I see so many questions in this forum that are answered but the OP doesn't mark it as answered. Should we comment to the OP, please mark a question as answered if you feel you have a solution?
Marking off a question as having an answer is a part of the moderation process that is so obvious people tend to overlook it.
If the question/answer thread is still active and I catch a scenario where someone has not only answered a question but even states that in the comments I will make an effort to leave a comment that says, “If the answer solved your problem you should check it off as such…”
When something like this happens to me personally, I also encourage the original poster to check off the answer as the final answer. I feel a bit weird asking them to do that, but honestly some people don’t understand this community is not a chatroom or message forum and need prodding to “get it.”
While I’m not obsessed with earning reputation points, if the whole purpose of this site is to foster great questions and answers, then users should use the system in place to close that circle of knowledge by giving an official answer the stamp of approval. It ensures that the “unanswered question” queue is not filled with items that have answers but are simply not closed. And it ensures any future visitors to the question/answer thread can clearly see which solution worked for the user. Without that, this site just becomes another forum site.
And another aspect of this issue is quality. A lot of “late answers” come from users who see a question does not have an official answer and then hastily post something to earn reputation points. Most of the time these late answers are useless, redundant or a combination of both. As someone who patrols the “late” queue, I spend more time filtering through supposedly “unanswered” questions that clearly have answers than dealing with anything else.
No we should not. Of all the things that would be unnessisary noise, that would qualify as it. I would prefer to see accolades and "this solved it for me" and other things that are deemed undesirable on this site, than to see begging, prodding, and in-so-much fake accepting What to do with answers to abandoned questions?
If people stick around, because they feel welcomed, they will eventually mark 95% of answered things accepted. If people are not sticking around, or not accepting answers, some of it could be a larger problem. Any cause unrelated is not fixed by its effect.
Assuming the OP's even around. Typically though here's what I'd do.
Upvote great answers, especially if it helped. If you can improve on it a bit without changing the spirit of the answers, do it. Commenting on the answer might be an option depending on the circumstances.
When you have more reputation consider bounties for exceptional answers. I wouldn't recommend overdoing it at your reputation level though.