Is there any difference? is one "student" and the other "research paper"? I'm thinking they're pretty much the same thing.

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Thanks for pointing this out - these two tags are already synonyms (as you can see on our tag synonym page), but I hadn't realized they should have been merged as well. Fixed now.

I've gone over the rest of list, and taken care of most other pending merges.

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While I am highly tempted to agree and while there may currently be significant and unnecessary overlap, I do not think those tags should be merged.

They should, however, be clearly defined.

[academic-writing] should be (IMO) defined as writing in the academic setting: A student with questions on utilizing multiple citations from a single source in MLA format, for instance.

[academic] should be (again, IMO) used for all other questions relating to the academic environment: A logic professor with questions on creating a home-brew textbook for his community college logic class, for instance.

I would consider the latter example relating to [academic]s, but not necessarily [academic-writing].

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  • I must respectfully disagree. The example with the textbook is also about writing. Considering the nature of this site, pretty much any tag here could probably have "-writing" at the end and it would make sense. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jun 3 '12 at 19:20
  • @NeilFein The problem is that I think there needs to be a distinction between writing as a student and writing as an academic professional. Creating a more solid distinction between the two tags provides that opportunity: [academic] for the academic professional (a professor writing a textbook, for instance) and [academic-writing] for the student writing a research essay. They're both writing (I never said they weren't) but they have two very different approaches, goals and audiences. And therefore, IMO, should not be lumped together under the same [tag]. – Jed Oliver Jun 3 '12 at 20:05
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    That's a fair point. Perhaps a "faculty" or "educator" tag would make more sense, then? IMO most academic writing questions will be from the point of view of a student, this would cover the few exceptions. And a tag like this would also cover (say) writing for course materials or curricula. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jun 3 '12 at 21:08
  • I second "educator." I guess we can't create it without creating it as part of a question, though? – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Jun 4 '12 at 1:06
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    @NeilFein I'd advocate [educator] as well, if only to assuage the confusion/overlap between [academic] and [academic-writing] – Jed Oliver Jun 4 '12 at 1:16
  • The textbook question should have the same tag as a question arising out of the tech industry about training materials, but it would never occur to me to tray "academic" for the latter. (I'd look for "training".) I don't think academia is the discriminator; both are concerned with educational materials, perhaps accompanied by lectures and assignments. – Monica Cellio Jun 4 '12 at 17:03

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