Quite often I review a question or answer and it's clear there is a problem with it. It's a problem where it is best dealt with by leaving a comment and waiting for the author to return. When I review it, comments have already been left. So what do I do? It seems wrong just to click "looks good" because it doesn't look good. But then, any other action I could take would either be inappropriate (premature deletion or closure) or has already been taken (commenting.)

I can just skip the question/answer, but that seems unsatisfactory and doesn't count towards those all-important badges. Is there something more I could be doing?

I guess the problem is that this site has too many super efficient super helpful editors who do all the work before I get a chance to!

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2 Answers 2

I skip the question, just as I would where I don't feel that I fully understand what is going (that's often a problem when I do reviews over on Stack Overflow). Unlike Stack Overflow, we have a surfeit of willing and qualified reviewers to provide the review feedback we need, so the risk of harm to our site quality from skipping reviews is very low compared to that from providing bad reviews.

The incentives in the review model don't work very well, since they are often an incentive to do the wrong thing: a good strategy for earning badges is to race through, always taking the easiest option not likely to end in embarassment. So, it is the system that needs fixing. There's widespread acceptance of the need for this on meta.so; see, e.g., Improving the Quality of Reviews: Project Honeypot

So support these proposals, do the right thing here, and trust that you will get all those sought-after badges in the end.

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I don't think any reviewing user here care about those badges at all. So the incentive model doesn't even make sense here let alone working. Besides, our review team is too good and already have their badges but still they are reviewing just as hard as ever. I can't find any item to review if not only one item is dangling if I time it correctly. –  percusse Feb 1 '13 at 9:52
    
@percuße - I think these sort of incentives drive people more than they themselves think. I seem to recall Jeff saying something to that effect. –  Charles Stewart Feb 1 '13 at 9:58

while i agree with Charles Stewart that there are problems, i sometimes want to look at the item again, and skipping precludes that possibility. hitting the "back" arrow on the browser leaves open the possibility to return. (i'm quite happy to skip an item that i know nothing about.)

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You return to the review item this way, but if the requisite number of people have reviewed it by that point, you will see how they voted and won't have a chance to participate anymore. –  Charles Stewart Jan 31 '13 at 16:05
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a chance i'll have to take. i've been "caught" trying to fix errors in an edit, not being able (allowed?) to, and having to wait until it was accepted to make a simple spelling correction. maybe i just haven't got the hang of it yet. –  barbara beeton Jan 31 '13 at 16:17
    
Ah! You mean cast your review vote and then visit the question to edit it normally (i.e., not via improve)? Yes, that is something I sometimes do. –  Charles Stewart Jan 31 '13 at 16:20

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