If the intent of this site is to be a Q&A site, primarily for people to ask questions and get responses, and also provide a place where people can view previously asked questions and find answers (a sort of user-generated database of questions with answers), wouldn't it then follow that it is appropriate to ask a question and answer it yourself, even if you knew the answer before asking? Presuming the question was well-stated and appropriate, and the answer was accurate, well-cited, lucid, and accessible, I can't see why this wouldn't be a good thing.

I just thought of it because, in the comments to this question, explaining Kant's theory of causation would be outside the scope of a comment, yet I feel like louzer (and future others who read the question) may want to see Kant's a priori proof of causation. I'm presuming someone will ask it at some point, and sure, then I can provide a clear answer. But in principle, it doesn't seem like it matters who the asker is, only that it's asked and answered in a form that is appropriate for this site. So why not ask it myself right now?

What is the policy for doing something like this?

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    Yes, this is actually strongly encouraged, as argued by a recent blog post by the creators of the Stack Exchange network. It's even okay that you use the site like a "mini-blog" to share your own knowledge. We just ask that you respect the division between questions and answers. Phrase your post in terms of a question, and then post a separate answer, like you're on the game show Jeopardy! You can even accept your own answer, although you won't gain any rep for doing so. Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 3:53

2 Answers 2


It is the official SE policy to accept such questions.

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This is from Should I ask a question I know the answer to?

Having such a policy, however, does not mean that it is best practice. My views are mixed on the matter. I see a fine line between a site where people pose questions and a site where people get answers. When I answer a question, I feel like I am contributing to their knowledge. I can give hints as to how to proceed, guide them in some direction or another, or in some other way actually impact their growth. To simply put forth a question and subsequently answer it feels different to me.

But to make this post less ambiguous, I will not downvote or close any such occurrences simply because someone answers their own question (perhaps other reasons, if necessary). But I do not plan on doing this myself. I suspect that I would be very critical in upvoting such a post/answer. And if there were a user who joined for the only purpose of asking and answering questions in this manner, I think he would be missing out on the experience.

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    Thanks mixedmath. Yeah I agree with your point, especially if it's just a person posting question to rack up points and they do a terrible job. Anyway, I've got too much other stuff to do to post my own Q&A's myself. I was just curious about the policy. :)
    – stoicfury
    Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 2:30
  • Perhaps if this were the only reason someone joined, he would be missing out on an important part of the experience, But I disagree with you about it being best practice. I think this is explicitly encouraged; it's even in the first few lines of the FAQ. Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 3:55

I don't spend much time on meta. But I just found this discussion. I also don't see too much point in writing questions just to answer them. That being said, I did once "ask" a question to answer it -- because the OP deleted it based on a semi-accurate comment while I was drafting a thorough answer. But since it's a question that students often ask, I figure that it's worth preserving the basic question despite the wishes the of the OP to delete...

I think that makes sense but I'll just throw this out there on the meta.

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    Makes sense. I once asked a question on stackoverflow that ended up getting a -1 almost immediately and stayed at that. Upon reflection I realized that it was a pretty bad question, so I wanted to delete it. But someone had written a pretty awesome answer to it, so I decided it wouldn't be fair to him and to others who could also benefit from his contribution to delete the question. Commented May 22, 2014 at 5:42

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