For the past couple of months I've had access to the review queue and haven't really got to grips with it yet. I find the design rather unintuitive and clunky - when looking at a post in the review queue, most of the context of whatever you are looking at is cut out, and if editing a post I can either see only the preview of the rendered output, or only the text entry box. So most of the time I just leave the review screen and go to the thread directly, where it seems easier to see what is going on and then take whatever action I feel appropriate.

I'm sure this isn't the "right" way of doing it - no review action gets recorded against my account, and I wonder whether for several of the actions this even removes things from the queue. I know that actions for suggested edits work, but these seem to disappear by the time I've made a decision on them! Can anybody give me hints on how to use the tool more effectively?

I notice, for instance, that regular patrollers of first or low quality posts often leave a stock comment (e.g. regarding a question that is entirely coding, or is self-study but not tagged as such or not showing an attempt, or an answer which is just a link with no description). Are these produced by template, through the review mechanism itself, or is there simply a list to copy and paste from?

  • What do you think about tagging it as feature-request? – Tim Mar 30 '15 at 8:43
  • @Tim Interesting question. I think a feature-request might have to be more targeted than this. If I, or someone else, could figure out what the precise gripes with the review queue are, then it might be worth a new post asking for something specific to be done. Perhaps reviewers on CV have more need to look at the overall context of a post than those on SO, for instance. – Silverfish Mar 30 '15 at 9:24
  • 1
    There's a related question here: library of helpful responses – Glen_b Mar 2 '16 at 23:07
  • 1
    When commenting on questions, it may also be helpful to link to our meta.CV thread, Internet Support for Statistics Software. – gung May 23 '16 at 13:43
  • @gung Yes, that's a great suggestion. I do so sometimes, but I don't do it as often as I feel like I should! – Silverfish May 23 '16 at 14:22
  • Another cross-reference is stats.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3175/… The tone of answers there is closer to "Come on, if you think about it you should see that to be a dopey question that hard to answer. You can and should try to improve it." but the style of trying to give feedback on where posters are getting it wrong is otherwise similar. – Nick Cox Jan 12 at 11:23
up vote 30 down vote accepted

A compendium of comments I've found useful. Feel free to add more.

Questions

Self-study

  • Is this a question from a course or textbook? If so, please add the [self-study] tag & read its wiki.

    Is this a question from a course or textbook? If so, please add the `[self-study]`
    tag & read its [wiki](https://stats.stackexchange.com/tags/self-study/info).
    
  • Please add the [self-study] tag & read its wiki.

    Please add the `[self-study]` tag & read its 
    [wiki](https://stats.stackexchange.com/tags/self-study/info). 
    
  • Please add the [self-study] tag & read its wiki. Then tell us what you understand thus far, what you've tried & where you're stuck. We'll provide hints to help you get unstuck. Please make these changes as just posting your homework & hoping someone will do it for you is grounds for closing.

    Please add the `[self-study]` tag & read its 
    [wiki](https://stats.stackexchange.com/tags/self-study/info). Then tell us 
    what you understand thus far, what you've tried & where you're stuck. We'll 
    provide hints to help you get unstuck. Please make these changes as just 
    posting your homework & hoping someone will do it for you is grounds for closing.
    
  • Please type your question as text, do not just post a photograph (see here). When you re-type the question, add the [self-study] tag & read its wiki. Then tell us what you understand thus far, what you've tried & where you're stuck. We'll provide hints to help you get unstuck. Please make these changes as just posting your homework & hoping someone will do it for you is grounds for closing.

    Please type your question as text, do not just post a photograph (see 
    [here](https://stats.meta.stackexchange.com/a/3176/)). When you retype the question,
    add the `[self-study]` tag & read 
    [its wiki](https://stats.stackexchange.com/tags/self-study/info). 
    Then tell us what you understand thus far, what you've tried & where you're stuck. 
    We'll provide hints to help you get unstuck. Please make these changes as just 
    posting your homework & hoping someone will do it for you is grounds for closing.
    

Reproducible examples

(Link is specifically for R-related questions)

  • Please add a reproducible example for people to work with.

    Please add a [reproducible example](https://stackoverflow.com/q/5963269/) 
    for people to work with. 
    
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about how to use R without a reproducible example.

    I'm voting to close this question as 
    [off-topic](https://stats.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) 
    because it is about how to use R without a reproducible example. 
    

(For coding questions other than R)

  • Please add a reproducible example for people to work with.

    Please add a [reproducible example](https://stackoverflow.com/help/mcve) 
    for people to work with. 
    
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about how to use without a reproducible example.

