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I see a decent number of edits in the queue that feel like someone is trying to get rep rather than trying to improve the site. Some examples:

Some I approved, some I rejected. If a minor edit does make formatting/spelling errors less distracting, makes the site more readable, should I just accept it?

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    dont tell anyone, i know someone running for mod, doing stupid edits to get rep as you say, he edited my question, I declined it and wanted to slap him in the face too. I don't care so much about it anymore, high rep users answering dupes and EOL to get rep, this site is a mess, if the high rep users do what they do, why should I care – Lynob Feb 17 '14 at 22:06
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    Re. the first example, the title originally was "Why is Ubuntu.com in Chinese for me?" which was not reflecting the question iteslf because the entire site wasn't in Chinese, just specific parts. So I inserted "partially" to reflect that. Is that trivial? And, yes, I also want to get rep. How is that wrong? – Justice for Monica Feb 18 '14 at 0:33
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    I usually accept almost every edit as long as it's improving the quality of a post. "How to remove an installed packages" is a minor edit, but it's the title of the question and I am sure someone just couldn't idly sit by and let that typo slide. – Jorge Castro Feb 18 '14 at 19:28
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You're right to be wary. There are some users (usually bots) who are just grinding on the super-minor edits for rep, but of these examples I think I would have let most of those through.

If it leaves significant issues in the post, I'd look to re-edit and uncheck the "helpful edit" box. This is equivalent to rejecting the edit and replacing it with your own. That sends the right signals about the quality of editing.

Otherwise if it helps make the post more readable, and they've not left too many glaring issues, I'd consider letting it through. Even if that's just removing an "an" from a title to make it syntactically correct... But I'm a stickler for detail.

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An edit is too minor if it deals with a small problem in a post, but does not deal with other obvious problems in a post.

Correcting a little mistake in a post and keeping bad formatting, poor style, colloquialisms and more) is too minor in my opinion.

An edit correcting all i's to I's can be valuable if all the problems of the post are dealt with (after all, this does make the post better). If other obvious problems are not dealt with, the edit is too minor (after all, more could have been done).

So it really depends on the context. One edit is OK in one context, but too minor in another.

  • I mostly agree, except that I have no problem with someone fixing say, a huge typo in the title, but leaving capitalization problems in the body, or something similar. – belacqua Feb 28 '14 at 6:37
  • @belacqua in that case, I choose improve and might (or might not) mark the edit as useful. If I've had to spend more than 60 seconds or so editing it, then the edit is too minor for me and I will mark it as not useful. – don.joey Feb 28 '14 at 8:05
  • Your method is probably best (or perhaps "ideal"). I'm just a little OCD with titles, as they appear prominently in the question lists and searches. – belacqua Feb 28 '14 at 19:05
  • @belacqua I agree that if you have only ten seconds to do an edit and you see a mistake in a title, that you should correct it. You just might not get the +2 rep for doing so, but that is not an issue I think. – don.joey Feb 28 '14 at 21:39
  • Also, you can only get a max of of 1000 rep ever from edits, and you stop getting +2 once you hit 2000 rep I think(?) (at that point that you have carte blanche editing powers). – belacqua Feb 28 '14 at 22:05
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Any edit that improves the post is helpful. This not only improve the overall quality of the site but also helps the user( with <2k rep) to gain reputation(2).

However, editing the question or even the answer brings the post back to the main page, if it wasn't. This can bombard the main page with old/relatively-insignificant posts and thus prevent the more relevant questions from grabbing the intended audience's attention.

This makes it important to prioritize whether to improve/approve the edit or reject it.

  • IMO, if the question is relatively new(a few hours or so), the edit, if constructive, may be harmlessly approved/improved.

  • However, for older posts, only if the post significantly improves the quality of the post, should it be approved/improved.

Thus, an edit is minor if it does not significantly improve the post; approving/improving it will compromise with the attention newer posts get.

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