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The review queue for late answers and first posts has the option "No action needed". Its description says that I should use it if no action is needed from me. This specific description confused me because there are posts in which I do not understand most of what is written, yet cannot find significant faults in them. As far as I am concerned, such a post could be of good quality, or it could be a bunch of gibberish with enough recognizable technical terms to fool a non-expert in the field. In either case, this post requires no action from me, as I cannot easily tell its quality.

In view of the above, here is my question. Should I interpret the "No action needed" option as meaning no action needed from me, as stated in its description? Or should I instead interpret it as: no action is needed from me and I mostly understand what is written? In the latter case, someone who cannot find anything wrong with the post, yet does not really follow it, should just click "Skip". Finally, here is a related question: do we have the capacity or permission to change the description of the button "No action needed"?

I have been mostly skipping questions and answers which I cannot understand to a significant extent, yet look good to me. However, I thought it might be a good idea to explicitly settle this confusion with a discussion on meta. I would also be glad to learn of other finer points of the review system which people think are similar to the above.

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Originally, there was no "No action needed" button in this queue. There were actions, and then there was "Skip". If you couldn't see your way to performing some sort of action (either because you didn't understand the topic, or just couldn't think of anything useful to do), then you were expected to skip it.

Folks didn't.

So... We added the extra button for all the people who don't have a clue what they're looking at but are still damn sure that nothing needs to be done about it.

But if you know what you're doing, and know what you don't know - and it sounds like you do - then you should never use it. If you can't see your way to comment or vote on a given post, then just skip it and let someone else take a crack at it.

There's no way to customize the description of the button at present.

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    $\begingroup$ Huh; I was interpreting it as saying that the post looked fine as far as I'm concerned (and that I did have a clue what I was looking at), but without feeling any obligation to upvote it on that account (maybe I understand the question, and it's fine, but it doesn't thrill me). A "skip" was then the situation where I wasn't sure if it was okay or not. So it seems the "no action needed" button is almost entirely meaningless, that my signaling my positive declaration that the question is okay goes right into the bin, and the only way to declare that would be an (obviously anonymous) upvote. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jul 28 '13 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ no action needed is essentially voting "meh." - it counts as a review, but indicates no opinion. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Jul 28 '13 at 23:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9: Can you please describe more precisely what are the consequences of a user clicking "No action needed"? Does it mean that the post will require an extra review to leave the review queue? Something else entirely? $\endgroup$ – Ricardo Andrade Jul 28 '13 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ Right now, it just dequeues the post, @Ricardo. In the future, it'll probably send it back for a few more eyeballs (we had some... trouble... with getting that working at first, but I believe that's been solved). $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Jul 28 '13 at 23:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9: May I say that I don't like the tone of "So... We added the extra button for all the people who don't have a clue what they're looking at but are still damn sure that nothing needs to be done about it." I mean, reviewing can only be done by people who have acquired a certain level of reputation on the site as presumably knowing what they're doing, right? Perhaps if you could point to the discussion where these clueless yet high-rep people were being appeased, I'd better understand the attitude? $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jul 28 '13 at 23:54
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't want to believe it either, Todd - but I should've known better. This discussion explains the problem. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Jul 29 '13 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Todd: While we are referencing meta.stackoverflow threads, here is another which might be relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/149621/…. I admit I have no idea how relevant this is for mathoverflow, though. $\endgroup$ – Ricardo Andrade Jul 29 '13 at 1:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9: Are there tools to analyse some relevant statistics or overall trends for the review queues specifically for mathoverflow? $\endgroup$ – Ricardo Andrade Jul 29 '13 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9: Thanks for the link -- I appreciate it. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jul 29 '13 at 2:03
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    $\begingroup$ The moderators have access to some advanced statistics on the activity performed in these queues, @Ricardo. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Jul 31 '13 at 19:01

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