    I'm voting to close this question as 
    [off-topic](https://stats.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) 
    because it is about how to use <!--REPLACE_ME--> without a reproducible example. 
    

Ambiguous code / statistical question

  • Questions solely about how software works are off-topic here, but you may have a real statistical question buried here. You may want to edit your question to clarify the underlying statistical issue. You may find that when you understand the statistical concepts involved, the software-specific elements are self-evident or at least easy to get from the documentation.

    Questions solely about how software works are
    [off-topic](https://stats.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) here, but
    you may have a real statistical question buried here. 
    You may want to edit your question to clarify the underlying 
    statistical issue. You may find that when you understand 
    the statistical concepts involved, the software-specific elements are 
    self-evident or at least easy to get from the documentation.
    

No need to sign off/give thanks etc

  • Welcome to CV. Note that your username, identicon, & a link to your user page are automatically added to every post you make, so there is no need to sign your posts. In fact, we prefer you don't.

    Welcome to CV. Note that your username, identicon, & a link to your user page 
    are automatically added to every post you make, so there is no need to sign 
    your posts. In fact, we prefer you don't. 
    
  • On this site there's no need to say "thank you" at the end of your post - it might seem rude at first, but it's part of the philosophy of this site ([tour]) to "Ask questions, get answers, no distractions" and it means future readers of your question don't need to read through the pleasantries.

    On this site there's no need to say "thank you" at the end of your post - it 
    might seem rude at first, but it's part of the philosophy of this site 
    ([tour]) to "Ask questions, get answers, no distractions" and it means future 
    readers of your question don't need to read through the pleasantries.
    

Critical information for question behind link

  • Please paste in whatever context is necessary to understand & answer your question. We want this thread to remain valuable even if the link goes dead.

    Please paste in whatever context is necessary to understand & answer your question.
    We want this thread to remain valuable even if the link goes dead.
    

Too broad

  • Questions in the SE system are supposed to be narrow & concrete such that they can be given a definitively correct, factual answer in at most a few paragraphs. This isn't a site for discussions or opinions.

    Questions in the SE system are supposed to be narrow & concrete such that they
    can be given a definitively correct, factual answer in at most a few paragraphs. 
    This isn't a site for discussions or opinions.
    

Refer to textbook

  • This question is very broad, and I believe you would profit from reading an introductory level textbook. We have a helpful list of free statistical textbooks. If afterwards you still have more specific questions, then please do ask them here. If you already have read such a textbook, please edit your question to make it more specific. Thank you!

    This question is very broad, and I believe you would profit from 
    reading an introductory level textbook. We have a helpful list of
    [free statistical textbooks.](https://stats.stackexchange.com/q/170/) If
    afterwards you still have more specific questions, then please do ask
    them here. If you already *have* read such a textbook, please edit 
    your question to make it more specific. Thank you!
    
  • Specifically for forecasting:

    This question is very broad, and I believe you would profit from reading an introductory level textbook, e.g., the free online Forecasting: Principles and Practice by Hyndman & Athanasopoulos. If after reading this you still have more specific questions, then please do ask them here. If you already have read such a textbook, please edit your question to make it more specific. Thank you!

    This question is very broad, and I believe you would profit
    from reading an introductory level textbook, e.g., the free online
    [*Forecasting: Principles and Practice* by
    Hyndman & Athanasopoulos](https://otexts.org/fpp2/).
    If after reading this you still have more specific questions, then
    please do ask them here. If you already *have* read such a textbook,
    please edit your question to make it more specific. Thank you!
    

    (More reasoning behind this comment can be found in this Meta answer.)

  • Specifically for neural networks:

    This question is very broad, and I believe you would profit from reading an introductory level textbook. We have a helpful list of textbooks and courses about neural networks. If afterwards you still have more specific questions, then please do ask them here. If you already have read such a textbook, please edit your question to make it more specific. Thank you!

    This question is very broad, and I believe you would profit from
    reading an introductory level textbook. We have a helpful list of 
    [textbooks and courses](https://stats.stackexchange.com/q/226911/) about
    neural networks. If afterwards you still have more specific questions, then
    please do ask them here. If you already *have* read such a textbook, please
    edit your question to make it more specific. Thank you!
    

Has been discussed extensively before

  • Similar questions have been discussed multiple times before. Please search the site, noting the tips on advanced search options, and tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

    Similar questions have been discussed multiple times before. Please
    [search the site](https://stats.stackexchange.com/search), noting the 
    [tips](https://stats.stackexchange.com/help/searching) on advanced search
    options, and tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. 
    This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it
    saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps
    you get a more specific and relevant answer! 
    

