Before I create a ticket, I thought I would run this by the community for comment.
Missing edit notes seems to becoming more of a problem all the time, or perhaps I’m just becoming more sensitive to the complaints I’m seeing from other editors. I tend to see more of this (no note on an edit) from new and less experienced editors, and I suspect that this is because they don’t know what to write or don’t (yet) have an appreciation for the importance of an edit note.
There have been suggestions about making edit notes mandatory; however the counter-argument is that this may lead to an editor putting junk in the field just to get past the non-blank requirement. That may very well happen in some cases, but remember that edit notes are permanent, and bad (nonsense) notes will be forever attached to the editor that entered them. This could negatively impact their chances of ever being elected as an AutoEditor.
My suggestion is more along the lines of trying to educate the editor with respect to the importance of providing good notes for all of their edits. If an editor submits an edit and there is no edit note, perhaps a “nag” screen could be displayed asking them to confirm that they are submitting the edit without including an edit note. Wording could be something like:
Best practices are to include an edit note citing the source of the information for every edit submitted. These notes will help other editors confirm the information and vote for the edit. They will also provide information for the edit history in the event that changes are made to the record in the future. Please see the guide on How to Write Edit Notes for more information.
Are you sure that you want to submit this edit without an edit note?
What do you think? Is something like this worth the effort, or is it just wishful thinking on my part?