I have a question where the correct answer seems to be broken across two different answers (this one here, Jan and Farhan both seem to have parts of the answer).

It seems like the right thing to do is to simply combine the answers so we can have one single answer? But I worry about that for a couple reasons:

  • First, that it's unfair (or at least disingenuous) to take credit for someone else answer, just in principle.
  • Second, on a more practical level, there's no way to split reputation, even if you mention the other answer.

How can this be dealt with? Is it proper to just incorporate someone else's answer into your own so that we can have the answer in one place? It seems to be how the site is designed...

Personally I wish there was some way to combine answers that allowed for co-authoring so rep can be shared, it seems like the cleanest solution but...I doubt that's a trivial request for the devs at Stack Exchange.


1 Answer 1


SE recommends to combine answers. I remember an early presentation by Joel Spolsky where he encouraged to do just this if it improves the answer to a question. It was under the heading "how do I gain mod points quickly", but I cannot find it right now, so no link yet. If you cite and attribute the parts to their respective authors, all is well.

From the help center: When you find a useful resource that can help answer a question (from another site or in an answer on Stack Overflow) make sure you do all of the following:

  • Provide a link to the original page or answer
  • Quote only the relevant portion
  • Provide the name of the original author
  • $\begingroup$ Would this also apply if the two answers are on the same question? $\endgroup$
    – Jay Carr
    Jun 4, 2015 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ @JayCarr: Yes, that was my impression, but I still cannot find the source. I would also had recommended to post as Community, but I do not know how this can be done. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2015 at 21:18

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