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Some questions have been answered completely in comments to those questions. In that case, what should be done, answer the question officially, even if it means repeating everything said in the comments so that people do not think that the question is unanswered, or leave it the way it is and have people open it thinking it is answered, then face this dilemma all over again?

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    $\begingroup$ I think it is up to you. If someone want's can answer question all over again. He/she can give reference to comment saying "as BlaBlaBla has already pointed out" or something. Generally people leave comments if they are lazy (or don't have time) to write elaborate answer with references. $\endgroup$ – Dexter Nov 8 '15 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Dexter Good example! $\endgroup$ – Amory Nov 11 '15 at 1:30
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IMO, unanswered questions should definitely be properly answered, even if it is based on other's comments. Comments are just comments, they are no answers.

However, comments are often just comments for a reason; there are no references, only wikipedia citations, or only cites to other questionable sources. If you decide to convert comments into a proper answer, make it an answer, not just a bunch of pooled comments with questionable sources.

Of course, refer to the comment's authors, especially if you have used them as a guidance.

If there are authoritative comments, you can always comment and ping the author to ask for permission to answer using author's info. Or go to chat and sort it out beforehand. I've done that, no worries.

However, compiling an answer via other's comments without acknowledging them appropriately is, IMHO, a no-go.

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  • $\begingroup$ What about questions like this ? $\endgroup$ – Dexter Nov 9 '15 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Dexter - Citing a wiki and wiki only as an answer would make me tend to downvote. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Nov 9 '15 at 22:24
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    $\begingroup$ no, I mean questions like this where answer don't required lot of references as it is very well established in field. I don't think it is worth spending time to find out original references inn these cases. $\endgroup$ – Dexter Nov 10 '15 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Dexter - I can answer well-established facts in my field, but that doesn't mean it is clear to others. 'Well-established' is subjective. But is is a gray area I agree. One way or another, IMO supportive information can be linked to a wiki, but the answer proper should have credible references, even if it is established. If it is truly established, finding a reference should be peanuts, right? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Nov 10 '15 at 21:47

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