I've noticed a recent trend of people answering questions in the comments. I've asked about this issue in the past, and though I understand that sometimes people don't want to write out a complete answer, the entire premise of Stack Exchange is "ask questions, get answers," NOT "ask questions, get comments." Stack Exchange is made for people to vote on the best answers, and downvote answers you feel do a bad job of explaining the question. You can only upvote comments, and if they spark disagreement, the only thing these answer-comments invite are more comments. This seems much more like a forum to me, and is exactly what Stack Exchange is not.

Please help maintain Chemistry.SE as a place to get both thorough and knowledgable answers. It doesn't take that much more time to just write out a full answer.

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    $\begingroup$ On the other hand this type of answer is flagged as NAA by random people for being too comment-ish. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Nov 25, 2015 at 9:58
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    $\begingroup$ I might write an answer on this if I might, but for now note that we should decide this on a case-by-case basis otherwise it won't be that useful. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 27, 2015 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ I cannot agree more with this. I'd upvote it twice if I could. $\endgroup$
    – long
    Jan 20, 2016 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ Given the above what happens when I see a question 99.9% answered in a comment and perhaps acknowledged by the person who posted it as "that pretty well answers my question" and I, after the fact, take the time to find diagrams, references and give an explanation that does not plagiarize the 99.9% comment. Is that in the spirit of StackExchange or simply gaming the system? $\endgroup$
    – Hal
    Nov 26, 2020 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


Sometimes, however, it's better to give hints on really short or quick questions, so the asker can find the solution on their own. I have found that short hints posted as answers have often been voted down.

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    $\begingroup$ And rightfully so. I don't want chem.SE to turn into this. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 27, 2015 at 14:37

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