There was a question some days ago asking for 3rd party resources or references, tagged with . After the question got closed, the OP asked me about the purpose of the tag, which caused me to have a closer look.

The current description for reads

A short, to-the-point, document summarizing a topic ...

but by scanning through the list of 50 questions tagged with it, I could detect only one or two using the tag in this sense. The other questions seem to use it in the sense of the Wikipedia definition:

A reference is a value that enables a program to indirectly access a particular datum, such as a variable's value or a record, in the computer's memory or in some other storage device.

So should the tag description be changed, or should it be extend it to mention both possible meanings?


Considering that reference requests are off-topic, I fail to see how the tag relating to documents is relevant here. We already have a couple of tags related to documentation which are relevant. It seems like the tag guidance should steer people toward questions that are on-topic and away from questions that are off-topic.

  • I agree 100%. Do you think it is ok when I change the tag description now and remove the reference tag from the one or two questions where it will not fit then any more?
    – Doc Brown
    Feb 13 '18 at 7:52
  • @DocBrown consider referring this answer in the tag edit summary to help other readers easier see the reason for change
    – gnat
    Feb 13 '18 at 13:03
  • 1
    @DocBrown Absolutely.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 13 '18 at 14:23
  • 1
    Thomas, I am done with this, the only question I cannot change is this one with a historical lock: softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/102245/…
    – Doc Brown
    Feb 13 '18 at 19:21
  • 1
    @DocBrown And I fixed that one.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 13 '18 at 19:33

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