Duplicate question

  • I think you will find the information you need in the linked thread. Please read it. If it isn't what you want / you still have a question afterwards, come back here & edit your question to state what you learned & what you still need to know. Then we can provide the information you need without just duplicating material elsewhere that already didn't help you.

    I think you will find the information you need in the linked thread. Please 
    read it. If it isn't what you want / you still have a question afterwards, 
    come back here & edit your question to state what you learned & what you still 
    need to know. Then we can provide the information you need without just 
    duplicating material elsewhere that already didn't help you.
    

Off-topic (only about software)

  • Questions that are only about software (e.g. error messages, code or packages, etc.) are generally off topic here. If you have a substantive machine learning or statistical question, please edit to clarify.

    Questions that are only about software (e.g. error messages, code or packages, etc.)
    are generally off topic here. If you have a substantive machine learning or
    statistical question, please edit to clarify.
    

Answers

Link-only answer

  • Welcome to the site. At present this is more of a comment than an answer. You could expand it, perhaps by giving a summary of the information at the link, or we can convert it into a comment for you.

    Welcome to the site. At present this is more of a comment than an answer. You could 
    expand it, perhaps by giving a summary of the information at the link, or we can 
    convert it into a comment for you.
    
  • Welcome to the site. We are trying to build a permanent repository of high-quality statistical information in the form of questions & answers. Thus, we're wary of link-only answers, due to linkrot. Can you post a full citation & a summary of the information at the link, in case it goes dead?

    Welcome to the site. We are trying to build a permanent repository of high-quality 
    statistical information in the form of questions & answers. Thus, we're wary of 
    link-only answers, due to linkrot. Can you post a full citation & a summary of the 
    information at the link, in case it goes dead? 
    

Code only answer

  • Although implementation is often mixed with substantive content in questions, we are supposed to be a site for providing information about statistics, machine learning, etc., not code. It can be good to provide code as well, but please elaborate your substantive answer in text for people who don't read this language well enough to recognize & extract the answer from the code.

    Although implementation is often mixed with substantive content in questions,
    we are supposed to be a site for providing information about statistics, machine
    learning, etc., not code. It can be good to provide code as well, but please
    elaborate your substantive answer in text for people who don't read this language
    well enough to recognize & extract the answer from the code. 
    

Ambiguous answer / comment / new question

  • Welcome to the site. Was this intended as an answer to the OP's question, a comment requesting clarification from the OP or one of the answerers, or a new question of your own? Please only use the "Your Answer" field to provide answers to the original question. You will be able to comment anywhere when your reputation is >50. If you have a new question, click the gray ASK QUESTION at the top of the page & ask it there, then we can help you properly. Since you're new here, you may want to take our tour, which has information for new users.

    Welcome to the site. Was this intended as an answer to the OP's question, 
    a comment requesting clarification from the OP or one of the answerers, or a 
    new question of your own? Please only use the "Your Answer" field to provide 
    answers to the original question. You will be able to comment anywhere when 
    your reputation is >50. If you have a new question, click the gray `ASK QUESTION` 
    at the top of the page & ask it there, then we can help you properly. Since you're 
    new here, you may want to take our [tour], which has information for new users.
    

Original poster posting a clarification to the question as a new answer

  • Unlike forum-style discussion sites, Cross Validated threads do not consist of a sequence of posts forming a conversation between the original poster and the answerers. We use a Q&A style where the question is posted once at the top, and is updated (using the "edit" button) where necessary for clarification. Sometimes it makes sense to ask a new, follow-up question instead of editing the old one. Please don't use the "answer" space to post clarifications to your own questions - have a look at the [tour] to understand how our site works.

    Unlike forum-style discussion sites, Cross Validated threads do not consist of 
    a sequence of posts forming a conversation between the original poster and the 
    answerers. We use a Q&A style where the question is posted once at the top, and 
    is updated (using the "edit" button) where necessary for clarification. Sometimes 
    it makes sense to ask a new, follow-up question instead of editing the old one. 
    Please don't use the "answer" space to post clarifications to your own questions 
    - have a look at the [tour] to understand how our site works.
    

Low quality / too short

  • This is being automatically flagged as low quality, probably because it is so short. At present it is more of a comment than an answer by our standards. Can you expand on it? You can also turn it into a comment.

    This is being automatically flagged as low quality, probably because it is so short.
    At present it is more of a comment than an answer by our standards. Can you expand
    on it? We can also turn it into a comment.
    

OP comments that he liked an answer, but does not upvote/accept

  • If you found this answer helpful, then please consider upvoting and/or accepting it.

