I'm listening to SE Podcast #37 – Back At It, Again and David mentioned that posts need one reopen vote to be added to the reopen review queue. He also mentioned that questions almost never get reopened once they're closed. Should more questions be added earlier to this queue. I think that after a question is closed, if the original author makes a substantial edit to the question, it should be eligible for reopening. Should questions that meet this criteria be added immediately to the reopen review queue (before anyone casts a reopen vote)?

Notes: Currently people are encouraged to flag a post for a moderator to review once they've edited their closed question, but

  1. this really doesn't happen very much,
  2. I'd really like to see this automated so it happens more often, and
  3. I'd like to see a bigger cross-section of the community looking at these than just moderators.

Additional note: I know that all the OP has to do is vote for their own question to be reopened for it to be added to the queue, but this doesn't always happen (it requires 250 reputation, and sometimes people just don't do it). Maybe just automatically casting the reopen vote for them would be enough to implement this? Or, as Tim Stone suggests in the comments, maybe just letting them know that voting to reopen their own post will place it in a queue for others to review would see more posts added to the queue?

  • 5
    Hmm, the issue is that them editing it once doesn't necessarily mean that it's ready to be reopened, even from their perspective (as unlikely as that may be). In that sense it seems like a potentially better course of action would be to inform them of the ability to cast a reopen vote after the initial edit on a closed question, and then drop the 250 reputation barrier if the post had been edited substantially enough (determined by some change threshold).
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 15:49
  • 2
    "as soon as"? don't do that! as an editor, I know it often might take more than one attempt to get it right where I want it to be; premature reopening might break that. On the other hand, adding to queue after reasonable "cool-off" timeout, say a day or two after the (most recent) edit from OP... that would probably make good sense
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 15:51
  • @TimStone Good idea. I edited it into the body of the post. Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 15:54
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    @gnat I agree, a cool-off timeout (but maybe only an hour or so?) would probably be a good idea. That would also give the OP plenty of time to just hit 'reopen' on their own. Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 16:03
  • I was going to post this a couple of weeks ago but I got distracted and forgot. This would be a real benefit.
    – user147520
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 16:04
  • @BilltheLizard an hour hm. Interesting. I think I understand why and, well, yes this probably might work, too. Yes, I would "buy" an hour to cool off
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 16:17
  • anything that removes the need for flagging and puts it in the communities hands is a good idea.
    – Ryathal
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 16:45
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    @Jaydles: Was the cool-off period implemented? How long is it?
    – user102937
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 15:37
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    @RobertHarvey, if the OP edits their post in the five days after it was closed, it's automatically added to the re-open queue now.
    – Jaydles
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


This is especially relevant for new users. While low quality questions should be closed regardless of who wrote them, I often take some extra time to help out through comments for new users. New users often accept getting their question closed if they get constructive help on why and what to do to improve the question.

The problem is that when the OP improves the question they often don't vote to reopen and I can't remember to check back hours or days later to help.

My suggestion is that edits to closed posts automatically moves to the reopen queue if the OP has less than 5 posts (Qs or As) on the site.

That would make the site more welcoming to new users while they are still learning how the site works, but it would not add too much to the reopen queue volume.

Using number of posts rather than reputation as the criterion is to keep those few that repeatedly posts tens or hundreds of bad quality posts off the queue.

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    The trouble with your thoughtful suggestion is that it trains new users to think the system works one way, and then after a few posts the behavior changes. Expect lots of "why didn't my question get reopened automatically like it has in the past?" questions.
    – Caleb
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 9:33
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    That's definitely a valid point. Maybe it's better to have the same behaviour for everyone and take counter measures if it floods the reopen review queue. The important point is that to make SO more friendly to new users they must feel that editing to improve a question helps, that it is reopened and they get an answer. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 12:22

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