Content Approval on a SharePoint 2010 Site
In a SharePoint 2010 library that has Approval turned on, when a new document is created and a major version is published, the Approval status is marked Pending and designated Approvers can approve, pend, or reject the item either from the list view by choosing Approve/Reject from the Edit menu, or by using the View Document Properties window.
In either case, when you select Approve/Reject, you’re presented with the aptly named Approve/Reject window, with the Pending option selected by default. At this point, you can leave a comment in the Comment text box but leave the item as Pending, or you can select the Approve or the Reject option to approve or reject the item with or without comment.
(Rejecting without comment is pretty poor form, though.) The action, name of the person who took it, and timestamp are recorded in the item’s Version History.
You can get a quick view of all your items that are in a Pending status by choosing Site Actions→Site Content Reports, and then choosing Pending Approval from the View drop-down list.
Unless alerts are enabled on the list/library or the item itself, the item originator won’t know you’ve taken an action until the next time that person is in the list/library and checks the Approval status on the item. Use alerts with Content Approval unless you have some alternative process whereby Approvers make it part of their daily routine to check for pending items.