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We've been discussing the quality of some reviews on Ask Ubuntu. Some of us were getting frustrated that some users were smashing through 20 reviews in a minute so I decided to lay down the law.

Aaaanyway, as part of this one of our newer reviewers brought up the problem that if they take too long being diligent (looking into duplicates properly, checking rules, etc) there's a very good chance that somebody else will have reviewed that post and their decision (and the time that went into it) is wasted. That doesn't seem like a fair reward for what is an otherwise thankless task.

So I'm suggesting the a review "reservation" system so only one person can review something at once:

  • Once something is opened in review, it becomes unavailable to other users to review. That includes other queues. A reservation or lock should be against a post, not a post in a queue.
  • The reviewer should get, for example, two minutes of alone-time with a post.
  • If they review before their time is up, the lock goes away.
  • If they're still reviewing when their time runs out, a notification should pop up (audio too?) and allow them to request an extension... Perhaps with 10 seconds grace to stop somebody else being allocated something.
  • Questions are simply allocated on a first-unlocked-post basis.
  • There should be a safety-limit on the number of times something can be review-locked or extended so that somebody can't wrongfully extend the life of a bad post (offensive/spam/etc) by gumming up review.

It sounds messy (and there's certainly some concurrency issues if you've split the servers out horizontally) but data-wise, it's actually not too hard to implement (speaking as somebody who has implemented an edit-lock system before).

Above all else, it shows reviewers the respect they deserve for a job that few of us really want to do.

marked as duplicate by Oli, Martijn Pieters, ben is uǝq backwards, blahdiblah, michaelb958 Feb 19 '14 at 21:10

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  • A 30 second timer per review sounds appropriate. – Kermit Feb 19 '14 at 14:48
  • I really like that idea. I run into the same issue with proof reading questions. If it's a short question, making sure it's proper English can be done really quickly, but for longer ones, a lock would be nice. – snollygolly Feb 19 '14 at 15:01
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    There's been previous discussion on the subject, although there wasn't an official SE response. Related to your last bullet point, I would encourage reading Gnat's response there. – Jonathan Garber Feb 19 '14 at 15:03
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    I still think that 30 seconds is really too short a time for a mindful review. Especially if you choose to improve it. – Rmano Feb 19 '14 at 17:25
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    Maybe 30 seconds that can be renewed (automatically) for another 30 seconds if still on the page, repeatedly up to 10 minutes? – Flexo Feb 19 '14 at 18:29
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    Yep, it's pretty upsetting to spend some time trying to keep the quality, only to being overrun by robo-reviewers (specially on the Suggested Edits queue). – brasofilo Feb 19 '14 at 20:01

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