Apart from the "story-identification" tag, shouldn't OPs mention the same in the question title so that it is easier to spot? I ask this because I see several questions with only the tag but nothing mentioned in the question.

  • Why the downvote??
    – Stark07
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 7:04
  • 7
    Upvotes and down votes don’t mean the same thing in Meta. Here they mean agreement or disagreement with a proposal, so presumably there are two people who think Story ID should not be mentioned in the question title.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 9:08
  • Oh. Thanks for that. I'm new to meta.
    – Stark07
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 11:50
  • Relevant Meta Stack Exchange FAQ post: Should questions include "tags" in their titles? Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 4:43

3 Answers 3


Yes. Rather, the question should be all that is necessary to understand exactly what the OP is looking for.

Let's break down the three elements of a question post (as I see them).

The Title

The hook. The title should provide a good general overview of what the OP is looking for. It doesn't need to get into the nitty gritty details or criteria, but readers should have at least a clue of what the OP is asking for.

The Question

This should be 100% self sufficient. It should clearly explain what information the OP is looking for and lay out any criteria that should be considered (e.g. canon levels, universes, media, etc).

The Tags

These should be used for categorization purposes. They should be helpful, but not necessary to the question itself.

For example, if I am looking for information about Wolverine's claws within the comic universe only, I would make sure that the question itself clearly states that I am looking for an answer based on the comic universe, and not the movie universe. I would also tag it and (I'd also understand the choice to use .)

In the case of story identification questions, the reader shouldn't need to look at the tags to understand that the OP is looking to identify a story; the tags should just be used to make it easier to categorize and find the question.

  • 2
    With the exception that you don't just duplicate the tag name, at least
    – Izkata
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 6:41

Yes you should indicate that you're trying to identify a story, but there's no need to repeat the tag wholesale.

Good: Trying to find 70s space opera with knights with magical powers and glowing swords.

Bad: Story identification: 70s space opera with knights with magical powers and glowing swords.

  • 1
    This is obviously StarCrash; youtube.com/watch?v=pzfuNSpP0RA
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 18:07
  • 2
    Bad: “Trying to find 70s space opera with knights with magical powers and glowing swords.” Good: “70s space opera with knights with magical powers and glowing swords.”
    – user56
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 20:19

I agree that the body of the question should be completely self-contained, without reference to the tags.

However, I don't see why you're picking on the tag. Could you point to an example? I've read lots of story identification questions, and I've seen very few, if any, where it's not clear from the body of the question that an identification is wanted.

On the other hand, I've seen hundreds of silly questions where a tag is the only clue as to what work of fiction is being discussed; such as this one where the tag is the only hint that the question is about a certain popular kiddie-lit series from England. (Unless, of course, one happens to have read the books, and so recognizes some of the names, such as "Hogwarts".)

  • This question seems to be about the title, not the body, which is the only part visible on the frontpage and is usually phrased as a question
    – Izkata
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 2:59
  • @Izkata Body or title, doesn't affect my point that the emphasis on story-id questions is unwarranted and rather bizarre. Looking at the newest questions, here's a random story-id question title: Book about 2 humanoid aliens stranded on Earth. Maybe it's because I'm a native speaker of English, but that title says "story-id" to me even without looking at the tag. And here's a random non-story-id question title: What faction is Tori? What the hell is that about?
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 4:03

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