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I'm unsure what is the right action when reviewing suggested edits which are fixing formatting issues only, and doing it (slightly) incorrectly.

Sometimes the newly typeset equations are only partially fixed and still have some formatting issues left. Sometimes new notation is introduced without apparent reason.

For example, I'm talking about this edit.

The last equation is not typeset at all and the notation for complex conjugation was changed from $\overline{z}$ to $z^*$ for no reason (perhaps the editor noticed that the OP used $\bar{z}$ instead of $\overline{z}$ and did not like it).

Also, look at this. The one and only equation this post contains was typeset incorrectly, with exponents not written as fractions and brackets not properly sized (it could be a matter of taste though).

One could argue that edits like this indeed improve the quality of posts. However, if someone has already troubled himself/herself to fix the typesetting of the equations, it should be done properly and correctly. After this reasoning, I proceeded to reject the edit, only to find that I could not properly justify my rejection:

enter image description here

This is certainly not spam/vandalism. It indeed, in my opinion, improves the post with respect to its former state. Introducing slightly different notation could hardly conflict with the authors intent.

To conclude, it definitely does not make the post worse, it only doesn't make it as good as it could be.

Thus, perhaps the right approach would be to improve the edit and fix the issues. However, imagine a very long post where an editor suggested an edit where all the norm signs were typeset with $||\cdot||$ instead of $\|\cdot\|$, or $dx$ instead of $\mathrm{d}x$ (nobody actually writes $\mathrm{d}x$ but you get the idea). Should we intervene and fix every $30$ occurrences of the issue?

I'm asking because I have only recently started reviewing and am unsure about the general standards for typesetting/formatting on MSE. Certainly new users shouldn't be discouraged to edit just because of this kind of nitpicking. However, there seems to be no mechanism to warn them except rejecting their edits, or doing the work for them and improving the edits.

Note: I'm not asking about the two specific suggested edits, I'm asking in general. Perhaps they are not the best example of the issue in question since I haven't reviewed much edits so far. I hope some of you will recognize the situation, though, as formatting problems on MSE seem very common.

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    $\begingroup$ One option, as you note, is to improve the edit. If there seems to be too much additional work left done, it might be because the editor felt they needed to push out some of the fixes ahead of other potential edits. leading to an incomplete job. However someone whose edits require approval will then find they cannot "top off" the initial round of edits until the first set has been approved. I've found a measure of frustration myself in deciding what to do with these cases, so +1 for asking about it. $\endgroup$ – hardmath Sep 20 '17 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ the || example actually strikes home for me as I did quite a few edits of || versus \| myself because it can ( read often does) cause math processing error. I also tend to edit \frac into \over for longer things because it tends to use a similar amount or less characters. $\endgroup$ – user451844 Sep 20 '17 at 13:23
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    $\begingroup$ If you care so much, perhaps improve the edit yourself? $\endgroup$ – Simply Beautiful Art Sep 20 '17 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ @SimplyBeautifulArt I could, of course. But what is the general policy about edits which did not do the job as good as they could have, with pretty much the same amount of effort? Such cases seem to be a result of either ignorance about formatting rules, or not caring so much about the details. In the case of ignorance, if I do the edit, how will the user which suggested it learn the right way to do it? I doubt they will carefully analyse my improvements. $\endgroup$ – mechanodroid Sep 20 '17 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ If however the reason is not caring, then my improvement will hardly matter to them anyway, so there is nothing to stop them from making the same subpar edits in the future (because there obviously exists someone who will improve their edit after them anyway, and the edit will ultimately be accepted). This, IMO, can lower the general quality of suggested edits on the site. There should be a mechanism driving people to increase their formatting knowledge and/or standards. $\endgroup$ – mechanodroid Sep 20 '17 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ @SimplyBeautifulArt Some do invest the time to correctly edit from the start (reject and edit option). I've done that often, when I feel than an edit attempt is incomplete, or superfluous. But I don't always have, at the moment of reviewing an edit, the time to intervene at that time, in that moment. That doesn't make my expectation for better edits ("if you're going to edit (and bump a page), please do so thoroughly until you can honestly say: "There should be no other reason for another edit, unless the OP edits the question." $\endgroup$ – Namaste Sep 20 '17 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ No one should receive rep on a partial edit that aims to merely earn acceptance and subsequently 2 points. If a user takes on the challenge of editing a question, they should edit the question: a mis-spelling here, a formula there, matching formula in post to any in title, etc. It is not appropriate to tell someone reviewing edits that are incomplete that if they don't like it, stop complaining, and do it yourself. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Sep 20 '17 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ I can relate to your experience because I had the same issue when reviewing edits in the past. In my case, I stopped reviewing edits and decided to edit by my own and it works for me. Maybe that will work for you too. $\endgroup$ – Xam Sep 24 '17 at 15:54

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