A highly rated answer was given to the question How to Cite Hardware in Scientific Articles? In part of his original answer, the author stated (emphasis mine):

The digital camera you took pictures with? Nobody mentions that.

This is incorrect, and quite simple to prove by presenting a contradiction. I edited the answer, adding a reference where the make and model is clearly identified. The paper in question is open access and can be easily accessed for verification.

  • The digital camera you took pictures with? Generally not mentioned, unless some sort of image/color processing is involved.

Digital images of NAA-DBRs were acquired by a mobile phone Sony XperiaTM Z3 Compact equipped with a camera of 20.7 MP (5248 × 3936 pixels) and autofocus function.

Chen, Yuting, et al. "Rational design of photonic dust from nanoporous anodic alumina films: a versatile photonic nanotool for visual sensing." Scientific reports 5 (2015).

This edited was rolled back, with the reason being that (emphasis mine)

my opinion was changed in the post and that you should have commented instead.

I'm puzzled. I find it difficult to understand how this is opinion based. How exactly should the edit button be used? And when stuck between defending (objective) truth and respecting people's opinions, where should we draw the line?

Related comment (emphasis mine)

Provide some documentation if you can, and format your answer for easy reading.

Related questions:

1 Answer 1


I believe that the specific word "opinion" here is somewhat misleading: the issue is more one of authorial voice.

The convention that has emerged on this site is to hold a strong respect for the "voice" of the original author (unlike an environment where authorship is de-emphasized, like Wikipedia). Thus, if you disagree with a statement in an answer, the preferred first step is to either:

  • Voice your disagreement in a comment, or
  • If it's severe, down-vote and/or create a new and better answer yourself

Many of the users on this site respond well to new information provided in the comments, and will update their answers to reflect it. In fact, in this case the original author did in fact change their post precisely to reflect the new information that you provided in the comment---but in their own words.

In this case, from the perspective of process, I believe the key mistake was not yours, as you are relatively inexperienced on the site and it's understandable you may not be familiar with all of the conventions. Rather, I believe that the users who reviewed your edit suggestion made a mistake in approving it, rather than rejecting the edit using the standard reason: "This edit deviates from the original intent of the post."

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