Let's say i have written an answer to a question. I feel like i have done a good job of answering it and covered all the points that needed to be covered.

Now, if i see some another answer that i feel brings up some point, that i realise i should have covered in my answer as well.

Is it okay to edit my answer to include the new point? Or is it considered bad etiquette or stealing?

Should i just leave my answer as is ? Especially if my answer is the highest voted one and so has a good chance of becoming the accepted answer. While that other answer has no or low votes. So leaving it as is might mean, that anyone who comes to this question will likely just read my answer and i feel my answer is really incomplete and would become much more complete and helpful by adding that point.

What is the expected etiquette in these kinds of situations?


1 Answer 1


You can reference material from other answers, even answers on the same page that were submitted after your answer, but you do need to give proper attribution. Eg,

As [userX mentions](link_to_their_answer), we also need to consider ...

There's no need to repeat everything that userX said, since readers can just click the link & read it for themselves.

Also, you probably should upvote userX's answer, because you think it's useful. And there's a Sportsmanship badge for upvoting competing answers. ;)

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    $\begingroup$ Of course if you just want to talk about a similar point then there isn't any need to give credit. Unless you want to say, "I added this in after reading this answer", but there is no requirement. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 11:58
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    $\begingroup$ Also I would like to point out that hyper-linking to the referred answer is often an overkill. You can of course do it if you want to, but don't feel that you have to. For regular posts, with two or three answers, I'd say it is perfectly fine to omit the link. For HNQ where there are a dozen answers, the link does help navigate them. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ @AccidentalFourierTransform Sure, you often don't need to link, but it can be useful, especially if the question is popular, and is likely to gather more answers in the future. And if you're actually quoting material from another page, then including the URL is desirable. The Creative Commons license doesn't require you to include the URL of quoted material, but it does recommend it. The main thing is to make it clear to the reader that you're quoting / using CC-By-SA material created by someone else. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ @AccidentalFourierTransform hyperlinking will also help just in case the user changes their username, as it does happen sometimes. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ But if you upvote userX's answer to get the Sportsmanship badge, are you really being sportsmanlike? But that's the point of your joke, right? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ @MatthewChristopherBartsh True, it's not very sportsmanlike to upvote answers just to get the badge, but IME the badge does encourage upvoting, and gets people into the habit of at least considering upvoting "competing" answers. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 17:13

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