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Being that I'm new to UX, I tend to look around and notice various things. One of the things that sort of bugs me is that there seems to be very few accepted answers compared to the number of questions asked. Some questions even have multiple answers with a number of upvotes, yet they still sit there unaccepted.

Does this bother anyone else?

Can anything be done to improve this rate?

I've noticed several other question/answer sites will have their mods go in and accept the best answer after a certain period of time. I want to say MSDN does this.

Could this be done here?

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  • I find a lot of people simply forget to accept an answer. If a question is left for a very long time without any answer I often leave a comment reminding them that it would be helpful to either accept one or make a comment why none of the answers are accepted and most people do accept the top answer. – Kit Grose Feb 9 '14 at 11:37
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The only person who is able to accept an answer is the person who asked it. Moderators don't have the power to accept answers on anyones' behalf (nor to unaccept an answer).

Moderators aren't expected to be experts in everything that gets posted on the site. We're here to support the community, handle flags and deal with urgent issues. Whether or not an answer is accepted isn't something that requires intervention - answers get votes and the ones with the highest number of votes should generally mean it's a correct useful answer, so people reading the site have that to go by.

As a community site it's really up to the users involved if they want to accept an answer or not. It's encouraged though, that's why there is a rep reward for accepting an answer, but it's not really a problem if answers aren't accepted. It's the votes that count. Sometimes an answer gets accepted that isn't the highest voted answer, sometimes blatently wrong answers get accepted. But this is a community of humans, if we forced people to accept answers then people would have to accept answers that they don't like, or may be put off asking questions in the first place.

It's best just to think of the accept answer option as the question asker saying 'yes, solved the problem for me' and just rely on the voting score to know how useful other people found the answer. Often they're both the same anyway.

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    Yea, I understand the logic, I guess it's the same across all SE sites. It's just frustrating when you are trying to build your reputation and answers aren't being accepted. Over at SO, if someone has a low acceptance rate, you think twice about even wasting your time answering. – Code Maverick Jan 22 '14 at 21:52
  • That's exactly the reason why the 'accept rate' figure that used to be against peoples profile is no longer there. – JonW Jan 22 '14 at 21:54
  • Well, the way I look at it is some answers require a lot of your time; they take time to format, create and test results, etc. Someone's time is very important. Myself, I get very little free time with a wife, 3 kids, work, and a ministry on the side. So to come here or to SO and answer questions, you want to maximize your time as well as the reputation you stand to gain for that time spent. That's why I liked having the Accept Rate field on the profile. It helped you better spend that time. – Code Maverick Jan 22 '14 at 22:24
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    While you make a fair case, it promotes "not answering" under certain circumstances, while the whole point of this site is to get answers. – Dirk v B Jan 23 '14 at 0:18

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