I've seen edit flags pop up for a from time to time. While I haven't been working on them myself, what I see does raise questions. I've seen some nice, brief descriptions and I've seen some extremely long ones. I've also seen some that, from the tone, sound like a cut and paste job from the Font-Of-All-Wisdom - er, I mean, from the Wikipedia.

Can someone provide links to examples of what a good should look like?

Do we want long and highly descriptive entries? For instance, how much of a biography do we want for an author? Or is just enough to identify the author and what is unique about them appropriate? And do we want C&P jobs form the Wikipedia, or our own information so we're not just copying info from elsewhere? (And that also raises the question of whether or not a very wordy text from C&P is preferable to an empty tag.)

What type of content for a is best for scifi.stackexchange.com?

  • 4
    We definitely don't want C&P jobs from Wikipedia. If you see one in the edit queue, reject it. Here's a handy link with an overview of tag wikis.
    – user1027
    Mar 13, 2012 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


This blog post has some official guidelines. Then the subject has been discussed a little on the main meta, in particular:

If you see a straight cut-and-paste from Wikipedia, kill it with fire. Copying content from Wikipedia is illegal unless you include attribution; if done legally, it's often not helpful. Read this as well.

You can see my idea of tag wikis by going through my edit history. Here are a few that I consider ok:

When writing a tag wiki, keep in mind that you are writing for the site's audience, you are not writing an encyclopedia article. Here are a few guidelines that are applicable to this site:

  • If there's some ambiguity in the usage of the tag (for example two works with similar names), explain that ambiguity to guide askers (and retaggers) into choosing the appropriate tag.
  • If there are related tags (a series and a sub-series, a universe and an author, …), cross-link them.
  • Include links to external resources where applicable (Wikipedia, ISFDB, the author's blog, the movie's official page, the fansite, …).
  • If you're writing about an author, we don't care who he married; we do care what he's written.
  • If you're writing about a work, we don't care about its release day or exactly how many languages it's been translated in. We do care who made it (at least if that person is famous), whether there are other versions, if it's the seminal work on some issue…
  • We don't need a complete plot summary, but it's good to include a few of the most salient points that tend to stick in people's minds.

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