So many of the questions are answered in the "comment" portion rather than in the proper "answers" spot. I do not understand this behavior.

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    A question I often wonder about myself. Jul 6, 2015 at 8:40
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    Two major categories of reasons: if the question is illegitimate, then it's considered poor form to post an official answer, because it invites and encourages more of the same. On the other hand, no-one likes to see a user leave empty handed. So many users will provide a Steiger answer (but without justifying it) in the comments before VtC the question. If the question is legitimate, but not easy to substantiate, then people comment because it's easier than writing up a complete answer with rational, support from external sources, etc. not many high-rep users are motivated my points anymore.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 6, 2015 at 10:41
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    That said, in the latter case (legitimate question but onerous to get references), sometimes people post the answer is "flyers" to test the response of the OP and other members of the community. If they receive a broadly encouraging response, especially from OP, then they may believe it will be worth their while to post a formal answer. So a good strategy here is encourage people to convert comments into answers (but don't be disappointed if that doesn't hope ). Pleas also not that it's acceptable and common to convert someone else's comment into an answer, with attribution.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 6, 2015 at 10:44
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    (And yes, I do intend to convert these comments into an answer later: but I haven't yet for the third reason people post comments instead of answers: using the mobile app makes it really inconvenient to post formal answers. I suppose the app is really intended for primarily "read-only" mode, but sometimes you still want to participate, and the affordances of the mobile app encourage comments over answers.)
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 6, 2015 at 10:52
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    I personally will answer in a comment if I feel I cant (as @DanBron nicely put) fully substantiate the answer, sometimes they come down to opinion or interpretation, however I may feel it helpful enough to mention. Why make an official answer, that you can not provide any evidence for, or you know to not be the whole case (sometimes side-notes or alternatives can be useful as points of reference).
    – nickson104
    Jul 6, 2015 at 12:02
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    See also: Answering questions in comments, among others. Has been going on for a very long time. Jul 6, 2015 at 13:37
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    On top of that, there are users who use the answer box to make comments. :).
    – user66974
    Jul 6, 2015 at 15:18
  • Possible duplicate of Why are answers being posted in the comments on the question? Also see Answering questions in comments and others.
    – choster
    Jul 6, 2015 at 15:27
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    It is a little ironic that the answers to this post are, once again, in the comments. A comment is that, a sentence or two, asking for clarification, asking for for further information, not a full blown explanation. If the post is too easy or doesn't fit EL&U's format then an "answer" is acceptable if posted in the comments, closely followed by a vote to close the post for being off topic or for being a duplicate etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 6, 2015 at 15:51
  • @Dan I’m a little nonplussed at your third reason. Surely it’s a lot easier to write answers in the mobile app (at least on iOS) than comments—there’s more space, easier formatting, etc. Jul 6, 2015 at 18:12
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    @JanusBahsJacquet Try it! It's not easier. That's a consequence of the fact that what's expected of answers demands a different workflow: to substantiate an answer, it takes a lot of copy/paste and application switching (e.g. to Safari, or the Wikipedia app, etc), and sometimes by the time you managed to copy the content you want for the answer, the SE app has timed out and your have to click 29 things to get back to your draft (assuming it was even properly saved, which is certainly not always the case!).
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 6, 2015 at 18:16
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    @DanBron I was thinking mostly of this particular question where (I presume) your answer won't be too far divorced from your comments. (Also I've never had the app time out on me—I've had far more answers lost in a browser due to accidentally clicking a link on the page and then navigating back to a tabula rasa.) Jul 6, 2015 at 20:15


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