Prompted by Michael Edenfield’s comment in chat.

A quick glance through the tag shows that it seems to be used for a couple of things:

  • Story ID questions that the OP remembers were part of a series
  • Questions about TV shows and books that happened to come in a series (note that we used to have a [tv-series] tag, which become a synonym for [tv])

But it’s clearly not applied very well: it would be easy to find hundreds of questions that meet one or both of these criteria that don’t have the tag.

This smells of being a meta tag.

At the moment, there are only about 65 questions with this tag. I don’t see how it provides a useful categorisation.

Should we get rid of this tag? And if not, should we clarify its purpose?

Update: down to 38 28 12 questions.

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3 Answers 3



From the help center's entry on tagging:

A tag is a word or phrase that describes the topic of the question. Tags are a means of connecting experts with questions they will be able to answer by sorting questions into specific, well-defined categories.

Tags can also be used to help you identify questions that are interesting or relevant to you.

is too broad to describe the topic of the question well and is not useful for identifying questions that are interesting or relevant to anyone. And there are no "experts" on series in general that need to be connected to these questions.

I think it is a meta-tag as well by the following definition:

If the tag can’t work as the only tag on a question, it’s probably a meta-tag.

Again, it's too broad to describe the topic of the question by itself.

  • 2
    I heartily agree. It's essentially useless as a tag.
    – Valorum
    Apr 9, 2015 at 15:14
  • 1
    Sounds good. Let’s get to work removing it.
    – alexwlchan
    Apr 9, 2015 at 16:02
  • Agreed, re: zapping the series tag. Apr 10, 2015 at 13:22


The explicit purpose of tags is to help people search for content. This can either be a single tag search, or a tag used as a refiner to a search. The tag seems to me to assist with neither of these objectives:

  • I'm having difficulty even thinking of a scenario where somebody might search for the tag in isolation.
  • Adding it as a refiner to a search doesn't seem to me to be in any way useful either (you either already know that it's a series or the fact that it's a series is irrelevant).

Much more useful would be tags based around the overall name of a series, with individual episodes (in cases where there are not too many of them - 5 to 7 seems a reasonable highmark) having their own tags where this would also be helpful, but not as a hard-and-fast rule.

So yes, kill it until it's dead.

  • One explicit purpose of tags is to help people search for content. "Tags can also be used to help you identify questions that are interesting or relevant to you."
    – user14111
    Apr 12, 2015 at 0:23

I've already started cleaning up this tag in cases where it is obviously redundant, e.g. cases like . However, I'm not sure what to do when the only two tags are and :

  • Get rid of and let stand on its own?
  • Replace with an almost-as-bad media tag, like ?
  • Do as was suggested in the other meta question about media tags, and only leave them on questions where no more specific tag is available?

(BTW: We have and and neither is a synonym of the other...)

  • 2
    I think story-id stands on its own just fine. The asker will have to mention that the story in question is part of a series, in which case the question can be found in a search simply by looking for the string "series" rather than the tag.
    – Null Mod
    Apr 9, 2015 at 14:18
  • 1
    @Null: IMO story-id does not stand on itw own just fine. When I read the Top Questions page, I see a list of titles and tags. I like to be able to tell without clicking, just from title and tags, what kind of thing is being sought. So story-id + short-stories or story-id + movies is much more helpoful than just plain story-id. Story-id + series is not so helpful because I don't know if it's a series of novels or short-stories or movies etc. But story-id + novels + series is more informative than story-id + novels.
    – user14111
    Apr 11, 2015 at 9:11
  • @user14111 Fair enough, I can see how story-id + [relevant media tag] is more useful than story-id on its own. But as you say yourself, story-id + series is no more useful than story-id by itself. While story-id + [relevant media tag] + series is most informative, IMO it doesn't justify the series tag. That would be its only purpose, because it can't stand as a tag alone and, as I pointed out in my answer, there is no such thing as an "expert" in generic sci fi/fantasy series (whereas there are experts in story-id and the media tags).
    – Null Mod
    Apr 13, 2015 at 2:35

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