This site, despite being around for nearly a decade, doesn't seem to actually have a broad, general principle/philosophy to tagging. By this, I mean that there lacks a certain kind of foundation or guideline to what each tag is, when it should be tagged, and why it should be tagged that way. Additionally, this site seems to lack how a question should be tagged.
For example, in Literature SE, we have a very consistent tagging method, but the reasons for a certain group of tags to exist answers the four questions above. Let's take one of our more unique tags, which are our usage of the language tags (french-literature, german-literature, etc. etc.).
- What (description of tag in the excerpt): "For questions originally written in X language, regardless of where it was initially published."
- When: The category of language tags should be used when asking about any work of literature written in a language other than English
- Why: The addition of language tags was proposed to better help "experts" find their specialty of work. Language tags are really helpful with this process, because a German speaker, for example, may help clarify a translation that might've otherwise been confusing. Without that tag, one might never know that work was originally in German or the question could be answered by someone with knowledge of the German language/culture.
It's not to say that Literature SE's tagging system is perfect nor that we never have disagreements. The important thing though, is that we have a point of reference we can turn to. The main question we always ask is, "Does this tag help an expert identify a question they can answer", "is this tag potentially too broad", and "do we really need that tag?"
What is the philosophy/principle of tagging that is specific to BHSE here? Each site has its own unique quirks to how something should be tagged, but there seems to be both a lack of a baseline of the rules to tagging, inconsistency to how tags are used (even when the tags themselves give directions on how to use and how not to use it!) and seemingly haphazard creation of tags that seem to follow no rule in its creation.
One user described the tagging process like this:
"I'd summarise it as: 1) tag the book of the Bible 2) tag a translation if that's relevant, or greek/hebrew 3) tag an approach to interpretation (source/textual-criticism/historical/etc) 4) add anything else you think is relevant and that might help you find other related questions".
That #4 is a bit problematic. That means I can virtually create any type of tags that I think are appropriate, without what seems to be many restrictions on how or why that tag should be implemented. The tagging principle, from my understanding, was "create the tags you want, and if it causes problems then we discuss in the meta".
And even with some basic guidelines, these tagging methods are not applied consistently! This question's pending suggestion, a quite experienced user (from the looks of it) rejected the edit despite the question needing neither the new-testament nor the gospels.
"This [new testament] tag is reserved for questions related to a collection of texts within the New Testament rather than only one individual text within this collection"
"Questions may refer to narratives unique to a gospel or shared between gospels."
And is there a reason why it has the commandments-of-jesus? Why do we have people tags anyway? A lot of existing tags have either zero usage guidance or just a description of that tag rather than any real information on how the tag should be used. Questions seem to be tagged incorrectly, or at least just redundantly, and important tags are sometimes just missing.
I really would like to contribute to this community, but I can't even make excerpts or edit any, because I have no clue on why the tag exists or what the tag is for! There's a lot of ambiguity, and at least a set of principles that govern the creation and usage of the tag would be good.
A very relevant meta post:
(I've attached meta posts related to tags from Literature SE metas as well. I think these provide a strong reference point by what I mean by "tagging philosophy". Literature SE doesn't have a specific meta post dedicated to tagging philosophy, but the questions are about a broad category of tags rather than just individual tags, which seems to be a lot of the meta posts regarding tags around here.)
- Literature SE's "Should We Tag Questions by Title of the Book
- Proposal on poetry and short-story works
There's a very similar question that was asked by Jon Ericson, except it deals with secondary tags and also what to do with some tags that were hotly debated. I'm asking here for a general philosophy in all tags, not just secondary tags. With that being said, I think I would also like an answer to Jon's question on secondary tags, especially in terms of organizing the tags.