'Focus on teaching: think about future' are basics that are followed on Socratic. We need to follow the same motto while editing an answer but that may change the 'authorship' (though NOT when answer is featured). Does Socratic has a plan to change this?
We will probably address this issue in the future.
As a rule of thumb, it's best to avoid editing an answer to the extent that you become the main contributor on that answer.
I know that in a lot of cases this is easier said than done, but contributors should always have this in mind when editing.
This is especially true for answers written by newcomers. More often than not, newcomers tend to write really short answers either because they don't have the skill set to write a more detailed explanation or because they're not familiar with our commitment to teaching.
In such cases, it's really difficult not to become the main contributor to the answer after an edit.
So, my recommendation would be to go by this principle--if by editing you end up having most of the contribution to the answer, then it would be best to post a separate answer.
This allows us to have the best of both worlds--students will have your detailed explanation to go by and the newcomer will still have his name on an answer.
Yes, our goal is to focus on teaching and think about the future, but the real challenge is to do that and make sure that we don't push newcomers away at the same time.
Regardless how well intended an edit is, we must acknowledge that it can be a little discouraging for a newcomer to see his or her answer edited to the point that another user is the main contributor on that answer.
So if you edit an answer to the point that you become the main contributor, try to leave a friendly comment for the original user.
Hey, I edited your answer to add more explanation and an image. I hope that's ok with you!
I expanded on your answer to give the students more context.
Something along those lines. A friendly comment can go a long way, that's for sure!
Like I said, this is more of a rule of thumb than an actual rule at this time, but chances are that this will change soon. More details on that when the time comes! :D