1

Situation:

  1. Question already has an old answer, in the form:

    {Wikia X} says that {XYZ fact} is true, based on {ABC detail} in {QWE} source.

    For example:

    According to Wookiepedia, this name is confirmed from the movie credits and novelization.

  2. Neither the answer, nor linked {Wikia X} article shows actual proof (screenshots, quotes)

  3. You find actual proofs (movie credits sreenshots; novelization quotes, interview quotes).

Should the new information be posted as a separate new answer, or as an edit to an existing answer?

If the answer is "It depends on the extent of the changes", where is the line drawn? A single quote?

"Old" answer means that the OP clearly has no plans to go find and post the references/cites themselves

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5

Cited references to original works should always be preferable to wiki links or quotes. The wiki links/quotes may, of course, be correct, but they don't have the appropriate weight of evidence behind them:

  • A wiki page can be vandalized (or even just changed/deleted/merged) thus rendering a link invalid.
  • A quote from a wiki page may be rendered invalid by a subsequent edit that changes the wiki page.

I don't think you can draw an exact line based on number or extent of changes; there will always be blurry areas around such a line. You'll need to use your own judgement. That said:

  • If the wiki-quoting answer is not an accepted answer then it seems OK to me to add a new answer incorporating cited references.
  • If the wiki-quoting answer is an accepted answer, then you need to tread a little more carefully.
  • If the accepted answer is incorrect then by all means add your own answer. You can't really edit an incorrect answer to make it correct.
  • If the accepted answer is correct then all you're really doing is adding evidence.
  • In which case: is it even necessary to go near this question or answer?

I personally prefer to err on the side of respecting the work someone else put in to answering a question. Editing an answer (aside from obvious cases such as spelling/grammar/formatting) just presses all the wrong buttons with me, so adding my own answer would be my preferred course of action in any event. Prefacing it with some text to the effect of "the other answer is correct but here's some more evidence" is an approach I'd favour. Adding the additional supporting evidence as a comment seems even better, but of course you then need to deal with the comment-limit.

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2

I agree with the others' answers, but one point I consider is how extensive the other answer is. Even if it is correct, accepted, and upvoted, yet the answer only consists of "yes, starwars.wikia says so: " (of which I have seen several), even if this really does answer the question, I'd add another answer with the better material. If in the same case, he has other supporting info and seems to put more thought into it, then I'd just edit it into his answer.

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1

If all you've done is use their own post to research the actual cites, then you should just add them to the earlier post with good grace and consider it a job well done as a member of the community.

On the other hand, if your own research has lead you to a brand new conclusion then you need to create a new post and maybe consider crediting the earlier answer.

Also if adding high volumes of quotes or comments has the effect of drastically altering the post in some other way then this is vandalism, regardless of whether it's good vandalism or bad vandalism.

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