This question prompted me to look for an appropriate tag for books on computers, programming, etc. I'd think these would be described as "reference books," so the "reference" tag would be appropriate. But that doesn't seem to be the way that the tag has been used so far.

I'm thinking maybe I should edit the tag wiki and retag in favor of my interpretation, maybe retag some of the existing questions as "resources" instead of "reference" where appropriate.

Or, my interpretation could be wrong or non-intuitive, in which case we'd need some other tag for writing reference books.

I'm adding simple "Yay" and "Nay" answers for ease of polling the community, but please feel free to answer in length if you've got a more complex/interesting response.

  • What about the third option of citing reference material? Mar 22, 2011 at 17:08
  • @Ralph: I didn't understand what you mean. More words please! :D
    – Standback
    Mar 22, 2011 at 17:34
  • questions like this: writers.stackexchange.com/questions/2088/… Mar 22, 2011 at 17:51
  • 2
    Ah, I see. Well, we obviously don't want the same tag for that type of questions, and questions about reference books. Maybe "citation" tag for what you've brought up... or "reference-book" for mine? Or is there another name for it? Also, to be fair, I don't think we've actually got any questions regarding reference books so far.
    – Standback
    Mar 22, 2011 at 18:23

3 Answers 3


I think we should eliminate the "reference" tag all together and create three new tags:

  • "Citations" for questions about citations
  • "Reference-Books" for questions about writing/editing reference books and
  • "Resources" for writing resources - books, articles, podcasts, etc.

This way we get rid of any ambiguity there is.

  • Oh, I heartily agree. This seems necessary both to have everything well-defined, and to keep the tags clear.
    – Standback
    Mar 22, 2011 at 18:58
  • 2
    I've added tag wikis for these three tags.
    – justkt
    Mar 22, 2011 at 19:52
  • Great. I've re-tagged all the existing "reference" questions.
    – Standback
    Mar 22, 2011 at 22:11

Yes - IMHO the "reference" tag makes the most sense as describing questions about the process of writing a reference book. Make it so.

  • I'm a fan of splitting references and resources.
    – justkt
    Mar 22, 2011 at 11:59

No - IMHO the "reference" tag describes questions seeking reference books and discussing them, asking how to refer to things, and/or something else. It's fine the way it is.

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