This is in the same vein as Answering questions with a comment - is this usual? Oftentimes I am looking for unanswered questions to try my hand at. Sometimes I find one I can answer, but then find the answer was posted in the comment and the post was subsequently abandoned by all involved. Other times I don't initially know the answer, but the commented answer appears by all means to be correct. Should I post an answer that simply rewords the answer provided in the comment? I'd like to do so so that the post has an answer provided, and to increase my rep, but I also don't want to appear to be claiming other's knowledge as my own.

  • Also related: meta.gis.stackexchange.com/questions/3585/… – Andre Silva Dec 30 '14 at 20:10
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    If you don't fully understand a comment, it is dangerous to post it as an answer! You risk not only sowing confusion and misinformation, but also embarrassing yourself. If you are sure of the comment, then by all means follow @Underdark's advice in her answer: we value efforts to produce answered, upvoted, accepted threads. – whuber Dec 30 '14 at 22:58
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    The comment answer is often short and poorly written, such as one external link. The answer should get proper writing style, then you indeed add value: all good. – Hugolpz Dec 31 '14 at 17:38
  • Also related: meta.gis.stackexchange.com/questions/3779/… where the last paragraph of my answer is my own version of an answer to this one. – Chris W Jan 29 '15 at 0:00
up vote 16 down vote accepted

Imho, it is fair to repost the comment as an answer if a reasonable amount of time, i.e. a week, has passed and the commenter doesn't seem interested in posting an answer. This (+ at least one upvote) is the only way to get the question recognized as answered.

Alternatively, you can try to encourage the commenter to post his/her comment as an answer. Sometimes it works. Other times, you can certainly use their information to post an answer without feeling bad.

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    +1 I did this recently in gis.stackexchange.com/a/127665/115 - although I thought four days later, rather than a week, was a more than reasonable amount of time. – PolyGeo Dec 30 '14 at 22:17
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    Absolutely, many times I (and others) have time to post a comment that may contain most or all of an answer but not time to produce a nicely formatted, linked and image inserted answer. In these cases I'd be the first to upvote someone expanding the comment to an answer... to be fair though acknowledge the comment in the answer: 'Expanding on the comment by Joe Bloggs...' – Michael Stimson Jan 5 '15 at 4:40
  • @PolyGeo Reasonable amount of time is probably relative, in some combination with most recent logon. I've been gone over a month, so 4 days wouldn't have let me respond. Then again, perhaps it doesn't matter. If I pinged someone and they didn't do anything within a week or so, I'd probably do it anyway. There's a bit of community in it, knowing something about your fellow posters and their habits. – Chris W Jan 29 '15 at 0:05
  • @ChrisW I used to go to the trouble of trying to take account of when people last logged in but found that it was largely wasted time. I know they don't all post, but it is futile trying to get to know all of our 28,000+ users. – PolyGeo Jan 29 '15 at 10:46

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