We have the following two tags which, at least from their names, seem pretty similar:

  • , 12 questions

    Questions about current or historical practices in publishing.

  • , 11 questions

    For questions about the publication of a work, not the text of the work itself.

Perhaps there is a difference between these two tags and how they are (or should be) used, but the tag wiki excerpts, quoted above, aren't making it clear.

  1. Should these two tags be merged? Are they, in fact, describing the same thing?
  2. If not, what's the difference? And can we edit the tag wikis to reflect that difference? Including explicit references to each other in the wikis, if possible.
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I think it is possible to make a distinction, but there is likely going to be some overlap:

  • would cover questions such as, when a specific book was published, in what form or what type of edition, possibly in what year and by whom (typically for older works, when there is some uncertainty), in other words how a publication came into existence as a publication (which involves a publisher), not as a text (which usually does not involve a publisher).
  • would cover publishing practices in a specific place (city, country, ...) and era. Questions with this tag would mention specific works only as examples.

Since publishing practices always affect the way a certain work was turned into a publication, there will be some overlap. For example, Why weren't Blake's poems published in their original painted form? is both about the original publication and about publishing practices, so both tags would be relevant here.

In the question What does “Printed for…” mean?, the example cited in the question is merely illustrative, so only the tag is appropriate here.

Questions tagged are about whether certain works ever got published, when they were published, etcetera. The tag, as defined above, would not be appropriate here. (Exception: Why don't the modern printings of Campion novels use the original artwork? should be tagged based on the above definitions.)

Below are draft tag wiki excerpts for the two tags:


Questions about current or historical practices in publishing that affected or would affect many or most publications in a specific period and/or place (country, city, ...). In this type of questions, specific works may be cited as examples. However, for questions concerning the publication of specific works, use the [publication] tag.


Questions about the publication of a work, not the text of the work itself. This type of questions asks about how a specific text came into existence as a publication (which involves a publisher), not as a text (which usually does not involve a publisher. Valid examples are when or in what form a specific work was published and by whom. For publishing practices of a specific country or time period, use the [publishing] tag.

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  • Could you write up some draft tag wikis and excerpts for these proposed tag meanings (including referencing each tag in the other's wiki) and edit them into your answer? I think you're drawing a good distinction here, but it'd be nice to see how it works in practice, and whether the difference between the tags can be stated clearly enough to avoid misuse but still briefly enough to fit in a tag wiki excerpt. – Rand al'Thor Jun 8 '18 at 23:14
  • @Randal'Thor I added two drafts. The first one should be short enough; I'm not sure about the second one. – Tsundoku Jun 9 '18 at 18:51
  • @Randal'Thor I have submitted both drafts as tag wiki excerpts. It turned out that the length was OK. – Tsundoku Jun 14 '18 at 11:48

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