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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 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 has an implied Looks OK functionality 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. If you haven't earned the close privilege, you'll be offered a Recommend Close option instead - this carries no weight on its own, but puts the question in the Close Votes queue for privileged users to confirm or decline (see below).

  • Delete for answers. Opens a menu that lets you choose a boilerplate comment to place. 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 (6 on most sites, 4 on Stack Overflow), it can cause the post to be either deleted (if the score is less than or equal to 0) 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.

Close/Reopen Votes

Questions that may need closing or reopening appear in these queues. Questions with active close votes or close flags show up in the close votes queue; and questions with active reopen votes, as well as questions whose bodies have been edited within five days of closure (the "on hold" period), appear in the reopen queue. Along with the moderator tools, this is one of the best ways to find posts that need closing.

In these queues, you have four options. You can try to fix a close-able question via the Edit button, which will automatically dismiss it from the queue. You can also cast your own vote to Close or Reopen on the question (in the former case, any recommend closure flags will be marked helpful). Any time you are unsure of whether a post should be closed or reopened, you can and should Skip it to allow another user to review it. Finally, you can also choose Leave Open (or Leave Closed in the reopen queue). What does this last option do? If enough people vote to leave a question open or closed, the question is removed from the close/reopen queue (respectively) and immediately begins aging the existing close or reopen votes on the question (it does not clear them). It also dismisses any recommend closure flags as declined.

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

Suggested Edits

Users without enough reputation to edit have their edits placed in this queue. If two users approve an edit (if one rejects and one approves then it waits for another user to review it), then it is published. 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.

You can also Improve or Reject and Edit a suggested edit when you notice that the post has other things which need to be fixed. The Improve Edit option will approve the edit, while the Reject and Edit option will reject it.

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.

See Also: How do suggested edits work?

Site-specific queues

Triage and Help & Improvement

These two queues 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.
  • the question needs some editing for grammar, spelling, and formatting, but is otherwise on-topic.
  • the question is not a good fit for the site (can be closed or flagged).

The goal of Help & Improvement is to edit questions that are deemed to require it in Triage (i.e. are placed as part of the second of the three groups above). Reviewers in H&I have the options to edit the post, or flag it as Very Low Quality and Skip.

For more information, see the documentation for the Triage queue and the announcement for Help & Improvement.

Old, discontinued queues

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

Community Eval

This was mainly for beta sites, it was shown to them during community evaluation. 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 rated individually as "Excellent", "Satisfactory", or "Needs Improvement". The results of these evals were shown to moderators, who can gauge how well the overall post quality of the site is from this.

This queue turned up every 90 days on graduated sites as well. (This queue has been disabled for graduated sites) (The Community Eval reviews are no longer happening)

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?.

  • @AustinHenley MSO should likely have a Last post queue – gnat Jan 3 '13 at 20:54
  • 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
  • 3
    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
  • 1
    As Suseika mentioned, Triage is missing. Now I miss also Help & Improvement. – Palec Mar 7 '15 at 9:54
  • 1
    Triage is experimental right now, right? – Manishearth Mar 8 '15 at 6:54
  • 1
    I'm very sorry, I really should have check that before. As I sometimes get told: "Don't be sorry, be careful!". I will be careful in future. – hat Jun 4 '18 at 7:58

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