I could have posted this question earlier but thanks to by bad memory I can finally ask it.

Here's my answer and a competing answer under the same question. At first glance, the first paragraph looks like plagiarism. If you look closely and find revision 3, you'll see I edited a portion into that answer. However later I decided to post an answer of my own, so I took the part that I edited and saved it into my own answer.

In case something similar happens, I would like to know if

  1. I commented on another's answer, they edited into their answer, and later I merge that comment into my answer.

  2. I edited another's answer to add information, later I use that very info in my answer.

  3. Even worse, I remove what I edited into another's answer and put into my own.

Are they considered good, or courteous?

1 Answer 1


Plagiarism is using the original work of another person without properly indicating that it is not your original work, and who the actual authors of the content are. If someone else cites your work, that doesn't prohibit you from providing your own original content, nor are you required to cite yourself when posting your own work (on SE at least).

Also note that you shouldn't be editing significant original works into another person's (non-Community Wiki) answer to begin with. Now in the case of your particular edit, you're just adding a link to an FAQ, which I wouldn't consider, "A significant original work", so none of this is really relevant to your specific example to begin with, as your edit isn't content that would be appropriate to cite to begin with. Even if you didn't comment/edit on that answer at all, and that answer's author added in that link to the FAQ, you wouldn't need to cite that author for including the same link to the FAQ in your own answer.

  • Sounds very reasonable. Dec 27, 2017 at 16:17
  • I initially misread the question. Only thing to add is, it's really important to make sure other people don't inadvertently get dinged for copying without attribution if you use work you edited into (or commented on) their answer in your own. The edit trails and timestamps aren't always that obvious to folks not used to looking for them and it can result in some pretty unfair accusations that lead to an all out brawl (and has).
    – Tim Post
    Dec 27, 2017 at 16:22
  • @TimPost Sure. In this case the "original content", is just a link to a relevant FAQ, which as I said, it's something you'd cite even if it wasn't something you edited in yourself. If it was content that would actually require citation as it's a significant original work, it shouldn't be edited into someone else's answer to begin with. If another answer included the information because you provided it in a comment, that answer should be citing you making it clear you're not plagiarising by including it in your own answer.
    – Servy
    Dec 27, 2017 at 16:24

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