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Lately I have been making small edits to posts to include quotes, references to the books, and links to online resources when a question does not include them. Some good examples of this are these two questions:

In the first question I added a small quote directly relating to the effect of the spell the question was about, however also reworded the question slightly to make it more readable with this quote.

In the second question, I simply added a reference to the book material, and a link. Is a small edit like this okay? Or does it not add anything to the question as it already had a quote?

What I am concerned about is keeping the integrity of the original post, while also allowing future visitors the ability to find what it is they are referencing.

I've been looking through a few posts on here regarding this, however most of them simply tackle one aspect each of my question.

My question is:

  1. Should posts be reworded to include quotes relating to the post, even if the post needs a slight rewrite to do so?
  2. Should we only include references to the books and online resources if the original post does not include a quote?

I want to try and avoid making insignificant edits to posts if only to add a reference, and keep the integrity of the original post instead of rewriting it to include a quote.

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    \$\begingroup\$ In the first question, you replaced links to roll20 with links to dndbeyond. Is using dndbeyond mandatory when adding references to questions? \$\endgroup\$ – Cerise St Hilaire Oct 30 at 13:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CeriseStHilaire At the very least Roll20 uses a lot of capitalization when the actual books don't which can create significant confusion. Not to say DnDbeyond doesn't have it's own flaws as well, but the capitalization one is rather big \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 30 at 15:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CeriseStHilaire: Related metas, regarding what Medix2 mentioned: How to handle incorrect quotations from 3rd party sources, How should we handle potentially untrustworthy sources? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 1 at 5:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Thank you \$\endgroup\$ – Cerise St Hilaire Nov 2 at 19:28
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Edits that improve the post are encouraged

As a general answer, the official guidance on editing says the following:

When should I edit posts?

Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to suggest an edit, you are welcome to do so. [...]

Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:

  • To fix grammar and spelling mistakes
  • To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
  • To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
  • To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
  • To add related resources or hyperlinks

So not only are your edits allowed, they are encouraged so long as they are substantial and leave the post better than you found it. By substantial, we mean that you should fix the entire post if you can. Don't edit a poor post to add links but leave a series of typos and formatting issues behind. If you edit a post, make it the best post you can without changing the intent.

Should posts be reworded to include quotes relating to the post, even if the post needs a slight rewrite to do so?

Yes. If you think have a relevant quote will help make the post clearer then you can add quotes. When doing so, please reword the post so that the quote makes sense; to not do so would make the post worse.

When adding quotes, remember fair use policy and don't over-quote irrelevant text. Some related metas:

Should we only include references to the books and online resources if the original post does not include a quote?

Quotes should be referenced so that others can verify their authenticity. If they have included a quote without referencing and you can add the relevant reference you are encouraged to do so.

The best situation is when a post both quotes and cites the relevant rule, ideally referencing both the online and physical resources. This lowers the barrier for entry to our site and makes information accessible for the broadest group of users. If you can edit posts to have this, you are welcome to do so.

Sometimes a question mis-quotes a rule or paraphrases it incorrectly. In these cases, this error is actually the true source of their question. It is better to not edit the official version into the question, as it makes the question less useful for the OP. See Should we correct rules references in questions? for more information.

Focus on already active posts

You are welcome to edit any post on the site so this is more of an etiquette point. If you want to add references and quotes to questions, focus most of your efforts on the active posts already on the homepage. This is where your edits will be the most valuable.

While dragging up old posts to edit can help you get some badges, it is less useful for the site in general. People aren't looking at those questions; why does it matter if they are missing a reference? Editing these posts places them on the front page listing of active posts and distracts from the new content being created.

On a similar note, try to limit the rate at which you make these edits. Try not to do more than 5-8 at a time to prevent your edits from flooding the homepage.

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