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 will it be better to extend it to mention both possible meanings?

1 Answer 1


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, 2018 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, 2018 at 13:03
  • 1
    @DocBrown Absolutely.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 13, 2018 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, 2018 at 19:21
  • 1
    @DocBrown And I fixed that one.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Feb 13, 2018 at 19:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .