What is the established criterion for accepting answer, when valuable information is equally spread in multiple answers?

I'm having difficult time weighting objectively which answer to accept, as in many instances there are multiple equally good answers.

Is it the one with highest vote considered the best to be accepted?

Based on the above, wouldn't be better if there was an option for collaborative answer, with possibility to merge multiple complementary answers into one that covers completely the question subject matter?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Simon André Forsberg The last part and first tag differentiate it from the listed links containing possible duplicate. The first part is more concentrated around specific condition multiple complementary answers which puts in context the second part collaborative answers and merging. Maybe I should remove the "P.S." to articulate it better. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ziezi
    May 4, 2015 at 11:37

2 Answers 2


Upvote every answer that you find helpful. Other users will vote on the answers as well. Choosing to accept an answer is completely at your discretion.

Merging answers is not appropriate, as other users may want to vote on each answer in a different way than you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I see, about the merging, I guess that this can be done after sufficient time period after acceptance and when the question is no longer "hot" . My thought is more in the direction of merging all complementary answers into one complete, so that information converges into fewer sources, making it thereby more complete and accessible , and possibly converting/migrating it to wiki. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ziezi
    May 4, 2015 at 8:44
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Questions never really die, though. Old posts still get drive-by votes via search engine traffic. Also, all it takes is a simple edit to bring it back to the front page. \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2015 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not aware of any statistics on how many answers or edits are added to specific question after, let's say, a year, however, I get you, posts are viewed and up-voted all the time making them virtually a never ending projects. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ziezi
    May 4, 2015 at 8:54

Here are two related Meta links:

How does accepting an answer work?

Which answer should I choose?

  • The bottom line is that you should accept the answer that you found to be the most helpful to you, personally.

Which answer do I accept if I have multiple correct answers?

(Specifically, this answer to the above question.)

I would say, the obvious 'established criterion' is yourself. You may want to mark the most humorous one as the answer. You may simply go by the earliest post. Or go by the alphabetic sequence of the usernames...

The only advice I can give is that the more arbitrary/subjective your selection is, the better it may be to actually comment on the chosen answer, or the rest, why you have made your selection as such. It's not so much to provoke a debate, but to let the rest understand your train-of-thought which we would otherwise have no access to.

If you think about it, accepting an answer is to close the feedback loop and let the rest know how the chosen answer is the most helpful to you, and I believe adding a small comment to explain that completes the completion of the loop nicely. :)

(now, I hope you will accept this answer because I'm hoping your subjective criterion consist of me ending with - please?)

(just kidding!)


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