This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: Good editors are Wikipedia's most valuable resource|
A zeroth law is a codification of something so obvious or fundamental that it was not originally stated. In thermodynamics it's the idea that "All heat is of the same kind". In Isaac Asimov's fictional Robot series, it's the idea that humanity as a whole is more important than an individual.
On Wikipedia, the zeroth law is that good editors are the most valuable resource.
Some would say the articles – but it takes good editors to write articles.
Some would say reliable sources. Good editors are the ones who find reliable sources and incorporate them into articles.
Some would say the neutral point of view. It takes good editors to find additional resources to balance the POV resources, discuss balance on the article talk page, and craft the final product.
Good editors read copyrighted material and restate the concepts to prevent copyright violations.
Good editors take or find the pictures, upload them, CC release them or write fair-use justifications.
Good editors use good grammar, write clearly and try to accommodate the Manual of Style.
Good editors check their work (mistakes are inevitable, and the more editing, the more mistakes) and reedit to sharpen their product. There is no such thing as good writing; there is only good rewriting.
Good editors detect and remove vandalism, and issue warnings to the vandals.
Good editing is not a zero sum game.
Some would say it's the Wikipedia is an encyclopedia pillar. Good editors are the folks who detect and remove original research and fancruft.
Is this to say good editors must be kept at all costs? Of course not. Even good editors must be shown the door when they unduly interfere with the work of other good editors.
It is to say that interventions should be as minimal as necessary to be effective, and done in a polite and civil manner, to minimize disruption to Wikipedia editors. After all, on Wikipedia, good editors matter.