4

Should questions have their author tags removed if a tag for the specific work is available?

I created the tag not too long ago.

I noticed just now that the questions with the tag, had the author tag — — removed:

We've already discussed "the correct usage of individual works tags vs. author tags vs. franchise tags", but my takeaway from that was not that available author tags should be removed from questions about their works.

Should they be? Specifically, should the tag be removed from questions that have the tag ?

3

We’re not obligated to remove them, but it’s fine if we do

The question of how to use author, work, and franchise tags has already been asked, and the guidelines are fairly straightforward.

If the question is asking about a) aspects of the author’s life, or b) aspects of the author’s work that are not specific to a single work or franchise, then we tag the question with the name of the author.

By implication, when the question is asking about aspects of an author’s work that are specific to a single work or franchise, we do not use an author tag. We use a franchise or work tag instead, as discussed elsewhere in the answer.

If the question is about a work of fiction, it always gets a tag; if we have to create one, we do that (give it a tag wiki, etc.) If there’s confusion over what to call it, bring it to meta.

So yes, we would use instead of .

We don’t need to ask about each individual author tag, such as , since we have a meta consensus that applies to author tags in general—at least when it come to future tagging.

The question says:

We’ve already discussed “the correct usage of individual works tags vs. author tags vs. franchise tags”, but my takeaway from that was not that available author tags should be removed from questions about their works.

We should be careful when it comes to changing tags on existing questions. Part of this is for the same reasons we should be careful with any large retagging enterprise: for example, flooding the front page with old questions. If making a change would require retagging large groups of questions, it might be worth bringing to meta even if the existing policy is clear. But retagging two or three questions in accordance with the current policy is probably fine.

I would also argue that retagging old questions in accordance with current tagging guidelines is not necessary. Not much harm is done by having incorrectly tagged old questions floating around.(assuming that the incorrect tagging is of the nature of an author tag, and not, say, questions tagged as ) However, editing old questions to conform with current tagging guidelines should not be viewed as negative, either. If we retag a question to have the tags that it would have if the author had asked the question today, or if they had read our various tag policies, that’s arguably a good thing. If someone found an old tagged , in contravention of our policy, then it would be fine to edit the latter tag out. The same applies for author tags.

3

No, of course not

It's an unacceptable loss of information.

Rationale

Ray Bradbury is one of my favourite authors. I'm interested in reading and possibly answering questions about his work. So I've added to my favourite tags. I don't want to have to add , , , , and so on. Especially for tags that do not even exist yet.

Also, like I've said before, tags are our Bat Signal for experts. Someone who is an expert on the Fahrenheit 451 is of course best suited to answer questions about it, but experts on Ray Bradbury (and his works) in general should be perfectly able to do so as well. So removing is removing signal.

Does this mean that we need to tag each and every question about a work with the tag for its author?

No, this does not. A good example where this is not necessary would be J. K. Rowling. All her works that are on topic here are part of the Harry Potter franchise. All questions with could have as well; almost all questions with could have , the few exceptions being questions about the author herself.

But that is one of a few exceptions. Only when the author and the work/franchise are nearly synonymous can the author tag be omitted. For all other questions, use the author tag as well.

  • 1
    While I understand your sentiments, we have an author tag policy. You wrote an answer on it yourself (which didn’t receive so many votes as the top answer, which is now consensus). We don’t really need to ask a question for every author tag. – Adamant Oct 29 '16 at 18:44
  • 1
    @Adamant I'm asking for clarification. Removing author tags as soon as a work-tag is available was not clear to me from the top answer. – SQB Oct 29 '16 at 19:56
  • 1
    Well, it also looks like you’re trying to advocate for a different policy here. “Only when the author and the work/franchise are nearly synonymous can the author tag be omitted. For all other questions, use the author tag as well.” Of course, that’s not our policy. If the policy is to be changed, downvoting it and upvoting competing answers is the way to go about it. And if our policy is that author tags should be used a certain way, editing questions so that they conform with that policy makes sense. – Adamant Oct 29 '16 at 23:00
  • If the policy needs re-evaluating (e.g. if the consensus is now against it), we could ask a moderator to put it on the featured meta posts list, or perhaps solicit opinions in chat every now and then. – Adamant Oct 29 '16 at 23:04
  • 1
    "Removing author tags as soon as a work-tag is available was not clear to me from the top answer. " Work tags are always available (anyone with 300+ rep can create a tag). I don't understand what the problem is there. The question should have been tagged with the work from the beginning. – phantom42 Oct 30 '16 at 5:24
  • @phantom42 then how would one (in the absence of hierarchical tags) go about following all questions about works of a favourite author, when that author isn't one with one main franchise / universe? – SQB Oct 30 '16 at 18:09
  • 2
    /shrugs That's not my point of confusion, nor do I think it's a massive problem that needs to be solved. While I may like, or be an expert in all books in a series, that doesn't mean I'm an expert in all books or stories by an author, or even have interest in all of them. My point is that work tags are effectively* always available, so "becoming available" isn't really a point in time to be concerned with. *new users can't create them, but we should be adding them for the new users when the posts come through the review queue. – phantom42 Oct 30 '16 at 18:15
  • 1
    To clarify - I don't necessarily disagree with you in a holistic view (I just don't feel strongly either way) - I just don't see what not having a work-tag available at the immediate time of posting has much to do with it. – phantom42 Oct 30 '16 at 18:17
  • @phantom42 In this case, it's what happened. I added fahrenheit-451 to those questions, creating it in the process. I was then informed that ray-bradbury now would have to be removed, according to our tag policy. – SQB Oct 30 '16 at 18:45
  • @phantom42 We did not used to create a work tag for all works, and instead lumped questions by author unless a specific work of theirs was popular enough for their own tag. The current policy changed it to be "Always create the work tag, regardless of how many questions it's going to have". So, although the ability to create work tags has always existed, I know that prior to the new policy work tags could actively be edited out of questions. That's why a lot of these author tags are used instead (incuding lemony-snicket on a question asked around when the policy was set) – user31178 Oct 31 '16 at 2:35
  • By the way, I didn’t say that ray-bradbury would have to be removed (or if I did, I’m sorry for giving that impression). I was trying to say more that the tag could be removed now that we had a work tag, in accordance with the tag policy. In particular, if the question were asked today, it would be tagged with fahrenheit-451 alone. – Adamant Oct 31 '16 at 12:42
  • 2
    I would point out that the author tag policy, which does say that author tags are for “ a) aspects of the author’s life, or b) aspects of the author’s work that are not specific to a single work or franchise” is, well, still policy, by a pretty wide margin, regardless of how people vote on this question (well, I suppose if it got a lot of upvotes). Work tags are “available” as soon as a question is posted, and the current policy on author, work, and series tags indicates how we should tag (or retag) those questions. – Adamant Oct 31 '16 at 12:48
  • 1
    So to clarify: it’s not obligatory to retag a question to fit with current guidelines on tagging questions. But if it does get retagged in accordance with those guidelines, it’s difficult to argue that that’s a bad thing, or something that should be reversed. For an analogy: we’ve got a lot of old answers that might be considered pretty poor these days. It’s not obligatory to go back to each one and prompt the answerer for some support, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing if someone did that on an old answer. – Adamant Oct 31 '16 at 12:56

You must log in to answer this question.

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