One of the top tags on this site is , with over 400 questions to date. Such questions are on-topic here: a literature site is the most likely to have well-read people with the necessary experience to be able to identify stories and solve such questions. But identifying other things, not necessarily stories as such, can also be on-topic here. We've had a few such questions already, for example:

In a previous meta, a user requested the then-newly-created tag book-identification to be merged/synonymised into , which a then-moderator duly did. A later-posted answer made the case that not all ID questions are story-ID questions, but no proposed alternative tag name could satisfy everyone. The book-identification proposed in that answer would sooner or later run into the same problem as story-identification, since sometimes we might identify things that aren't books; identification proposed in a comment would be ambiguous since that's also a term in literary theory; work-identification was proposed in another comment but strikes me as confusing because, even though on this site we often use "work" to mean literary work, that's not the most common meaning of that word.

I suggest tagging all ID questions and synonymising the other tags.

This tag seems appropriate to me because it covers all possible types of thing we might want to identify: stories, comics, books of literary theory, poetry collections, biographies, oral traditions, ... anything that's on-topic for the site. It also avoids the pitfalls of identification or work-identification as a tag name, since this proposed name seems unambiguously usable for questions asking for identification of something (e.g. not about the literary technical term "identification").

What do people think? Pros or cons of this tag rename? Discuss!

(Note that, if a tag rename is approved by community consensus, a moderator can do it without needing to manually edit any questions. It's just a few clicks using the tag merge tool.)


2 Answers 2


I support this proposal. In general, having more tags is beneficial in order to divide and sub-divide questions into different categories, which an be subscribed to and followed by users who are interested only in those categories, and/or are experts.

Since being an expert in [*-identification] is hardly possible (albeit there are users who can be called experts in those), there's no reason to keep separate tags for identification questions. One general tag should suffice.

  • +1. Want to mention quote-identification as something separate? verbose suggested renaming that tag to something like quote-source-query, since it's not really identifying the quote in the same way as we identify books (e.g. giving its name), but rather finding the source of a quote. Also very different skillsets needed for sourcing quotes and identifying stories.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Dec 2, 2020 at 21:58

While it's definitely something that' not a permanent problem, I think story-identification was chosen in part because it worked well on the SF&F SE, and a number of prominent posters came from there. At the least, I'd say to alias story-identication to the new tag name.

  • 2
    Sure, keeping story-identification as a synonym is part of the plan. We can add as many synonyms as we like, so adding e.g. book-identification or identify-this-story as synonyms could also be done.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Dec 3, 2020 at 8:48

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