6

Mi Yodeya has a very high standard for answers, and I highly respect them (us) for that. This is both in strongly asking for sources, always necessary in Judaism, all the more so with the inherent and explicit annominity of the internet, and in requiring that those sources be made accessible to the English reader even though they are usually in quite inaccessible rabbinic hebrew. We also require that answers not be just references or links.

This results in a lot of answers in comments. While this does keep the level of the answers very high, it also means that in some common situations answers don't get to the answer stage.

For example, someone gives an answer without explaining our even translating the source, and all the other potential answerers feel that that is sufficient, and the question remains unanswered officially. (Anyone want to edit in a link to an example?)

Also there are times when one answer is given, and someone has a totally different answer, but because he doesn't have the exact source or the time to explain it, he will leave a comment to the question. This makes it hard to tell that a second answer was given. It can be totally hidden if there are already a lot of comments to the question.

I do not want to lower the quality of the site, but what policy change would allow these types of answers to become answers?

7

Regarding comments that point to a source that could provide an answer, the optimal outcome is that someone uses that source to write up a proper answer. One example of a community initiative that can result in many such upgrades is an Answerathon, as such comments often provide good opportunities to contestants to generate answers to unanswered questions by just doing a little bit of translation/interpretation/application work.

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