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Vising the re-open queue tonight I came across two posts nominated for re-opening due to edits made to the post. You can see them for yourself here:

Suggested edit by @ctx and approved by @egid and,

an edit by @DannyBeckett.

I am highlighting these because while the edits are normally what we want to do to improve the quality of posting, neither of these edits does anything to address why the questions were closed. However, the act of editing automatically puts the question into the re-open queue where it doesn't really belong.

Should these kind of edits be rejected (to avoid nominating for reopening) or avoided (for users with the rep to edit)? It seems counterproductive to clean up grammar and structure of a question the community has already decided shouldn't be here. Unless the edits address the reason for the closing and make the question suitable for reopening I do not feel they should happen and that was not the case for the mentioned questions.

How do the rest of you feel about this?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hah, I didn't realize that was a dupe until after I approved the edit. $\endgroup$ – egid Mar 12 '14 at 6:20
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    $\begingroup$ @egid I probably wouldn't have noticed either when reviewing edits, which is part of what led me to post this. $\endgroup$ – casey Mar 12 '14 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ There is a question about this on MSO. The long and short of it is that editing is encouraged, even if the question is closed. Approve the suggested edit, but choose Leave Closed on the Reopen queue. $\endgroup$ – Danny Beckett Mar 14 '14 at 2:55
  • $\begingroup$ @DannyBeckett Thanks, I'll go look that up and give it a read. $\endgroup$ – casey Mar 14 '14 at 3:06
  • $\begingroup$ No worries, I tried searching for it quickly, but couldn't find it. It's definitely there though. $\endgroup$ – Danny Beckett Mar 14 '14 at 3:10
  • $\begingroup$ As Shog9 would say, Everything is a duplicate of something on MSO if you look hard enough. There's probably a proof for P=NP on there. $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Mar 14 '14 at 15:37
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I don't really see it as a reason to reject edits that improve the post - particularly in the case of duplicates. Duplicate posts are basically a sign that says "Go look here for the answer", and these edits are basically a fresh coat of paint on that sign.

For the other kinds of closure I think cleaning up minor issues with a post may encourage someone to correct the underlying issue that caused it to be closed. The edits may warrant a "Leave Closed" vote when they pop up in the reopen queue, but even on larger sites (SF) that doesn't seem to generate too much traffic in that queue.

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