A one-line answer (https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/72347/31340), from a new user to the SE family, was rightly criticized for being too short, lacking reference.

I researched and attempted to improve the answer by adding two web references to support the answer. The edit was rejected. How does that make any sense?

(If you cannot see the attempted edit, I added it as a comment.)

2 Answers 2


Your edits were rejected through the normal review queue process. That is, two high reputation users (i.e., not mods like myself or Criggie) voted to reject the edit.

The specific reasons they gave were:

  • This usage doesn't appear to match the question.
  • This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

I won't hypothesize on why they chose those specific reasons, attempt to justify or dispute them, or call out the individual users. But those were the reasons given in the review queue.

  • Thank you for attempting an actual answer. Both the given reasons are ridiculous, though. o The answer -- albeit too short -- was a clear answer to the OP question. o The edit built upon the clear intent of the post ie, there is obviously no deviation)
    – Martin F
    Jan 11, 2021 at 23:07
  • Can you override the rejection, and accept, my edits?
    – Martin F
    Jan 11, 2021 at 23:09
  • 1
    Technically, yes. I could use my mod powers to override the rejection. However, I'm typically extremely reluctant to override community decisions and do not see a compelling reason to do so in this case. As Criggie points out, simply adding links is a bit of an improvement, but not much. Those links will likely decay and need to be cleaned up through additional edits later. If you were to edit again and add context to your links, my guess is that the community would approve.
    – jimchristie Mod
    Jan 12, 2021 at 17:34
  • 1
    Criggie already did it (edit an improvement).
    – Martin F
    Jan 12, 2021 at 21:23

The original answer was initially flagged as poor, because it is really too short, and contains nothing new that wasn't in the existing answers.

The edit does add off-site references which is good, but now its a poor link-only answer. These answers are only useful as long as the remote website exists and doesn't reorganise. Link-rot is a thing.

An improvement might be to paraphrase/summarise the info on the linked web pages, so that a future reader can see what they said inside the answer. Leave the links there as supporting information and sources, but they're not the primary answer.

Do avoid straight-out copy and pasting from the linked website, that could be regarded as plagiarism/plagurism.

Another option might be to add your own answer along similar lines. Its clear you've done a decent level of research and that is certainly appreciated.

  • 2
    @MartinF I definitely agree with creating your own, much better, well-researched answer. There's a point where you're not just improving an existing answer, you're actually doing all the work, and it would be nice to be able to reward the correct party.
    – DavidW
    Jan 10, 2021 at 15:41
  • Why did you feel the need to repeat (the answer was poor) what i'd already admitted up front?
    – Martin F
    Jan 10, 2021 at 19:13
  • Why do you falsely claim the answer "contains nothing new that wasn't in the existing answers"? Did you bother to read the other answers?
    – Martin F
    Jan 10, 2021 at 19:14
  • @MartinF "quick release" - para 4 (wikipedia quote), "push button" - para 1 of Robokaren's answer from 2017, "axle" - every answer. Your links seem good, but they're just links to elsewhere, and link-only answers can always be improved. Would you like me to construct a complete example ?
    – Criggie Mod
    Jan 10, 2021 at 21:46
  • You didn't answer my question: why was my improvement to a poor answer rejected? A major MO of SE is continuous improvement of Q and A, is it not?
    – Martin F
    Jan 11, 2021 at 17:18
  • @MartinF yes - and a "link only" improvement is still a link only answer. If the improved answer were posted, it would still be a link-only answer. Would you like me to write it up as a full example of a good answer by SE's standards ?
    – Criggie Mod
    Jan 11, 2021 at 18:46
  • The "quick release" in the wikipedia quote was in the question, not an answer.
    – Martin F
    Jan 11, 2021 at 23:15
  • 1
    If you're willing to accept my edit and then improve upon it still further, that would be great. I'm sure Kevin Saldanha and I would be most grateful.
    – Martin F
    Jan 11, 2021 at 23:16

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