Several times, I have attributed other users in answers that have received upvotes. This generally occurs in two ways: I am expanding on another user's hint, or the user has made a suggestion in a comment that I have edited into the answer.

If I answer a question incorporating information from another user's suggestions, I would like that user to get credit from the attribution. This would take the form of proportional reputation from upvotes to the answer, e.g., 1 or 2 points per upvote. For example, if I were to credit User X in an answer which subsequently received 5 upvotes, User X would receive 5 reputation.

In comments, we can tag other users with the "@" symbol, so clearly there is some support for username recognition in the software. Is there any way to tag users in answers and then link that attribution to reputation?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't quite believe there is a mechanism in place for this sort of thing... $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Nov 1 '12 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ If you have used, and cited, parts of their answers, and readers of your answer find the cited answers helpful, the cited answers will hopefully get upvotes. There is no other mechanism to transfer reputation to them or their answers. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Nov 1 '12 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ Would you want it to work in the negative as well? If you write an answer shooting down something someone else has written, should upvotes to you count against the other? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Nov 1 '12 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson Good question. I don't think that should be the case, but I'm having trouble coming up with a reason beyond "it would be harder." $\endgroup$ – Neal Nov 2 '12 at 1:30
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    $\begingroup$ Would downvoters mind explaining? I'm new to 'meta', so I'd appreciate feedback - was the question not relevant or asked in the wrong place? Poorly worded? Improperly tagged? $\endgroup$ – Neal Nov 2 '12 at 1:32
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    $\begingroup$ Downvotes represent disagreement in opinion on meta - it does not mean you have done anything wrong and it should not be taken personally. Here it means that two people disagree with the idea of having a mechanism, or think the idea is silly in some way, and expressed this through the downvotes. (I did not vote.) $\endgroup$ – anon Nov 2 '12 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I see. Good to know that about voting. Thank you, @anon $\endgroup$ – Neal Nov 2 '12 at 3:27
  • $\begingroup$ I'd say that quite often the users which posted hint (sketch of an answer or the whole answer) in a comment usually don't care that much about upvotes and reputation. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Nov 8 '12 at 11:17

I would argue that reputation isn't worth the effort of such a feature, and that reputation isn't always proportional to effort given, insight required, usefulness of, or time spent answering a question. See this succinct answer ("W"), or maybe the whole list of great answers.

Of course, many of the cited answers are great (in more than just the number of votes), but many insightful and lengthy answers receive a pittance of votes.

All that to say: I respect your desire for generosity, but it's just not worth it.


As robjohn suggests upvote their answer. Should you think the person deserves more reputation points then look through their questions and answers and and upvote the ones you think are good.


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