We currently have a tag with the following tag wiki excerpt:

For questions about The Art of War, the book by Sun Tzu. Use in conjunction with [sun-tzu].

While Sun Zi's The Art of War is certainly the most famous military treatise by this title, it is by no means the only one, as can be seen on this Wikpedia disambiguation page. Other authors who wrote treatises with this title include Sun Bin and Niccolò Machiavelli.

I therefore propose the following change to the tag wiki:

For questions about military treatises with the title The Art of War. Use in conjunction with [sun-tzu] for questions about Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

The tag wiki can then explain that there are several treatises with this title, as I mentioned above. If necessary, we can later add tags for machiavelli and other authors who wrote such treatises.


1 Answer 1


I think that a single book tag should refer only to a single book. It will be confusing to use the same tag for questions about different unrelated works which happen to share a title.

If tags should be a way of marking out a specific area of expertise, well, nobody's going to be an expert on "all books entitled The Art of War", but someone could well be an expert on Sun Tzu's The Art of War or on Niccolo Macchiavelli's The Art of War.

However, you raise a good point: that the current tag is ambiguous, since there are many different books entitled The Art of War. This was always going to become an issue sooner or later, so let's bite the bullet and look it in the face.

How do we handle tagging when multiple unrelated books have the same title?

  • A simple solution would be to add the author name into the tag name. Then we could have questions tagged with and and so on. But perhaps these tag names would get too unwieldy.
  • Another possibility is to add the year of publication into the tag name. Then we could have questions tagged with and and so on. Obviously, this will cause problems when the precise year of publication is unknown (as with Sun Tzu's book), but it should be enough for a unique identifier without causing redundancy with the author tag.
  • Any more suggestions?
  • 1
    I would favour adding the author name to the tag name.
    – Tsundoku
    Nov 7, 2017 at 13:20
  • 3
    Adding the publication date to the tag may cause confusion when posters don't know the date of book that interests them. Especially if the difference in dates of two books is small. The author name will be clearer.
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 7, 2017 at 16:11
  • I personally would prefer using the publication date. My recommendation is to just try out both tagging schemes on the main site, and see which one people prefer.
    – user111
    Nov 26, 2017 at 22:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .