I see a "review" link on the top of the page, which takes me to a few "review queues".
- What is a "review queue"?
- What are the various queues for?
- What can I do in each queue?
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Review queues contain posts that possibly need community attention, as determined by the system or other members of the community. You are shown these posts, one at a time, and you "review" them. To incentivize reviewing, there are badges awarded for making a high number of reviews.
So, what constitutes a "review"? It depends on the queue. The queues have one consistent option, though — the Skip button. This permanently skips the post (you won't see it in the same review queue again, unless you pull it up in your review history) and is useful if you're not sure what to do.
Each user has their own copy of the queue — if you review a post in a queue, it is not necessarily removed from that queue for other users. It gets removed for all users after a few more reviews by other users (the exact amount depends upon the queue and review action done).
Note that in many cases, there may not be any items awaiting review in certain queues. If so, you'll get a "this queue has been cleared" message when attempting to review.
Before reviewing in any queues, be sure you have a good grasp on what types of posts are considered within the site's guidelines or what types of edits are acceptable. The best place to find this information is in the site's help center. Some sites may also have further guidance on how to review on their per-site metas.
Each review queue is designed to look at a certain aspect of the site at once, allowing users to interact with the community moderation process in different ways.
The Late answers queue contains answers which were posted much later than the question (and thus don't get as much attention; the purpose of this queue is to give them attention). The First questions and First answers queues contain the first question(s) and first answer(s) made by new users (who will probably need help learning to use the site), respectively. On sites with the Triage queue enabled, the First questions queue will also include questions deemed to require community editing (see Site-specific queues below).
In these queues, you can choose one of the following actions:
You gain access to these queues with access review queues privilege (500 rep on sites with "full" requirements).
Note: These two queues do not exist on meta sites (thus the listed reputation requirement to access review queues is higher here on Meta.SE).
The Low quality posts queue contains both questions and answers which were automatically determined to be of low quality based on several system criteria that generates a post quality score, or which have been flagged by users for being extremely low quality or, in the case of answers, not being proper answers. On sites with the Triage queue enabled, this queue is instead named Low quality answers and only consists of answers.
If you feel that a post is acceptable for the site and doesn't need to be improved further, choose Looks OK. Keep in mind that you can also post a comment before clicking this button.
If the post is otherwise acceptable other than a few formatting or grammar errors, you can choose Edit to improve the post, which dismisses the post from the review queue upon completion of your edits.
If the post cannot be salvaged or violates the site rules, you have two options depending on whether the post is a question or answer:
Close for questions. Opens a menu that lets you choose a description for the problem that makes the question inappropriate (i.e. a reason for closing the question), and submits a vote to close the question.
If you haven't earned the close privilege, you'll be offered a Recommend Close option instead - this carries no vote on its own, but puts the question in the Close Votes queue for privileged users to vote to close (see "Close Votes" below).
Delete for answers. Opens a menu that lets you choose a boilerplate comment to place, and casts a delete vote on the answer if you have enough reputation. You don't have to choose a comment, but if one fits the situation, then doing so is a courtesy to the author of the post you're deleting. The comment chosen will automatically be posted on your behalf (unless the same comment already exists), and will contain a link to the review task.
If you haven't earned the trusted user privilege, you'll be offered a Recommend Deletion option instead - this will prioritize the review task for others who can vote to delete, and if a sufficient number of reviewers all recommend deletion, it can cause the answer to be either deleted (if its score is zero or negative), or forwarded to moderators for further review (if it has a positive score).
You gain access to this queue with the ability to edit questions and answers.
This queue does not exist on per-site metas, but does exist on Meta Stack Exchange.
The Close Votes queue contains questions with active votes or flags to close the question. Along with the moderator tools, this is one of the best ways to find questions that need closing.
On the top of the review item, you'll see the close reasons other users who voted or flagged the question for closure have chosen ("This question has been flagged as [close reason]"). If the duplicate reason is one of the chosen reasons, the "Duplicate [x]" tabs allow you to view the the duplicate target(s) proposed.
If the question meets the criteria for any close reason (even if it's different from the one it was flagged as), and you cannot edit it so it's not closeable for any reason, choose Close and specify the close reason that most applies. This will cast a close vote.
