In response to another question @Luke has referred to the APQ stat (ratio of answers per question) as a measure of the quality of the site.

I have noted in several places (and done it myself) a comment added to an existing good answer to provide an additional item of information that supplements what was originally written.

If that becomes common practice it will depress the APQ. (It is currently 2.77. If just one comment on half the questions had been a separate answer, it would be 3.26).

Would it be better to create a completely new answer that links to, and extends, the first. Or would that be against the spirit of the SE model?

3 Answers 3


The psychology is that people tend not to add answers to questions that have accepted answers.

And people tend to be accepting answers too early, not giving enough opportunity for others to add their answers, which may in fact turn out to be better.

So the solution is to recommend that people should try to hold off accepting an answer until there are at least three of them.

Personally, I often wait a few weeks or even a month or two on Stack Overflow without accepting an answer on my programming questions. It definitely results in more answers, and often I find myself accepting one that was added later.

See also: Why Are We Accepting Answers So Fast?

That said, our APQ of 2.9 that we have as I write this is good. Anything over 2.5 is good. So really, this is not currently a problem. See http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/43502/genealogy-family-history


I would suggest the best answer is that, assuming you have the requisite reputation, EDIT the original answer, rather than adding a COMMENT

Adding a separate answer, whilst playing the statistics game, means the two are disconnected - if someone reads the original answer, they may not read your subsequent one.

{Having said that, I'm as guilty as you...}


In my opinion and experience, adding another answer that adds to a previous answer is fine. If it's one sentence you're adding, however, I would just leave a comment. If it's a paragraph adding on to the previous answer, go ahead and make a new answer. Jut be sure to state in the first sentence that you're building of of UserX's answer.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .