In the current format the items in a review queue are presented one by one and users have to skip or take a decision before moving to the next item. At this moment only moderators and very high rep users can check and review the skipped items.

Instead of this, if it was possible to view all the items in any review queue as a list, then users can decide on which ones to review without having to skip any item. This would also allow users to come back and review a dicey post when they are sure about it.

This would also be useful for moderators and high rep users to know what posts deserve immediate attention.

Can this be implemented? Or at the very least, can moderators and high-rep users see a list of review queue items: a mod tool to enable that.

A bit of clarification

What I mean is that the reviewer just gets a list of posts that need review. They cannot review all at once in a way suggested by the other post but can choose which one to review first. That post will still remain locked as it happens in the existing system (as mentioned by Robert Longson).

  • @CRABOLO the other post talks about this issue but is in a quite cryptic language. The point of the question is not clearly apparent.
    Sep 16, 2015 at 9:20
  • I find that ironic, since that other post was much clearer to me than this one.
    Sep 16, 2015 at 9:23
  • @CRABOLO Perspectives differ. I feel that the F16 and Uranium rods melodrama masked the actual point.
    Sep 16, 2015 at 9:26
  • As a mod I usually do not go through the queues to vote on the items and a list would be quite helpful, because than I could immediately see if I dealt with the post already, i.e. either through reading them on the main site or through a flag that I saw on the mod dashboard. Sep 16, 2015 at 9:29
  • @RobertLongson I mean you still view one review at a time and the one that you are viewing would be locked. The choice of which post to review first would be yours.
    Sep 16, 2015 at 10:56
  • @CRABOLO I have clarified the question. I don't think it is a dupe now.
    Sep 16, 2015 at 11:03
  • @RobertLongson Okay I am not very clear about how this actually operates. What is the maximum duration of the lock. Perhaps you can post an answer to explain why the proposal won't work out well. In any case as a mod I would like to see a list of all posts in the review queue.
    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:03
  • OK, I'll try an answer although I'm not against this proposal, I just think any implementation needs careful thought to avoid the problems I'll outline in my answer. Sep 16, 2015 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


One of the things that the current next item only based system allows is locking the question for three minutes so you get a chance to review it properly without a bunch of other robo reviewers coming along and making your careful reading of the question and thoughtful decision making completely wasted.

The code that selects the next item avoids selecting anything that other reviewers are reviewing (i.e. have locked) and locks that next one for you.

If you had some kind of list solution we couldn't lock all of the questions in the queue just in case you wanted to review one of them because that would block reviewing of all those items and if we didn't lock any of them they could all be robo-reviewed before you picked one. Wouldn't it be frustrating if you kept clicking on items in your list to find they had already been reviewed?

This is less of a problem once the list gets large, such as the Stack Overflow close vote queue, you could be shown a list of say 20 random items without much chance of another person changing the item state because there are so many items to choose from.

Since having a list for large queue sizes seems less problematic perhaps the developers could just try to implement it for queues with at least 1000 (or some other large number of) items in i.e. just the Stack Overflow Close Vote review queue at the moment.

To be clear, I would like to see a list rather than just one item provided that can be made to work successfully.

  • What if there are two posts and two people have just started reviewing it. Will the third user not get a review notification until 3min have elapsed?
    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:19
  • The third person can't review anything till 3 minutes have elapsed, or another post enters the review queue. Sep 16, 2015 at 12:22
  • So if we do this to a list; you get to see the list of all questions under review but can only review those that are free. Others are greyed out. If two posts need review then user-1 can select any post while user-2 can select only one. If this may create some kind of user dissatisfaction feeling then the locked posts can be invisible for non-mod level users. In the event of more pending reviews compared to reviewers, giving a choice of the post seems workable.
    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:27
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    So the list needs to update in real time as other people choose items in your list. I suspect that will go down like a lead balloon with the developers on performance grounds. Sep 16, 2015 at 12:31
  • Well In any case there muse be a dynamically updated queue in which items are blocked when they are being reviewed. All I am saying is you get to see it. Just like the how the review history list looks.
    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:39
  • 1
    @WYSIWYG: The performance problem comes in updating n clients with new list updates, and having them contend frequently for locks. Review history is not refreshed live, and is lock-free. Jan 30, 2016 at 8:20

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