How to Write Edit Notes

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Whenever you edit MusicBrainz data, you will be asked to add an edit note. Most edits need to be voted on by other MusicBrainz users, to catch errors and bad data. Edit notes are there to help the voters determine if an edit is correct.

If a voter disagrees with an edit or needs more information they should add a note asking for clarification (see below).

By default, each edit note is sent by email to the original editor, everyone who commented on an edit, and everyone who voted on an edit.

When writing any edit note, please keep the Code of Conduct in mind.

How to add edit notes when editing data

The primary reason for edit notes is to help voters (and subsequent editors) to decide if an edit is correct. It is (almost always) optional to add an edit note, but you are strongly encouraged to add one. Edit notes can also be useful later, when data is subsequently edited and past sources need to be consulted.

What should be included?

  1. A URL with some sort of proof your edit is reasonable and correct.
  2. A link to relevant MusicBrainz Style Guidelines
  3. What you're doing and why you're doing it, unless it's outstandingly obvious (when adding a new release, for example, it's not useful to just write "I'm adding a release")

What constitutes good proof?

One or (if possible) more of the following, in approximate order of preference:

  1. Scans of liner materials
  2. Official sites for the artist/label
  3. Other sites with a review process, such as Discogs, Wikipedia, or Encyclopaedia Metallum
  4. Reputable online shops like Amazon and iTunes

Note that online stores are often good proof of the existence of a release, but often have incorrect information about the release. These should be paired with other proof whenever possible.

What doesn't constitute good proof?

  • FreeDB
  • Other user-editable sites that lack a review process
  • Links to Google and similar searches

How to add edit notes when voting on and reviewing edits

Anyone can add an edit note to an already entered edit. This includes already applied and not-yet-applied edits.

When should I leave an edit note when I am not the original editor?

  1. If you vote No on an edit
  2. If you need clarification or better proof in order to vote
  3. If there is an ongoing discussion in a given edit's notes to which you can contribute

What should I include in such an edit note?

  1. Say what you need, or why you voted No.
  2. Include links to MusicBrainz Style Guidelines or URLs with proof, if these are relevant
  3. Be concise, but also complete. Especially terse edit notes are intimidating to new editors and unuseful to new voters; especially long ones may not be read.

How should I respond to these edit notes, if I am the original editor?

  1. Provide clarification or better proof, if requested
  2. Explain further why the editor should vote Yes or abstain, if your edit received a No vote
  3. If you agree with the concerns of the other editor, cancel your edit and explain this in the edit note when you cancel
How-To Pages
Introductory Guides
Basic How-Tos
Specific How-Tos