • This site is still in beta, and the stats on area51 shows that one point which needs to be improved on this site is the answer ratio: At the time of the writing of this question we have an average of 1.8 answer per question when the recommended ratio is 2.5 of more

  • These same stats shows that 96% of the questions are marked as answered which is pretty good.

  • I can't find this information but from what I have experienced the community is pretty reactive and good answers generally come pretty quickly (most of the time less than a day).

  • This is the subjective point of my reflexion but I tend to think that when an answer is marked as accepted users will be less inclined to take the time to add new answers even if there is probably other informations or valuable solutions which could be shared.

This leads to my question: What is the best amount of time to mark an answer as accepted?

  • When a good answer appears should we accept it quickly or would it be more interesting to let the answer unaccepted for several days in the hope to attract other answers?

  • If leaving the answer unaccepted is better, how long should it stay unaccepted?

  • 1
    Questions are marked as answered when either an answer is accepted or one gets an upvote. As the question asker, you don't have much control over whether other people upvote an answer, so I've edited the question to better reflect what you do have control over. – Rich Jun 19 '15 at 11:11
  • @Rich thanks you're right that's closer to what I wanted to say. – statox Jun 19 '15 at 11:37
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This site is still in beta, and the stats on area51 shows that one point which needs to be improved

Those stats aren't really important, and are really there for informative purposes.

As far as I know, this is something that was already the "unofficial" policy for a while, and recently there was an announcement to make it more "official":

  1. When a site starts to consistently receive 10 questions/day, we’ll consider it for graduation.

  2. If a public beta site does not produce consistently helpful content, and lacks the caretakers needed for flags and spam to get handled and our Be Nice policy to be upheld, it will be closed.

Is your site in between these two categories? You don’t have anything to worry about.

So whatever you do, it has no effect on our graduation chances :-)

It's difficult to say which strategy will get you the most/best answers. In Dutch we say "meten is weten" (measuring is knowing), and as far as I know no one has ever measured this.
I can only make a guess, and my guess is that it doesn't matter that much, but postponing marking an answer as accepted does no harm to anyone, so if you're unsure, just wait a few days before accepting an answer...

  • I really like the point you make! Your link is pretty relevant I didn't see this post but that's really cool to see that our site isn't "in danger" of closing. As long as the quality of the site keeps its good quality, accepting an answer under an hour or a week doesn't make a real difference. – statox Jun 25 '15 at 19:42
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Well... I, like everyone else, have my own voting and accepting habits. I'll just list what I do:

  • If the current answer seems to be optimal (i.e., any other way would be worse in some sense, whether complexity or efficiency, or is negative with supporting documentation), then the only way it can be beaten is if another answer gave a better explanation. So, I tend to accept (and upvote) such answers directly.
  • Otherwise, I upvote it, leave a comment informing the user that I'd like to leave the question open for a couple of days. It's just courtesy, and so for no one has had a problem with it.

And, as I said, I stick to about two days. I have plenty of unaccepted questions, but few (none?) where I haven't upvoted any answer.


All that said, without some hard data on answer rates here, I'm not sure anyone can give a good answer to this question. And even with data, I'm not convinced we're big enough for any trends to be significant.

  • Actually that's pretty close to what I also tend to do... About the lack of data: is there a simple way to get it? (By simple I mean which would require a reasonable amount of work compared to what it would bring us) – statox Jun 20 '15 at 15:51
  • @statox Depends. I think you can use a few queries on Stack Exchange Data Explorer to do so. Here's one that returns questions which answers posted one day after an answer was accepted: data.stackexchange.com/vi/query/328243/… (my SQL isn't the best, so you might be able to come up with better queries). – muru Jun 21 '15 at 20:00
  • I didn't know this tool exists, I'll see what I can do with it. Thanks! – statox Jun 22 '15 at 12:11

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