It is glad to have a new section called Help Center nowadays, as it can only be edited by diamond (♦) moderators, we can set up credible rules or regulations in here.

But the Help Center still lack of an important section about tagging, which seems that we are still depreciate about the moderation on tagging. So now I suggest to have a new section called tagging in the Help Center.

The new tagging section should include some fundamental instructions about tagging, and most importantly, should include some concrete tagging rules, so can we can reserve the rights about sanctions on the tagging violations users.

For example:

Questions about matrices should include the tag.

Questions about algebraic equations should include the tag.

Questions about transcendental equations should include the tag.

Questions about diophantine equations (equations that only interested about the integer/rational solutions) should include the tag.

Questions about ODEs should include the tag.

Questions about PDEs should include the tag.

Questions about functional equations should include the tag but not the tag.

Questions about integral equations should include the tag.

Questions about indefinite integrals should include the tag.

Questions about proper integrals should include the tag.

Questions about improper integrals should include the tag.

and tag should not be used as the only tag in the questions.

  • $\begingroup$ If the help center was actually written with rules like these, it would end up being at least 10 pages of rules, most of which are completely obvious. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2013 at 6:54
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    $\begingroup$ We do not need a laundry list in the help center. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2013 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ For what it's worth, there is an article in the Help Center that deals with the concept and logistics of tagging: math.stackexchange.com/help/tagging. This article is the same for every SE site (which is why the examples aren't examples from Math), but I think it covers all of the broad guidelines that users need to know about tags. I'll keep an eye out here to see if you guys identify anything essential that's missing from this article. $\endgroup$
    – Laura
    Jul 12, 2013 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


I like certain things about this idea, but it needs development.

It could be helpful to maintain a public list of official guidelines for tagging. As you've mentioned, "the tag shouldn't be used on its own" is something not every new user may know about. It would also be nice to have a central place to house widely agreed-upon conventions like "ODEs go in , PDEs go in ."

On the other hand, I don't like the idea of concrete rules, especially not when they concern such broad categories as any question about a polynomial or matrix. Imposing these kind of restrictions could lead to situations like any question about $\operatorname{PSL}_n(\mathbb{F}_q)$ requiring both and , which fall under , which of course calls for , which lives in ... and if you're looking at of $\operatorname{PSL}_n(\mathbb{F}_q)$, you're out of gas!

Of course this example is exaggeratedly dogmatic, but my point is that the discretion of the user is a necessary component in applying the most precise tags to his question. It's a lot more likely that somebody following the tag will be interested in our $\operatorname{PSL}_n(\mathbb{F}_q)$ question than somebody idly browsing through . Ideally, we'd want as many precise tags applied to a question as possible, and requiring broad "classification" tags hinders users from doing that. Improving users' ability to locate content which interests them is the point of tagging, and an effective tagging manual should enhance the precision with which it is done.

With this in mind, a better idea might be to collect lists of specialty tags in each discipline from which users can select the tags which fit for their question. Not many people know that under we've got , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , $\ldots$ It would be beneficial to collect this information into one page that also contains (non-mandatory) guidelines about when to use which.

To write such a thing would require an intimate knowledge of all areas of mathematics (and their MSE counterparts), though, so if this interests the community, the most appropriate platform would be a CW meta question.

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    $\begingroup$ Just an idea... but perhaps we could put the other "group" tags in the tag wiki for group-theory. Then, in the short description of group-theory, we can say "See tag wiki for more specific group tags." $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    Jul 12, 2013 at 12:25

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