A recent question was brought to my attention due to the "close" review queue, where it was about to be closed: What is the product of alpha decay of Curium-226?

I believe that is one of the few meta tags, that actually make sense and I appreciate that we usually have the capability to clarify these situations. In the above mentioned case, the reason for closing was given as

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's based on a flawed premise and thus is unsolvable. – MARamezani

To me this the question itself is very similar to a case where you believe you found an error in a book. That is why I left the following comment:

I do not think that should be off topic. Many of the comments would suffice as an answer, stating why the question is flawed. We discuss textbook erratum often enough and from my standpoint this is a similar case. With given answers, we can also provide Joshua something more solid to go and talk to his teacher.

Admittedly, the question was not very well formulated, so that the original intend was somewhat unclear. From a deleted answer I finally extended the question to cover this.

As a result, it got me thinking, if it would not be appropriate to extend the scope of the tag to include these situations. Currently the tag wiki reads:

For questions that deal with a specific statement of a specified book. These questions should always include a complete reference:

  • Author(s), Initial(s): Year of publication, Title, Edition, Publisher, Place of Publication. (ISBN, URL if available) Add page number, table/ figure/ scheme accordingly

  • Author(s), Initial(s), Journal name Year of publication Volume number (Issue or part number), first (and last page) numbers (Title, DOI, URL if availabile) Add page number (for longer publications e.g. reviews), table/ figure/ scheme accordingly

  • online resource with perma-link (e.g. wikipedia)

I would like to extend the scope of this tag, to include exam papers/ tests, because I do not think the site would profit from another meta tag, basically stating the same thing with different words. I also thought about introducing a tag "erratum" and then linking textbook-erratum as a synonym, but I think, that is a little too general. What do you think?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree with expanding something. But maybe, it should get another name. Maybe create another tag and make this a synonym of that one? Maybe, we should create a new tag named...Well, can't come up with a name right now. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Apr 17, 2015 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @MARamezani #ChemFail $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2015 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ I added "erratum", which seems like the perfect tag. People already included some texts, journal articles, etc. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have the score to create the synonym. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Geoff Thanks for jumping into action, when nobody had the courage to do it ;) I believe it is quite impossible that anyone has the necessary score to suggest a synonym. Did you retag all the questions manually? It would have been better to create the tag and then flag on of the other questions for the moderators attention to merge into the new tag. Anyway, I believe sooner or later one of the mods will come around and do it, or someone asks them in chat, when they are around. It will be done. Soon. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ I also just copied over the tag wiki description. It still needs to be appended. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ There were only a few posts, definitely under 10, so it was pretty easy to do manually. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 20:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I finished up the merge and added a synonym. $\endgroup$ May 1, 2015 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


As the person who answered the question, I can attest that this type of question provide opportunities to elaborate on a concept, and show a way to prove the error (which in itself, is a form of critical thinking).

I would be okay with either the tag 'erratum' or 'textbook-erratum', perhaps even 'academic-erratum'.

  • $\begingroup$ I'd definitely favor "erratum" $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 18:23

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