This question raised an issue that was already raised on several other child metas (see Judaism):

Should tagging make the question easy to find, or the answers easy to find?

For example, a question asking about the meaning of a specific, symbolic passage could be tagged if restricted to the question, but if also referring to the "expected" (but by whom?) answer.

I think the answer by Joshua tends to prove that we should not presume what good answers to a question are, hence not tagging the questions according to presumable answers, but this is a rather recent stance from my side and I believe the question is worth debating here.


1 Answer 1


Tags should describe the question, not its answers ...

After all, that's why questions get tags and answers don't. Tags are meant to enable people to find lists of questions on a particular topic - either because they're looking for something which they can answer, or because they have a question about that topic themselves and want to know if it's already been asked. If people want to find answers, they can do so using the is:a search function, and include tags in that search if desired.

Questions shouldn't be retagged according to the kind of answers they've received. The question should be able to stand alone as a valid question about a given subject even without looking at the answers. Related discussion: Should we retag story ID questions with the story name?

... but the question may specify a particular kind of desired answer.

It's perfectly acceptable for an OP to specify in their question that they're looking for answers of a particular type and won't accept any other kind of answer. "Please only give answers based on X" is a perfectly valid part of a question. I can't think of any examples of "types of answer" which are already associated with particular tags on this site, but if such a case comes up, then it might well be reasonable to tag the question according to the type of answer it's seeking.

(An example of this on the sister site SFF is the star-wars-legends tag, which can be used on a question to indicate that Legends sources are acceptable in answers; without this tag, it is assumed that only canon sources are acceptable. When the OP isn't experienced enough with the site to know about this tagging practice, other users will often ask in the comments "are Legends sources acceptable?" and then edit in the tag if the OP says yes.)

Of course, such requirements are 100% the OP's prerogative. Nobody else should have the right to say "this question should accept answers of type X as well as type Y", and edits which change the OP's intent, including if they do so by changing the tags, should be rolled back.

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