I'm curious about best practices for what I'll call tag "hierarchy."

Is it appropriate or necessary to add more general tags to a question that has a more nuanced/specific tag already associated with it? If so, when is it appropriate?

  • This is both in the context of re-tagging questions AND simply when adding new questions.


  • Does a question with a human-anatomy tag need (or should it be assigned) an anatomy tag?

  • Should a question tagged with human-anatomy also be assigned a human-biology tag?

  • Should a question tagged with mammaology (or entomology) also be assigned a zoology tag?

  • etc.

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    $\begingroup$ I would say yes, but I am unsure of the implications. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Feb 24 '17 at 17:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do others have an opinion about this??? $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 6 '17 at 18:35
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    $\begingroup$ Do you need any more opinions?! $\endgroup$ – canadianer Mar 8 '17 at 6:47

I think it depends on the breadth of the tag and question and whether it would be helpful for people finding the question.

So, for the first example, I would say yes, both and tags.

For the second, I think it depends; if the question was purely about anatomy and nothing else, well it might be a bit of a boring question but I would leave the tags as is (for example, maybe the question is one of the common ones about orientation terms for humans). If it is more broad and asks an anatomy question that is relevant to some other part of human biology, then both tags are appropriate.

I feel could become an incredibly broad tag. I would probably leave off unless the question is comparative in some way. Most likely a page tagged or would fit that, but I wouldn't suggest tagging every question about human biology with and or those tags would start to lose their meaning. I also wouldn't tag a question with that is about, for example, blood circulation, unless it was comparing circulatory systems in different classes of animals.

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    $\begingroup$ i think this is good advice. Generally though, I think it is a good idea to use all five tags, if there are 5 tags relevant to the question. The point of tags is discoverability, and adding as much information as possible is therefore a good idea. However, when choosing between tags for a human-biology question, I would definitely leave off zoology in place of more specific and descriptive tags. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Mar 10 '17 at 16:06

I would also say that this depends strongly on the tags and the question. But there is no real need to use tags which are closely related. So if this is about humans, I would use human anatomy, if this is more general, I would rather use anatomy.

The tags are more of a general sorting, they don't have to be too specific. Also: Please avoid inventing new tags which are not or only sparsely used, as they are then relatively useless.


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