If the question as written is closeable for any reason, but you can edit it so that none of the close reasons apply, choose Edit to make edits. This will count the same as a review to leave open (see below).
If the question doesn't meet the criteria for any close reason, choose Leave open. If enough users choose this option, the question will be dismissed from the review queue.
You gain access to this queue with the ability to cast close and reopen votes.
This queue contains closed questions with active reopen votes, questions that were edited after being closed and the editor specified that the edit addresses the reason for closure, and questions that were deemed popular by the system after closure.
In this queue, on the top, you'll be shown the reason for which the question has been closed, and, if the question was closed as a duplicate, tabs to see the question(s) it's closed as a duplicate of. If the question was edited after being closed, you'll also be shown a tab "Revision" indicating the edits that were made since it was closed. Be sure that you review the question itself, not merely the edit, in this case.
You gain access to this queue with the ability to cast close and reopen votes.
Users without enough reputation to edit will have their edits placed in this queue.
If you feel that the edit is:
then Reject it as such.
If you reject as spam or vandalism, and even if other users agree by choosing the same, this is not recorded as a spam or vandalism flag in your Flag History on your profile. [Looking for post explaining why.] Clicking on "Flag" on the post itself will obviously not show a flag pending, because you didn't flag the post; you flagged the edit. The effort does count towards reviews completed, but not towards flags cast.
If the edit improves the post, and you can't make any improvements on top of it, click Approve.
Two reviews of the same type (two approvals, or two rejections) are required to dismiss the edit with that outcome.
You can also click the Improve Edit or Reject and Edit buttons if you notice that the post has other things which need to be fixed. The Improve Edit option will start from the edit suggestion so you can make improvements on top of it, and counts the edit as an approved edit. On the other hand, the Reject and Edit option will start from the previous revision before the suggested edit and allow you to replace the suggestion with a different edit; the suggestion will be considered rejected. Both of these actions will immediately dismiss the review task.
Too many rejected suggested edits block a user from suggesting more for a while; keep this in mind while rejecting edits.
You gain access to this queue with the ability to edit questions and answers. Suggested edits to tag wikis will also appear in the queue when you have the "approve tag wiki edits" privilege, though you must have the ability to directly edit tag wikis (i.e. have the "trusted user" privilege) in order to use the "Improve Edit" or "Reject and Edit" options on those.
See Also: How do suggested edits work?
This queue only shows up on certain sites (currently Stack Overflow and Physics). The primary goal of Triage is to quickly sort questions into groups. Either:
For more information, see the documentation for the Triage queue.
The following queues have existed in the past, but no longer exist or have been superseded today.
This was mainly for beta sites, to evaluate the quality of the collective base of questions and answers on that site and compare it to other sites on the Internet.
On the 60th day of beta, and for every 90 days after that, this queue was filled with a set of posts (picked more or less randomly), which were to be evaluated individually as "Excellent", "Satisfactory", or "Needs Improvement" compared to other online resources addressing the same thing. The results of these evaluations were shown to moderators, who could gauge how well the overall quality of the site is compared to other web sites.
Help and Improvement
The goal of Help and Improvement was to edit questions that were deemed to require community editing in Triage (i.e. are placed as part of the second of the four groups specified in its section).
In this queue, one could either edit the question to proofread or otherwise increase the quality of the post, or state that the question was not a good fit for the site ("question is very low quality").
For more information, see the original announcement for Help and Improvement. The queue was shut down in August 2021 and tasks deemed to require community editing in Triage now instead go to the First questions queue.
Yes, you can earn badges for reviewing. Each of the following badges are awarded per-queue, and so can be earned multiple times by satisfying the criteria in different queues:
Additionally, the Proofreader badge (bronze) is awarded once for making 100 reviews in the Suggested Edits queue specifically.
You can track the number of reviews you've made in a particular queue and your progress toward the above badges by clicking the "Stats" tab in the top right.
Unfortunately, on many sites, many users simply approve everything without actually looking at the tasks. As a result, "audit" tasks may be mixed in to discourage users from being robo-reviewers.
For more about review audits, how they work, and how to report bad audits, see What are review tests (audits) and how do they work?.