This is not a duplicate of Should we tag (solved) story identification questions with the name of the author / property?.

In Chat, I asked the other users if this question should have the tag. Jenayah said it should (and I agree), while Mithrandir said it shouldn't.

I realized we don't seem to have any consensus on this issue. And thus, here is my question: should we have tags for authors askers believe questions are likely by? I agree with Jenayah's logic that it should and that "this way, it will come to the attention of people who watch the Ray Bradbury tag, so supposedly, people who are interested in, or experts in, who could provide an answer". What do others think here?

2 Answers 2


Just so that it's written as a proper answer which people can vote on/reply to, I'll reiterate what I said in chat, and what was included in the question.

  • If OP included the author tag themselves, we leave it.

  • If OP seems reasonably sure it might be from author XYZ, we include it.

  • If OP is on the "meh, maybe, maybe not" side, we don't include it.

Yes, per What is the correct usage of individual works tags vs. author tags vs. franchise tags?, we usually use author tags for:

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.

I guess pedantically speaking, story-ID "which I think was from Asimov" doesn't fall into A (it's not a part of Asimov's life) nor does it fall into B (story-ID is definitely specific to a work/franchise). On the other hand, tagging with the author tag will get the attention of people watching said author tag (if it exists), so supposedly, people who are interested in, or experts in author XYZ, and are more likely to provide an answer.

All good, no harm done, and OP having an idea of the author is rare enough so that it doesn't get messy.

About creating an author tag, I guess that's at your discretion, with an added bit of common sense. If it's a relatively unknown author that no one will be watching and no other questions can benefit from, meh. On the other hand, we could use a Sheckley tag, for instance. (4 "maybe it's Sheckley", and Sheckley was a prominent writer)

  • Downvoted because I'm really not a fan of creating random author tags. I was fine with every other part of this answer...
    – Valorum
    Feb 24, 2019 at 0:27
  • @Valorum Sheckley's random? :P as per the "random author tags" - I thought the "common sense" and "relatively unknown = meh" indicated I was on the "don't create them" as well. (note that I don't care about the DV itself, just trying to clarify things in case what I wrote above isn't clear)
    – Jenayah
    Feb 24, 2019 at 0:30
  • I'm generally anti-creating-unneeded-tags and this sounds like an excellent way to end up with dozens of orphaned author tags which some bright spark will then want to add to every (tagged) work that that author has ever written.
    – Valorum
    Feb 24, 2019 at 0:34
  • @Valorum meh, if that happens, as it's against policy, we rollback, link to the main "author tags" meta, slap on the wrist if that continues, should resolve itself on its own, and the "additional workload" result in a new user aware of the policy. If it doesn't, clearly the "community reviewing" is goofing.
    – Jenayah
    Feb 24, 2019 at 0:43
  • 1
    @Valorum I upvoted both your answer and Jenayah's. Adding the author tag is nice if the OP is fairly sure the story is from that author ... for creating new tags, meh, it's probably not a situation that will arise very often (unless people go digging into the archives to revive old questions with tag edits, I guess).
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Feb 24, 2019 at 7:35
  • I have to agree with Rand here and what I think is yours and Valorum's intent: leave it if they added it, add it if they're confident and leave it if else and only create it if it would be worthwhile elsewhere. I would go one step further though and say if the edit is solely adding the tag is it really worth it? And yeah don't go through and add them to old ids, not really worth it.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Feb 25, 2019 at 10:33

If OP states (in the body of the question or in a comment) that they think that the story that they're trying to ID is by a specific author and that author tag already exists, then I don't think it would do any harm to add that author tag alongside the tag.

If you're creating an author tag specifically for that question, don't bother. Just ensure that it's mentioned prominently in the question.

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