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I have noticed that many users change the entire context of the question based on a certain comment, and this invalidates the answer provided by a different user.

Is there a limit to the number of times one can edit a question? Specifically the title of the question? or the KEY QUESTION that is being asked?

I understand that editing the code/reproducible examples for the question should be allowed numerous times, as long as the entire question does not become a different question altogether.

Link to a question that I had asked and was edited by me multiple times, until I realized that the answer lies is in a different approach (thereby changing the title itself).

Calculate Proportion of Land Cover Classes with a moving window around a point in R

A different case where questions are edited based on comments received, but the overall ask slightly changes each time:

Same extent and resolution of rasters, but different number of cells

  • Do you have a link or two to the questions that have been edited many times? – Midavalo Apr 12 '17 at 16:37
  • Included questions that I personally edited multiple times. – Vijay Ramesh Apr 12 '17 at 16:53
  • What do you mean by "the KEY QUESTION that is being asked"? There should only ever be one question asked per question as per the Tour. – PolyGeo Apr 14 '17 at 10:29
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I haven't found anything official, however a look around Meta SO and Meta SE netted a few Q&As regarding edit limits on questions. It appears there may be a limit of 5 edits, however this is on older questions (more than a day or two old). This limit is there primarily to prevent rage-quitting and vandalism. See Should the 5 edit limit prevent you from hitting edit in the first place?.

I think edit limits would cause problems if applied to new questions, as often edits need to be made to get questions re-opened after being put On Hold, or in response to comments asking for more information or clarification. If there were a limit I think we'd end up with more questions left closed, and the asker just re-asking in a new question, or abandoning the site altogether. We want to avoid this!

On the flip side, as a community we need to ensure that edits are improving the question rather than changing it. It is unfair on our volunteers to spend time writing up an excellent answer only to find the question is significantly changed, and even potentially attract downvotes for not answering the question.

I believe that as a moderator I have reviewed automatic flags when a question has been edited too many times, but I'm not 100% sure on that. I do check edits to make sure the focus isn't changing too much, and have occasionally suggested that a new question should be asked and that the good answers upvoted/accepted on the original question where appropriate.

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    +1 I have reviewed many automatic flags that are raised at 20 edits. (Yes, some questions get edited that much!) – whuber Apr 12 '17 at 21:55
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I think it is worth mentioning the Editing section from the The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide:

Editing

  • 5 edits on one's own posts per day, more for high-rep users (scales with reputation), does not apply to ♦ mods

You have already edited 5 of your own post today; further edits are not allowed until tomorrow

  • 5 deleted old answers per day (not sure if this is counted along with edits or separately, confirm/refute), does not apply to ♦ mods

  • At most 5 pending suggested edits per editor (20 on beta sites)

  • Unregistered Users can't suggest edits on posts < 10 minutes old
  • Users with < 10k rep trip Captcha if more than once per 30 seconds, or faster than 5 seconds after starting edit
  • Users with > 10k rep trip Captcha if more than once per 10 seconds, or faster than 5 seconds after starting edit
  • You can only save a tag wiki edit once every 30 seconds.

The only other editing "limit" that I know of, mentioned in a comment by @whuber, is that a flag to moderators is raised when a question has been edited more than 20 times. I have not been able to find this documented but I think it is there to detect users who are performing trivial edits to bump their question to the home page. Such behaviour can be met with suspension, but here at GIS SE, as far as I know, we have always clicked away that flag, because in all instances that I have seen the edits have seemed reasonable (usually on Community Wiki posts).

I think any editing that improves, even quite modestly, the chances of a question being answered or acting as a better example for questions by new users (so they get theirs answered quicker), is worth doing.

The edits to avoid are those which strand/invalidate an answer by changing the question (that has already been answered) too much. Those edits should be rolled back and comment made to suggest that a new question be asked.

Remember that Q&A is not designed to be a discussion between askers and answerers on how to solve a problem. On the other hand askers can get great insight into how to solve their problems by asking focussed questions that break larger problems into answerable chunks (in separate focussed Q&As).

  • This is very very interesting. Thanks @PolyGeo – Vijay Ramesh Apr 14 '17 at 13:46

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