Another interesting story identification question has been added but I think it is missing plenty of details. Would it help to have a checklist of items for people adding identification questions, e.g.:

  • was it live action?
  • when was it made?
  • was it in English (US, UK, other?), if not, which language?
  • in which country did your watch it?


Lists could be made media specific: films, books & games.

Sound like a good idea?

Update: I am not suggesting a compulsory list, just a helpful checklist.

  • I wonder how a checklist like this would be implemented/administered/enforced. Jul 12, 2012 at 14:59
  • 1
    Is there a way to have somewhat of a form or something so people asking story identification questions can have the checklist, and then add details as to what they remember? Jul 12, 2012 at 19:12
  • 1
    @GorchestopherH - I'm voting that any ID questions not satisfying the checklist are closed and/or deleted. Jul 12, 2012 at 19:53
  • 2
    @OghmaOsiris - Hi! I am Clippy, your loyal question asking helper. I see you are trying to ask an identification question, would you like help with that? *hiding from pitchfork mob* Jul 12, 2012 at 19:54
  • This seems either cumbersome to implement, difficult to enforce, or not all together useful. Depending on what route you take. An unenforced reference checklist linked somewhere is hardly something that needs its creation discussed. Someone can just make an answer here with all the fields they want, and we can link that... Jul 12, 2012 at 20:04
  • 4
    Or maybe even a pop-up after they select story-identification in the tag list saying something like, "Please make sure you include this vital information to help with your story identification: Time you experienced the work, what medium it was in, etc" Jul 12, 2012 at 20:52
  • 2
    Like when you click on a downvote, you get the popup that says, "Please consider giving a comment" Jul 12, 2012 at 20:53
  • 1
    @DVK: I disagree. I'd assume most of the time, you wouldn't know when something was made (you may roughly remember when you watched it, but that's a different thing). It should be something to hint you at what might be useful information, no to hinder you.
    – bitmask
    Jul 12, 2012 at 21:34
  • There’s also some advice in the story-identification tag wiki.
    – Molag Bal
    Apr 29, 2016 at 22:47

3 Answers 3


Yes, I think it does. As long as it clearly says that a textual description is also necessary. If you give people check lists, they tend to forget to add stuff that isn't mentioned in the list.

I would, however, replace the first bullet point with

  • style (e.g. live action, cartoon, computer animated, puppets, radio broadcast, ...)

And the third with

  • What language was it in?

Just to prevent people from giving boolean answers there.


This is a very old question that apparently got bumped by the bump-o-matic, but since it came up, you may be interested in what M&TV has done with this:


They have identified a number of criteria that good id questions have, and there's a custom pop-up when selecting the appropriate tags that tells the user what those are.


A checklist would undoubtedly be helpful, but I don't see being able to require that it be used. The whole point of a story identification question is that the person asking the question knows some details of the story, but not enough to find it on their own. As such there is going to be some ambiguity for certain aspects of the story that the person will not be sure of. (e.g. maybe they don't remember what language it was in, or when it was made).

Definitely agree that it would be useful to give advice to people asking those types of questions as to what to include to make it easiest to answer, but there doesn't seem to be a plausible way to require users to adhere to a checklist.

  • Agreed, but its main purpose would be to help trigger the person asking the question and therefore to help get them an answer. If they don't use it, it is only their loss. Jul 12, 2012 at 17:52
  • @Wikis Yeah that was the gist of what I was getting at.
    – NominSim
    Jul 12, 2012 at 17:53
  • Btw, I wasn't thinking of making it obligatory. Jul 13, 2012 at 4:16

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