As a relatively new participant (long time user) of Math.SE I must confess that my knowledge of what is considered "appropriately non-minor" as an edit is certainly lacking. This question derives from a rejected edit on a recent post where (for the first time) I suggested an edit to a tag - namely adding the number theory tag to a question which is (in my opinion) clearly number theoretic (asking to find rational points on a variety). Admittedly I should have been more clear in my description that this question was number-theoretic even if the OP did not realise (side-point, is this appropriate).

Of the two reasons for rejection, one was

This edit introduces tags that do not help to define the topic of the question. Tags should help to describe what the question is about, not just what it contains.

to which I can only respectfully disagree with the user. The content of any answer to this question will necessarily contain number theory (I now realise this is the pertinent point - see the below edit and comments).

Tags are what leads us to questions we are interested in, so I was of the belief that a tag-modification can in no sense be minor. Moreover I was of the opinion that my change would direct the question to interested parties.

Thus my question is really, is the problem with this edit that it is cluttering the review queues? Is it the case that one should merely wait until they do not need their edits approved when they should edit tags?

Possibly related but unanswered and not identical: Tag edits considered too minor? The comment of dfeuer is nearly pertinent, although in my case I do believe that the tag was not already represented (although I can accept that I simply may not understand the etiquette).

Edit: It turns out that the rejections were about the usage of the NT tag. To clarify, an example of a question that would enter my feed unchanged as NT is If $z | 5x+11y$ and $z | 6x+13y$, then $z | y$. .

Perhaps this is mis-taggeed also, but the question I tagged refers to (as I say in the comments) finding rational points on a curve defined over $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2})$ which is far less "non-advanced" IMHO.

Although at this point maybe this is becoming semantics about what users deem to be "number-theoretic", I believe that the question I re-tagged is much likely to spark an answer with interesting number theoretic content (since we are asking for rational points on some genus $0$ curve defined over $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2})$).

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I rejected this because the tag number-theory is for advanced number theory questions, of which this is not. $\endgroup$
    – Integrand
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 21:51
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ In this particular case, the edit was (correctly) rejected not because it was too minor, but because the number-theory tag was inappropriate. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 21:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In general, tag-only edits can be beneficial and appropriate, provided the new tags are relevant and appropriate. $\endgroup$
    – Integrand
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Integrand Okay I almost agree with the point, would the elementary number theory tag have been appropriate? (I say almost since I would not consider e.g., the solution I propose in a comment on an answer of parametrising the points on the eventual curve "elementary") $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ Still kind of a stretch. Perhaps irrational-numbers is more appropriate; there are a lot of lesser-known tags that are often applicable to specific questions. $\endgroup$
    – Integrand
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 21:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Integrand, the question is asking for rational points on a genus 0 curve (definied over $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2})$ sure) - but this is still classical number theory? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, I guess you could see it that way $\endgroup$
    – Integrand
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 22:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I will add some links to previous discussions of (elementary-number-theory) vs. (number-theory): How to differentiate between (elementary-number-theory) and (number-theory) and There are 5,931 questions tagged both elementary-number-theory and number-theory. (My impression is that the discussion about those tags wasn't really resolved - but at the moment we should stick with the usage described in the tag-infos.) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 0:52
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Dealing just with the question in the title ("Are Tag-only edits too minor?), I have proposed many tag-only edits, and they have been accepted, so I suggest the answer is, no, tag-only edits are not too minor. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thos are great discussions thank you. I think this is what I get for assuming what I expect to be in the Tag-wiki rather than reading them thoroughly. Although I quite like the idea that maybe we could have NT and not-elementary-NT - because I, at least, sometimes want to avoid "elementary" in vain. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 8:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Maybe this plays into the fact that new users (e.g., me or someone perhaps even less familiar with the site) are more likely to go with "what the tag sounds like" rather than its description? Is it the case that the userbase has decided to live with this likely misconception from new users. Moreover on a side note, why are questions tagged number-theory not being regularly retagged? For example since I posted this , there have been two questions on simple modular arithmetic tagged as NT and left unedited. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 8:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Why are questions tagged NT not being regularly retagged?" Fair question, I don't know. It could be that users don't distinguish between it and ENT; it could be that mass retagging is typically frowned upon, especially since it bumps questions. My guess is that many users don't read tag wikis or descriptions, or tag questions based on what's 'in' the question as opposed to what the question is 'about'. $\endgroup$
    – Integrand
    Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 15:27
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ It seems that the tag number-theory is not monitored as in (e.g.) set-theory. I find quite a lot of new questions not even related to number theory. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ The existence of the "edit tags" link would be very curious if tag-only edits were a priori frowned upon... $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 13:10


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .