I was just wondering what is the recommended duration should I put a tick on an answer.

Suppose a question was posted on 18 Feb 2013 9 am and an answer came at 10 am, so, should I put a tick on the answer at 10 am or how long should I wait (1 day, a week or a month or ??)?

Should I wait for more answers? (Sometime, I could only get 1 answer for my question).

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I The following is based on what various other people have said, either about how others behave, or about how they themselves behave. It doesn't apply to me so I'm offering it as "what I heard the crowd say". Value appropriately :-).

The list is seen by people all around the world - I'm in NZ and my daytime is Europe's night time. USA is 6 to 9 hours ahead of me in time and 1 day behind me in date. A question accepted in 1 or 3 or 6 or 12 hours may happen before people like me ever get to see it.

If you accept the 1st answer given within about an hour of asking you will sometimes discourage people who care about reputation. Unless the answer utterly cries out to you as the ultimate answer to every aspect of what you wanted to know, it's probably best to wait a day or so to see what comes. Longer if a lively Q&A gets going as is sometimes the case.

About nobody is likely to mind waiting a day of few for their pearl of wisdom to be accepted, so as long as you do accept and answer 'after a while' all should be well.

Note that on other SE sites and presumably this one, you can un-accept an answer and accept another one instead. This happens occasionally. That's not something that you want to make a habit of as, amongst other things, it shows as a points deduction on a user's total, which can be disturbing when they do not understand why.

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When is really up to you, however its best not to "wait forever"...an answer should always be accepted (ticked...checked off in green, we call that "accepting an answer" here). If you ask a question, you should accept an answer when someone offers one that actually answers your question. Regardless of when that occurs, if you get a solid answer that answers your question without ambiguity, accept it. If you get an answer that sort of answers your question, or answers something tangential to your question, you can wait.

If you want to encourage more people to answer your questions, you can always offer up a bounty. A bounty is when you spend some of your own reputation points (minimum 50, plus 50 offered by the system for 100+) to highlight your question and increase its visibility. The bounty is awarded either to the highest voted answer after expiration if you do not select a winner, or you can award it directly to an answerer.

Also keep in mind...when someone actually answers your question, remember to vote it up as well as accept it.

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