Inspired by this question: How to identify whether a publisher is genuine or not?

Many of the answers and comments seemed to assume The Writer's Guide and similar resources would be sufficient, but I don't know the norms in India.

I've seen in Workplace.SE many things I thought were unneeded detail or unusual in assumptions (from my US-centric perspective), but users familiar with German's employment practices (for example) would know exactly why indicating certain information was relevant. Similarly, in Academia.SE, indicating one's general field really influences advice: a History PhD vs a Molecular Biology PhD would have different expectations on number of publications or presentations that matter, if departments are assumed to have budgets for travel or TAs, etc.

Often the first comment to questions is "Needs a country tag or my advice may be totally wrong."

I don't think ALL of the writing questions here would benefit from location tags, but clearly ones that have something to do with publishing, rights, distribution, and copyright do.

Which countries/regions should be represented? I'm assuming that if we create a few model ones as relevant, then others will create/append new ones as necessary. For example, Maryland has the best flag, but our copyright law is the same as the rest of the US, so no need to go that granular. (If we were Workplace.SE, granularity to the state level may be relevant, as the worker's protections vary differently.) Maybe the EU is also unified? Or are there variations in European publication and copyright practices, just as in their employment ones?

This could also allow viable not-duplicates, as a user may say "ok, that was a great answer covering the US, but in Korea...." Similarly, a user could search the tag for their own country and see if we have already addressed the issue in a non-US-centric way.

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    When would you want to use a tag versus make the locale, if relevant, clear in the body of the question? Sep 26, 2019 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


I absolutely agree with you April that people should be clear about their location when relevant (ditto with their language when that's important to a question). On the flip side, those of us in the US (and I'm including myself here) need to remember that a huge percentage of users are not in the US.

I don't think doing this via a tag is the way to go. There are an awful lot of countries in the world and that's a lot of tags. Of course they'd get created as needed, not ahead of time, but still. We can't just do it regionally because the laws are really different in different places. What's true in Singapore may not fly in Indonesia.

It also means carefully policing new tags. People will create them constantly without discussing them on Meta (which would make sense if we used them) but the breakdown may be different. We might end up with one for each US state, even though copyright law is federal (but many other writing-related laws are state by state). There are laws that are for every country in the European Union, and laws that are country by country.

In addition, it makes more sense to have fewer questions that deal with an issue vs, say, 100 questions on libel law, each for a different country (or state).

I suggest we do not create location tags but that we encourage people to mention location when relevant to a question (even putting questions on hold if the poster is not responsive to the request and it's necessary). This might include editing wiki in places to remind posters of the importance of mentioning location.

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