The current badge description is misleading. It currently reads: RESEARCH ASSISTANT Edited 50 tag wikis.

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I had thought it strange that only two users had achieved this silver badge, but thought that I would give it a go anyways. So for the past few weeks, I have been diligently looking for tags that have no write-ups at all and have been (I thought) reasonably starting where one ought to start on a wiki, with the most basic component of the wiki, the excerpts.

After 53 edits and some wondering and waiting... I finally went hunting for an answer as to why this badge might not have been awarded to me and came across @Jeff's meta question Is there a bug with the populist badge?

...then reading down through the answers found @Gilles's link to List of all badges with full descriptions

...then scrolling through the badges finally found the answer to my dilema, namely, that there is MORE to the badge requirements than is currently listed on the SF&F site:

Research Assistant

Therefore, it seems clear to me that our site is missing the key info that edits must be to bodies and that tag wiki excerpts do not count. Could this be added please? Thx.

  • While I agree with your point (and have upvoted your question), this isn't something that can be changed on a per-site basis, so your question would be more appropriate - and more likely to come to the attention of the SE employees who could actually implement a change - on main meta. Would you like me to migrate it for you?
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


The one-liner description of a badge is necessarily short. You can't fit all the details in here. That's why the list with full descriptions exists.

Besides, “tag wiki” is the official name of the tag wiki bodies — the word body is added to remove any ambiguity, but strictly speaking the short description of the badge is complete.

  • Hi @Gilles, thanks for your answer, but this may seem less problematic to you because you are a heavy user of the site. (Also, being one of only two people who've earned the badge, you obviously knew how to do it correctly.) I tried to describe how hard I had to hunt to find the correct information... perhaps you know S.E. like the back of your hand, but that is not necessarily the case for everyone, especially newbies like me. IF the community wants new users to participate, then it behooves us to make it as easy and error free as possible to do so. Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:05
  • 4
    When I make an excerpt edit, the message I get back is “Thanks for your edit!” If I’m trying to make 50 tag edits, then how am I supposed to understand that what I just did doesn’t apply to the badge? The fact remains that the current description is misleading. Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:06
  • @CanadianGirlScout Part of the idea behind not having excrucicatingly precise descriptiond for badges is that you shouldn't be too tempted to “game” the badges. Do good stuff, and occasionally you'll get a badge for it. Do not, say, count precisely 50 tag wikis to edit and then leave. (Yes, I'm aware that you get progress bars from some badges. No, I don't like them.)
    – user56
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:08
  • 1
    Please don't assume that I'm gaming the system. Just because I am looking forward to receiving a badge when I know I've crossed a threshold doesn't mean anything. Also, I have no idea what a progress bar is. Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:13
  • @CanadianGirlScout By the way, I notice that several of your proposed excerpts aren't making the site better. Please don't add dictionary definitions like tattoo or influences, these don't help the reader know what the tag is about. Please read the tag wiki guidelines.
    – user56
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:30
  • 1
    (cont.) A good tag wiki (excerpt or body) on this site almost always has an SF connection, e.g. replicator is good because it's an SF concept and because of the ST connection.
    – user56
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:32
  • Okay, thanks for the tip ;) 1+ Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:36
  • @Gilles I note that in your comment you had to specify "tag wiki (excerpt or body)" (instead of something like "tag wiki and its excerpt"), implying that you yourself don't believe "tag wiki" means "tag wiki body", but rather encompasses both...
    – Izkata
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 23:05
  • @Izkata 1. I prefer to say body/excerpt because I find it less ambiguous, but wiki/excerpt is the standard SE terminology. 2. I was deliberately not using terms that had been known to confuse the person I was conversing with.
    – user56
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 23:10

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