I was perusing and noticed that about 13 out of 22 also had but 9 didn't. I'm guessing this partial tagging also applies to other franchises, like Star Trek.

I was wondering whether there was a consensus on these questions - should they all have the franchise's tag, or only when it's referring to the franchise itself?

Tagging for stargate/"franchise" related questions touches on this, with the highest voted answer pointing towards the "tag all with the franchise" answer.

  • My initial urge was to retag them all with alien-franchise since that made most sense and was what was voted on in the linked question, but then figured I should consult first. :)
    – dlanod
    Jul 10, 2012 at 23:03
  • Damn. I don't know what to upvote - I partially agree with Gilles's reasoning (for subscription purposes, franchise tagging helps) and partially with Gabe's (for "this question is restricted to part X of franchise, the franchise tag hurts by implying the wider question scope). The only proper solution to this conflict is to allow tag hierarchies but that will never happen. Jul 11, 2012 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


If the question has out-of-subset application, sure. Not all do.

Examples follow:

For example, SGU character questions don't have much application to the rest of the Stargate line of series. SGU and Atlantis have much more, especially later seasons' episodes of Atlantis.

But, for basic Stargate tech questions, yes, it should gain the franchise's tag... especially since that aids in finding duplicates from other series. SGU sheds some additional light on the capabilities of the Stargate network that remained unexplored (to my knowledge) in SG1 and SGA.

A similar situation exists for Buffy and Angel series - one Buffyverse, two series, 13 total seasons, 2 graphic novel series...

Star Trek is one of the worst for that - TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and several failed proposal TV series; TOS and TNG movies, plus the TOS-Reboot line; Novels for all of the above, plus 5 or 6 novel series with new crews and ships; graphic novels for all the series, plus 5 or 6 additional series with new crews (and no overlap with the novels); plus a series of "technical manuals" of dubious canonicty, but with later ones giving insight into the production staff's understanding of the tech. And then, there are video games, tabletop games, face-to-face roleplaying games....

And the "Star Fleet Universe" by Amarillo Design Bureau, which is an alternate TOS/TAS with 35 years of deviation growth, which looks like ST, sounds like ST, even feels much like ST, is licensed by Paramount and FJD, but isn't actually Star Trek... can't mention any of the crew by name, but can use the races, ships, and equipment of the TOS and TAS properties.

Warp Drive questions for the TOS/TAS stuff are not always going to have broader application - mostly because most of the canon developed after they wrapped, and TNG did retcon-city all over it, as did Enterprise. SFU warp drives have another scale entirely above warp 3.2; everything core released from TNG or later uses the so-called "Modified Cochrane Unit" scale, while TOS and TAS used the "Old Cochrane Unit Scale"... and the terms for these, while widely accepted, appear in the Role-playing games, and then later move into the Tech Manuals. The SFU doesn't even use Warp Factors for speeds above WF 3.2...

And the obscure "Federation Space Battle Manual" which cross fertilized with ADB's Star Fleet Battles had a different approach to Warp drives, too... it also was governed by a license from FJD; it is now sold by ADB for Gamescience.

(FJD :== Franz Joseph Designs).


I've said it before, but I'll reiterate my opinion: tags should only be used if they apply to the content of a question. Any other usage just confuses the issue. If the question specifically asks about something that's covered across the scope the whole franchise, then use the franchise tag. If the question is wholly bound within a particular entry in the franchise, use the entry's tag.

Tags should ideally depict the content of a question. Adding tags that provide metadata (unnecessary classification) just add to the noise-to-information ratio.

  • This makes most sense to me, and also tends to explain why Harry Potter doesn't need any subtags. The whole thing being one story, any question from one book or film being answered with details from another is actually what people want.
    – Jontia
    Jul 13, 2018 at 13:18

In general, yes, you should tag a question with the tag for the franchise that it's about, if applicable. Otherwise people who subscribe to the tag for the franchise will miss the question. Sub-franchise tags are rarely useful and should only be used for large franchise (I'm talking Harry Potter large or Star Wars large).

Ideally, there would be a hierarchical tag system, where subscribing to a franchise tag automatically subscribes you to all the sub-tags. But this is a very specialized requirement which will never be implemented on Stack Exchange (there are few cases where the larger tag should imply the smaller tag — across the whole network, it's far more common that the more general tag doesn't always apply to more specific questions).

There are a few exceptions like where you can subscribe to [tag:star-trek*] and see all questions from individual series. But apart from this case where you can use a textual wildcard, please do use the franchise tag on any question that would be interesting to people who are interested in that franchise.

  • I have proposed a hierarchical tag system for SO (where it does make sens) on MSO a couple of years ago. After spending ~10hours crafting the proposal, it was downvoted into oblivion in 2 hours. EPIC FAIL :) Jul 11, 2012 at 13:08

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