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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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What is a "review queue"?

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 option. 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.

What are the various queues for, and what can I do in each?

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.

Late Answers and First Posts

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 Posts queue contains the first few posts made by new users (who will probably need help learning to use the site).

In these queues, you can edit the post, flag it, vote on it, add a comment, or upvote a previously existing comment. When you take one of these actions, the I'm Done button becomes enabled, allowing you to complete the review. If you feel that the post is fine as it is, but you don't want to vote on it (you're not that impressed with it, etc.), then you can always click the No Action Needed button. If you're unsure about the post, please use the Skip button.

You gain access to these queues with access review queues privilege (500 rep on graduated sites).

Note: These two queues do not exist on meta sites (thus the reputation requirement is higher here on MSE).

Low Quality Posts

The Low Quality Posts queue contains posts 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.

If you feel that a post is acceptable for the site and doesn't need to be improved further, click the Looks OK button. 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 click the Edit button 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 (provided it doesn't have a positive score), or forwarded to moderators for further review.

You gain access to this queue with the ability to edit questions and answers.

Low Quality Posts does not exist on per-site metas, but does exist on Meta Stack Exchange. On Stack Overflow, this queue only consists of answers, as questions are instead reviewed in Triage (see "Triage" below).

Close Votes

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]"). Click the "more" link to see more details about the close reason (and, if the chosen reason is Not suitable for this site - i.e. a community-specific reason - which specific reason it is). If the close reason is the duplicate reason, the "Question" and "Duplicate [x]" tabs allow you to view the question and the duplicate target(s) proposed.

  • If the question meets the criteria for any close reason, and you cannot edit it so it's not closeable for any reason, click the Close button 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, click the Edit button to make edits. This will dismiss the question from the queue.

  • If the question doesn't meet the criteria for any close reason, click "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.

Reopen Votes

This queue contains closed questions with active reopen votes, as well as questions that the system has determined may be eligible for reopening (e.g. if they were edited after being closed - exact criteria here).

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.

  • If none of the close reasons apply to the question as it is currently written, click Reopen. This will cast a reopen vote.
  • If one or more close reasons still apply to the question (even though it may be a different reason from the one it's currently closed as), click Leave Closed.
    • If you do choose this option, consider leaving a comment to either explain why the reason it was closed for still applies, or to indicate that a different close reason applies from the one shown in the banner.
  • If the question is closeable as written, but you can edit it so that none of the close reasons apply to it, choose Edit and Reopen to make edits. This will also cast a reopen vote. (Note that unlike other "Edit" options, this will not immediately dismiss the question from the queue.)

You gain access to this queue with the ability to cast close and reopen votes.

Suggested Edits

Users without enough reputation to edit will have their edits placed in this queue.

If you feel that the edit is:

  • spam or vandalism: it defaces the post, perhaps to promote a product or service, or is deliberately destructive
  • no improvement whatsoever: the edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, find, or understand
  • clearly conflicts with author's intent: it modified the post so that it may no longer be what the author meant it to be
  • attempt to reply: it was intended to address the post author and should be a comment or an answer
  • irrelevant tags: it introduces tags that do not help define the topic of the question
  • causes harm: enter a custom reason

then Reject it as such.

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?

Site-specific queues

Triage

This queue, and the Help & Improvement queue, show up on Stack Overflow only. The primary goal of Triage is to quickly sort questions into groups. Either:

  • the question is good, on-topic, and high-quality, or
  • the question needs some community editing for grammar, spelling, and formatting, but is otherwise a good fit for the site, or
  • the question needs additional information from the author to be a good fit for the site, or
  • the question isn't a good fit for the site and can't be fixed by the author or the community.

For more information, see the documentation for the Triage queue.

Help and Improvement

The goal of Help and Improvement is to edit questions that are deemed to require community editing in Triage (i.e. are placed as part of the second of the four groups above).

