Update: This is really just a fleshed out combination of Let me reward a good edit on my question/answer & Rep for good edits?

If you like this idea I suggest you vote for them.

Part of the core aspect of Stack Exchange is to provide the best answer to a question, and so the best answer gets selected by the asker (giving the answerer points) and up voting of good answers (giving the answerer points).

When I look at a question with an answer, where there is an issue, formatting or more info could be added I am struck with a interesting issue: Do I fix the answer by editing or do I submit my own answer?

Submitting my own answer would be better for me because I could possibly get the selected answer points and/or up vote and thus gain points. Howeer the edit is better for the community: one answer which is best is easier for people to grok than reading 10 similar answers.

To this end I propose that if you edit an answer points could be allocated for it.

To prevent gaming, I would suggest that the answerer acknowledge that was a good edit. If the answerer does he gets 1pt (for being a good citizen). Bad edits, signified by a rollbacks, could carry a negative score like a down vote. This would promote more interest in checking edits and also promote the good ones. From this point on the editor gains 1pt each time the answer is up voted and 5pts if it is selected.

I am stating point scores, but I am not suggesting that they should be that, this would be up to the SE people who understand this.

Example 1:

  • Question is asked
  • Answer is given
  • Answer is upvoted
  • [Answerer gains points from upvote]
  • Editor edits answer
  • Answerer acknowledges good edit
  • [Answerer gains 1pt]
  • Answer is upvoted (second upvote)
  • [Answerer gains points from upvote]
  • [Editor gains points from upvote]
  • Answer is selected
  • [Answerer gains points from selected answer]
  • [Editor gains points from selected answer]

At the end of the day the editor gained 6pts, 1pt for the upvote and 5pt for the selection. He does not get a point for the first upvote since it was before he editted.

Example 2:
In this example only one editor at a time can get the points, not 100% about it as maybe all editors should get points. Also not sure if the answerer should get points again for acknowledging a second good edit.

  • Question is asked
  • Answer is given
  • Answer is selected
  • [Answerer gains points from selected]
  • Editor 1 edits answer
  • Answerer acknowledges good edit
  • [Answerer gains 1pt]
  • Answer is upvoted (second upvote)
  • [Answerer gains points from upvote]
  • [Editor 1 gains points from upvote]
  • Editor 2 edits answer
  • Answerer acknowledges good edit
  • [Answerer gains 1pt]
  • Answer is upvoted (third upvote)
  • [Editor 2 gains points from upvote]

At the end the first editor got 1 pt and editor 2 also got 1pt.

In summary: Make edits a valuable action so that people are attracted to editing more and thus providing better (and likely fewer) answers to the system.

  • 4
    +1, although I'd prefer the possibility to vote on edits Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 11:40
  • Completely aside, Inception Style: Anyone notice I did an edit on a question about edits :P Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 7:51
  • The funny thing is I got a notification of your comment, maybe that system has now been improved to assume you didn't reply to yourself :-7 Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 8:02

3 Answers 3


Overall I like the idea of awarding rep to editors. However a few concerns that make me object to this specific request:

  1. I don't like the idea of punishing people for a rollback. A rollback might mean the edit was poor/incorrect, but it could just mean the OP or another editor decided to make a different change. So I would suggest no negative rep in that case.
  2. Requiring the OP to validate that each edit was good, is a lot of work. There will be people that don't go back and validate edits, just like users don't accept answers. I think allowing all users to vote on edits would be a better approach to this.
  3. I foresee a bunch of Jon Skeet spell-checkers. Who will be editing every answer trying to ride his wave.
  • The reason for suggesting someone validate (point 2) is exactly to prevent 3. Not tied to 1 but I was thinking it may be a way to avoid people from doing 3 and thus meaning most edits are quality solving 2. Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 20:18
  • 6
    +1 for coining the term Jon Skeet spell-checkers.
    – Nicole
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 22:18

I think it would be tricky to implement some kind of crop share on the answer reputation award, simply due to the extra complexity in calculating rep changes and the obvious bump in transactions it will force through the database.

I think it would require a more obvious benefit than 'people are attracted to editing' - especially when there are already badge awards in this area.

The idea of a 1pt rep award to the editor if an answerer thinks an edit improved the answer reeks of a pattern to encourage sock-puppetry.

  • Sock puppet 1 answers question
  • Sock puppet 2 edits answer
  • Sock puppet 1 acknowledges good edit
  • Sock puppet 2 upvotes answer

Sock puppet 1 gains + 11, Sock puppet 2 gains + 2 (if my quick scan of your algorithm is correct)?

Both sock puppets gain, with no guarantee that the answer is good, the edit was good or that the edited answer was better.

  • Yeah, I suspect this will be VERY tricky to implement - likely something that may need to be implemented going forward but not retroactively done. You are right on the sock puppet math but there are easier ways to steal rep if you want Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 20:25
  • Stealing rep is very possible with any system that rewards both sides of the opvoting/accepting-answer coin - I do like the idea of a little rep for a good edit - not sure how to do it though. Good idea nonetheless.
    – amelvin
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 23:25
  • What about putting voting arrows next to the editor? I see bad questions that an editor clearly spent time cleaning up & making a good question. I don't want to upvote OP who did a slapdash job. It is, however, now a good question and would be nice to upvote the substantive editor.
    – EBarr
    Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 18:32

There are multiple rewards for editing already:

  1. The Editor badge
  2. The Strunk and White badge
  3. The Copy Editor badge
  4. And most importantly: The relief of having your OCD calmed

As someone who has the Copy Editor badge, #4 sooths me the most. I suspect if this was implemented my rep might jump by up to 1k, but really I don't deserve that extra 1k because I provide the great question/answer, I just made it more readable. An op deserves rep for having a great question/answer, even if it wasn't expressed perfectly.

(and now that I'm a mod, I'm even fixing up comments)

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