    If you found this answer helpful, then please consider
    [upvoting](https://stats.stackexchange.com/help/why-vote) and/or 
    [accepting](https://stats.stackexchange.com/help/accepted-answer) it.
    

    Note that posting this about someone else's answer is often a good thing to do, while suggesting this about your own answer is better left for someone else to do.

OP accepts the first answer five minutes after it is posted

  • Oops... thank you for accepting. However, seeing an accepted answer may discourage other users from answering (or even looking at your question), and they may have something better to say. So please consider un-accepting and seeing whether something better comes along. You can always re-accept later!

    Oops... thank you for accepting. However, seeing an accepted answer 
    may discourage other users from answering (or even looking at your 
    question), and they may have something better to say. So please 
    consider un-accepting and seeing whether something better comes 
    along. You can always re-accept later!
    

Answer used to ask question

  • Welcome to the site. Please do not use the "Your Answer" field to ask new or follow-up questions. Instead, click the gray ASK QUESTION link at the top of the page & ask there. If you want to address the author of an answer, you will need 50 reputation first to leave comments. Since you're new here, you may want to take our [tour], which has information for new users.

    Welcome to the site. Please do not use the "Your Answer" field to ask new or
    follow-up questions. Instead, click the gray 
    [ASK QUESTION](https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/ask) link at the top
    of the page & ask there. If you want to address the author of an answer, you will
    need 50 reputation first to leave comments. Since you're new here, you may want
    to take our [tour], which has information for new users.
    

Non-answer as answer

  • Please only use the "Your Answer" field to provide answers to the OP's question. CV is a strict Q&A site, not a discussion forum. Since you're new here, you may want to take our tour, which has information for new users.

    Please only use the "Your Answer" field to provide answers to the OP's question. 
    CV is a strict Q&A site, not a discussion forum. Since you're new here, you may
    want to take our [tour], which has information for new users.
    

Comment that would make a good answer

  • @: do you want to post your comment(s) as an answer? Better to have a short answer than no answer at all. Anyone who has a better answer can post it.

    @: do you want to post your comment(s) as an answer?
    [Better to have a short answer than no answer at
    all.](https://stats.meta.stackexchange.com/a/5326/)
    Anyone who has a better answer can post it.
    

    (Insert the commenter's nick after "@" so they are notified.)

General

Duplicate Account

  • Please register & merge your accounts (you can find information on how to do this in the My Account section of our help center), then you will be able to edit & comment on your own question.

    Please register &/or merge your accounts (you can find information on how to do 
    this in the **My Account** section of our [help]), then you will be able to 
    edit & comment on your own question.
    

Chat

Question asked in chat

  • @ , please ask that on the main site. There we have better facilities for asking & answering questions (e.g. formatting options will work) and the information will be available for people with the same question. That isn't a chat item.

    @ , please ask that on the main site. There we have better facilities for asking
    & answering questions (e.g. formatting options will work) and the information
    will be available for people with the same question. That isn't a chat item.
    
