I have got the impression that a lot of new tags have been introduced lately. Is it intentional? Frankly, I cannot see why ultra-specific tags such as "simpsons-rule", "boundedness", "dot-product" or "product-space" could be useful.

  • $\begingroup$ I am confused by the phrasing of the question. Certainly it is intentional in the sense that tags can only be introduced if someone intends to introduce them (barring typos, etc.). $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 17:54
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    $\begingroup$ @QiaochuYuan: I am sorry about being unclear. I mean: "is the site administration intentionally letting tags proliferate?". If the answer is "no", we could think of a "tag-cleaning" operation, something like that. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 18:00
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    $\begingroup$ I used to care about this issue a lot, but questions are popping up so quickly now that I no longer think it's particularly worth it to clean up tags. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ Somewhat related: How liberally should we handle tag creation? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ I have similar feelings about the tag extension-field. It has been used in 49 questions. It is the lone tag in only one of them. But it so clearly falls under the umbrella of one or more of field-theory, galois-theory or abstract-algebra. If judged prudent/helpful, I could volunteer to do a retagging-spree getting rid of it. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 6:52
  • $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen There is a separate post about extension-field tag: Unneeded Tag - Extension-Field. So that question is a better place for discussion about that specific tag. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Martin ! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 10:35

2 Answers 2


Note that anyone with editing powers can go look at https://math.stackexchange.com/tags?tab=new and help clean up unnecessary tags. While some of the moderators (yours truly included) do glance at that page every now and then, we cannot, and should not, be the ultimate and sole arbiters on the usefulness of tags. (For example, there are subjects with which I am just frankly not familiar enough to decide whether a given tag is sufficiently broad.)

If you have doubts about whether a particular tag is useful, consider posting to our tag merging thread. We regularly debate issues like that which was raised in this question over there.

  • $\begingroup$ OK, I just killed the tags res, dot-product, and degree-theory. I wanted to kill scoring-algorithm, but I couldn't think of a good tag for the one question with that tag. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 22:56

Tags should encompass fairly wide subject areas, not a single theorem, result, or property. The tag "simpson's-rule" fails this test. This really lives in the intersection of "calculus" and "numerical methods." If a tag is too specialized, it hides posts rather than organizing them.

  • $\begingroup$ Right. That's what I think. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ And what is the proposed course of action to remedy the situation? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ See below, Gerry. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe it's because I'm antipodean, but I see nothing "below" except the words I'm typing now, and the big empty box for typing in a new answer. What do you mean by "below"? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ Willie Wong's reply listed next. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ Ah. Since my default setting is "active" and not "oldest" or "votes", I see WW's reply above yours, and not below it. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ I'm just default and am unaware of that setting. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 23:13

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