I asked a question and received a helpful answer that showed me work that I did not know how to search for. The answer was a link to the author's paper and some context on its relevance. While I could have asked for the author to expand on their paper, I felt that it would be more useful for me to read the section they pointed me to rather than ask for their exposition.

Is it appropriate for me to edit my question with what I've learned from the answer?

EDIT: I've accepted the helpful answer.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Why not just accept their answer? People can read their answer for themselves and vote on it separate to your question, which may receive a different number of votes, for a different reason. The only reason I would suggest updating your question with information from someone's answer is if your question needs updating, for instance if you stated something wrong, or if your question could be clarified, based on the interaction. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, I see it's not necessary. To be clear, I've accepted the answer as helpful. I was wondering if it was inappropriate to go above-and-beyond by editing to share details from their paper relevant to my question. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ If you want to expand on their answer, then check out the recent question meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/4128/… For others, this is the question asked by the OP that is being discussed. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 23:30
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ One of the services MathOverflow can provide is a clear exposition of a key idea. If you can relate your interpretation of the answer in a way that enlightens, that adds to the value of your post and also to the forum. If done well, it may also inspire future readers having similar questions. Of course, attribute the idea to the source, but take credit for your interpretation too. (I recommend posting your interpretation as an answer, not as a question edit.) Gerhard "We Want Everybody To Learn" Paseman, 2019.02.26. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 0:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It’s also fair to edit the answer, eg to highlight an example as a good entry point to reading the linked article, or to reproduce a graphic that you found useful. $\endgroup$
    – user44143
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 16:56


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