SE provides the feature of answering your own question. I often see this when someone made something sophisticated, but useful and wants to share his/her knowledge on, e.g., TEX.SE or similar.

In contrast here, there is typically no definite answer (but some preferable answers to accept, of course). Many questions here come from experience and almost every OP has made up his/her mind thinking about the question asked (but wants to see a maybe better argumentation or seeks for references, etc.). For example, on some questions I was asking here, I have already tried some solution, but was faced with mixed feelings about it or I am not sure if the solution is that good. Also, I am hesitating in answering my own question thinking in that context that would be impolite.

What do you think about this issue or how should we handle this in the future?

  • $\begingroup$ I know I saw something that said it was good practice to do this. That's why I've started doing so. But I can't find what I saw. $\endgroup$
    – Sue VanHattum Mod
    Mar 16, 2014 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ @SueVanHattum I assume you saw matheducators.stackexchange.com/help/self-answer in the help center. For completenes, and not to suggest we should adopt it here, I add that some SE sites, like MathOverflow, have different etiquette for this though. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Mar 16, 2014 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ @SueVanHattum As some anecdata, I've found both your and other responders' answers valuable on your own questions. I would think it a shame if we were to require that users could not answer their own questions. $\endgroup$
    – user37
    Mar 16, 2014 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


I think especially for questions that are quite a bit a matter of opinion I think it is good practice to write a neutral possibly quite short question and then to write ones own opinion as an answer; as opposed to including ones own opinion already in the question itself and thus always having the "top-spot" over all other contributions. (This is also what is done sometimes on metas when somebody wants to start a discussion.)

If one wants to be extra careful one could ask the neutral question and then wait a bit and only latter add ones own answer to the others that then might alread exist. This is not always feasible and I do not consider it as necessary to proceed like this, but if one is worried about being seen as impolite otherwise this could be an option.

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    $\begingroup$ If asking a question to generate a discussion, I believe that waiting for at least one other answer would be best etiquette. I'm not sure if it should be required, but definitely a suggestion. $\endgroup$
    – David G
    Mar 17, 2014 at 4:59

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