I am new here and do not know how to react now. I asked this question and got some answers, each answer is a part of solving the question. Should I now write a self answer with a summary of all answers and accept this summary or should I accept one of the given answers (all of the answers are worth to be accepted)?

Update: My Idea is to have a summery of the answers following the question. Accepting the summary would do this, I think?

  • I'd say that Werner's link is extremely relevant. The short summary is: so long as you are adding value and that you give credit where credit is due, go ahead. With regard to accepting, this seems (from the short description) a situation where it might be most appropriate to accept your own answer. Jul 31, 2012 at 19:19
  • @Andrew: and Werner: My English is not so good so I need a little bit time to understand the links. Thanks for your advice.
    – Mensch
    Jul 31, 2012 at 19:30
  • No rush. If anything's not clear, edit your question to ask about it. Jul 31, 2012 at 19:32

3 Answers 3


Looking at your particular question, I don't think a summary answer is appropriate. This question is effectively a kind of "big list" question, and the summary doesn't really do much other than just say what's in the other answers. These kinds of big list questions are often the type that are made into Community Wiki answers. Because of the nature of the question, I think it's better to simply not accept any of the answers (which in this case is fine.)

In general, I think that summary answers are only rarely appropriate. Even when you use parts of multiple answers, there's often one that provided the bulk of the help, and the summary answer tends to look (whether justifiably or not) like an attempt to gain reputation based on others work. This is not to say they are never appropriate, but that you should think twice (or more) before posting one. The discussion in the linked question is obviously helpful in deciding these cases.


To expand (and add) on @alan 's answer, I also think that posting a summary answer using material from others indeed always rises the issue of answering to "steal" reputation from the actual writers of the content.

However, I also think that your concern about having the correct answers following directly the question is very legitimate as an easy way for the user to access the trusted information.

Finally, it seems clear that whatever the way you choose to do it, you would obviously have to give credit to the persons who actually came up with the answer.

Therefore, I think that maybe an alternative way to fulfil all these conditions at the same time would be to vote up every of the answers contributing to the full picture, maybe accept one which would be more complete than the others and then summarise the full answer with credit to the authors by editing it at the end of the question.

With this, you couldn't be accused of trying to "steal" reputation from anyone, and at the same time you would have the information directly accessible to the end user while giving credit to the authors.


That's a tough one. It kind of represents a hole in the SO platform/answer contest model. People can answer a question, but what if the question has multiple details where the "right" answer is spread across a couple of different ones? They all get upvotes, but which gets the checkmark? It is kind of dishonorable to "edit in" someone else's correct details into your own..

I'd say the best thing to do is the checkmark the most complete, best answer, but edit in a link to the 2nd best answer that has the rest of the details.

Rewriting people's work then "checkmarking it as correct" is definitely not the best option, and cancelling their rep by summarizing their work into a CW answer is really very very bad in my opinion.


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