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Given that we are aiming for at least 2.5 answers per question, should we be pro-actively encouraging askers to give at least some time before choosing their preferred answer in order to encourage multiple takes on a question? At present a large amount of questions seem to be accepted with one answer only.

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Sometimes there are questions that have rather obvious answers. As I understand it, this site is geared more to professional biologists, and as such may have a narrower range of acceptable answers. In a field such as computer programming, or web design, there is a lot of room for opinions on how to do something, but in many scientific fields, there really is only a specific way that something works (although there may be many opinions on the reasons for that).

I think the Theoretical Physics site is a good standard to look at in your case as opposed to a more popular driven site.

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    $\begingroup$ While this can be true there is always more than one way to express the same information. Quite often two answers will essentially say the same thing but one will be quite a bit better at communicating the info. Having an accepted answer too early discourages other users from taking a stab at the answer. Also since the OP is not always the best judge of the correct answer letting a little time pass gives the community time to vote on an answer's merit, potentially aiding the OP's decision. $\endgroup$ – DQdlM Jan 6 '12 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @DQdIM. Accepting an answer seems to have the unfortunate side effect of essentially marking a question "resolved, no more answers needed." While an early answer may be technically correct, there's always room for everyone to improve on it. Accepting too quickly will tend to short-circuit that process, which is not good for the site overall. $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Jan 9 '12 at 17:44

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