Recently the possibility of implementing triage on Mathematics Stack Exchange has been mentioned a few times both here on meta and in chat. (Perhaps most prominently in an answer from one of the moderators to Three levels of Math. But there were several other mentions of this in chat and on meta - sometimes directly mentioning triage, sometimes by proposing some changes that would be somewhat similar to triage. For example, it seems to me that intentions behind these recent suggestions are somewhat similar to what triage is intended for: Should questions from “newbie” users be put “On-Hold” by default? and Proposal: Onboarding process.)

From what I gathered after reading a bit about this topic, triage is closely related to Help and Improvement review queue (sometimes shortened as H&I or HIQ). As far as I can tell, H&I was not discussed too much here on this local meta.

Implementing this on Mathematics Stack Exchange would be a big change and an important step. If it is implemented, Mathematics would be the first site other than Stack Overflow having triage (as far as I can tell). So before deciding whether or not to do this, it would be very useful to have a good idea what these changes would mean for the site.

Question. Could somebody explain the basic idea of Help and Improvement and Triage and how they work?

I am aware that there are some posts about this both on Meta Stack Exchange and Meta Stack Overflow. Still it might be useful to have something also on our local meta - which makes it more accessible to users of this site. After all, users of this site will enter the discussion whether or not these features should be implemented here, so it's important that they are informed about this. Especially input from users who are active on SO and have actual experience with H&I and triage could be very valuable.

I am mostly interested in a "big picture" and basic workings of these tools. (I am pretty sure that if/when they are implemented on this site, many very specific questions will appear. But at the moment it is more important to understand at least in principle how they work rather than to know some very specific details, for example, something like: "Is clicking very low quality button in H&I review queue the same thing as casting a VLQ flag on the post?")

Additional questions.

Apart from the basic description I am interested basically in almost anything that might be relevant for decision whether to use H&I and triage on this site or not. For example:

  • What is experience with these tools on Stack Overflow? Did they help to improve situation? (If, for example, half of the SO users think that they have actually made things worse, we should learn from mistakes of others and do not repeat them here.) What is the reception of these tools from the viewpoint of users who help moderate site by actively taking part in the review queues? How does it look like from the viewpoint of users whose posts end up in H&I/triage, compared to the workflow before implementing them (when such questions would be likely put on hold and then handled in reopen review queue if the OP improved them)?
  • Is it possible to assess whether we have enough stuff on this site for training the algorithms which decide which questions enter triage?
  • Clearly, if it is implemented, we as the users will have to learn to work with the new tools. Other than that, does it change how much work has to be done by the community? For example, is it likely that if the newly review queues are created, the number of review needed in close votes review queue will decrease and the total number of reviews will be approximately the same?
  • Can we somehow estimate whether we have enough reviewers to make these new systems effective? For example, we can see some close votes review stats and everybody active in reviewing noticed that close votes review haven't been empty for quite a long time. If we do not have enough reviewers to clear up the close votes review queue, it is an indication that most likely we will not have enough reviewers to make these new tools work efficiently? Or are these things not
  • Are all activities related to H&I and triage done by regular users, or will this mean also some additional strain on moderators?
  • What are some other likely problems and obstacles when introducing triage and H&I to a new site?
  • Was introducing these review queues discussed on some Stack Exchange sites? And if yes what were their reasons not to introduce them or to postpone the decision? (I only found this post, which was made relatively soon after triage was introduced on SO: Is there a plan to test Triage review at Programmers? It do not see much further discussion about this on that particular meta site.)


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