If the question is a good, on-topic question for the site, and its only issues are that it has bad grammar, spelling, or formatting, click the Edit button and fix the issues, to make it a good, on-topic, and high-quality question.

If the question is good, on-topic, and high-quality, and doesn't need any community editing, Skip it.

If the question doesn't meet the guidelines for the site (it falls into the third or fourth group above), click the "question is very low quality" link.

For more information, see the announcement for Help and Improvement.

Old, discontinued queues

The following queues have existed in the past, but no longer exist or have been superseded today.

Site Self-Evaluation

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.

This queue formerly turned up on graduated sites as well, but was disabled for them in February 2013. It was shut down for beta sites in July 2015.

Can I earn badges?

Yes, you can earn badges for reviewing. Each of the following badges are awarded once per queue, but can be earned multiple times if you satisfy the criteria in different queues:

  • Custodian (bronze), for making your first review in a particular queue
  • Reviewer (silver), for making 250 reviews in a specific queue
  • Steward (gold), for making 1,000 reviews in a specific queue

Additionally, the Proofreader badge (bronze) is awarded for making 100 reviews in the Suggested Edits queue specifically.

On the top right corner of the review interface, there is a counter indicating the number of reviews you've made in that specific queue, along with a progress bar that goes to 1,000 with a line for 250, so you can track your badge progress.

Why did I receive a message saying that a review task was a test to make sure I was paying attention?

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?.

See also

  • @AustinHenley MSO should likely have a Last post queue – gnat Jan 3 '13 at 20:54
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    I read elsewhere that you don't get a 'Review' link until you have reached 1000 rep, yet there are queues to which you have access well before that rep level (i.e., most of the ones mentioned in this post). How are you supposed to access those once you have the rep to be able to do so? Wouldn't it have been better to have the 'Review' link once you are able to access at least one queue and then have that page show only the queues to which you have access? – RobH Jul 16 '13 at 16:23
  • @RobH No, now it's at 125 rep I think. That was the old review queue. – Manishearth Jul 16 '13 at 16:29
  • @Manishearth: So, where's the link to the queues, then? Isn't there supposed to be one if you have enough rep? – RobH Jul 17 '13 at 16:02
  • @RobH On the top of the screen. – Manishearth Jul 17 '13 at 16:03
  • I don't see any review links there or anywhere else. My links at the top are Chat, Main/Meta, About and Help. That's it. (I'd ask you for a screen shot, but it seems that this site hosts them on imgur, which our corporate firewall blocks, so that won't work.) – RobH Jul 17 '13 at 16:12
  • @RobH Do you have 125 rep on the site? – Manishearth Jul 17 '13 at 16:17
  • I have 764 on SO and 307 on Meta, so if the link is supposed to appear when I have at least 125, then I should certainly see it on both sites. – RobH Jul 17 '13 at 16:24
  • @RobH Huh. That's a bug, I think. It should be near the chat link. – Manishearth Jul 17 '13 at 16:25
  • I just had another look, and I now see the link on SO, but still not in Meta. – RobH Jul 17 '13 at 16:38
  • @RobH Meta only has edit/close/reopen queues, so you'll need 2k rep – Manishearth Jul 17 '13 at 17:00
  • You say "the queue fills" every 90 days for beta sites, but I don't see the queue at all (for Pets beta). Is it possible that the queue's only shown then and not other times? I can see all the queues and the ones I aren't able to access yet are greyed out so I don't think it's a reputation thing (unless this queue is handled differently from the others in that regard). – starsplusplus Feb 20 '14 at 12:15
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    This is a great answer, but it doesn't touch upon the Triage queue. I think its description should also be added. – jojman Feb 16 '15 at 22:57
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    As Suseika mentioned, Triage is missing. Now I miss also Help & Improvement. – Palec Mar 7 '15 at 9:54
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    Triage is experimental right now, right? – Manishearth Mar 8 '15 at 6:54

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