As it stands now, is being used for two different things, as is reflected by the usage guidance, I wrote. It is being used for:

  • questions looking for specific references,
  • and questions about references in books.

This shows that this tag is not unambiguous. So, How should we use it and/or change it?

2 Answers 2


“Questions looking for specific references” is not a useful tag. It characterizes answers, not questions.

I'm perfectly aware that several sites have such a tag, including one that I moderate (where it's called reference-request). But the tag serves no useful function. It vaguely indicates the nature of the expected answers, but it is not a subject of expertise, and it is not useful in a search (if I'm looking for a reference for X, I won't limit my search to questions with the tag reference-request, because many answers on questions that weren't specifically requesting references do include references).

So forget about looking for a name for a tag meaning “questions looking for specific references”. For the meaning “references in books”, I like muru's suggestion .


We could split it up into (or maybe ?) and , which are unambiguous about which meaning of "references" they use. Of the four posts currently tagged , I think three would fall under :

None would be suitable yet for , since I don't see what has to do with What section of literary theory does "pure" analysis fall into? (unless OP is asking for which define sections of "literary theory").

  • This is along the lines of what I was thinking.
    – Benjamin
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 12:33

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