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I have read etiquette for accepting answers on meta.SO but it doesn't address this particular point.

I posted a question and after some days (or maybe longer) I accepted an answer. Later a better answer came along. (1) May and (2) must I change which answer is accepted? The argument in favor of moving it is that it's a better answer; the argument against is the effect on the original answerer's rep -- after all, that answer was good enough for me to accept it once.

(I have up-voted both answers, of course.)

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    I would suggest that rep should always be a secondary consideration in the face of what is best for people who might read the material. – Isaac Moses Jan 16 '12 at 1:45
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If it's a better answer, choose it. The accepted answer is the best answer to your question. If that changes, change your acceptance.

Similar discussions on meta.se:

Is it "bad" to unaccept an accepted answer?

Is Changing the Accepted Answer Frowned Upon?

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  • Thanks for the M.SO pointers. Those helped a lot. – Monica Cellio Jan 17 '12 at 20:49
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I say go for it. Accepting is for the answer that helps you the most. That can change over time.

The best evidence that this is alright, is that you're able to. If I'm not mistaken, accepts are even looser than votes, which get locked in after a while. Accepted answers (I think) can be changed at any time, which makes sense if SE expects people to unaccept answers without them being edited (unlike votes, which require an edit).

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  • Good point about taking a hint from the interface, thanks. – Monica Cellio Jan 17 '12 at 20:49

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