In general, answers are being accepted by the original posters way too fast. When only one short answer has been provided and the answer accepted only hours after it was posted (with no other time for other people to post), then something is broken with the users. More examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Yes, I know that the OP can always change their vote, but an overly fast acceptance rate will discourage people from submitting thorough answers, or even from submitting questions at all.

The difference in motivation provided by seeing one short answer with only one or two upvotes and seeing the same answer that also been accepted by the OP is tremendous.

I would like us to encourage OPs to wait longer to let the community put several answers together for each question before selecting preferred answers. If we don't, the site will get populated by questions and answers the community hasn't put the time into polishing and people's first impressions will be that it's insufficiently introspective to warrant visiting.

  • there is a hard limit of about 15 minutes after asking where the software won't allow you to accept, as it is far too soon. Mar 28, 2011 at 22:39
  • @Jeff Good to know. That's probably a good hard limit to stick with, and for a site with tons of traffic like Stack Overflow perhaps good in practice as well. For this beta, which struggles with traffic as it is, people definitely need to be waiting longer.
    – Adam Wuerl
    Mar 30, 2011 at 0:10
  • @Jeff - Is it possible to make exceptions to beta sites and make the accept limit limit longer than 15 minutes? What do you think of the idea?
    – jmort253
    Mar 30, 2011 at 4:40
  • +1 I believe the same. Early acceptance sometimes discourage other people to invest time on rethink the question and provide an answer with different prospective.
    – Chris
    Aug 9, 2011 at 7:00

4 Answers 4


I believe the answer to this question is up to the original poster. He/she may accept an answer at any point.

However, there is no rule that says that the answer he/she planned to accept on day one can't still be the same answer he/she accepts on day 15. Based on that logic, I encourage all of our users to wait before accepting an answer.

If this isn't enough to encourage question-askers to wait, then let's take a more selfish approach: Questions that have not yet been assigned an accepted answer are naturally more likely to receive more up-votes. Therefore, if you want to increase your reputation, one trick is to delay accepting an answer until enough people have viewed your question, answered it, and have more motivation to up-vote the actual question.

Questions with many answers are going to be viewed as more interesting to the community.


Actually what I find interesting is that questions without accepted answer yield more views and more new answers and, from a perspective of OP, both are good.

But then, if OP believes the question has been answered well I see no reason to wait.

If we believe we have better answer for a question with accepted answer there's no problem to add it or vote such answers up.

Also I think we generally want to see people accepting answers at some point and I guess it's better to have it a bit too quick than never at all.


I agree with the OP, project management questions are not always quickly answered - some need consideration. If OP's gave a day before considering which is the best answer it would allow for more answers - and a better spread of precious reputation points (which are needed to prop up the 'worrying' avid users metric on Area 51.


As long as the question is answered, why waiting?

The primordial objective of pm.stackexchange (and any other forum around the internet) is to answer someone's question.

Of course, complete and thoughtful answers are highly appreciated and adds a lot for all of us. I learned a lot with all of you, even though I only made 1 single question on pm (so far).

I also agree that as much traffic a question has, as better answers might appear. If the traffic depends on the answer's acceptance (or the lack of it), then we need to agree that we're more worried about our reputation than answer someone's question.

It's a matter of maturity, I guess. Besides, as Pawel stated, better a quick acceptance than no acceptance at all. Maybe when pm becomes an official part of so, we can come back to this discussion. At this point, when pm needs questions / answers to be alive... I tend to keep things like they are now.


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