  • 6
    Thanks. I may use some of these. – Glen_b Mar 30 '15 at 20:39
  • 2
    @Glen_b They're mostly cribbed from gung except for the last "no need to say thanks" one which is a paraphrase of a few I've used in the past (and might benefit from cutting down a bit, though I think it's a good idea to include a link to the Tour). I like how concise gung's are. If I see another useful comment out in the wild I'll try to remember to add it. – Silverfish Mar 30 '15 at 20:41
  • 2
    I just formatted it to make it (hopefully) more user friendly for people. (On an unrelated note, I find it ironic that you like "how concise" my comments are. I am not, by nature, short winded. It often takes a while to get comments that fit w/i the character limit.) – gung Mar 30 '15 at 20:51
  • 1
    @Silverfish Oh, I realized they were nearly all gung's, and one did look familiar. But laid out together like that, I might use them, even the ones I normally type. – Glen_b Mar 30 '15 at 20:56
  • 2
    @gung Thanks, I didn't know it was possible to format like that! A downside of having it display like this rather than all in one line, is that when copy-and-pasting, the text in the entry field also gets broken up across several lines. That doesn't matter once you press "add comment", since the it doesn't display broken up, but it does make editing a little harder. On the upside, it makes it clearer what exactly you're copying. – Silverfish Mar 30 '15 at 21:01
  • 2
    @Silverfish, I think its easier to copy&paste this way, but feel free to change it back if you prefer. Note that for the [self-study] comments: I use the 1st version if someone has identified that it's S-S & has made some attempt etc.; I use the 2nd version when someone copies&pastes their HW w/ nothing in the hopes someone will do it for them (& I'm feeling grouchy). I don't know if you want to add something to that effect in the post. – gung Mar 31 '15 at 0:22
  • 1
    @gung I actually thought that aspect of your comments was quite self-explanatory (another reason why I thought I'd steal some of yours!). But I might add something in. – Silverfish Mar 31 '15 at 13:17
  • 2
    Just wanted to point to a useful SE app that you can set up (up to) six standard comments for: stackapps.com/questions/2116/… ... so for additional ease, pick six of the above and put them in the app. – Glen_b May 26 '15 at 0:45
  • I've just set up the above app for myself (well, I did it yesterday) but haven't really used it live yet. Here's an example (below) of one of the default answers: – Glen_b Jun 4 '15 at 3:14
  • "Please don't add "thanks" as answers. Invest some time in the site and you will gain sufficient privileges to upvote answers you like, which is the Cross Validated Meta way of saying thank you." – Glen_b Jun 4 '15 at 3:25
  • Once you set it up (Firefox or Chrome), it's a matter of clicking the "auto" link that shows up on the right when you have a comment box (immediately to the right of the one that says 'help') and either clicking the relevant comment or using the menu at the bottom to set up some of your own. – Glen_b Jun 4 '15 at 3:28
  • 1
    Having used the app actively for a while now, it makes the standard comments much easier. I think its limited number of default comments is fine, actually, it works to cover a large fraction of my regular commenting activity (I have set up a number of my own, or edited the defaults -- and after they paste in, I often edit the boilerplate, but its still faster than doing it from scratch) – Glen_b Sep 30 '15 at 4:21
  • 4
    This is getting epic (in a good way). I took the liberty of separating the proposals into ones that pertain to questions, answers, chat and general. – Stephan Kolassa Jul 4 at 9:51

[Edit: It looks like the queues seem to have improved a little in recent times -- I find it easier to figure out why something closed for example -- so to an extent some of the gripes here may be a little out of date.]

I definitely agree that the interface in the various review queues is not as helpful as it should be -- it hides essential information that you then need to go elsewhere to find.

For example, trying to assess a "reopen" review - what's the first, most critical thing you need to know? Why it was closed in the first place -- but it's not on the screen! In the interface it takes fiddling around to get it - it's usually actually quicker to open the original in a new tab. That sort of thing makes me wonder if the person designing that interface actually does reviews. Other review queues have similar problems.

When doing various reviews I often pop up several additional tabs to get all the information I want to judge a review - most of which really ought to be readily available in the review screen I think, either directly or via links.

I'd usually recommend doing your final review actions (such as voting to close or whatever) in the review screen, so you at least get credit toward the badges, but the rewards-per-effort are pretty pathetic compared to other badges (250 reviews for a silver badge? much wow; compare that to a Constituent badge. "Yay, I clicked, gimme a silver badge.").


On the "Stock comments", some kinds of comments are generated in the process of voting to close (perhaps in some cases only if doing it on the post itself rather than in the review queue, I'd have to look through everything to be sure) - instead of appearing in a blue box, a standard comment will appear under the name of the person who voted by selecting some option in a dialog.

Some other comments are just pasted or typed. For example, I recently gave something like this comment:

Your question appears to be routine bookwork. Please add the self-study tag and read its tag wiki, modifying your question to follow the guidelines where necessary.

I do a lot of comments like that, but for me they're usually just typed from scratch every time.

Gung has some stock comments, but to me they usually seem to be the same each time, so I expect he's pasting them. I did seriously consider setting some script up to autogenerate the regular ones for me but I've never gotten around to trying to do that.

  • 4
    I often go to the comments history on my userpage & copy&paste. I think the review queues are poorly designed; I find it interesting that you think the same & seem to have some of the same complaints I do. I always figured this was just a symptom of my curmudgeon-ness. – gung Mar 25 '15 at 20:14
  • 3
    @gung Good reviewer and curmudgeon go together, it seems. Naturally we have it on good authority that correlation is not causation. – Nick Cox Mar 26 '15 at 1:38
  • @gung I was wondering if you might consider posting an "answer" with some of your most useful comments. I've certainly found Glen_b's answer very helpful, and that would be useful too. – Silverfish Mar 27 '15 at 21:24
  • I keep thinking about it, @Silverfish, but I'm not sure what I have to add to Glen_b's comments. – gung Mar 30 '15 at 3:17
  • @gung I've paid a visit to your comments history :-) If I've set this up correctly, tags and links should be easily copyable from the post I've cribbed together. – Silverfish Mar 30 '15 at 20:24

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