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With so many questions that have valid answers, but they aren't marked as such, could we get the ability to "vote to mark as answer" or some similar functionality?

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There is a similar functionality, just upvote the correct answer. This answer will then bubble to the top. On StackExchange, the definition of “unanswered” is “questions with no upvoted or accepted answers”.

Only the questioner can really say if one of the posts answers their question. Not all questioners bother to take the trouble unfortunately, but that can't be helped.

  • Yea, that is what I was wondering if we could change. So many good answers aren't getting the credit they deserve since many don't bother to mark an answer. – John Chapman Feb 25 '13 at 3:23
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    Yes, but you can get a lot more credit from several up-votes. – SPDoctor Feb 25 '13 at 8:28
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    I support this request. There's just something so much more rewarding when you get that green check mark of acceptance from some lonely soul on the internet you'll likely never meet. Plus, how many users go digging through old, answered questions on a regular basis with the intent of up voting answers that were never accepted? – RJ Cuthbertson Feb 25 '13 at 19:14
  • SPDoctor, while I agree with your work-around, I don't think this really addresses the root issue here. This topic has come up many times. – Ray Jun 20 '13 at 16:15
  • It comes up almost constantly and has been debated ad nauseam across SE and SO. The conclusion is that the answer with the most up-votes is the de facto "community accepted answer" or whatever you want to call it. – SPDoctor Jun 20 '13 at 17:30
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This topic has come up many, many, times. While I agree that the current work-around is OK, I don't think this really addresses the root issue we have here, which is too much noise on the site and frustrated users.

We seem to be proposing a treatment for the symptom, rather than the root issue. What we need is another mechanism to improve the thread quality/searchability/readability in an organic way.

I would certainly advocate a vote to mark as answer.

The community is a good mechanism for determining what entails a solution.

We allow community edits to a question - so I just can't get behind the rationale that "only the OP knows if something is a solution". This is a red herring.

If the community understands the question enough to make edits that improve the clarity and quality of the original question, then it reasons that the same people would have to have a clear understanding what constitutes the best answer, otherwise, why are we allowing reviewed edits?

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    I think you are misunderstanding the meaning of "accepted". It is not the same as "the best answer", as chosen by the majority, which is what the voting indicates. It just means it is the answer that was accepted by the questioner. – SPDoctor Jun 20 '13 at 17:26
  • You bring up a good point, which is that the way "accepted" is being used and defined, might not be the best way to leverage the threads. People look for accepted answers - so how do we reduce the noise then? I would be interested to see some statistics on the SP stack. Of the total number of questions, how many have accepted answers? Has the number increased or decreased over time? etc. While I agree generally on what accepted means, I am not convinced that the way it is designed is working. And you still haven't proposed any alternatives (respectfully, of course). – Ray Jun 20 '13 at 17:44
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    I think I am arguing that the existing system works as far as it goes so, from a debating point of view, there is no onus on me to provide an alternative (respectfully, of course ;-). You have proposed alternatives that have already been debated at length on meta.stackoverflow, and I refer you to those discussions. Voting is the key - without people voting it doesn't work, and neither do the alternatives. – SPDoctor Jun 21 '13 at 10:11

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