I have only been active on Stack Exchange for about a month and achieved a reputation on ELU of more than 500 which gives me access to the review queues.
Other than the description of the privilege is there any further guidance on reviewing?
Can I see what seasoned reviewers have actually done?
Is there any check on reviewing, in other words reviewed by more than one person?
I am worried that I am marking questions that appear to me to be OK "No further action" when they should be commented / edited / rejected for some technical reason of which I am unaware.


2 Answers 2


Excellent question. In general:

  • Don't be a jerk.
  • Give the benefit of the doubt. Don't assume that the question or answer on the review queue is terrible just because it is on the queue. Someone thought it was questionable, but mods and flaggers can have different supportable opinions.
  • Comment how you would like to be commented to. (or more likely, avoid commenting in ways that you would not like.)
  • Don't press a button just because you can. Sometimes (often) you don't need to do anything (even is something is leaning towards the poor side of things). Comment (nicely!) before voting to close or delete or whatever.

I mean, these are suggestions for general behavior, but as you get more moderation powers, you really learn how to be more moderate, literally. The tools seem to be about throwing out the trash, but really it's about cleaning up. Oh, there is some trash that needs to be thrown out, but you often don't see it because of moderators.

But more specifically:

  • for suggestions to close:

    • 'Duplicate' is not an admonition to 'stop it and go away' (like some of the other close reasons tend towards), it's just a 'no need to repeat ourselves'. Very easy to see that something is the same. If the new question is asking for a nuance that is different from the suggested original, then it's questionable to close (on leniency's side, keep open and encourage addressing the difference?)
    • Ask for clarification/more detail/research before voting to close for 'do your own research'.
    • Anything like 'is this grammatical/correct?' or 'question from a multiple choice test' is (usually) not good for ELU probably not good for ELL either prefer vote to close outright as poor rather than to migrate to ELL.
  • For first posts: Be nice! It's natural for when you know something and the other person doesn't to get a bit of competitive feeling and want to ... win. But the other person is not an adversary, you're trying to help them out. But you will also have the feeling that they're being lazy sometimes (and sometimes that is definitely the case).

    • sometimes ELL or Language Learners really is a better place for such questions. Suggest that rather than voting to migrate (unless it is totally obvious; there is good overlap between ELL and ELU, but elementary 'How do you conjugate X?' is obviously ELL).
  • as to cultural rules specifically for ELU:
    • there are no strict rules - they're more like guidelines. Like say for a SWR, an example sentence would make things much much better, but if they explain things well enough, maybe if it is missing then give it a pass (or just request one). Or answers really should have links and original content (it's 'fair use' not stealing or plagiarizing), not just one or the other, but maybe sometimes it's obvious (OK, rarely).
    • there are lots of specific things that can be gleaned from a history of meta. For example, obscene words really should be *'d out in titles, quoted in the body, and never used directed at anyone. Too many to list here.

As to some of your specific questions:

  • "Can I see what seasoned reviewers have actually done?" Yes to some extent - going through the queue means someone has done something initially to put it on the queue, so there may be some votes already recorded (they show as a number on the close reason). After you have done some actions, if you back up through the queue, you can see, for example who and what direction has voted to approve/disapprove something like edits or reopens (but that's after you've chosen).
  • "Is there any check on reviewing, in other words reviewed by more than one person?" Yes, it takes five votes to close, three to delete (after being closed). I think 'leave open' votes do something but am not sure.
  • "I am worried that I am marking questions that appear to me to be OK "No further action" when they should be commented / edited / rejected for some technical reason of which I am unaware." It's your call. Sometimes doing nothing is the right thing. There are multiple votes need for everything so that a single person who reads things in a certain way different from everybody else won't unnaturally sway things. (some people who have a lot of rep in something may eventually get a superpower to need only one vote, but that takes a while).

Follow meta to get an idea of what the community thinks in general of some things, explicit requests for reopens. You won't learn everything in a day, but don't worry and be lenient and understanding. Sometimes you close something because 'what a godawful question to ask' (and there are those), but then comments and discussion make you realize it really wasn't so bad after all and you can vote to reopen (or possibly even rescind your down vote).

  • 3
    "they show as a number on the close reason" — This can only be seen by someone with 3k+ rep. And by the way, for the First Posts/Late Answers queues (the only ones OP has access to), posts enter the queues automatically.
    – Laurel Mod
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:12
  • Thank you Mitch. An excellent answer. Could it somehow be turned into something every new reviewer gets pointed at without having to search the Meta? Don't worry about your general points, I've been around on the internet since before Netscape 4 was the latest thing! I just haven't been on SE very long. Jun 7, 2019 at 19:15
  • As to turning it into a FAQ style answer... I think there should be more answers here with other perspectives because I've surely missed not just particulars but large concerns.
    – Mitch
    Jun 7, 2019 at 19:23
  • @JJJ Ah..that's how it works. Thanks. Jun 8, 2019 at 14:27
  • 4
    @JJJ The Help Page could be a little more forthcoming... Jun 8, 2019 at 14:39
  • 1
    @PeterJennings I'd actually recommend not accepting this answer so quickly since it'd be good to see how others interpret your question and give other other kinds of answers.
    – Mitch
    Jun 8, 2019 at 20:53
  • 1
    @Peter also, skipping is okay. If in any doubt, skip the post. Aug 17, 2019 at 18:19

To add to Mitch's answer: don't overthink it. There's nothing you can do to really break the system (well, not until you get a load of rep so you can delete stuff, but even then it's pretty balanced).

This isn't Stack Overflow where there will be fake reviews known as audits to test that you're reviewing right. That's great, what you see is what you get.

Instead, review as you like. Use the tools at your disposal as you see fit. Try to guide new users by adding comments and voting. Flag low-quality stuff and spam and try to make everyone's experience a little bit better.

  • Wait ... what? looks over shoulder
    – Mitch
    Jun 10, 2019 at 12:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .