Following the "no"-meta thread, I'd like to propose a new feature. I've no idea whether this feature could ever make it to SE or not (or maybe it's already been discussed).

Allow a Research answer. This would be an answer type that is subject to voting but is not eligible to be marked as an answer, nor would a positive vote remove the question from the unanswered list.

The purpose of this type of answer is to allow a researcher to do a brain-dump of all the things they found but could not conclude that their research was definitive. I've researched some questions and decided that I can't definitively say that it's an answer, so end up writing nothing at all (or a minor comment). The researcher would still get rep for doing useful research but not get downvoted for it not being a definitive answer, nor would their time have necessarily been wasted. Also the research might be useful for someone else to finish off and produce the answer.

  • Why not use a community wiki?
    – JonathanReez Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 21:59
  • Ok, just looked that up! Can you point me at an example please?
    – Berwyn
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 22:01
  • 1
    Seems I can search with this: travel.stackexchange.com/search?q=wiki:yes which finds communit wiki questions and answers
    – Berwyn
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


A nice concept IMO, since oft times it has been Comments (not giving a complete A but "narrowing the field") from other people that have or could have helped me with a more comprehensive A – for example Qs tagged [tag: where-on-earth]. However, I don't recall a Comment ever being insufficient for this and SE seem too preoccupied to make the system changes that would be required to be implemented for a very long time.

Also, with 150+ Q&A sites (x2 if adding meta sites?) neither the choice to make TSE unique in this respect nor the choice to roll out across the board (even to sites such as SO where there seems no need) appears appealing.

There is also the point made by @JonathanReez, that making an A community wiki is an invitation to others to "fill in any gaps", though this would not of itself meet all your voting suggestions.

In summary: far from 'essential' and 'never going to happen' even if deemed a good step forward.

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