This is the question I want you to be thinking about, when examining and reviewing questions on your deep-dives through the database.

If a question is problematic, figure out what's conditioning the problem. It can help to pop the why stack. What is preventing the question from being constructive? What is it about the formulation that makes it borderline? If it's not the "right" question, what is? What is the question that should have been asked?

Question-transformation is an important aspect of breaking the barrier to collective ownership of our work here. Every member should feel empowered to offer edits ranging from the minor to the sweeping on any post, anywhere on the site.

But moreover we need to be actively collaborating on questions, from development and organization to triage and transformation.

A few thoughts to consider as you go forth and practice the koan:

  • If issues stem from framing, why not attempt to address it by supplying appropriate context, whether in the form of citations or structuring reformulations?
  • If a post has problems with tone, is it possible to edit it into NPOV through elision of unbalanced aspects of the formulation?
  • If the questions is vague and wandering, or includes many questions, why not isolate an interesting question or section and clean it up? (Keep in mind we'll always have a record of the original state of the question!)

But again please don't feel limited to copyediting! Be bold, engage in wholesale transformation; especially where it lets you express what should have been asked.

  • 2
    Yea, this is good to know, I had thought that our policy had been to leave the editing mostly up to the OP. I had asked a similar question a while back and that seemed to be the consensus.
    – Dennis
    Jul 13, 2013 at 22:06
  • 1
    Thanks, this is very helpful. Aug 29, 2013 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


Interesting you came up with this. Recently, there has been an argument between a user and me, for he felt my edit in a question was too major (and rendered his answer useless). As far as I know, you're the only one here who edited more posts than me. But of all the edits I proposed, I would probably reject the most now for being "too minor". I think it is important that your words spread. That editing a question to make it better is not just ok but good, and that it's better to rollback afterwards than to have hundreds of questions that could be good and answered but remain in an unwelcome condition.

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