We currently have 76 questions tagged . By the definition of the site scope, either:

  1. these questions are about research that's not applicable to postgrad students and academic staff, in which case they should be closed and deleted; or
  2. they are applicable to postgrad students and academic staff, in which case they are about

Either way, the research-undergraduate tag is irrelevant. So I've proposed making it a synonym of research.

So, I'd welcome your contributions to voting on that syonym: but I'd also welcome discussion of whether this synonym is appropriate. We have discussed undergraduate research here previously, and the top-voted answer says:

if it's a question a PhD student (or higher) could reasonably ask. If so, then it's appropriate

  • 1
    I think this is essentially a duplicate of meta.academia.stackexchange.com/questions/645/….
    – StrongBad
    Mar 12, 2014 at 16:44
  • Why 3 downvotes. I think its a valid question
    – Ank
    Mar 20, 2014 at 22:44
  • @Ank Voting on meta is not like voting on the main site. On meta, downvotes are essentially "no" or "disagree" votes, not "bad question" votes. Downvotes on this question, for example, indicate disagreement with the proposed tag merge.
    – ff524
    Apr 10, 2014 at 6:01

2 Answers 2


I certainly agree that "undergraduate research" is a subset of "research". But "research" is so broad -- it seems to apply to maybe 1/3 of all questions asked on this site -- that narrowing it would be helpful.

The vast majority of undergraduate research is supervised by a graduate student or a faculty member. This seems to make undergraduate research squarely on-topic for this site in the same way as undergraduate teaching questions certainly are. In that supervising undergraduate research has many issues distinct from supervising other research, it seems appropriate to have a separate tag for it.

  • maybe the tag should be supervising-undergraduate-research, then, as at the moment it's a magnet for off-topic questions from undergraduates - what do you think?
    – 410 gone
    Mar 14, 2014 at 4:50
  • I'm not sure if I feel like the name of a tag should carry so much responsibility for warding off its misuse (in my experience tags are inevitably misused by those unfamiliar with a site), and I am also not so sure that research questions from undergraduates are or should be off-topic on this site: it seems to me that an undergraduate is an "academic" if she is doing university-level research, teaching or administration. But I don't feel especially strongly about this: this is just by way of answering your question. Mar 14, 2014 at 19:32
  • 2
    @EnergyNumbers I haven't seem many off-topic questions from undergrads related to research - the questions I vote to close as being "undergrad questions" are related to undergrad exams, undergrad degree programs, etc.
    – ff524
    Mar 14, 2014 at 19:49

I agree with Pete that the is very broad and that splitting it into "sub tags" could be helpful. That said, I am not sure what would be. Potentially better would be a set of tags like , , and .

  • But again, something like research-supervision can be very different depending on whether the supervisee is a PhD student or an undergraduate student. I think it makes sense to keep research-undergraduate as is
    – ff524
    Mar 14, 2014 at 19:47

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