There is an abundance of questions relating to Computer Science, which is great.

However, when a question is discipline-dependent, IMHO it is crucial to advertise this fact in the title (unless it's otherwise clear) AND in tags (in this case: ).

Otherwise many questions and answers for things like publishing and conferences are misleading, as (in some cases) practices vary among disciplines (and in some cases, e.g. publishing=conferences, CS is rather an exception than a typical example).

Do you agree with it? Or do you propose an alternative approach to this issue?

(That said, I think that discipline-dependent questions are important.)

  • @AndyW No, it is clearly not a duplicate. I don't say that we should require tag questions by the asking person (as they may be less aware of the tagging specifics plus now aware whether the issue is general or issue-specific (perhaps except some related to funding in US)). Commented May 20, 2013 at 20:04
  • The discussion is more general than whether tags are required or not in the prior questions, it is about whether we should have discipline related tags at all. No need to repeat ourselves about a topic that has come up multiple times. Feel free to add to those discussions, they are currently in the negative in regards to discipline specific tags but not strongly so.
    – Andy W
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 20:16
  • Care to share a misleading example? I agree it occurs, whether it occurs enough to justify a set of meta tags is another issue. How conferences and their proceedings are treated in CS is not that confusing IMO!
    – Andy W
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 20:19
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    @AndyW If you add "in CS" its great. But for example in most other disciplines (e.g. mathematics, physics, biology, ...) their function is very different (i.e. they are for dissemination, but not for publishing, and if some publishing occurs, it is of secondary aim & value.) Commented May 20, 2013 at 20:21
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    I know! Social sciences are slightly different as well, with differences between peer-reviewed, and invited proceedings, and open proceedings, so whats the point (this doesn't intrinsically make things I say about conferences in my field misleading about conferences in other fields)? We can find various minute differences between fields all we want, how is being clear in questions and answers about the discipline or where an answer applies any different than other aspects of the question? I've already stated why I'm opposed to discipline specific tags in the linked question.
    – Andy W
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


I thought we discussed discipline related tags in the past. All I can find is a question about country-related tags

I do not think discipline/country related tags are appropriate because I think they lead to bad/narrow answers. My feeling is that knowing what is done in a particular field in the absence of context is not particularly valuable. Instead of an answer that says "In CS we do X", I would like to see answers that describe X, Y, and Z along with their advantages and disadvantages.

With the broader context in place, if the OP asks about a specific field and you know the answer to that field, you could add something like: "You asked specifically about CS, where it is generally done by method X." This would hopefully be such a small part of the answer that if you don't know someone else could easily edit your answer to add the field specific answer.

  • On contrary, I think that discipline-related questions (of course, if the answer depends on the discipline) are crucial. Otherwise we will end up with questions too general (with large variance of answers, and in fact being of little use, or sometimes - misleading) or to localized (all of type "here is my life story, what I should do in that specific case"). Commented May 15, 2013 at 16:32
  • @PiotrMigdal I didn't say the discipline related questions were bad. I said that tagging them as X is bad since it will result in narrow answers.
    – StrongBad
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 7:52

I'm rather in favour of a posteriori tagging, when it is clear from the question and the answers that they are specific to computer science. In general, when someone asks a question she/he might not know whether it's only specific to CS or if it can be generalised.

I think that one of the strengths of Academia.SE is that topic-specific questions can sometimes be generalised (and sometimes not). That said, a tag is not particularly constraining, so either way (tagging or not) is fine.

EDIT: The question of topic-specific tags has been already asked in We should introduce a set of field tags - e.g., medicine, mathematics, economics, and the answer from the community seems to be negative.

EDIT2: I realized that I forgot to say: "In general, I'm not in favour of topic tagging, but a posteriori tagging does not bother me too much" at the start of my answer.

  • Posteriori tags (and title changes) are fine; just sometimes it is plain obvious that a particular scenario is by no means a general one. And at no point I assume that the asking person should know how general the question is. Commented May 15, 2013 at 16:30
  • I've downvoted this for the same reason I don't think we should have field specific tags (whether a priori or a posteriori makes no difference to me). We've discussed this here as well, Modifying the “Ask Question” page to include tagging recommendation.
    – Andy W
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 12:53

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