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The robo-approvers are killing my will to review edits

When I review I try to be VERY careful. It makes me slow. While still busy researching for edit #2 here suggested by an anonymous user, the edit was approved. However, I find it hard to believe that 3 random people were able to accurately decide that the suggested change was valid and compelling, when the subject matter is obscure, highly technical, and very hard to find information about online.

Some additional looking by trusted community members would be appreciated.

  • I have no clue about the subject matter and if I was reviewing I probably would have rejected or at least skipped it if it came up while I was reviewing, but reading the question, it certainly looks like H1 could have been a typo. This is good case for making good edit summaries as to why the edit was made, not just what was changed. Dec 29, 2012 at 10:33
  • Some searching I did had H0 and H1 references. Also, a simple typo doesn't make sense because then the sentence would be nonsensical as the two were contraposed.
    – ErikE
    Dec 29, 2012 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


It's not a clear cut case.

The subject matter is statistics, the original wrote that under some circumstances

  • the alternative hypothesis (H1) is accepted,

while the edit says that under these circumstances

  • the null hypothesis (H0) is rejected.

The latter is formally more correct, since one never really accepts a hypothesis based on the outcome of a statistical test, one only rejects a hypothesis if the test result is sufficiently unlikely under that hypothesis.

The edit left

else, you accept H0.

in place, however, which is strictly speaking also not correct. The correct formulation is that one keeps H0 or that one does not reject H0.

These are, however, nitpicky technicalities. In everyday parlance, saying that one accepts a hypothesis based on the outcome of a test is okay, as long as it is clear that acceptance (or rejection, for that matter) is always only temporary and open to revision.

So if the reviewers have enough familiarity with statistical terminology, they can correctly review the edit and decide it is enough of an improvement [though I am not sure that I would have] to be accepted in a matter of seconds.

Whether the reviewers have that background or they just clicked the "Approve" button without knowing about the subject matter remains of course an unsolved question.

However, in this case, the outcome is alright, one formulation was replaced with a technically more correct one without changing the meaning of the answer.

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