I've noticed that there are quite a few users with very low or no acceptance rates on the questions they have asked, and most of the questions have good answers. It seems that this is counterproductive to the purpose of the site if good questions have good answers and they don't get accepted. Is there some type of accountability to prevent users from leeching off the site and never accepting good answers, even if they have been asked about the non-acceptance? What's an appropriate way to approach the issue? I've looked but haven't found a suitable answer to this in the FAQ or in the Great Outdoors meta.

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I'm open to ideas of how to make this a more useful question if you think it may not be. –  manoftheson Jan 10 '13 at 23:58
    
Very good point: I was going to raise this issue ! –  Amine Jan 11 '13 at 0:32
    
Just re-checked my "un-answered" questions... perhaps I'm particular, but they are all still waiting the "definitive" response I'm looking for. Would love to see your contribution ;) –  LBell Jan 19 '13 at 2:48
    
A software change could require that a questioner review questions and say why each answer is unacceptable. In some cases this would result in the questioner picking one of the answers at random, to avoid the work of analysis. Ideally I think that the questioner should comment meaningfully on each answer. –  Sherwood Botsford Apr 1 '13 at 1:43
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2 Answers 2

Unfortunately, no. There is nothing to force users to accept answers, just the 2 rep they receive to gently encourage them. This issue comes up fairly often on the main network meta site, meta.stackexchange.com, and the community team's response is always similar: "there's nothing we can or should do to force people to vote or accept answers."

Remember, whether your answer is accepted or not, you get +10 rep for every upvote, so you're still better off answering questions than not. The rep for an accepted answer is little more than icing on the cake.

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Fairly often is right! I hadn't yet visited the stackoverflow site. Sure rep is nice, but that's not what I'm getting at. See Gordon's comment from the link above: "...IMO, the point of accepting an answer is to show that a question has been solved and that a particular answer was most helpful in solving the problem. It's not so much about the additional reputation than it is a status indicator. Not accepting answers indicates: this question has not been solved yet..." –  manoftheson Jan 11 '13 at 3:27
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Perhaps it's just me, but I never actually got the great outcry that people always seem to make about users not accepting questions. Yes, it can be mildly annoying, especially if a question has in fact been answered fully - but more often than not, the best answer will be bumped up to the top anyway via votes, so will get seen by the majority of people who visit that question.

I'm not sure many people will write a question and its answers off because there's no accepted answer. If anything it can often go the other way - I've seen people accept any old answer, bumping that to the top, whereas in fact the best answer is the one with more votes that sits below the accepted one!

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Great point! The voting mechanism certainly is more important. But this make me wonder how useful it is to even have the "percent accepted" user stat or even the accept button at all, at least how it stands currently. –  manoftheson Jan 18 '13 at 2:37
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@manoftheson To be honest, I would question the usefulness of it in its current form. There's no denying for some questions it can be useful in certain situations, but I don't think it's as important as most seem to consider it. –  berry120 Jan 18 '13 at 11:29
    
The percent accepted adds weight. If I see an answer from a person who has a high percent accepted, then I will pay more attention to that answer. –  Sherwood Botsford Apr 1 '13 at 1:44
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