5

What is the correct action when reviewing this suggested edit?

I approved the edit based on:

  1. It's an answer, not a question
  2. The original answer was given 18 months ago
  3. The original answerer has not been online for over a year
  4. I'm not enough of an expert to confirm its accuracy - but based on my experience, the new information is more than plausable.
  5. The information being added does not appear in any other answer or comment

It was rejected by all other reviewers as an attempt to reply to or comment on the existing post. I can understand that reason, and actually expected exactly that result - and I'm wondering what the best way to deal with these types of corrections or updates would be.

Note that I'm not in any way upset about this or arguing that my vote was the right one.
I'm just looking for information on how this type of a correction should be handled.

This related question may also be of interest:
How can we be better at approving suggested edits that improve answers?

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    Regarding point 4, I'd skip if I'm not able to verify the technical accuracy of the edit. – Old Checkmark Jul 1 '13 at 10:04
3

If a suggested edit makes a minor correction or update that:

  • is factually true;
  • does not derail the flow of the answer by adding a major irrelevant digression;
  • blends stylistically with the answer

then yes, do approve it.

A good guidelines for approving edits is: is the edit something that the author would likely have written if he'd been aware of that fact, or realized that this part of his answered might be misunderstood, or if he had been writing the answer now? In other words, do you think the author would approve it? If so, that's a good edit.

Leaving corrections in comments is awful: they're hard to notice, they're all lumped in one stream disconnected from the flow of the answer. Comments are a good place for requests for clarification, not for corrections. The answer should stand on its own.

Thanks for inquiring, and please keep up the good work. Don't let a rejection stop you — I'm afraid there's no basic training for reviewers and some of them get it wrong, but most good edits to get through.

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    If the answerer is active, it's generally preferred to suggest an edit via comments than to edit yourself: grace period for edits is preserved, you don't leap forwards to CW, concurrent edits can't occur. Generally, I suggest first, then edit if there's no chance the OP will do the edit. – John Dvorak Jul 1 '13 at 7:52
  • @JanDvorak what about the case of an edit suggested by an anonymous or low-rep user? In my case, the answer wasn't active - but assuming it was, do we reject the edit and then manually add a comment? – jcsanyi Jul 1 '13 at 7:56
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    @jcsanyi No, don't reject the edit on the basis that the answerer is still active. Yes, it's better to avoid edits in the first 5 minutes, but even on SO, this is uncommon for answers. Some borderline edits are best judged by the original author, but on SO, the chances that no one will act on it before the author comes along are nil, so make your best judgement when reviewing. – Gilles Jul 1 '13 at 7:59
  • @jcsanyi didn't think of anonymous users. In this case, I'd expect the edit to be rejected, so it's better to present it as a comment. You can accept afterwards, but I don't expect community to do the same. – John Dvorak Jul 1 '13 at 8:00
  • @JanDvorak If it's a correction (i.e. the editor is sure of his fact), as opposed to a request (i.e. the commenter isn't sure and wants clarification one way or the other), it's better for it to be an edit than a comment. – Gilles Jul 1 '13 at 8:02
  • @Gilles Thanks - I will accept these if they're correct. But, the community won't, and it's better to have that as a comment than not at all (I'm not going to edit or approve if I don't know if it's correct, but I'm not afraid of adding a comment saying that someone thougt so). I think it's better to watch non-minor suggestions and push them through. – John Dvorak Jul 1 '13 at 8:09
  • @Gilles what about edits that modify code that the answerer copied from the asker? These can easily be too radical. – John Dvorak Jul 1 '13 at 8:12
  • @JanDvorak I don't understand your question. Of course there are code edits that are bad for a variety of reasons (make the code broken, introduce irrelevant points, break the connection with the question, …) and these should be rejected. – Gilles Jul 1 '13 at 9:38

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