Upon discovering, a few days ago, that all issues of IF Magazine have been made available on the Internet Archive, I thought that there could be answers to questions that could benefit from having a (fully legit and long lasting) link to the full text of the suggested story.

I searched for answers containing either "IF magazine" or "Worlds of IF", and edited those that did not already have a source link, adding something like this at the end:

The Month Year issue of Worlds of IF is freely available on the Internet Archive; Title starts at page N.

Out of six suggested edits, three (1, 2, 3) were rejected by reviewers with the reason being either

"This edit was intended to address the author of the post and makes no sense as an edit. It should have been written as a comment or an answer."


"This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability."

I will surely survive these rejections, but I fail to see how the provided reasons apply to the suggested edits:

  • I certainly did not intend to address the author of the post (= the answer's writer) as she/he already knows the title;
  • the changes would make no sense as an answer, as I would repeat an existing identification hypothesis (sometimes already accepted)
  • I think having a chance to verify if the suggested story is indeed the one the OP was looking for would make the answer more accurate and more accessible, not less so

So, why were these edits considered not useful or even harmful?

Related meta questions (only partially, as this situation is different):

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    I fixed your tag links, which were to the meta tag [story-id] rather than the main-site one, since I assumed that was a mistake - my apologies if it was deliberate! – Rand al'Thor Mar 11 '16 at 22:14
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    Thank you for the information about all those issues of If being added to the Internet Archive, and for your helpful edits. I have now edited my own answers to add If links where needed. – user14111 Mar 12 '16 at 7:24
  • @user14111 Good job! I was sure there must be more than half a dozen answers citing If, but it's not a very search-friendly name! – lfurini Mar 12 '16 at 9:13
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    Almost impossible to search. In the first place, the answer to a story-id question will not necessarily (or even usually) mention the name of the magazine in which it appeared. In the second place, I for one have always referred to that magazine as simply "If". – user14111 Mar 12 '16 at 9:30
  • @CHEESE Plainly, "this situation" refers to the situation described in this question, not those old questions. Edit rolled back. – user14111 Mar 13 '16 at 8:44
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    @user14111 "this situations" is still incorrect though :-) – Rand al'Thor Mar 13 '16 at 13:56

I would not have rejected these. They're useful edits that add appropriate information to the answers in question.

  • 3
    I was the second rejector on these. While useful, they were verbose edits that felts like adverts for the Internet Archive, detracting from the content of the answer. One could have simply turned the title into the appropriate link. In retrospect, I could have edited and done this. Next time. :-) – Praxis Mar 12 '16 at 15:03
  • @Praxis The title is often already linked to the corresponding isfdb.org entry (an extremely useful common practice, as it provides a lot of meta-information). I was looking for a sentence I could reuse for all the answers I was going to modify, and I preferred to err on the side of caution while providing attribution and context to the link; I recognize that it was probably too verbose (this seems to be quite tipical of me). :-) – lfurini Mar 12 '16 at 19:02
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    @lfurini : No worries, and I'm sorry for not giving your edit more thought. Thanks for the good work on the site. :-) – Praxis Mar 13 '16 at 0:31
  • @Praxis (1) Apologies. Didn't mean to be rude, but I was struck by one reviewer's amusingly appropriate screen name, the self-styled Rogue. (2) If you thought the suggested edit was too verbose, you had the option of improving it. (3) I'd think identifying the destination of a link ought to be mandatory rather than forbidden. (4) I don't consider attributing a relevant source to be an "advert for the Internet Archive" any more than I consider vast swathes of this site to be adverts for Star Wars and Star Trek. But I do wish we could extirpate the zillions of gratuitous adverts for G—gle. – user14111 Mar 13 '16 at 4:13
  • @user14111 : Thanks for responding. For (1): I didn't realize the first rejector was Rogue Jedi. Now I get the joke! For (2): Yes, I realize in retrospect I could have improved it. The fact that one other reviewer had already rejected it had tipped me to favouring full-on rejection, but I should have considered it more carefully, I do admit! For (3): That's fair, but probably won't become a rule any time soon. For (4): At least one of the proposed edits said something to the effect of, "The Internet Archive is incredibly useful. There, you can find tons of issues of..." – Praxis Mar 13 '16 at 4:38
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    @user14111 : These are my own words, but that's how my mind read it, and I felt it was inappropriately verbose, but it's a matter of opinion and, again, I agree that it could have been improved on the spot. Finally, in many ways, the site is indeed a giant billboard for Star Wars, Star Trek, and Harry Potter. For what it's worth, I keep saying there should be a Star Trek SE site. ;-) Anyway, no worries, and I wish I had gotten the joke in your comment! – Praxis Mar 13 '16 at 4:40
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    @Praxis Did you know there used to be an Area 51 proposal for a Star Trek SE? meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/47/… – Rand al'Thor Mar 13 '16 at 13:55

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