First of all, happy new year to all. Wish for a great year ahead of us!

Suppose, a particular edit is acceptable enough, but it has a poor/incorrect/irrelevant edit summary. Will the edit be accepted or the chances of rejection is higher? Let's get it straight.

Does a poor edit summary anyhow reduce the chances of that edit being accepted?

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    $\begingroup$ Wish I knew. It is not at all unlikely that some reviewers simply ignore the edit summary. We have a few users just clicking things as fast as they can in order to "earn" a badge. I would think that good edit summaries are appreciated. At least by the original author of the post. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Dec 31 '16 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ But can't the reviewers adjust the edit summary if they so wish? I'd check myself, but there's nothing in Suggested Edits right now. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Jan 4 '17 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ If the edit summary message says "Improve blah blah" then yes, it reduces chances of acceptance. $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jan 5 '17 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe, no, you can't change the message associated with someone else's edit. $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jan 5 '17 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Wildcard Not even if I add something to the edit? e.g., Alice spruces up the fractions, and I add a tag? $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Jan 6 '17 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe, try it. I got my information from this deleted answer and the comment on it, but without 10K+ rep on Unix & Linux SE you won't be able to see it. $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jan 6 '17 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Wildcard I just now noticed you have a score of 1514. I keep forgetting if it's at 2000 or 3000 that you can review suggested edits. But there are no suggested edits at the moment for me to review. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Jan 6 '17 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe, see this comment by a 10K+ rep user of this site. $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jan 6 '17 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Wildcard I'm sorry, I don't understand what that comment is supposed to illustrate. Also, we're talking about math.stackexchange, not meta.math.stackexchange, right? $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Jan 6 '17 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe, it's just additional evidence (a high-rep user confirming knowledge that you can't change edit messages during review). And we're talking about suggested edits on ALL stack exchange sites, whether Meta or otherwise. $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jan 6 '17 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ I put the shortest edit summaries possible, but I still get accepted. $\endgroup$ – Timothy Cho Jan 13 '17 at 0:03

I guess it was I that enticed this question, by a comment on your earlier question, so maybe let me clarify what I meant.

Here is what I do, when I review an edit: I focus on the edit, with highlighted differences. Often times the situation is clear by doing this, but sometimes there is a doubt on "what is going on in an edit;" this is exacerbated by the fact that the preview is not perfect/complete. But sometimes it is also not completely clear what the intent of an edit is, or why it is justified.

In such case I look at the edit-summary, sometimes this helps. Sometimes not and I might go to the actual post for further information. But sometimes I might just overlook something.

Here are some things that can happen, and I believe to have noticed them happening.

  • There are minor edits to the post and an important retag. This can easily get a reject if the reviewers are focused on the edits and neglect the retag. If the edit summary says: "retag this to that and minor formatting changes" this might help. It makes clear the point is the retag.

  • There is one important character to be changed to fix a formula. To get past the character limit one does some minor things in addition. This also can get easily rejected. Especially as preview is not complete. If the summary says "fixed formula, and a few typos corrected" it can help to draw attention to the formula.

  • Some information from comments by OP is included. But, how will the reviewer know it is from comments by OP and not an arbitrary third-party addition? The review summary could explain it.

  • A minor edit is done to an old post shortly after the thread got reactivated for some reason. Some users do not like old posts being reactivated for little touch ups. But, if in fact it already was activated before that point is moot. The review summary could explain this. "Minor touch ups, while thread is on front-page."

Generally, a detailed review summary can help to convey what the editor wants to achieve and/or document that they know what they are doing.

I do not think that a suggested edit should ever be rejected only because it has a poor edit summary. What I believe can and does happen though is that an edit gets rejected because it was not completely understood and this misunderstanding came about because it had a poor edit summary.


As someone with enough reputation to review edits, a lot of the edits I see are just formatting edits or inserting an image to replace a link of an image, so they're pretty self-explanatory. Therefore, I don't really mind if there is a short edit summary. Just saying "improved formatting" or "improved grammar" or "inserted image" is a good enough edit summary for me. I am more focused on if the edit improves the question by making it more clear or by improving the formatting rather than what the edit summary is. However, if your edit is more complex than just improving grammar or formatting, then you should have a good edit summary so that we know why you are editing the post the way you are so we understand what you are doing.

  • $\begingroup$ You know that you can't change the comment associated with someone else's edit, right? $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jan 5 '17 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Wildcard Yes. How does my answer imply otherwise? $\endgroup$ – Noble Mushtak Jan 5 '17 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ Rereading it, I've really no idea why I thought that it did. My mistake. :) $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jan 5 '17 at 23:25

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