My Question is as it is in the title..

Can I just post (I did not say ask) a question and answer (I am not asking for proofreading) just because I understand the question properly and I know the answer and I think this question helps others.

Is this kind of practice allowed in MSE?

| |
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ It is allowed. On some SE sites, it's even encouraged. It just so happens that this community has not typically rewarded such questions and answers with upvotes (for whatever that's worth), though I also suspect that "useful" questions and answers will almost always be received well (whatever that means). $\endgroup$ – davidlowryduda Jun 14 '14 at 2:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @mixedmath : But those questions were kept on hold by other users.... Should i mention "This is a Q&A style question which this site encourages to share. Both the question and answer are clear and so I thought I would share this as students may find it useful. I think it can be reworded to fit within the scope." in the question body... Does that help...? $\endgroup$ – user87543 Jun 14 '14 at 2:45
  • $\begingroup$ Sometimes they're put on hold. Sometimes they aren't. I don't think that writing that blurb would help, but I could be wrong. $\endgroup$ – davidlowryduda Jun 14 '14 at 2:55
  • $\begingroup$ Adding the sentences in your comment to question body would make the question look worse, in my opinion. Add as a comment, if you want... For best result, I suggest making connection to existing questions on the site: e.g., you can add that the fact proved in your post gives another way to deal with some existing questions. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jun 14 '14 at 3:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, it's acceptable. But you should mark clearly in the question that that's what you're doing. The negative community response to many of these questions in the past has been due to either misunderstandings, or occasions when the asker wasn't being forthcoming. $\endgroup$ – user61527 Jun 14 '14 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ @wordsthatendinGRY : Thanks you for your suggestion... :) $\endgroup$ – user87543 Jun 14 '14 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ @user61527 : Thanks you for your suggestion... :) $\endgroup$ – user87543 Jun 14 '14 at 3:37
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ And one more suggestion: if you do post, try to use proper capitalization such as "I". $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jun 14 '14 at 4:20
  • $\begingroup$ You may find some older discussions of this in these posts and other posts shown there among "linked questions": meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/4337/…, meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/4286/… or meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/1839/… One useful thing to notice is that you can post the question and an answer at the same time, by checking "Answer your own question" checkbox when posting the question. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 14 '14 at 7:25
  • $\begingroup$ I am familiar with "you can post the question and an answer at the same time, by checking "Answer your own question" checkbox when posting the question"... I am asking if it is allowed and i have got answer as "Yes".... $\endgroup$ – user87543 Jun 14 '14 at 8:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I suppose technically it's allowed, but it probably depends on who's doing the askanswering. Like if I did it, five M.SE users would spontaneously act as one to change the software to allow negative reputation, and then I'd have negative one million reputation. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Jun 27 '14 at 4:11
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe : Sorry, I do not understand what you have said.. $\endgroup$ – user87543 Jun 27 '14 at 9:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just that it's one of those things that depends on who's doing it. If you're well-liked, it goes over well. If you're not well-liked, there will be swift, negative repercussions for just about anything you do. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Jun 27 '14 at 15:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe Any data to support this hypothesis of yours? $\endgroup$ – Did Mar 15 '15 at 11:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Did I guess you'll have to class it in the latter. My point here would be more convincing if my reputation was actually a negative number. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Mar 15 '15 at 16:08

The answer to the question if it is allowed is readily found in the help center:

Can I answer my own question?

The short version of the answer given there is: "Yes!" On top of that the software explicitly supports self-answering.

The more relevant question should be how this will be received. It is said in OP "[...]I think this question helps others."

Somebody else might simply disagree with that judgement and react accordingly. And, I feel it is reasonable to impose somewhat higher standards when judging usefulness of self-answered questions.

The rational being: if somebody asks a question that they actually have, in the sense of they want an answer to it, then essentially by definition the question is very useful to them and it is hard to argue with that. So, in the standard scenario there is at least one person for whom it is definitely useful, which makes the threshold for deciding the question is still not useful quite a bit higher.

In a self-answered scenario this is not the case.

Briefly and roughly: I feel in the standard scenario the burden of proof should be with those that think something is not useful. By contrast, in a self-answered scenario the burden of proof of usefullness is with the one posting.

| |
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ so... what does this conclude?? $\endgroup$ – user87543 Jun 14 '14 at 15:42
  • 23
    $\begingroup$ The point I meant to convey is that one should not expect that just because it is "allowed" it will always be received well. Something can be allowed in principle, but specific istances could still legitimately be downvoted or closed. $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 14 '14 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for above comment.... $\endgroup$ – user87543 Jun 14 '14 at 16:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree with @quid ... I think one should avoid questions whose answers are just obvious. I did such mistake and three of my "self answered" questions stand closed! $\endgroup$ – Debashish Jun 20 '14 at 7:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ One other source for self-answered questions, which I am frequently guilty of, is a question for which I realize the answer while typing up the question or shortly after. In this case, there was an actual impetus of a problem to solve, but because it is resolved immediately it ends up as a soliloquy. (I try to write those answers as if I were talking to someone else, though.) $\endgroup$ – Mario Carneiro Feb 8 '15 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ A self answer question is almost always useful to the person who asked to question. It is a good learning experience to write one to the high standards of quality expected on this site, in such a way that it is understandable to other readers and not just the asker. Even if no one needed it, asking the question is an exercise for the OP to explain their proof on a topic they enjoy (rather than a topic that someone else set in another question) to a larger audience than normal. $\endgroup$ – user400188 Sep 3 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ @user400188 if they manage to write it to a high standard it's all fine, if not then somebody should let them know. $\endgroup$ – quid Sep 3 at 0:21

You must log in to answer this question.