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Which solution is better? Edit old answer or add new one?

If there is a good answer that could be improved with more information, what is the best way to add that information:

  1. Edit and extend the existing answer with the new/extra information.
  2. Create a new answer which includes the content of the earlier existing answer
  3. Create a new answer in isolation from the existing answer
  • 4
    As you say it's a good answer, then you should edit and extend the existing answer.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 9:36

3 Answers 3


Note: I'm not sure how tolerated this is elsewhere, but the Physics.SE community seems to be fine with it.

Depends. I usually use

4) Write an "extension" answer, referring to the original answer, adding the relevant data.

I generally think its impolite to make major edits to an established user's answer. Also, my addendums usually go way beyond the scope of the other answer.

General rule of thumb:

  • If its just a bit of more info (read:a paragraph), add it and leave a comment.
  • If it's a completely new bundle of stuff, but is based on stuff gleaned from the answer, write an addendum answer as described above. Hat it with "This is in addition to @JonSkeet's answer". You may also comment on the original answer and ask the poster to incorporate your answer if s/he wishes--and then delete your answer once the deal is done (Something smilar could have happened here, though it didn't).


Factors affecting torque and RPM of a motor

How can one imagine curled up dimensions?

Penetration versus Frequency

Will an emf be induced across the ends of a stationary metal rod placed in a time-varying magnetic field?

  • @TheEstablishment strange. The source says 4., but it got converted to an <li> :/ Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 2:31
  • Ah, I see! Yes, that's a feature of markdown! You can number a list however you want in the source and it'll always display in the correct order. You can force it by escaping your list item: 4\. (but you lose the indentation, too) Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 2:33
  • @TheEstablishment: Yeah, I know. bug===feature Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 2:34

If the edits are minor then do it on the existing answer but if the edits are major then add your own answer and you can refer to that answer in yours.

But your 3rd option states the different topic, i mean giving answer isolated from the another user's answer is a case when you have the answer in different way for the same question then you have to share it as new answer, in this case don't edit existing answer.


IMHO option 3, add a different answer with the fixes. I think there should be specific protocol that way there is no confusion and no argument over what constitutes a minor or major change. If the answer is wrong, post a new one.

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