My expectations for how the reference-request tag should be used are based on how the same tag is used on mathoverflow:
This tag is used if a reference is needed in a paper or textbook on a specific result.
Academia.SE currently has this somewhat vague definition:
Questions requesting a supporting document or citation for a specific query.
In a recent discussion in comments on this question, it became clear that ff524 and I had different understandings of how the tag was to be understood on academia.SE.
My understanding was that it should mean the same thing as on mathoverflow, so that it would be narrowly defined, and would only be for questions where the entire answer would simply be a reference. For instance, the question might be, "Can anyone point me to some references on the history of the German university system?," and a typical answer would be a pointer to a book on that topic.
ff524 says: "My understanding is that many answers here are based on personal experience, and that reference-request distinguishes questions that seek answers that are substantiated by reliable evidence (with citations to said evidence). I agree that it would be a good idea to clarify on meta."
The current definition on academia.SE seems ambiguous to me. How should we clarify the definition of this tag?