Some rules of thumb:
- Drawing attention to a problem is good, fixing it is better: Don't spend more time drawing attention to or discussing a problem with an article than it would take to simply solve it.
- Article titles are largely irrelevant because of redirects: Moving an article rarely constitutes an actual improvement of the encyclopedia.
- Consistency is not a greater good: Enforcing consistency simply for consistency's sake is not necessarily an improvement. Creating consistency across incomparable contexts may in fact be detrimental.
- Content is more important than form: Changing spelling, typoes, style or formatting in a bad article does not actually make the article better, though it may give it the false appearance of being so.
- Editing an infobox rarely improves an article - edit warring over them never does: The infobox simply provides key facts form the article. So if the infobox is wrong, first improve the article. If a piece of information in an infobox is frequently the source of edit wars, it probably shouldn't be in the infobox at all.
- Don't contribute content about topics where you have inadequate knowledge. If you are just becoming interested in a new topic then read about it first, then edit. Also remember that the Dunning-Kruger effect also affects you - unless you are truly an expert in something, chances are that you are overestimating your knowledge. The solution is to read more.
- Don't cite research you don't understand - also not second hand. Don't add information to a science related article based on news coverage of some newly published research study - at least not unless you have actually read and understood the original study. You cannot assume the science writer at your favorite news media understands the research and its implication - usually in fact they either don't understand it or they willfully misrepresent it to attract readers.
My personal professional website can be found here.