I have recently asked this question Knowing that most students submit assignments right around the deadline, is it advisable not to set deadline that is very late at night? on Academia. It has attracted several very interesting answers, high-quality IMHO and that have been abundantly up-voted by the community.

There are two specific answers that I feel address complementary aspects of an "ideal" reply. Naturally, I have up-voted both, since both are of interest to a potential viewer of the question.

My question is: what strategy to adopt when choosing which most helpful answer to accept?

I have been considering several options:

  1. Choose between one or the other. This would not be fair to either in my view, since their replies are truly complementary, i.e. make sense when taken together.
  2. Choose neither, and post my own solution "cannibalizing" elements of both. Not my favorite choice from a moral standpoint.
  3. Choose somebody else's answer. There are several other very good answers, but they just do not show the completeness of these two.
  4. Choose not to choose, accepting no answer. But this would leave the question eternally open, when in fact I think the elements given in the answers go quite a long way to solving the original question as posed.

There is no immediate hurry, since the question has only been up for around 12 hours. However, I would appreciate any thoughts on making my final choice.

2 Answers 2


To quote from the site's Tour page:

The person who asked can mark one answer as "accepted".

Accepting doesn't mean it's the best answer, it just means that it worked for the person who asked.

I don't think there's any moral compunction to choose an answer. Accepting just

  1. lets other people know which choice you've made, amongst the answers (which is valuable since the answer that worked isn't always the one with the most vote), and
  2. gives a nice little bonus of Fake Internet Points for the person who answered.

I would thus recommend following Strategy #4: if there's not "one best answer," why try to fix things onto such a Procrustean bed?

And, after all, you can always come back and mark something as accepted later if it makes sense then.

  • Sage advice, indeed. Not sure if I will actually use it, since the engineer in me likes to start, work on and eventually put an end to each process. It will be complex in this case since most of the good answers actually share aspects between them.
    Aug 7, 2015 at 7:44

In this case (I saw 34 votes!), I think you could spare 50 reputation units (I'm not sure if points is the right word) to offer a bounty. Then you could write your own answer acknowledging the two contributions, accept your answer, and split the bounty to the two best contributors.

  • I think we are now up to 50. A bit of a surprise to me, actually - but the question does seem to interest the community. ;-) Since both of the posters have high reputation levels (> 1k) and have actually earned quite a few points/units through their answers, perhaps this approach is not necessary in this case. But I will bear it in mind if a similar situation should occur with posters having lower accumulated points.
    Aug 7, 2015 at 7:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .