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Questions posted over the past few weeks have had incorrect tags in them that provide editors (especially new ones!) the opportunity to re-tag for reputation and general understanding of tags. I would like to get some consensus as to how we should be tagging these articles.

Let's say I have a (fake) question:

I am taking computer science courses on the side to help me with my math PhD work. How would I cite the textbook in my paper in APA format?

This short blurb, which has a bunch of stuff, could potentially be tagged with , , , , , , and a whole other slew of tags. Let's say the author uses all 5 of these.

How would, and should we, be re-tagging this question to better help other members of the website, and keep everything organized?

I will present my approach, as I've been doing it for the past few months here. If anyone has a different point, please provide it.

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Selective Tagging

As a Stack Overflow user, one of the ways we keep the questions organized, is to establish that tags should be related integrally to the question, such as a person who is familiar with the topic in question would be helpful or find the question interesting.

This disqualifies the and tag pretty quickly. While the book in question is about computer science, the question itself does not require knowledge from a person with a background in CS/Math for citing the book.

The is also not important in terms of citation. Papers are not PhD-only, and tagging as such will not benefit from people with specific PhD process knowledge.

The remaining 3 tags, , , and , can be carefully examined.

In this case, both and are immediately relevant. We were not provided a specific format for citation. Whether or not is needed can be debated.

So, the end result would be that we only need two or three tags to fully describe the situation, from a potential list of probably 10.

In other words, we should be able to use the tags to describe the question's content as succinctly as possible that presents it properly.

  • You don't seem to be taking the tag wiki excerpts into account; these generally define the scope of a tag, and when it should be used. They're especially useful for disambiguation between tags, like citation and citation-style. – ff524 Dec 22 '14 at 14:56
  • @ff524 well, I'm having a hard time establishing when a question would benefit from citation and not citation-style. I guess the former is related to "Should I cite?" and the second is "How should I cite?" – Compass Dec 22 '14 at 15:08
  • Per the tag wiki excerpt, citation-style is "On the syntax and formatting of citations and reference lists according to a particular style guide (e.g., Chicago, MLA, IEEE)." i.e. questions that ask "In style X..." – ff524 Dec 22 '14 at 15:12
  • @ff524 well, I would assume the question begs what format to use, technically, if I were to spend more time on it. I'll add that into the body. – Compass Dec 22 '14 at 15:13
  • Nice analysis! Your system works well with the way the system highlights questions with favorite tags and lightens those with ignored tags, and it's also helpful for people who look for questions to read/answer by looking through new content in tags they like. Using tag wikis when there are questions about specific tags being appropriate is a good suggestion, too. – Pops Jan 8 '15 at 21:02

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