# What are some basic guidelines for good edits on Chem.SE?

I came across a post on the main site just now that I think could use some changes. I found the editing help page in the Help Center, but its write-up is pretty cursory and high-level.

What makes for a good edit on Chem.SE?

• I was thinking of writing something like this, but Jan said it would be too much like Hidden Points of Editing. Just leaving a link because it's damn relevant: chemistry.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3044/… Apr 4 '17 at 8:01
• @M.A.R. I think this Q/A should probably be discouraged from being added to, except for more links in the final bulleted list. If people have more nifty ideas about editing tips and tricks, they should go in HPoE, I think. Apr 4 '17 at 10:55
• I wonder if it is a good idea to have a second answer on editing tag wikis. There is very little guidance on this so far (it is mostly in comments IIRC)
– orthocresol Mod
Apr 4 '17 at 18:26
• @orthocresol I support creating something for tag wiki edits, but I think it should be a separate meta question. Apr 4 '17 at 18:41

On Stack Exchange, we generally like having substantial edits being made. Somebody who edits a post to correct one or two typos is helpful, but somebody who also takes the time to improve the title and retag the question is even more helpful.

Therefore, here are some basic guidelines for editing:

1. Titles

• Please make sure that a descriptive title is added that accurately reflects the question that is being asked. Some examples of how to construct a good title may be found here. This also makes it much easier to find questions in the future if they are still needed.
• Please do not use MathJax in titles unless absolutely necessary. Generally, we like to spell out the full names of chemicals, i.e. "What is the density of potassium carbonate?" rather than "What is the density of K2CO3?" However, if the name is too long, then use your judgment to write something shorter. For example, "Reduction of a ketone with NaBH4 in the presence of an alkene" is probably better than "Selective reduction of the carbonyl group in (4-methoxyphenyl)(2-methylenecyclopentyl)methanone with sodium borohydride".
• Please avoid using title case titles unless absolutely necessary. Read more here.
2. Body

• Fix grammar and/or spelling.
• Remove any unnecessary information.
• Typeset chemicals with \ce{...}, units with \pu{...}, mathematics with MathJax, etc. However, don't go crazy on this: excessive MathJax slows down loading times. If the only chemicals in the post are NaCl, Na, and Cl, then there's no real need to. See this post and the answers therein for more information.
3. Tags

• Remove any irrelevant tags. Especially remove any tags you know of that are slated for removal from the site based upon a community decision in Meta.
• Add relevant tags to the question. If you are not sure about what a tag means, or if you are not sure what tags are suitable for a question, feel free to ask somebody else in chat, everybody is willing to help.
• It's much better using the []() notation for community wiki post links as they stay with the instances they are used and don't 'travel' to the bottom of the source. Apr 12 '17 at 6:09