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On the sidebar of the Medical Sciences SE statistics for questions vs. answers are displayed:

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5436 divided by 6378 is not 68%.

If answered equals accepted answers, this may be misleading because it assumes community involvement (accepting the question) for a question to be answered.

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It's my understanding that the definitions of these stats are as follows:

  • questions = The total number of questions posted.
  • answers = The total number of answers posted.
  • answered = The total number of questions with at least one answer.

Remember, there can be (and often are) multiple answers on a single question. So to clarify, let's do a simple example. Let's suppose this is day 1 of the site and nothing has been posted. It would go like this:

  1. Starting values: questions = 0, answers = 0, answered = 0%.
  2. The first question is posted: questions = 1, answers = 0, answered = 0%.
  3. An answer is posted: questions = 1, answers = 1, answered = 100%.
  4. Another answer is posted: questions = 1, answers = 2, answered = 100%.
  5. The OP accepts one of the answers: [No change]
  6. A second question is posted: questions = 2, answers = 2, answered = 50%.

I believe these stats work the same on all SE sites, so if you doubt my answer I would recommend asking on meta.stackexchange.com (search first; it's probably been asked).

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  • If I understand this correctly, this means it would be a questions:answers ratio, but then again 5436:6378 is not 0.68 (same as above). I agree, those stats will probably be the same on the whole network. I'll have a look on the meta, thanks.
    – Thomas
    Apr 26 '20 at 23:33
  • @Thomas "% answered" is NOT a ratio of questions to answers. Apr 27 '20 at 17:42
  • @Thomas As Bryan said, it's definitely not a questions/answers ratio. How could it be when questions often have multiple answers? A single answer to a question increments the answered counter, but additional answers do not. See the definitions above.
    – Carey Gregory Mod
    Apr 27 '20 at 19:24
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I'll add a significant detail in the definition:

Questions = The total number of questions posted and not deleted. It's important as a fair amount of questions here are getting deleted by the self-deletion script (e.g. >50% of questions got closed the Medical Sciences Stack Exchange in 2019).

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Best answer to my question so far is, as suggested by Carey Gregory on Meta:

Area 51 %Answered: can we have decimals?

Apparently not the most accessible formula: Answered = AcceptedNotClosed + PositiveScoreNotAcceptedNotClosed + Closed %Answered = 100 * Answered / Asked

So it does include to some extent a measurement of community involvement in the answering process.

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  • We just increased our answer percentage to 69%.
    – Thomas
    May 1 '20 at 8:46

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