I have done some edits to questions, here and on other stack exchanges, and some have been rejected. That is perfectly alright. What is annoying to me though is when my edit is rejected and then the reviewer does their own edit that is basically just mine.

Is this type of thing normal on Chemistry SE? It has not happened on any other site for me.

In the cases it has happened, the edits I made were nearly trivial. The questions were very wordy, so I tried to bold/format key things so that the question had a bit more grab to it and the details wouldn't be lost in the words. I am fine with this type of edit being rejected, but annoyed that the reviewer would then do a nearly identical edit.

I am not going to point any fingers, I am just curious if this happens a lot here and if it keeps happening, what should I do? In these cases it was the same reviewer who I feel hijacked my edit.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Recently — a week or so ago — I rejected few edits (I cannot recollect whether those were yours or not) with cumbersome MathJax formatting which looked OKish when rendered, but the code and semantics didn't make any sense: $$\ce{..}$$ or $$\mathrm{..}$$ for all math expressions and units or multiple ~ for aligning items. It was just easier and faster to reject the edit and do proper formatting from scratch rather than trying to "improve" that. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    Mar 6, 2019 at 4:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My edits were admittedly trivial. bolding and latex of chemical names. No math. It also wasn't you ^^. The only reason I am upset a little bit is because the reviewer then made nearly the same edits as me, and it happened more than once from the same reviewer. $\endgroup$
    – B. Kelly
    Mar 6, 2019 at 5:10
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    $\begingroup$ Looks like you're talking about this and this? The first suggested edit is invalid because code block should only be used for... (programming) code. The second one, you just added a MathJax syntax on chemical names, but it worsen the appearance (italic chemical name?). Looks like the proper way to represent chemical names is with \ce{..} $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Mar 6, 2019 at 8:27
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    $\begingroup$ Could you please give an example? I understand the desire to not point fingers, but I also think that edits need to be looked at case-by-case, or else it’s quite tough to say anything helpful. $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    Mar 6, 2019 at 9:42
  • $\begingroup$ A question that one of the mods can probably handle (@orthocresol), when I look at the review dash, I see "Improve" and "Reject and Edit." What's the difference? Are they the same except for the base for starting your own edit? $\endgroup$
    – Zhe
    Mar 15, 2019 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Zhe "improve" means that the suggested edit is accepted (i.e. you accept their edit and then further "improve" on it), whereas "reject and edit" rejects it. In terms of the content, there is no difference, but it makes a difference for the user who suggested the edit (+2 rep per accepted edit, etc.) $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    Mar 15, 2019 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


I went through your suggested edits. First of all let me say that there are not enough of them to make a generalisation; there are four rejected ones, and there is good reason for that. Also the later applied changes were not that similar.

There have been plenty of discussions on formatting and editing on this meta. We have agreed on a couple of standards, which are probably best summarised by these posts:

We have also gathered a very long list of best practices:

Let me give you a very short summary:

  • We take (correct) formatting very, very serious. Yes, that can be a bit tedious sometimes.
  • MathJax is for maths and chemistry, it should not be used for text formatting.
  • The command \rm should be avoided; use \mathrm{...}, or if appropriate \ce{...}/\pu{...} instead.
  • Back-ticks are for code, not for basic text formatting. There are exceptions, sometimes, but it should not be used to typeset chemical stuff
  • Contracting links is fine and a good reason to start editing, but if the post has more issues, especially more severe ones, it sometimes simply isn't worth bumping the post.
  • Less is more. See for that. Special treat here: Can we edit out unnecessary "statements of weakness" or buzzwords inside the questions' bodies?

I hope this does not discourage you from editing more questions, but rather encourage you to edit even more.

Please keep in mind, that your edit is wasted, when the question gets deleted; you might want to focus your effort on the questions that will stick around. If you have more questions, The Periodic Table (Chemistry chat) is also a good place to ask/ discuss.


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